Northwest Notes: Roberson, Donovan, Porter, Blazers

Thunder forward Andre Roberson hasn’t been a part of the team’s rotation since the first half of the 2017/18 season, having dealt with a series of knee issues that have prevented him from returning to the court. As Royce Young of ESPN details, Roberson finally appears to be close to making his comeback after more than two years of recovery and rehabilitation.

“(It has been) basically a big roller coaster of emotions,” Roberson said of his rehab process. “Just being so close, and then something else would happen. Setback after setback. I don’t know man, it was just tough. … (There were) definitely a lot of times I was ready to give up.”

Roberson, who last suited up on January 27, 2018, says he feels as if he’s “finally ready” to play, though the Thunder won’t raise expectations or put any pressure on the defensive specialist by penciling in for a major role right away. As Young points out, if Roberson plays at all during Oklahoma City’s August 1 restart opener, he’ll have gone 916 days between games.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Although Thunder head coach Billy Donovan is on an expiring contract, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman expects the two sides to work out an agreement to keep Donovan in his current role beyond this season.
  • Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. has cleared his initial quarantine period at the NBA’s campus, a source tells Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link). Porter still needs to pass a cardiac screening to be cleared to practice, but the team is taking small steps toward getting its full roster available.
  • The Trail Blazers – and head coach Terry Stotts – were happy with what they saw on Thursday from Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins, who were playing for the first time in 16 months and nine months, respectively. As Jason Quick of The Athletic writes, the team still wants to experiment with frontcourt options in its next two inter-squad scrimmages before deciding on a starting five for the seeding games. “Right now, I would like to see Nurk and Hassan Whiteside out there together and we can make decisions after that,” Stotts said. “At this point, I’m just keeping an open mind about it.”

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