Trail Blazers Rumors

Northwest Notes: Conley, George, Blazers, Nuggets

Timberwolves point guard Mike Conley will earn $9,975,962 in 2024/25 followed by $10,774,038 in ’25/26 as part of his new two-year extension, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). It’s a straight two-year contract with no options, and Conley can’t be traded for six months due to an 8% increase in salary in year two, Marks adds.

Appearing on NBA Countdown, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said (Twitter video link) Conley initially wasn’t thrilled that Utah sent him to Minnesota at last year’s deadline, instead hoping to land with the Lakers or Clippers. However, he and his family now love the area and he was enthusiastic about staying with the Wolves.

In a story for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton writes that Conley’s extension looks like a win for the Wolves on the court and off, even though they’re almost certain to be a second apron team in 2024/25. Pelton says the No. 1 seed in the West is well worth spending money on. Minnesota has only paid the tax once in franchise history, but Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez are set to become majority stakeholders next season.

Pelton also examines Minnesota’s free agents this summer and ways in which the team could trim payroll, which seems unlikely barring an unforeseen development.

Here’s more from the Northwest:

  • Jazz guard Keyonte George, the 16th pick of last year’s draft, spent the summer watching all 82 of Utah’s games from 2022/23 to prepare for his rookie campaign, he tells Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports. “I watched as much film as I could just so I knew what my role was going to be coming in,” George said. “I knew Mike (Conley) was gone, so I just had to go into a new situation, trying to be a lead guard, and I was trying to speed up the process. My main goal was to be effective as soon as possible so I wanted to put myself in a position to be knowledgeable and not think about what I was doing in a new system and just play.” Known as more of scorer coming out of Baylor, George knew facilitating would be key to NBA minutes. He says he continues to study other players to gain an edge. “As the year has gone on, I’ve felt way more comfortable and my shot is starting to fall,” George added. “Definitely the game is slowing down for me. I’ve been watching games around the league and seeing how other guards get to their spots and just trying to figure out my spots and my shot selection.”
  • The Trail Blazers have reached a five-year “bridge agreement” with the city of Portland that will keep the team in the Moda Center through at least 2030, with the current lease expiring in 2025, per Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. The Blazers own the arena but the city leases the land. President of business operations Dewayne Hankins said the move will keep the team in Portland and owner Jody Allen has instructed the Blazers to get a long-term deal done with the city.
  • The Nuggets are 25-8 with all five starters active but just 12-11 when at least one player from the group is unavailable. With that in mind, head coach Michael Malone says he’s more focused on repeating as NBA champions instead of angling for the West’s top seed, as Bennett Durando of The Denver Post writes. “For me, (the top seed) is not a top one or two priority, to be very honest,” Malone said. “We talked about that with our team today. The good thing is Minnesota is No. 1. We play them three more times. We’re three games out (of first place). So we have avenues to become the No. 1 team. It’s definitely attainable. But I don’t want to win that battle and lose the bigger war. … I think having home court in the first round is very, very important. I think having a healthy team going into the postseason is very important. And if we happen to be the No. 1 seed, that’s just a cherry on top. But we’re not gonna put all our cards in just to attain that and to risk being healthy for a very deep playoff run.”

Ashton Hagans Returns To Trail Blazers On Two-Way Contract

FEBRUARY 23: The Trail Blazers have officially signed Hagans to a two-way contract, the team confirmed today in a press release.


FEBRUARY 22: The Trail Blazers will sign Ashton Hagans to fill their open two-way slot, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The 24-year-old point guard was on Portland’s roster earlier this month on a 10-day contract, but it was terminated early because the team needed an open spot to promote two-way player Duop Reath. Hagans got into four games during his time with the Blazers, making one start and averaging 2.8 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 15 minutes per night.

Hagans appeared in two games with Minnesota during the 2020/21 season, but he has mostly been in the G League since going undrafted out of Kentucky in 2020. He has spent the majority of this season with Portland’s new Rip City Remix affiliate and was selected as a G League All-Star.

Once Hagans’ signing is finalized, Portland will have a full roster with all 15 standard spots and all three two-way slots filled. Justin Minaya and Ibou Badji are the team’s other two-way players.

Billups Pleased Reath Was Rewarded

  • Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups is thrilled that Duop Reath was promoted from a two-way deal to a standard three-year contract. “I just love to see people get what they deserve,” Billups told Sean Highkin of the Rose Garden Report. “That was maybe the most happy thing that happened over the break, was being able to talk to him. He’s just so grateful and so thankful. That’s what this thing is really all about—to be able to bring somebody in who’s trying to make the league, bring him into Summer League and have him grow to a level where he’s getting an actual NBA contract is unbelievable.” Reath has a $4MM guarantee through next season and could make as much as $6.22MM through the life of the contract, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets.

Chauncey Billups Undergoes Wrist Surgery

  • Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups had his arm in a sling at Wednesday’s practice after undergoing surgery this week to fix a long-standing problem with his right wrist, according to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. The issue involves a ligament tear that Billups suffered as a player in 2009.

Henderson Enjoys Chauncey's Tough Love Approach

Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson has earned another opportunity to be a starter, according to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Henderson was reinserted into the starting five on Thursday, contributing 15 points and four assists against Minnesota.

  • Trail Blazers big man Duop Reath‘s new three-year contract is guaranteed for two seasons and non-guaranteed for the third, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, who tweets that Portland used $1.95MM of its non-tax mid level exception to sign him. The Blazers are now $1.3MM below the luxury tax, adds Marks, noting that Reath’s first-year salary is five times more than the minimum for a first-year player.

Vince Carter, Chauncey Billups Among Hall Of Fame Finalists

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 14 finalists for 2024 on Friday evening (via Twitter), with former NBA stars Vince Carter and Chauncey Billups among the nominees. Billups is currently head coach of the Trail Blazers.

Here’s the full list of finalists:

  • Chauncey Billups — Five-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA, two-time All-Defense, one-time champion, 2003/04 Finals MVP (Pistons)
  • Vince Carter — NBA-record 22 seasons, 25,728 career points (23rd in NBA/ABA history), eight-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA, 1998/99 Rookie of the Year
  • Michael Cooper — Five-time NBA champion, eight-time All-Defense, 1986/87 Defensive Player of the Year (all with the Lakers)
  • Walter Davis — Six-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA, 1977/78 Rookie of the Year, Suns‘ all-time leading scorer
  • Bo Ryan — Former head coach of Wisconsin, four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year
  • Charles Smith — Winningest high school head coach in Louisiana history
  • Seimone Augustus — Four-time WNBA champion, eight-time All-Star, 2006 Rookie of the Year
  • Marian Washington — Longtime former head coach of Kansas (women’s)
  • Dick Barnett — Two-time NBA champion, one-time All-Star, three-time NAIA champion at Tennessee A&I
  • Harley Redin — Former men’s and women’s coach of Wayland Baptist University (Texas)
  • Michele Timms — One-time WNBA All-Star, Olympic bronze and silver medals with Australian national team
  • Doug Collins — Former NBA player, coach and broadcaster *
  • Herb Simon Pacers owner *
  • Jerry West — Four NBA championships as an executive with the Lakers (he’s already in the Hall of Fame as a player) *

* Nominated as contributors

The Class of 2024 will be unveiled on Saturday, April 6 during the NCAA’s Final Four. The enshrinement ceremony for 2024’s Hall of Fame inductees will take place on Saturday, August 17.

Unbelievable,” Carter said of being a finalist, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. “You look in the crowd, you see Hall of Famers, and the opportunity … I mean, you can’t beat that. You can’t beat that. It’s a proud moment.”

Everybody that enters the NBA … it’s their dream. It’s basically basketball heaven to be in the Hall of Fame,” Billups told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (Twitter links). “That was never my goal when I was playing. I just wanted to try to win and be the best teammate I could be. … I’m just humbled by today. Just being close to it is an honor. I know I’m not there, but I’m closer. It’s a straight honor.”

According to Reynolds, four others were honored by the Hall of Fame as well. JoAn Scott, the NCAA’s vice president of men’s basketball, received the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award. J.A. Adande and Debbie Antonelli received the Curt Gowdy Awards for print and electronic journalism, respectively, while Slam Magazine and the television show “NBA Inside Stuff” received the award for transformative media.

Trail Blazers Sign Duop Reath To Three-Year Deal

10:00pm: Reath’s promotion to a standard contract is official, the Blazers announced in a press release.


1:50pm: The Trail Blazers are promoting Duop Reath to their standard roster, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that the rookie center has agreed to a three-year contract with the club.

Reath, 27, signed a two-way contract with the Blazers in October and has emerged as a regular part of the team’s frontcourt rotation, appearing in 40 games so far this season, including 11 starts. He has averaged 8.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 17.4 minutes per night, with a shooting line of .475/.385/.741.

As Wojnarowski observes (Twitter link), Reath’s path to his first standard NBA contract has been an unorthodox one. He and his family fled South Sudan for a refugee camp in Kenya when he was nine years old and ultimately relocated to Australia.

After later moving to America, Reath spent two seasons at Lee College in Texas, then transferred to LSU for two more years. He went undrafted in 2018 and played professionally in Serbia, Australia, China, and Lebanon from 2018-23 before catching on with Portland. The big man was in camp with the Blazers on a non-guaranteed contract, but made enough of an impression to earn a two-way deal and has now received another promotion.

While the exact terms of Reath’s new contract aren’t yet known, the Blazers will use a portion of their mid-level exception in order to sign him for more than two seasons. The deal will be guaranteed for the rest of this season, and I’d expect it to include at least a partial guarantee for 2024/25.

The Blazers currently have a full 15-man roster, but Ashton Hagans‘ 10-day contract with the club will expire on Saturday night, opening up a spot for Reath.

Northwest Notes: Henderson, Ayton, Murray, Gordon, Flagler

Scoot Henderson received his first start since Jan. 14 on Thursday and Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups plans to keep him in the lineup, according to Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report (Twitter links).

“The biggest thing is he deserves it. He’s just played really well,” Billups said. “I’ve wanted him to earn everything he gets. And he’s done that.”

Henderson, the third pick of last year’s draft, averaged 19.0 points and 5.6 assists in the previous five games.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Deandre Ayton has averaged 17.8 points on 62% shooting from the field, 11.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.4 blocks in his last 10 games. The Trail Blazers center missed 12 games due to a knee injury and returned to action on Jan. 19. Ayton feels he’s fitting in better by taking inventory of his past mistakes, he told Casey Holdahl of the Blazers’ website. “I’ve been trying to humble myself a little bit and just accept the challenge, have some humility when it comes to failure,” he said. “Not try to rush anything. We’re a young team but we’re an exciting team as well. We just can’t skip no steps and we have to go through these growing pains a little bit where we’re just trying to know each other, really.”
  • Jamal Murray was passed over for All-Star recognition yet again this season, but he has something more important — a championship ring. The Nuggets guard expressed that sentiment to The Athletic’s Sam Amick. “I’m an All-Star when you need the All-Star to show up — in the playoffs,” he said. “You want the best to step up (then), right? And I think I do a good job of that. So I kind of backed myself up in that way. That’s it. That’s what it is. So it’s just more fuel to the fire. But (not being selected an All-Star) doesn’t hurt me like that, psychologically. I haven’t made it for so long, and I’m a champion. And I’m on the best team in the world playing with the best player in the world.”
  • The Nuggets enter the All-Star break on a three-game skid and Aaron Gordon tells The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando that some time off is exactly what they require. “I think everybody needs a break,” Gordon said. “Everybody needs some rest. I think that’s what it comes down to. When you’re fatigued, not only is your body tired, but your mind is tired, too. Your ability to focus is just not as laser-sharp.”
  • Adam Flagler‘s two-way contract with the Thunder is for two seasons, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. Flagler, an undrafted guard playing with the team’s G League affiliate, signed on Saturday.

NBA Teams With Open Roster Spots

A number of free agent signings have been finalized in the days since last Thursday’s trade deadline, but there are still many teams around the NBA with one or more open spots on their respective rosters.

For clubs with just a single standard or two-way opening, there’s not necessarily any urgency to fill those spots, especially ahead of the All-Star break. But the clock is ticking for teams who have two or more openings on their standard rosters to make a move, since clubs are only permitted to carry fewer than 14 players on standard contracts for up to two weeks at a time.

With the help of our roster count tracker, here’s where things stand for all 30 teams around the NBA as of Tuesday afternoon. As a reminder, teams are typically permitted to carry up to 15 players on standard contracts and three on two-way deals.

(Note: Teams marked with an asterisk have a player on a 10-day contract.)


Teams with multiple open roster spots

  • Brooklyn Nets
    • Note: One of the Nets’ roster openings is a two-way slot.
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Milwaukee Bucks
    • Note: Both of the Bucks’ roster openings are two-way slots.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • New York Knicks *
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Phoenix Suns

The Warriors, Timberwolves, and Pelicans are all currently carrying 13 players on standard, full-season contracts, with all three of their two-way slots filled. That means they’ll have to add a 14th man at some point in the not-too-distant future to adhere to the NBA’s minimum roster requirements.

Golden State and Minnesota made trades on February 8 that dropped them below 14 players, so those two teams have until Feb. 22 to add a player. New Orleans’ deadline is coming a little earlier, since the club dipped to 13 when Malcolm Hill‘s 10-day contract expired on Feb. 6.

No roster moves are required for the Nets and Bucks, as both teams have at least 14 players on standard contracts, with one or more two-way openings. I’d expect Brooklyn and Milwaukee to fill those two-way slots before the two-way signing deadline in early March, though they don’t necessarily have to.

The Knicks and Sixers currently only have 12 players on standard, full-season contracts. New York also has Taj Gibson on a 10-day deal, while Philadelphia is poised to sign Kyle Lowry to a rest-of-season contract. Both teams will need to make at least one more roster move by Feb. 22 after dipping down to 12 players on trade deadline day last Thursday.

As for the Suns, they’re currently carrying just 13 players on standard contracts, but it sounds like they’ve already lined up a deal with a 14th man — a report earlier today indicated that they’re preparing to sign Thaddeus Young.

Teams with one open roster spot

  • Boston Celtics
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Cleveland Cavaliers *
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Miami Heat
  • Utah Jazz
  • Washington Wizards

One of the 14 players on the Cavaliers‘ standard roster is Zhaire Smith, who is on a 10-day deal. Once his contract expires next week, the Cavs will have to either re-sign him or add another 14th man — and they’ll have to do it right away.

In addition to being prohibited from carrying fewer than 14 players on standard deals for more than two weeks at a time, NBA teams are limited to 28 days of carrying fewer than 14 players over the course of a season. The Cavs have already reached that 28-day limit, having carried just 13 players from January 4-18 and again from January 28 until February 11.

The rest of these teams have 14-man standard rosters with no two-way openings, meaning there’s no urgency for them to make any moves, though they’ll likely fill those open roster slots at some point between now and the end of the season in April.

Teams with no open roster spots

  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Detroit Pistons *
  • Houston Rockets
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Memphis Grizzlies *
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Orlando Magic
  • Portland Trail Blazers *
  • Sacramento Kings
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Toronto Raptors *

Twelve of these 13 teams have full 18-man rosters, with 15 players signed to standard contracts and three to two-way deals. However, the Pistons, Trail Blazers, and especially the Raptors are worth monitoring here, since they all have players on 10-day contracts and can open up roster spots when those deals expire.

Detroit and Portland are each carrying a single player on a 10-day deal, while Toronto has two, meaning the Raptors will dip down to 13 players on standard contracts during the All-Star break. They’ll have up to two weeks to get back to 14.

The Grizzlies are actually carrying 19 players at the moment, with 16 players on standard contracts (15 full-season deals, plus Jordan Goodwin on a 10-day) because they’ve been granted a hardship exception due to all the injured players they’re missing.

Malcolm Brogdon Out At Least Two Weeks With Elbow Tendinitis

Trail Blazers combo guard Malcolm Brogdon underwent treatment in his right elbow for tendinitis, Portland has announced (via Twitter).

The reigning Sixth Man of the Year is set to have the joint reevaluated in two weeks. That doesn’t necessarily mean he will actually back on the hardwood in two weeks, only that the club’s medical staff will take stock of his recovery process at that point.

The Trail Blazers acquired Brogdon, center Robert Williams III and two first-round future draft picks from the Celtics for Jrue Holiday prior to the season. The 31-year-old has served as a veteran leader on a rebuilding young Blazers squad this season, and will be eligible for an extension with the club this summer before earning $22.5MM in the final year of his current deal.

Through just 39 healthy contests this season, the 6’4″ guard is averaging 15.7 points per game on .440/.412/.819 shooting splits. He has also handed out 5.5 assists and grabbed 3.8 rebounds per contest.