The Trail Blazers have claimed forward Ish Wainright off waivers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Portland is waiving another forward, Kevin Knox. The Blazers are also releasing big man Duop Reath, per Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report (Twitter link).
The Suns cut Wainright on Thursday due to their roster crunch — they had 17 players on standard contracts and could only carry 15 on their regular season roster. Wainright’s 2023/24 salary was non-guaranteed, making him a logical odd man out.
Phoenix reportedly had interest in bringing back Wainright, perhaps on a two-way deal, but the club won’t get the chance to do so, as the Trail Blazers will take on his non-guaranteed minimum-salary contract. The 29-year-old’s salary won’t become fully guaranteed unless he remains under contract through January 7, so Portland has some time to assess his fit before making a final decision on whether to keep him for the season.
Wainright appeared in 60 games for the Suns last season, averaging 4.2 points and 2.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per night. His shooting line was .370/.329/.839.
The ninth overall pick in the 2018 draft, Knox finished the season with Portland in 2022/23, averaging 8.5 PPG and 3.3 RPG in 21 games (17.1 MPG). However, when he re-signed with the club over the summer, he only received a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 contract, so he was never assured of a regular season roster spot.
Reath was part of Portland’s Summer League team, averaging 13.0 points and 7.4 rebounds in five games, and represented Australia in the 2023 World Cup. He has played overseas since going undrafted out of LSU in 2018, spending time in Serbia, Australia and China.
According to Highkin, both Knox and Reath are candidates to remain in the organization, perhaps with the Rip City Remix, the Blazers’ G League affiliate. However, Reath’s contract didn’t include an Exhibit 10 clause, so of the two, Knox seems more likely to end up with the Remix.
The Blazers now have 14 players on standard contracts and three on two-way deals. They could add one more player before Monday’s regular season roster deadline or enter opening night with an open spot on their standard 15-man roster.