Trail Blazers Rumors

Quinn Cook Signs Non-Guaranteed Contract With Blazers

SEPTEMBER 22: Cook officially signed his contract with Portland on Tuesday, according to RealGM’s transactions log.

SEPTEMBER 21: Two-time NBA champion Quinn Cook is signing a non-guaranteed contract with the Trail Blazers, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (twitter link).

Cook struggled to find a permanent home last season, playing in 16 games with the Lakers before being waived in February, then playing seven games with the Cavs on a couple of 10-day contracts.

It was reported yesterday that the Warriors were planning on working out Cook this week, but it appears he’ll no longer be an option for Golden State.

Known for his strong locker-room presence and shooting ability, the Washington, D.C. native holds a career slash line of .461/.408/.795 in 14.1 MPG.

Once they officially finalize their agreement with Cook, the Blazers will have 18 players on their training camp roster, with two spots remaining, including an open two-way contract.

Poll: Will Damian Lillard Finish 2021/22 Season With Blazers?

Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard recently pledged his commitment to Portland — at least to start the season — in a post shared to his Instagram account. “Back for more… #RipCity is my city”, Lillard posted, including a photo of him high-fiving Blazers fans.

A six-time All-Star, Lillard has seen his name surface in trade rumors throughout the offseason. His production increased once the playoffs came around last season, averaging 34.3 points, 10.2 assists and 41.3 minutes per game in six total contests.

The Sixers are among the teams that have expressed interest in Lillard, with team president Daryl Morey reportedly hoping that he would request a trade from Portland before the season. Philadelphia has been exploring the trade market for disgruntled star Ben Simmons (owed $33MM in 2020/21).

With Lillard re-affirming his commitment to Portland, any trade request remains highly unlikely for the time being. Should things change before the trade deadline, however, a large number of rival teams are expected to circle back and express interest in his services.

What do you think? Will Damian Lillard remain with the Blazers for the 2021/22 season, or will he request a trade? Will the team succeed enough to keep him in town? Vote in our poll, then head to the comments below to share your thoughts!

Trail Blazers Notes: Nurkic, Brown, Offseason Grade

Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic is optimistic about his role on the team after the hiring of Chauncey Billups as head coach, writes Jason Quick of The Athletic. Billups mentioned Nurkic during his introductory press conference, telling reporters, “I want to get more out of Nurk this year. He’s a weapon that most teams don’t have.” The new coach talked about installing an inside-out offense that will take advantage of Nurkic’s low-post scoring abilities as well as the team’s shooting prowess.

It was welcome news for Nurkic, who felt like his relationship with the organization was “fraying” after last season’s playoff loss to the Nuggets, Quick adds. Nurkic wasn’t happy with the way he was used by former coach Terry Stotts and was starting to doubt his future in Portland. He met with Billups after hearing his comments and believes things will be different this season.

“It’s not a question anymore whether I want to be here or not,” Nurkic said. “When the team hired Chauncey and I have a conversation with him and (assistant) Roy Rogers, there was no doubt. I’m 100 percent committed to Blazers.”

There’s more from Portland:

  • Nurkic has fully recovered from a left thumb injury he suffered in the playoffs, Quick adds in the same story. He hurt the thumb in Game 4 of the series and it continued to bother him into the summer. “I had that thumb thing to take care of, so I did a bunch of shooting to get my touch back,” Nurkic said.
  • Second-round pick Greg Brown is relying on veterans to teach him about the NBA, notes Casey Holdahl of Brown played alongside Michael Beasley, Kenneth Faried and Emmanuel Mudiay during Summer League and he continues to seek advice at the team’s practice facility as training camp nears. “We had Larry Nance Jr. come in, I’m excited to see how he thinks about the league, pick his brain,” Brown said. “(Damian Lillard) for sure, CJ (McCollum) for sure, (Nassir Little) — I’ve been knowing Nas since high school, see how his transition is. Everybody has their story and you can pick something from their story and put it in yours to help you move further.”
  • The Blazers’ offseason gets a C-plus grade from Zach Harper of the Athletic, who says the additions of Nance and Cody Zeller will help the interior defense, but he doesn’t see much improvement otherwise. Harper adds that questions about Lillard’s future will hang over the franchise until the situation is resolved.

Billups Talks About Learning To Coach; Matt Brase joins Trail Blazers' staff

  • Tutoring sessions with Tyronn Lue during last year’s COVID-19 hiatus convinced Chauncey Billups to try coaching, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. Billups, who was an announcer for the Clippers at the time, learned the game from a different perspective during that makeshift coaching camp, which routinely lasted four to five hours a day. Billups spent a season as an assistant with L.A. before being hired as head coach of the Trail Blazers this summer.
  • Matt Brase is the newest addition to Billups’ staff with the Trail Blazers, per Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype. Brase was an assistant to Mike D’Antoni in Houston from 2018-20.

Lakers Notes: Anthony, LeBron, Nunn, Coaching Staff

Carmelo Anthony was hoping to return to the Trail Blazers this summer before LeBron James urged him to join the Lakers, writes Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Appearing on Haynes’ “Posted Up” podcast, Anthony said he was waiting to see if Portland was interested in bringing him back when James reached out to him. Anthony spent the last two years with the Blazers, but said management didn’t contact him about a return.

“No, not the way I thought. But honestly, I wasn’t expecting it,” he said. “… Not to say Portland did anything wrong, but I was sitting around because I’m a loyal person. I didn’t want to leave (Damian Lillard) and CJ (McCollum) and those guys. But I know the business.”

In addition to his long friendship with James, Anthony chose the Lakers because he sees the team as his best hope to cap off his career with a championship. He told Haynes that several other organizations expressed interest, which felt good after being out of the league two years ago.

“New York was always there, always a story,” Anthony said. “I told my son when he made it to high school, I’d be there. Philly, I didn’t get a chance to converse with Philly, but there was interest. New Orleans had interest. It felt good to see that again and being a part of teams being interested in me when 18-20 months again, it was nobody.”

There’s more from L.A.:

  • James has played fewer minutes per game each season since 2016/17, and Jovan Buha of The Athletic expects that trend to continue this year. James will turn 37 in December and the Lakers will be try to be careful with him to avoid the kind of long-term injury he had last season.
  • Of all the players the Lakers added in free agency, Kendrick Nunn was probably the most surprising, Buha adds in the same piece. The former Heat guard signed for the taxpayer mid-level exception, and Buha speculates that he could have gotten a better offer from another team. Buha also questions whether Nunn will get the playing time he’s used to with Russell Westbrook handling most of the minutes at point guard.
  • The Lakers have officially announced the additions of David Fizdale and John Lucas III as assistant coaches (Twitter link). Both hires were previously reported.

2021/22 NBA Over/Unders: Northwest Division

The 2021/22 NBA regular season will get underway next month, so it’s time to start getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign and to resume an annual Hoops Rumors tradition.

With the help of the lines from a handful of sports betting sites, including Bovada and BetOnline, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. In a series of team-by-team polls, you’ll get the chance to weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

In 2020/21, our voters went 17-13 on their over/under picks. Can you top that in ’21/22?

As a reminder, the NBA played a 72-game schedule in 2020/21, so a team that won 41 games last year finished with a 41-31 record. This year, a club that wins 41 games would be a .500 team (41-41). For added clarity, we’ve noted the record that each team would have to achieve to finish “over” its projected win total.

We’ll turn today to the Northwest division…

Utah Jazz

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Jazz poll.

Denver Nuggets

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Nuggets poll.

Portland Trail Blazers

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Trail Blazers poll.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Timberwolves poll.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Thunder poll.

Previous voting results:


  • Brooklyn Nets (55.5 wins): Over (63.2%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (51.5 wins): Under (70.0%)
  • Boston Celtics (46.5 wins): Over (58.1%)
  • New York Knicks (42.5 wins): Over (65.1%)
  • Toronto Raptors (36.5 wins): Under (50.6%)

Blazers Sign Patrick Patterson To Camp Deal

9:15pm: The deal is official, per RealGM’s transactions log.

4:11pm: The Trail Blazers have reached an agreement on a training camp deal for free agent forward Patrick Patterson, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Patterson, 32, spent the last two seasons with the Clippers, appearing in a total of 97 regular season games for the club. The veteran stretch four averaged 5.0 PPG and 2.3 RPG on .420/.377/.800 shooting in 14.0 minutes per contest for the team over those two years.

A report on Wednesday from Michael Scotto of HoopsHype suggested that Patterson was among the veteran forwards receiving interest from the Blazers. The team was also linked to Michael Beasley, James Ennis, and Isaiah Hartenstein — it’s unclear if the deal with Patterson rules out the possibility of those players being added to the roster, or if Portland is open to further opening up its training camp competition for a roster spot.

The Blazers currently have 13 players on guaranteed contracts, with Dennis Smith Jr., Marquese Chriss, and now Patterson set to attend camp on non-guaranteed deals. Portland must carry at least 14 players during the regular season, so at least one roster spot is very much available. However, that may be the only spot up for grabs — the Blazers could opt to keep the 15th roster spot open to start the season in order to reduce their projected luxury tax bill.

Northwest Notes: Nance Jr., Newton, Krejci, Giddey

Larry Nance Jr.,who was shipped to the Trail Blazers as part of the three-team blockbuster deal that landed Lauri Markkanen in Cleveland, believes he’s a piece that could change Portland’s postseason fortunes, as he told Blazers’ website writer Casey Holdahl.

“It’s a team I’ve been rooting for in the playoffs for a while now, just feel like it’s impossible to root against a guy like Dame and CJ (Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum), seems like they have great guys on the roster,” Nance said. “I felt it was an opportunity where I really have a chance to step in and make a difference.

“This is a team that’s been on the edge of something special for a while now and the higher ups in the organization deemed me as someone that could help them get higher. I’m thrilled at the opportunity and I’m really looking forward to taking it. Getting a chance to play with players of this caliber doesn’t come around too often.”

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Timberwolves have hired Jeff Newton as their G League coach, according to a team press release. Prior to taking the helm of the Iowa Wolves, Newton spent the last two seasons as an offensive associate/player development coach for the Timberwolves. “Jeff has proven throughout the last couple years that he is dedicated to the Timberwolves overall mission, including developing our young players which makes him a natural choice as the Wolves head coach,” Timberwolves assistant GM Gianluca Pascucci said.
  • The contract that Vit Krejci signed with the Thunder is a four-year deal, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Krejci’s first-year salary of $925,258 is guaranteed. The second year salary of $1,563,518 includes a partial guarantee of $781,759, while his $1,836,096 third-season salary is non-guaranteed. The final year of the deal is a team option at $1,988,598. The draft-and-stash wing was selected in the second round of the 2020 draft and acquired in a draft-night deal with Washington.
  • Thunder first-round pick Josh Giddey is already a big star in his native Australia, as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman details. In Melbourne, Australia, his fans snapped up Thunder merchandise after he was drafted, his mother Kim Giddey said. “As soon as the draft ended they all went out to buy Oklahoma merchandise,” she said. “It sold out.”

Scotto’s Latest: Blazers, Beasley, Patterson, Ennis, More

The Trail Blazers have 13 players with guaranteed contracts on their roster and have added Dennis Smith Jr. and Marquese Chriss on non-guaranteed deals to vie for one of the team’s open roster spots. However, that competition may end up including more veterans than just Smith and Chriss.

According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Trail Blazers are eyeing other free agent forwards as possible training camp invitees. Michael Beasley, who played for Portland’ Summer League team, is one possibility. The club is also eyeing veteran stretch four Patrick Patterson, says Scotto.

The Blazers still only have 16 players under contract, which means there are four more spots available on their 20-man offseason roster.

As we wait to see how Portland fills those openings, here are a few more items of interest from Scotto:

  • Having previously identified the Bulls as one team interested in free agent wing James Ennis, Scotto adds a few more clubs to that list, suggesting that Ennis has also drawn interest from the Trail Blazers, Lakers, and Magic. Ennis, who has spent most of the last two seasons in Orlando, knocked down 43.3% of his three-point attempts in 2020/21.
  • Another player who has received interest from the Trail Blazers is big man Isaiah Hartenstein, according to Scotto, who says the Clippers have kicked the tires on the former Cav as well. As I detailed on Tuesday, Hartenstein is the only player who is still a free agent after declining an option earlier this summer.
  • Before he signed with Chicago, Alize Johnson generated interest from a handful of other teams, including the Clippers, Suns, and Knicks, per Scotto. If the Clippers had wanted Johnson badly enough, they could’ve claimed him off waivers using one of their trade exceptions, which wasn’t an option for Phoenix or New York.

Marquese Chriss Signs Non-Guaranteed Deal With Blazers

10:00pm: The signing is official, per RealGM’s transactions log.

8:53pm: Marquese Chriss has agreed to a non-guaranteed contract with the Trail Blazers, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Chriss played in just two games last season with the Warriors before suffering a broken right fibula in practice that ended his season. The Spurs acquired Chriss and his expiring contract in late March, then waived him a few days later.

Chriss has fully recovered from the injury, according to Charania, and will compete for a roster spot. Chriss appeared in 59 games with Golden State in 2019/20, including 21 starts, and averaged 9.3 PPG and 6.2 RPG in 20.3 MPG. He’s entering his sixth NBA season.

Portland has 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts, with Dennis Smith Jr. and Chriss among those expected to come to training camp on non-guaranteed deals. The Blazers may keep their 15th roster spot open to start the regular season, since they’re slightly over the tax line.