Northwest Notes: Blazers, Dort, Jazz, Wolves

The Trail Blazers, who already had one open spot on their 15-man roster, will now have the opportunity to sign two players if they want to, since Trevor Ariza‘s decision to opt out of the summer restart makes him eligible to be replaced by a substitute player.

Despite their roster flexibility, it’s not a lock that the Trail Blazers will add a rotation player before heading to Orlando, writes Jason Quick of The Athletic. As Quick explains, Gary Trent Jr. appears to be the most likely candidate to replace Ariza in the starting lineup, and rookies Nassir Little and Jaylen Hoard could be wild cards.

Quick also speculates that Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts could get creative with his lineups to cover for the fact that the team will be without its top two small forwards (Ariza and Rodney Hood). Quick suggests we could see three-guard lineups featuring Anfernee Simons alongside Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, or bigger five-man units that utilize Zach Collins at the four and Carmelo Anthony at the three.

Here’s more from out of the Northwest:

  • With the NBA’s transaction window now open, it’s decision time for the Thunder and two-way player Luguentz Dort. Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman takes a closer look at the club’s options as it weighs whether to move Dort to the 15-man roster.
  • Tony Jones of The Athletic discusses whether the Jazz might make any changes to their 15-man roster for the summer restart and explores how two-way players Jarrell Brantley and Justin Wright-Foreman fit into the team’s plans.
  • After wearing a Fitbit patch on their jerseys since 2017/18, the Timberwolves are seeking a new sponsor for next season that will help “create impact in our community” and “be a champion for social advancement,” COO Ryan Tanke told Jabari Young of CNBC.
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