SEPTEMBER 14: The Blazers have officially signed Briscoe to a camp deal, the team announced today in a press release.
SEPTEMBER 13: The Trail Blazers have reached an agreement with former Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe, who will join the club on a training camp deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). Once it’s finalized, the signing will bring Portland’s roster count to 17 players.
Briscoe, 21, declared for the NBA draft in the spring following his sophomore year at Kentucky, despite ranking outside the top 80 on many experts’ draft boards. The 6’3″ guard worked out for several teams leading up to the draft, including the Blazers, but suffered an ankle injury in mid-June and had to cancel his last few sessions. He went undrafted.
In his second season with the Wildcats, Briscoe posted solid averages of 12.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 4.2 APG, though he continued to struggle with his outside shot. After making just 13.5% of his long-distance attempts in his freshman year, the New Jersey native improved his three-point percentage in 2016/17, but only to a modest 28.8%.
While the Sixers picked up Briscoe for Summer League play in July, it’s the Trail Blazers who will take an extended look at him this fall. Currently, the Blazers have 14 players on guaranteed contracts, and it’s possible they’ll keep that 15th regular season spot open to start the season, in order to keep their tax bill down. If they do carry a 15th man, the Blazers figure to consider Briscoe, Archie Goodwin, and any other players they may invite to camp.
Portland is one of the three NBA teams without an NBA G League squad, so Briscoe won’t have the opportunity to become an affiliate player for the Trail Blazers. However, if the club likes what it sees from the rookie guard, a two-way contract is a possibility — the Blazers have only used one of their two-way openings so far.