Trail Blazers Rumors

Chauncey Billups Must Improve Blazers' Defense

Fentress Says Blazers Need Better Version Of Grant, Team Interested In Extending Him

  • The Trail Blazers need Jerami Grant to improve upon his Pistons play if they hope to contend this season, according to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian, who writes that Grant should see a bump in offensive efficiency playing on a more talented roster. The Blazers are interested in reaching a long-term extension with Grant, whose $20.96MM contract expires after ’22/23, Fentress adds.

Trail Blazers Sign Wes Iwundu To Camp Deal

The Trail Blazers have signed Wes Iwundu to a contract, the team announced today in a press release.

While the Blazers opted not to disclose the terms of the deal, Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian (subscriber-only link) hears from a source that it’s a training camp contract. That’s a non-guaranteed one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum.

Iwundu, 27, has appeared in 226 regular season games for the Magic, Mavericks, Pelicans, and Hawks since being selected 33rd overall in the 2017 draft out of Kansas State. He’s considered a solid perimeter defender, but doesn’t produce much on the offensive end, with career averages of 4.4 PPG and 2.5 RPG on .408/.292/.798 shooting in 16.9 minutes per contest.

Iwundu played in just three games at the NBA level last season while on a 10-day contract with the Hawks. He spent much of the year with the Cleveland Charge in the G League.

The Blazers don’t have a G League team and Iwundu isn’t eligible for a two-way contract, so if he’s going to stick in the organization, he’ll have to earn a spot on Portland’s 15-man regular season roster. The team only has 14 players on guaranteed contracts, but seems likely to keep that 15th spot open at the start of the season to avoid going into the tax.

Lillard's Extension Was "Big Deal" To Him

  • While Trail Blazers’ star Damian Lillard had already made tens of millions of dollars playing basketball, the generational wealth he’ll accumulate with the two-year, super-max extension he signed this summer was humbling, he told Marc J. Spears of “Me and [my wife] talked about it. It’s a big deal. When I talked to [agent Aaron Goodwin] and everybody I talked to about it, it was a big deal. I was like, ‘What am I supposed to do? Post something on Instagram saying something crazy?’ I don’t know what I was supposed to do. It was a big deal.”

Blazers Hire Jonah Herscu, David Adkins, Tina Thompson, Others

  • The Trail Blazers have officially announced a series of additions to their basketball operations staff, including Jonah Herscu as an assistant coach, David Adkins as director of player development, and former WNBA star Tina Thompson as a scout. Herscu previously worked for Sacramento, Adkins was with the Clippers, and Thompson was the head coach of Virginia’s women’s basketball team.

Eight NBA Teams Have Open Two-Way Contract Slots

As of Friday evening, 52 of the NBA’s 60 two-way contract slots are filled. Given how flexible those two-way slots are, it’s possible – and, in fact, very likely – that not all 52 of those players will still be under contract when the regular season begins in a month. But for now, there are just eight two-way spots up for grabs around the league.

[RELATED: 2022/23 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

A team with a two-way opening doesn’t necessarily need to decide how it will fill that spot before training camps begin in 10 days. Some of those clubs may decide to bring a handful of players to camp on Exhibit 10 contracts and then let those players compete for a two-way deal, since Exhibit 10s can be converted into two-ways before opening night.

Listed below are the eight teams that still have open two-way slots, along with some potential candidates to fill those openings.

Charlotte Hornets

With second-round pick Bryce McGowens occupying one two-way slot, the Hornets have no obvious candidate to fill the other, so it’s possible the team will hold a preseason competition. Currently, Jalen Crutcher, Jaylen Sims, Anthony Duruji, and Isaiah Whaley are signed to Exhibit 10 contracts, and all are eligible to have those contracts converted into two-way deals.

Dallas Mavericks

With their first two-way slot, the Mavericks signed Tyler Dorsey, who has high-level international experience and could earn a rotation role in Dallas this season. We’ll see if the team wants to use its second slot on another player who could contribute right away or if that spot will go to someone who is more of a developmental project.

McKinley Wright IV, Mouhamadou Gueye, and Tyler Hall are signed to Exhibit 10 deals and Marcus Bingham will reportedly receive one as well. All could be two-way candidates.

Houston Rockets

Bruno Fernando is the only Rocket who currently has an Exhibit 10 contract, and he remains eligible for a two-way deal. However, Houston has some roster cutdowns to make, which could open up opportunities for other camp invitees to emerge as two-way contenders. For now, undrafted rookie Trevor Hudgins is the club’s lone two-way player.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers were the last team to sign a player to a two-way contract this offseason, completing a deal with Kendall Brown on Friday. With Brown holding one two-way slot, the other remains open.

Deividas Sirvydis, Gabe York, Bennie Boatwright, and David Stockton are the two-way candidates currently on the roster, but the team has also reportedly agreed to Exhibit 10 contracts with Tevin Brown, Eli Brooks, Fanbo Zeng, and Jermaine Samuels, so there will be no shortage of options.

Los Angeles Clippers

Moses Brown, who has 92 career regular season appearances under his belt and could provide much-needed frontcourt depth, is the most intriguing two-way candidate on the roster at the moment, but he’s hardly the only one. Like Brown, Xavier Moon and Keaton Wallace also have Exhibit 10 deals, while Justin Bean, Lucas Williamson, and Michael Devoe will reportedly receive them too.

For the time being, second-rounder Moussa Diabate is Los Angeles’ only two-way player.

Portland Trail Blazers

Given that the Trail Blazers don’t have a G League affiliate, it’s hard to see why they’d sign four players to Exhibit 10 contracts unless they want to have the option to convert one or more into a two-way deal. None of those four players – Jared Rhoden, Isaiah Miller, Devontae Cacok, and Olivier Sarr – has more than three years of NBA experience, meaning all of them are two-way eligible.

Portland’s lone current two-way player, Brandon Williams, is a holdover from last season, so his roster spot may not be as secure as a player who has signed a two-way deal since the offseason began.

Utah Jazz

Like Williams in Portland, Xavier Sneed was in the second year of his two-way contract before he was waived on Friday. The move leaves Johnny Juzang as the only two-way player on the Jazz’s roster.

Utah has a roster logjam to clear and could still make a trade or two before the regular season begins, so it’s too soon to name an obvious candidate to take Sneed’s spot. However, the team has reportedly agreed to sign Kofi Cockburn, Darryl Morsell, and Jeenathan Williams to Exhibit 10 contracts.

Washington Wizards

Jordan Schakel is in the second year of his two-way deal, so he may have to prove this preseason that he deserves to make the 17-man roster. Makur Maker, Quenton Jackson, Davion Mintz, and Jordan Goodwin are all on Exhibit 10 contracts in D.C. and could be in the two-way mix. Second-rounder Yannick Nzosa is also unsigned, but is expected to spend the 2022/23 season in the Spanish League.

Gary Payton II Underwent Core Muscle Procedure, Expected To Be Ready For Season

New Trail Blazers guard Gary Payton II underwent a procedure this offseason to address a core muscle injury, the team announced today in a press release. According to the Blazers, the procedure – which was performed at The Vincera Institute in Philadelphia – took place in July.

Payton’s rehab is “progressing well,” the Blazers said in today’s announcement, adding that the 29-year-old is expected to be fully recovered by the start of the regular season. It’s unclear whether or not he’ll be able to participate fully in basketball activities and scrimmages when training camp begins this month.

After winning a title with the Warriors in 2021/22, Payton signed a three-year, $26.15MM deal with Portland this summer. He’s coming off the best season of his NBA career — he averaged 7.1 PPG in just 17.6 MPG and shot an impressive 61.6% from the floor in addition to handling the most challenging perimeter assignments on defense.

Payton won’t be the only Blazer returning this fall from a core muscle issue. Damian Lillard‘s 2021/22 season ended early after he had surgery to address a lingering abdominal injury and Nassir Little underwent a similar procedure in May.

2022/23 NBA Over/Unders: Northwest Division

The 2022/23 NBA regular season will tip off next month, so we’re getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign and continuing an annual Hoops Rumors tradition.

With the help of the lines from a handful of sports betting sites – including Bovada, BetOnline, and Betway – 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 2021/22, our voters went 16-14 on their over/under picks. Can you top that in ’22/23?

We’ll wrap up our series today with the Northwest division…

Denver Nuggets

Minnesota Timberwolves

Portland Trail Blazers

Utah Jazz

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • 2021/22 record: 24-58
  • Over/under for 2022/23: 22.5 wins
  • Major offseason moves:

Previous voting results:


  • Boston Celtics (55.5 wins): Under (56.1%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (51.5 wins): Under (64.5%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (50.5 wins): Over (76.1%)
  • Toronto Raptors (46.5 wins): Over (65.7%)
  • New York Knicks (40.5 wins): Under (63.0%)


  • Milwaukee Bucks (52.5 wins): Over (75.5%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (47.5 wins): Over (73.4%)
  • Chicago Bulls (44.5 wins): Over (51.6%)
  • Detroit Pistons (28.5 wins): Over (51.6%)
  • Indiana Pacers (23.5 wins): Under (62.8%)


  • Miami Heat (50.5 wins): Under (56.6%)
  • Atlanta Hawks (46.5 wins): Over (53.6%)
  • Charlotte Hornets (36.5 wins): Under (63.0%)
  • Washington Wizards (35.5 wins): Under (50.8%)
  • Orlando Magic (26.5 wins): Over (55.3%)


  • Golden State Warriors (53.5 wins): Over (69.2%)
  • Phoenix Suns (53.5 wins): Over (60.2%)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (52.5 wins): Over (58.0%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (45.5 wins): Under (66.6%)
  • Sacramento Kings (34.5 wins): Over (62.0%)


  • Memphis Grizzlies (49.5 wins): Over (68.7%)
  • Dallas Mavericks (48.5 wins): Over (63.7%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (44.5 wins): Over (61.2%)
  • Houston Rockets (24.5 wins): Under (61.8%)
  • San Antonio Spurs (23.5 wins): Under (67.5%)

Damian Lillard Still Plans To Finish Career With Blazers

Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard recently spoke to play-by-play announcer Dave Pasch on his podcast, and the two covered a number of topics, with Lillard reiterating that he expects to spend the rest of his playing career in Portland.

I do, I do,” he said.I’ve had my share of people saying ‘Man, you got to get out of there! You’ve got to do this; you’ve got do to that.’ But I’m the type of person that I’m never going to be marching to the beat of nobody else’s drum. I’m gonna always do what I feel like is in my best interest and that I really feel in my heart. I’ve said this on many different occasions, they call it ‘He’s being loyal!’ and ‘Loyalty this, loyalty that’ and I’m like, I’m naturally a loyal person but I do have a level of loyalty to the organization.

But this loyalty that they’re talking about is ultimately to who I am as a person. I’m being loyal to who I am and not getting beside myself because I’m somebody that, I believe what I believe. I think I can get it done. Now, everybody else might say ‘There’s no way the Blazers will ever win. They need to do this, they need to do that.’ But that’s just not how I feel about the situation. I feel like we’ll have a chance to win, I feel like that moment is going to come, I feel like that opportunity is going to come. And that’s that. As long as I feel that our organization is putting their best foot forward and we’re on the same page about doing everything we can do to win, then I’m willing to go out swinging…I would love to finish my career here and that’s my plan.”

Here are a few more of the most notable quotes from the Blazers’ star point guard:

On how he’s feeling now after abdominal surgery in January:

I feel great. It had been about four-and-a-half years that I had been dealing with the abdominal injury. Obviously, toward the end it was much worse than when I first started to experience it…It just reached the point where it was unbearable. Had I known the significance of the injury two, three years ago, I would have done what I had to do to handle it then, but I just didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know it was a situation where I needed surgery.”

On Portland’s revamped roster entering 2022/23:

We’ve got a lot of guys, that, we have the makings of being a good team. Whether or not we’re going to be a great team, things have to go well. You need some favor, you need a little bit of luck. And you’ve just got to be a team that’s not fun to play against. We’re going to have to grind it out and go take stuff. But I love where we are right now. In this moment, I love where we are.”

On players whose games Lillard admires and would love to play with:

Well, one of those players was Jerami Grant…and we got him…Without saying star players’ names, because obviously there’s a bunch of stars I would love to play with…If I had to say a player right now who I would want to add to our team, I would say somebody like Mikal Bridges, or OG Anunoby, or Jarred Vanderbilt, somebody like that. One of those three. I love those three guysThey defend, they all have really good size, they can make shotsThey’re tough, they’re competitive.”

Confirmed: Four Blazers Camp Invitees Got Exhibit 10 Deals

  • As expected, the four camp invitees signed by the Trail BlazersDevontae Cacok, Olivier Sarr, Jared Rhoden, and Isaiah Miller – all received Exhibit 10 contracts. Portland doesn’t have a G League affiliate, so those players won’t receive Exhibit 10 bonuses, but their contracts could be converted into two-way deals.