Northwest Notes: Kings, Wolves, Whiteside, Noel

New Trail Blazers trio Trevor Ariza, Caleb Swanigan and Wenyen Gabriel are excited for their opportunity in Portland, according to Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com. And their new teammates are looking forward to integrating them into the team’s system as 19-27 Portland competes for the eighth seed in the West.

The Trail Blazers are currently the No. 11 seed, just 2.5 games shy of the current eighth seed, the 21-24 Grizzlies. The 34 year-old Ariza appears the most likely new player to be incorporated into the current rotation. He is in the first of a two-year, $25MM contract he signed with the Kings in 2019.

“At this point, we’ve really simplified everything that we’ve done over the years, so… I don’t think it will be that hard to catch on to,” said star Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard. “Like today at practice, they put in some of the sets that we’ve been running, the things that we do a lot and we didn’t have to stop practice to be like ‘Alright, this what we gotta do.’ [Ariza] just kinda remembered it, it was pretty simple for him.” 

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • During halftime of a seventh straight Timberwolves loss, irked coach Ryan Saunders berated his team, according to Chris Hine of the Minnesota Star Tribune. Much of that frustration was directed at disappointing $148MM wing Andrew Wiggins. “He was yelling at me a lot of the time,” Wiggins confirmed. “I needed it. The first half was a bad first half. I wasn’t aggressive.”
  • Though the Trail Blazers are clearly eager to cut more contracts to get under the luxury tax this spring, The Athletic’s Jason Quick suspects that GM Neil Olshey may have trouble offloading $98MM center Hassan Whiteside. Quick puts Whiteside’s odds of remaining in Portland through the February 6 trade deadline at 50/50.
  • Thunder backup center Nerlens Noel will miss tonight’s tilt against the Timberwolves due to a surgical procedure for a left cheek fracture, according to an ESPN report. The timeline on Noel’s absence will be updated next week. Noel, the No. 6 pick in 2013, has been productive in limited minutes for Oklahoma City, averaging 8.2 PPG and 5.2 RPG.
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11 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Kings, Wolves, Whiteside, Noel

  1. Tazza

    Blazers should just swap Whiteside and 2 seconds for Love.

    Love would be love to end his career back home in Portland

    Cavs can clear so much salary with Whiteside, Thompson, Delly, Knight, Henson and all those guys. But clearing all this cap space is better than having Loves huge deal plus they get some picks.
    They can fully embrace that rebuild

    Blazers unfortunately have to take KLoves big contract but I really think he would push them over the top and back into a top 5 team in the west. They would have Lillard McCollum Ariza Melo KLove Collins Nurkic Simons and Little. That’s enough pieces to keep them competitive for the next 5 years at a high level. They would be a top 10 team in terms of shooting with all those guys.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      A healthy Jusuf Nurkic might make the Blazers a top 5 team in the West, but trading Whiteside for Love makes very little difference for them.

      • Theone23

        No, Nurkic isn’t that good , and Whiteside despite putting up big numbers makes your team worse when he’s on the court not better. Love would be an upgrade, especially considering Nurkic and Collins play whitesides position

    • Tazza

      A starting line up of Lillard McCollum Ariza Love and Nurkic would be so bomb
      All 5 can shoot well and no one needs to be clogging the paint up on offence. Ariza and Love as corner shooter

      • Tazza

        Plus Simons Melo and Collins off the bench.
        You could okay small with Love at the 5 and Melo at the 4, for loads of offence and little defence and so on

  2. Skip, Tampa

    Love to the Blazers certainly has a lot merit.
    They would need to add in Little, 2020 1st and maybe the 2021 2nd.
    Then hope the chemistry is there for it to work out.
    Then again they run with what they have and clear $27M for this summer.
    Not having to pressure injured players back to soon.

    • Tazza

      Don’t think they would need to give up all those picks and players…
      KLove has shown he wants out, he’s had arguments with the front office and coaches and also called out his teammates but then gone back and said sorry..
      he’s openly said he would like out of Cleveland and his preferred destination would be Portland but has said he doesn’t mind staying here.

      Plus because of his huge contract I can’t see another team being interested in taking him.
      He’s 31 now and his deal after this season goes for another 3 years at about 30 mil a year.

      I’d say Whiteside and maybe 2 seconds
      rounders would be good for both sides really.
      Cavs get rid of the distractions and that contract but get some picks and salary cap relief. Blazers get the huge contract which isn’t ideal but makes them such a stronger team and realistically those second rounders don’t mean much if they make the playoffs they are going to be 50th selections.. The Blazers would have their 8/9 main players and outside of that they can get a couple vets on the min or a couple rookies

  3. SocraticGadfly

    Let’s talk Wiggins, not just Blazers. Remember how, at the start of this year, he was supposedly finally showing that he’d taken the next step?

  4. chicity708

    Trailblazers Already Play No Defense why would you Add Love you need some Defensive wings Arizia nice but he will be 65 next Month

    • Tazza

      Nurkic and Collins will return they play defence
      Tbh if I were they I’d also get Iman Shumpert on the vets min.
      He can play 2-3, is a solid defender and in his spare time or if they don’t make the playoffs he can rap with same dolla

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