Blazers To Send Harper, Lauderdale To D-League

Camp invitees Demonte Harper and Dallas Lauderdale aren't traveling with the Blazers to Utah for Thursday's preseason game, and Chris Haynes of tweets that the team plans to send them to the Idaho Stampede, Portland's D-League affiliate. While that doesn't necessarily mean those two are getting cut, Haynes points out via Twitter that NBA clubs are allowed to protect up to three training camp invitees for their D-League affliates, once those players clear NBA waivers. So, it seems likely that's the plan for Harper and Lauderdale.

Haynes also tweets that GM Neil Olshey said he'll make roster cuts Saturday, which would allow the players to clear waivers by 5pm Eastern time Monday, the deadline for teams to be at the 15-man regular season roster limit. Harper and Lauderdale won't be waived before Saturday, Haynes says, since Olshey has maintained that he wants to wait as long as possible to make his cuts (Twitter link). The Blazers currently have 20 players on the roster, which is the preseason limit. Six are candidates to be cut, since they are all without even a partial guarantee, and that list includes Harper and Lauderdale. The other 14 have fully guaranteed deals. Mike Tokito of The Oregonian identifies Coby Karl and Justin Holiday as two likely candidates to be the third player waived and protected for Idaho (Twitter link).

Harper, a 6'4" guard, spent last year with the Croatian club KK Cibona after going undrafted out of Morehead State in 2011. He played with the Nuggets in summer league, but has registered just four minutes of playing time in preseason with the Blazers. Lauderdale, a 6'8" Ohio State product, was also passed over in the 2011 draft, and played with Turow Zgorzelec in Poland last season. He was with the Warriors' summer league team, but like Harper, hasn't seen much preseason action, garnering only six minutes.

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