FEBRUARY 21, 6:52pm: The signing is official, the Blazers announced on their website.
FEBRUARY 20, 7:55am: The Trail Blazers will fill one of their two open roster spots by signing veteran swingman Brandon Rush to a 10-day contract this week, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).
Rush, a lottery pick back in 2008, has spent time with the Pacers, Warriors, Jazz, and Timberwolves over the course of nine NBA seasons. Known for his outside shooting ability, the 32-year-old has a career .402 3PT%. While he didn’t play a major role for Minnesota last season, averaging a modest 4.2 PPG, he continued to knock down outside shots when he took them, with a .386 3PT%.
This past offseason, Rush caught on with the Bucks for training camp, but failed to earn a spot on Milwaukee’s regular season roster, having been cut just before opening night. In Portland, he’ll get an opportunity to establish himself as a player worth keeping on the roster down the stretch.
As we outlined on Monday, the Blazers are one of four NBA teams that needs to sign a player this week in order to get back up to 14 players on standard contracts. Portland, Washington, Cleveland, and Atlanta all dipped to 13 players around the trade deadline, which is only permitted for two weeks.
The Blazers are well positioned to remain under the luxury tax following Rush’s signing, since his contract will feature a modest cap hit of $83,129, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks details (via Twitter). Portland will still be about $573K below the tax line after signing Rush.
That cushion would allow the Blazers to re-sign Rush to another 10-day contract and – eventually – a rest-of-season deal and stay out of the tax, though the equation would become more complicated if the club wants to add a 15th player to its roster at some point.