Portland Trail Blazers Rumors

And-Ones: Blazers, Payton, Amundson

September 20 at 4:27pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Blazers made it to the second round of the playoffs last season, which was the first time in the last 14 years that the franchise has accomplished that feat. In their season preview, the crew over at Basketball Insiders predicts that Portland will finish second in the Northwest Division, and the Blazers stronger bench may help them advance deeper in the playoffs this season.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Gary Payton is joining the Bucks coaching staff as a special advisor with the express purpose of helping Giannis Antetokounmpo make the transition to point guard, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes. Antetokounmpo played the point during the Las Vegas Summer League, and the intent is for him and Milwaukee to continue with the experiment during the regular season, notes Kenendy.
  • The Cavs impending signing of Lou Amundson brings to Cleveland a player who isn’t interested in scoring, and who understands the value of a rebound, taking a charge and overall defense, all things the suddenly talent-laden Cavs need, Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer writes.
  • Recent Knicks camp invitee Orlando Sanchez could play a big role for the team this season, Keith Schlosser of SB Nation writes in his profile of the player. With the injury history of New York’s current big men, Sanchez could prove valuable as a mid-season D-League call up, notes Schlosser.

Northwest Notes: Wolves, Bledsoe, Barea

September 18 at 12:40pm CDT By Zach Links

Yesterday, University of Texas quarterback David Ash announced that he will give up football after dealing with concussion symptoms throughout his time in Austin. Thunder star Kevin Durant, who spent a season at UT, took to Twitter to send Ash a supportive message. “Thank you David Ash, you gave your all to the University of Texas. I respect your decision and good luck in the future my brother,” Durant wrote.  Here’s today’s look at Durant’s rivals in the Northwest Division..

  • Even after the completion of the Kevin Love trade, the Wolves have talked with the Suns about a deal for Eric Bledsoe, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter).  However, there’s no real match there between the two teams.  Bledsoe has been offered a four-year, $48MM deal from the Suns and while there’s currently a stalemate, the Suns may be willing to sweeten that proposal if talks open up again.
  • More from Wolfson (link) who is asked by a reader if the Wolves are getting interest in J.J. Barea.  No bites yet, he says, as other teams would want another piece in a trade.  There’s nothing imminent on that front and the Wolves will wait to see if another team loses a guard to injury in preseason.
  • Wolves GM Milt Newton says that he’s hopeful that he can hammer out a new deal with Ricky Rubio, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press.  “I feel optimistic. Knowing Ricky the person, he wants to be here. Now we just have to deal with his agent,” Milton said.
  • In their preview of the Trail Blazers, HoopsHype expresses concern over the state of Portland’s bench.  With sixth man Mo Williams gone, few of the remaining reserves can be trusted to give the team much, in their view.  They have the Blazers finishing second in the Northwest Division and fifth in the Western Conference.

Trade Retrospective: Aldridge To Blazers

September 7 at 8:54am CDT By Eddie Scarito

In professional sports, one of the most exciting things that can happen from a fan’s perspective is a blockbuster trade. These deals can alter not just the fates of the franchises involved, but can shape the direction of the entire league. The biggest deal of this offseason so far was the trade that sent Kevin Love to the Cavaliers for the last two No. 1 overall picks, Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins, plus the Wolves also landed Thaddeus Young from the Sixers as part of the transaction.

It will be years before we can accurately judge who won the trade, but if the Cavs hoist the NBA Championship trophy next Spring they will certainly be thrilled with the results. The Wolves haven’t been to the playoffs the last 10 seasons, so for them the deal was about building for the future and trying to change the losing culture in Minnesota.

I’ve been taking a look back at some of the bigger deals that have transpired in recent NBA history. So far I’ve examined the trades that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers; Deron Williams to the Nets; Kevin Garnett to the Celtics; Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks; Chris Paul to the Clippers; Stephon Marbury to the Knicks; and the trade that sent Shaquille O’Neal from the Lakers to the Heat.

Not all big trades involve established players and stars, but they still carry a high risk. Trading away prospects and draft picks ramp that risk up even higher than when dealing away established NBA talent, since it is so difficult to accurately predict how a player’s production will transition from college to the pros. It’s with this in mind that I look back at the June 2006 Draft night trade between the Bulls and the Blazers that landed LaMarcus Aldridge in Portland.

I’ll begin by running down the players involved:

The Bulls were infatuated at the time with Thomas’ athleticism and defensive potential, which led then-GM John Paxson to take a chance and deal Aldridge, whom the Bulls selected with the No. 2 overall pick, for Thomas, who was selected No. 4 overall. The Bulls were more enamored with Thomas’ physical tools and potential, but this trade shows the risks involved when dealing away draft picks prior to seeing them perform at the next level.

The Bulls were just beginning to climb out of the post-Michael Jordan era blues at the time of the trade. Here’s a look at their records in the seasons leading up to this deal:

  1. 2001/02: 21-61
  2. 2002/03: 30-52
  3. 2003/04: 23-59
  4. 2004/05: 47-35 (Lost in first round to the Wizards)
  5. 2005/06: 41-41 (Lost in first round to the Heat)

The acquisition of Thomas was supposed to strengthen the Bulls’ frontcourt and help the franchise take the next step back toward contention, but Thomas never lived up to his potential and has been outperformed by Aldridge every season of their careers.

Here are Thomas’ career stats:

  1. 2006/07: 5.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 0.6 APG, and 1.1 BPG. His slash line was .474/.000/.606.
  2. 2007/08: 6.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.2 APG, and 1.0 BPG. His slash line was .423/.167/.741.
  3. 2008/09: 10.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, and 1.9 BPG. His slash line was .451/.333/.783.
  4. 2009/10: 9.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.0 APG, and 1.6 BPG. His slash line was .462/.000/.687.
  5. 2010/11: 10.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 0.7 APG, and 1.6 BPG. His slash line was .471/.000/.787.
  6. 2011/12: 5.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 0.6 APG, and 1.1 BPG. His slash line was .367/.333/.759.
  7. 2012/13: 4.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.7 APG, and 0.6 BPG. His slash line was .353/.375/.839.

The Bulls’ records for the seasons that Thomas was on the roster were:

  1. 2006/07: 49-33 (Lost in second round to the Pistons)
  2. 2007/08: 33-49
  3. 2008/09: 41-41 (Lost in first round to the Celtics)
  4. 2009/10: 41-41 (Lost in first round to the Cavs)

Thomas was injured four games into the 2009/10 season, and he missed nearly six weeks with a fractured forearm. During this stretch he was replaced in the starting lineup by Taj Gibson, who performed well enough to make Thomas expendable. On February 18, 2010, Thomas was traded to the Hornets for Flip Murray; Acie Law; and a 2014 first-rounder (Jusuf Nurkic).

That offseason the Hornets signed Thomas to a five-year, $40MM deal. Thomas would spend another three seasons with Charlotte, averaging double-figures in points only once. His time in Charlotte and his NBA career would come to an end on July 10, 2013 when the Hornets waived Thomas using the amnesty provision to make room for the franchise to sign Al Jefferson.

Murray only appeared in 29 games for the Bulls, and averaged 10.1 PPG and 2.9 RPG. This was his last season in the league and he’s since split time between the NBA D-League and playing overseas.

Law appeared in just 12 games for the Bulls, averaging 5.5 PPG and 1.3 APG. After the 2009/10 season he became a free agent, signing a one-year deal with the Grizzlies, who would release him after 11 games.

The first-rounder that Chicago had acquired from Charlotte was part of the 2014 NBA Draft night trade with the Nuggets that sent the rights to Doug McDermott and Anthony Randolph to the Bulls for Jusuf Nurkic, Gary Harris, and the least favorable of the Bulls’ pair of second rounders in 2015 (Chicago has both its own second-round pick and Portland’s second-rounder that year).

Viktor Khryapa didn’t provide much of a return for the Bulls. In parts of two seasons with the franchise, he appeared in a total of 42 games, averaging 2.9 PPG and 1.9 RPG. Khryapa only played an average of 9.3 minutes per contest while in Chicago.  He expressed to management his frustrations about his lack of playing time, and in February of 2008 he and the team reached a buyout agreement. Khryapa has been out of the NBA ever since.

From the Bulls’ side of things, this is a deal that I’m sure they would like to change if they could. It’s hard to predict what the team’s won-loss records would have been the first two seasons after the trade was made, and if Chicago would have still been in line to draft Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose in 2007 and 2008, respectively, if it was Aldridge and not Thomas manning the power forward position. But when simply comparing the assets that changed hands, the Bulls have to regret this deal when looking back.

The Blazers were floundering as a franchise in the seasons prior to this trade. Here’s a look at their records prior to acquiring Aldridge:

  1. 2001/02: 49-33 (Lost to the Lakers in the first round)
  2. 2002/03: 50-32 (Lost to the Mavs in the first round)
  3. 2003/04: 41-41
  4. 2004/05: 27-55
  5. 2005/06: 21-61

Portland had quite a busy draft night back in 2006, acquiring Aldridge as well as Brandon Roy in a separate deal with the Wolves. Roy would go on to win Rookie of the Year honors for the 2006/07 season, when he averaged 16.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 4.0 APG. Aldridge didn’t begin his career quite as successfully, but by his second season he already began to show flashes of being the star player that he has evolved into.

Here are Aldridge’s career numbers:

  1. 2006/07: 9.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.4 APG, and 1.2 BPG. His slash line was .503/.000/.722.
  2. 2007/08: 17.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.6 APG, and 1.2 BPG. His slash line was .484/.143/.762.
  3. 2008/09: 18.1 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.9 APG, and 1.0 BPG. His slash line was .484/.250/.781.
  4. 2009/10: 17.9 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.1 APG, and 0.6 BPG. His slash line was .495/.313/.757.
  5. 2010/11: 21.8 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, and 1.2 BPG. His slash line was .500/.174/.791.
  6. 2011/12: 21.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, and 0.8 BPG. His slash line was .512/.182/.814.
  7. 2012/13: 21.1 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, and 1.2 BPG. His slash line was .484/.143/.810.
  8. 2013/14: 23.2 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, and 1.0 BPG. His slash line was .458/.200/.822.

Here’s how the Blazers have fared since acquiring Aldridge:

  1. 2006/07: 32-50
  2. 2007/08: 41-41
  3. 2008/09: 54-28 (Lost in first round to the Rockets)
  4. 2009/10: 50-32 (Lost in first round to the Suns)
  5. 2010/11: 48-34 (Lost in first round to Mavs)
  6. 2011/12: 28-38
  7. 2012/13: 33-49
  8. 2013/14: 54-28 (Lost in the second round to the Spurs)

Aldridge has been a big part of the turnaround in Portland, which has had a few setbacks, most notably the selection of Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant back in 2007, and Roy’s retirement due to injuries back in 2011. Aldridge is on track to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season, and even if the Blazers don’t re-sign him, they still win this deal.

The second-rounder that Portland acquired from Chicago was used in a trade with the Knicks, which saw New York receive Zach Randolph; Dan Dickau; Fred Jones; and the pick that was used to select Demetris Nichols. In return, the Blazers received Steve Francis; Channing Frye; and a 2008 second-rounder that was used to select Omer Asik.

As far as trades go, the Aldridge one wasn’t a multi-player deal involving numerous teams, but it was still a rather important one–especially for Portland. The Blazers haven’t advanced past the second round during Aldridge’s tenure in Portland, but it’s difficult to argue that he is the cause. The Bulls most likely lament this deal, especially since Thomas is out of the league altogether, while Aldridge is entering his prime and has made three consecutive All-Star games. But in all fairness, had Derrick Rose not fallen under the injury bug, Chicago may well have won an NBA title in the last few years.

It’s interesting to see the difference in production each franchise received from players taken a mere two selections apart. It also makes one wonder which of this year’s draft night trades will be looked back at as being steals or huge misfires. Will the Cavs regret dealing away Wiggins? If Cleveland fails to win the title, Love doesn’t perform up to his previous levels, or if he leaves as a free agent after the season, then they absolutely will. But if they finally hang a championship banner from their rafters, then they will consider it absolutely worth doing.

As for some of the other teams that took a gamble this year, time will tell if the Nuggets will regret trading McDermott to the Bulls, or if the Magic will rue dealing Dario Saric to the Sixers for Elfrid Payton. As the Aldridge-Thomas trade has demonstrated, a few spots in the draft order can yield remarkably different results down the line. It’s a risk anytime a deal is made, and sometimes it’s even more so when gambling with draft selections. Cleveland certainly better hope that Wiggins doesn’t become a superstar, or they need to win at least a couple of titles if he does. Otherwise, there will be some angry Cavs fans in a few years.

Note: If there’s a particular trade that you would like to see me take a look back at, please feel free to sound off in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter at @EddieScarito.

And-Ones: Flynn, Pistons, Love

August 30 at 10:55am CDT By Eddie Scarito

Former NBA lottery pick Jonny Flynn has signed a contract  with Capo d’Orlando of the Italian League, the team announced (translation by Sportando). Flynn last saw action in the NBA with the Blazers during the 2011/12 season. His career numbers are 9.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, and 3.9 APG. His career slash line is .400/.338/.809.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • With Greg Monroe likely to sign his qualifying offer, the Pistons‘ frontcourt trio of Monroe, Josh Smith, and Andre Drummond will be together for another season. Coach Stan Van Gundy‘s challenge will be to figure out how to use them more effectively than they were last season, writes Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Kevin Love has essentially traded places with Chris Bosh, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Love is now the third option on the Cavs, much like Bosh was alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with the Heat, Winderman notes, and it’s the statistical sacrifices of the third player that determines if these star trios are successful.
  • With the news that the Spurs are interested in Ray Allen, Nick Borges of ESPN.com runs down the free agent market for the future Hall-of-Famer. Borges notes that if Allen is seeking a title contender and the highest salary, then San Antonio is the best option. The Spurs can offer Allen the $5.3MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception. The Clippers, Mavs, Heat, and Cavaliers can only give Allen a veteran’s minimum contract.

Contract Details: Clarkson, Young, Powell

August 26 at 9:32pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Eric Pincus has once more updated his Basketball Insiders salary pages, and included in his changes are a few tidbits of previously unreported news on players who’ve signed this summer. We’ll pass along those items here:

  • The two-year deal that Jerrelle Benimon signed with the Nuggets is for the minimum salary and is partially guaranteed for $35K this season, while his 2015/16 salary is non-guaranteed, Pincus reports (Twitter link).
  • The Blazers gave Diante Garrett a $30K guarantee in the first year of his two-year minimum salary deal, but the second year is non-guaranteed, Pincus notes on Twitter.
  • Patric Young‘s two-year deal with the Pelicans is a minimum-salary arrangement that’s partially guaranteed for $55K this season, but it’s otherwise non-guaranteed, Pincus notes (Twitter link). Darius Miller‘s deal with the team is partially guaranteed for $400K this year but otherwise non-guaranteed, Pincus adds.
  • Both Will Cherry‘s and Jordan Hamilton‘s salaries are guaranteed for $25K for the 2014/15 season, Pincus tweets, adding that Hamilton’s pact is for the minimum. The Raptors signed Cherry to a two-year minimum salary deal, and Hamilton to a one-year arrangement. Cherry’s salary for 2015/16 is non-guaranteed, Pincus adds.
  • Dwight Powell‘s deal with the Cavaliers is fully guaranteed for the first season, with the second year non-guaranteed, Pincus reports (Twitter link). The contract covers just those two seasons, as Pincus notes.
  • The Spurs‘ two-year deal with JaMychal Green is for the minimum salary and has a $60K guarantee for this coming season, Pincus reports (Twitter link). It’s non-guaranteed for 2015/16, according to Pincus.
  • Sim Bhullar‘s deal is for one year and comes with a guarantee of $35K, while Eric Moreland‘s three-year contract is guaranteed for $200K this coming season and is otherwise non-guaranteed, Pincus notes (Twitter link). Both players are with the Kings, and, according to Pincus, make the minimum.
  • The two-year, minimum-salary deal that Jordan Clarkson signed with the Lakers is fully guaranteed for this coming season, but the 2015/16 season is non-guaranteed, Pincus reports (Twitter link).

Western Rumors: Cooley, Anderson, Wolves

August 25 at 8:00pm CDT By Cray Allred

John Canzano of The Oregonian thinks that Team USA’s decision to cut Damian Lillard from its final roster will fuel the Blazers point guard in reaching another level on the court. Here’s more from around the West:

  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets that Jack Cooley‘s contract with the Jazz is partially guaranteed at $65K, the same amount that fellow training camp invites Kevin Murphy and Dee Bost received in guaranteed salary.
  • Ryan Anderson expects to begin playing again at the open of Pelicans training camp, he tells Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com. “I have a few more weeks, so training camp I’ll be ready to go all out,” said Anderson. “I just can’t wait to play contact basketball again. I can’t wait for that day. Until then I want to build up strength, get stronger and really work on my conditioning, and get back to normal.” Anderson missed most of last year after suffering a serious neck injury.
  • Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post compares the Kevin Love trade to the Carmelo Anthony blockbuster between the Nuggets and Knicks. While the Wolves likely received better talent from the Cavs than Denver did from New York in 2011, Dempsey thinks Minnesota will face a tougher road to becoming competitive in the next few years.

Contract Details: Inglis, Heat, Jazz, Hamilton

August 24 at 10:54am CDT By Chuck Myron

The pace of signings is slow this time of year, but teams continue to add to their rosters. Eric Pincus reveals some previously unreported details about a handful of these signings within his latest updates to the salary pages at Basketball Insiders, so we’ll pass along the news here:

  • The Bucks are giving 31st overall pick Damien Inglis guaranteed salaries of $820K this season and $855K for 2015/16, both amounts that are more than the minimum, as Pincus notes (Twitter link). It’s a three-year deal in all that features a non-guaranteed season at the minimum salary in the contract’s final year. Milwaukee used part of its cap space to accommodate the signing.
  • Tyler Johnson‘s minimum salary with the Heat this season is guaranteed for $75K, while his minimum salary for next season is without a guarantee, according to Pincus. Reggie Williams is receiving a non-guaranteed minimum salary in his pact with the Heat this year, as Pincus also reveals.
  • The Jazz gave Dee Bost a $65K guarantee this season, while the other two years of his three-year contract for the minimum salary are non-guaranteed, Pincus reports. Pincus also notes that the team gave Jack Cooley a three-year deal for the minimum, though it remains unclear whether any of Cooley’s pay is guaranteed. Utah used cap space rather than the minimum-salary exception on Bost and Cooley, since the minimum-salary exception only allows for two-year deals.
  • The Raptors have the means to shell out more than the minimum salary, but they didn’t give Jordan Hamilton any more than that, as Pincus documents. Hamilton’s deal is reportedly partially guaranteed, but just how much he’s guaranteed remains unknown.
  • Darius Morris is on a one-year deal with the Blazers, Pincus shows.

Western Notes: Aldridge, Asik, Lakers

August 14 at 2:10pm CDT By Zach Links

Earlier today, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders looked at the best free agents in the 2015 class.  Among the top names potentially in the group is Blazers big man LaMarcus Aldridge.  Two seasons ago it seemed like a foregone conclusion that LaMarcus would be leaving Portland. Today it seems unlikely that he won’t be back on a new long term deal in July.  Here’s more out of the West…

  • One might think that Omer Asik has some hard feelings towards the Rockets, but he says that’s not the case at all, writes Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle.  Asik, now with the Pelicans, was quite vocal about wanting a trade when Houston acquired big man Dwight Howard, relegating him to the bench.  “I just really want to thank all the fans and all the support I had in Houston,” he said. “I want to thank everyone in the organization and especially my teammates. I really enjoyed my time in Houston.
  • Eddie Johnson of USA Today Sports (video link) says the Lakers need to stop trying to cover up their holes with band-aids and instead make substantive changes.
  • Lakers coach Byron Scott told Mike Trudell of Lakers.com (on Twitter) that he expects to have his coaching staff filled out by the end of the week.

And-Ones: Parsons, Heat, Southerland, Pistons

August 8 at 2:01pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Chandler Parsons was an all-around contributor for the Rockets, averaging 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists this past season, but that sort of production isn’t why the Mavs gave him a near-max offer sheet that Houston declined to match. They’re confident he can be a “far better” player than he was with the Rockets, as owner Mark Cuban said, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. While we wait to see whether Parsons proves worthy of Cuban’s investment, here’s more from around the league:

  • The Heat will likely sign a center for the reserve role that Greg Oden played last season, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Andray Blatche is available, but the Heat have shied away from him in the past because they’ve disliked his maturity level and behavior, according to Jackson, who seconds the notion that the Heat are unlikely to re-sign Oden following Oden’s arrest Thursday.
  • The contract that James Southerland signed Thursday with the Blazers is a one-year, non-guaranteed pact, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM. That means it’s a summer contract, as I speculated. It also fits the stipulations required to make it an Exhibit 9 contract, though it’s not necessarily one.
  • Former NBA players Tim Hardaway Sr. and Malik Allen will serve as assistant coaches for the Pistons next season, the team announced. The Pistons also announced the hiring of former Knicks executive Jeff Nix as assistant general manager. He’ll serve alongside fellow assistant GM Brian Wright underneath president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy and GM Jeff Bower.

Western Notes: Cousins, Gasol, Nurkic, Blazers

August 4 at 2:45pm CDT By Chuck Myron

DeMarcus Cousins feels like he’s behind in his career because of Sacramento’s inability over the years to find a team that fits around him, but he’s nonetheless ecstatic about what the Kings have done this offseason, as he tells Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee.

“I love what we’re doing. Love what we’re doing. [GM] Pete [D’Alessandro], he’s real aggressive, going after stuff, trying for players we probably have no chance at getting. One of these times we’re going to get lucky, and in the past we wouldn’t do that. Do you know how good that feels? Since [owner] Vivek [Ranadive], Pete, [coach] Michael [Malone], Mullie [team adviser Chris Mullin], [director of pro personnel] Mitch [Richmond] and those guys walked through the [expletive] door, things have been on the rise. I am totally behind it. Michael is like me; he sees everything in black-and-white. I love the fact Pete keeps trying stuff. I am totally behind all this. Rudy [Gay], the [Darren] Collison move, thinking Omri [Casspi] can stretch the floor. And the rookie, that kid [Nik] Stauskas can really play. He makes the game easy and has an impact even when he’s not scoring. I am so happy to be a part of this, of what we’re doing.”

Here’s more from around the West:

  • Marc Gasol can hit free agency next summer, but Grizzlies owner Robert Pera said Friday that the team is determined to keep him around for the rest of his career, observes Zach McMillin of The Commercial Appeal. Pera added that convincing Gasol that he can win a title in Memphis will be key, notes fellow Commercial Appeal scribe Michael Cohen.
  • No. 16 overall pick Jusuf Nurkic didn’t receive the standard 120% of the rookie scale when he signed with the Nuggets last month, and it’s believed that he’s the most highly drafted player ever to take such a discount, reports Mark Deeks of ShamSports. That’s especially surprising given that Nurkic has to pick up a portion of his buyout from Croatian team KK Cedevita. He’ll receive 108% of the scale amount this year and 107% in the second season, while the pair of team option years on his rookie scale contract are at the usual 120%, according to Deeks.
  • The Blazers don’t mind Damian Lillard‘s participation in Team USA activities this summer as much as they would take issue with players who compete for other nations, as The Oregonian’s Mike Tokito explains. That’s because Team USA doesn’t expect heavy minutes and practice time out of its players the way some countries do.