Andrae Patterson

Blazers Rumors: McCollum, Powell, Covington, Patterson

The Trail Blazers are considered one of the NBA’s most active teams in trade discussions leading up to the February 10 deadline, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, who says the Hawks, Pacers, Kings, and Pelicans also fall into that group.

While it remains to be seen exactly what direction Portland will take at the deadline, it seems clear the team remains motivated to shed a little salary to get out of luxury tax territory, Fischer writes. Rival executives who have spoken to Bleacher Report suggest CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, Jusuf Nurkic, and Robert Covington could all be trade candidates.

Here’s more on the Blazers:

  • The Pelicans have been the team most frequently linked to McCollum, says Fischer. Fischer suggests a package of Jonas Valanciunas and Josh Hart might make sense, but acknowledges that New Orleans will be reluctant to part with Valanciunas, preferring to move players like Tomas Satoransky and Jaxson Hayes.
  • Noting that Portland has been among Jerami Grant‘s suitors, Fischer wonders if Powell might appeal to the Pistons. Detroit is believed to prefer draft picks and young players in any Grant trade, but Dwane Casey coached Powell in Toronto and Fischer says the Pistons were one of Powell’s top options as a free agent last summer.
  • Despite their reported interest in Covington, the Jazz have been described by Fischer’s sources as an unlikely landing spot for the Blazers forward.
  • The Blazers moved quickly earlier this month to hire former Cavaliers executive Andrae Patterson as an assistant general manager, according to Fischer, who says Patterson received a job offer just one day after Portland requested permission to interview him. He’ll have “significant input” in the team’s draft and free agency planning.
  • Besides hiring Patterson, interim GM Joe Cronin has also made changes to the Blazers’ scouting department, public relations department, and medical staff, so there’s no reason to believe he won’t have the go-ahead to make major roster changes too, Fischer writes.

Trail Blazers Hire Andrae Patterson As Assistant GM

4:07pm: Patterson has been officially hired, Portland announced in a press release.

2:39pm: Trail Blazers interim general manager Joe Cronin plans to hire Andrae Patterson as an assistant general manager, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Patterson has been serving as the Cavaliers‘ senior director of basketball operations and also spent multiple years in a front office role with the Jazz, Wojnarowski adds.

Blazers ownership has given Cronin the freedom to add to his front office staff and Patterson will be receiving a promotion in his new role as assistant GM, Woj tweets. Patterson is a former NBA player and is highly regarded throughout the league, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic (via Twitter), who adds that he likes the hire.

The move seems to indicate that Portland’s ownership likes how Cronin has performed thus far on an interim basis, which bodes well for his prospects at keeping the general manager position permanently. It will be interesting to see what the Blazers do prior to the trade deadline with Damian Lillard sidelined after surgery. Portland has been active in trade talks and the expectation is the team will continue to explore ways to reshape its roster.

Cavaliers Notes: Green, Shumpert, Lue, Patterson

After 10 seasons in the NBA, Jeff Green couldn’t pass up an opportunity to play for a championship contender, relays Joe Gabriele of Green took a substantial pay cut to join the Cavaliers, dropping his salary from $15MM last season to the veterans minimum of $2.3MM. He is also relegated to a reserve role, with LeBron James cemented as the team’s starting small forward, but Green said the shot at a ring makes the sacrifices worthwhile.

“That was what I was looking for and that’s what came to my sight – that there was an opportunity here,” said Green, who is with his sixth NBA team. “So I was thankful for it and I couldn’t pass it up; the opportunity was there and I jumped on it. It wasn’t a matter of timing or when it happened. It was just when I got the call and thought about it. And I didn’t have to think long. I wrote down the pros and cons of what I wanted. And this situation fit every ‘pro’ on that list.”

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • Coach Tyronn Lue reassured Iman Shumpert about his future with the team following an offseason filled with trade rumors, writes Chris Fedor of The Cavaliers came close to shipping Shumpert to Houston in early July, but the Rockets pulled out of the deal after signing P.J. Tucker. Cleveland continued to search for a trade, but the right partner never emerged. Shumpert was frustrated by the reports and shared that sentiment with Lue in a pre-camp meeting. He was also upset about the way his role diminished late in the season and into the playoffs. Shumpert has a player option on his $11MM salary for next season and could become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
  • Shumpert needs to become more reliable on offense before the Cavs will trust him against the Warriors, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. Shumpert was a non-factor as Cleveland’s season ended in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, getting off the bench for less than four minutes. He has vowed to contribute more on the offensive end of the court, but with a turnover rate of 19% in transition, Lloyd cautions that might not be best for the team.
  • Andrae Patterson, formerly with Utah’s front office, will join the Cavaliers as director of basketball administration, relays Joe Vardon of The 41-year-old had a brief NBA career with the Timberwolves and played nine seasons in Europe.

Northwest Notes: Rubio, Harkless, Claver

Ricky Rubio answered affirmatively when asked whether he wanted to remain with the Timberwolves and praised the team’s offseason additions in an interview with Jamie Goodwin of the Gulf News in Dubai, where the point guard had traveled for a basketball camp. Reports conflicted this spring on the subject of whether Rubio’s camp was pushing for a trade, though comments since that time from Rubio and Wolves coach/executive Flip Saunders have downplayed the notion that a trade is forthcoming. See more on Minnesota’s Northwest Division rivals here:

  • The Trail Blazers were eyeing Maurice Harkless long before they traded with the Magic this summer to acquire him, as GM Neil Olshey tells Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe“Mo was very high on our board a few years ago in the [2012] draft,” Portland general manager Neil Olshey said. “We were excited about him. He has a lot of potential. He fits our model right now; he’s an emerging young player. He’s got a lot of talent. We have a lot of faith in our player development staff and our coaches that guys hit their ceilings, and we know Mo’s not even close to his ceiling at this point. He’s going to get a great opportunity with us to be the player we loved coming out of the draft.”
  • Former Blazers small forward Victor Claver has officially signed with Lokomotiv Kuban of Russia, the team announced (hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). International journalist David Pick first reported the deal this weekend. It had appeared that Claver would return to his native Spain to play, but he’s instead headed to Russia, where he finished up this past season with Khimki Moscow after hitting NBA waivers. The Blazers traded him to the Nuggets in the Arron Afflalo deal, and Denver released him a few days later.
  • The Jazz have hired Jordan Brady as an assistant coach for their D-League affiliate, the team announced. He spent last season as a Lakers D-League assistant coach. He’ll work under D-League head coach Dean Cooper and replace Andrae Patterson, who moved into a front office role with the Jazz this summer.