Player News - Trail Blazers

Date: Team: Pos:

Alan Crabbe's contract for next season with the Blazers is non-guaranteed.

Although Crabbe is expected to play in summer league for the Blazers, it's not clear if he'll be on the roster next season. He's been a mostly disappointing player at the pro level, but he hasn't really received an extended opportunity to showcase his skills, either.
Source: CSNNW
May 4 - 10:12 AM

Blazers GM Neil Olshey wouldn't commit to re-signing Wesley Matthews this offseason.

"We know his value to us; we also know he's going to have market value around the league," he said. Matthews is coming off a torn Achilles, and after the Blazers absolutely fell apart without him, his free-agent case looks pretty good despite the injury. He should have no problem getting a variety of multi-year offers, and his future could very well be outside of Portland. If he leaves, the Blazers are going to have a very tough time replacing what he brings to the table. Both the player and the team have now been noncommittal about remaining together.
May 4 - 9:37 AM

Nicolas Batum said that he plans on getting a lot more rest this summer in order to get his body right for next season.

"I don't think I'll touch a basketball for the next two or three weeks," Batum said. "I'll fly back to France next week. It will [be] time to just relax and free my mind. Then I'll get back on the court and focus on my game and my body. I want to be ready for next year." Batum will play with the French team in EuroBasket this summer, but he won't join the team until August in order to fully recover. Batum was very disappointing this season with averages of 9.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.4 3-pointers while shooting just 40.0 percent from the field, but he will be a bounce-back candidate leading into fantasy drafts next season.
May 3 - 11:25 AM

Robin Lopez, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, said that he would love to return to Portland next season.

"Nothing is 100 percent certain," Lopez said. "So far, I've loved my time in Portland. I would love to come back. I'm very open to coming back." Lopez struggled mightily against the Grizzlies in the playoffs, and Portland eventually started to utilize Meyers Leonard down the stretch instead. Lopez' fantasy value will largely depend on where he lands in free agency, and it's definitely possible that his time in Portland could be up.
May 3 - 11:08 AM

Wesley Matthews (Achilles) said that his "perfect situation" would be for him to return to Portland next season.

"So much stuff can happen between now and when free agency starts," Matthews said. "Ideally, perfect situation, yeah. Who doesn't want to go for the perfect situation?" Before suffering a season-ending torn Achilles, Matthews posted averages of 15.9 points, 3.7 boards, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.9 3-pointers per game and was an integral part of Portland's team. It will be interesting to see how much his injury will impact his stock in free agency, but he shouldn't have any shortage of suitors on July 1. For what it's worth, Matthews wants to resume playing basketball in August, so his Achilles must be progressing rapidly.
May 3 - 10:25 AM

Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey confirmed that Terry Stotts will return as the team's head coach in 2016-17.

"[Stotts] has just won 54 and 51 games [the past two regular seasons], and [the coaching staff] did a great job developing our guys," Olshey said, when asked about the possibility of replacing Stotts. "It wouldn't even cross my mind. The coaches did an outstanding job this season." The team extended Stotts' deal in Jan. 2015 and he'll take the reins again no matter what the Blazers' roster looks like after a momentous offseason.
May 2 - 9:50 AM

With LaMarcus Aldridge poised to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, Blazers GM Neil Olshey said the league's collective bargaining agreement "is favorable for teams that want to retain their players."

Olshey has "contingencies in place" no matter what happens in free agency, and he readily concedes the obvious -- "When you have a franchise player who is unrestricted, that will dictate a great deal of what [the Blazers] do this summer." Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez are also headed for free agency, as is Dorell Wright, and there's a chance that well see a very different Portland team in 2016-17.
May 2 - 9:32 AM

Arron Afflalo is planning to opt out of the last year of his deal this summer, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

This is probably good news for the Blazers. Afflalo was a colossal letdown since the Blazers picked him up at the trade deadline. Plus, C.J. McCollum having a post-break explosion as a scorer suggests he's earned a role with 26-30 minutes with a usage rate over 20 next season. There's still two months before free agency starts, so expect several stories to change.
Source: ESPN.com
May 1 - 2:48 PM

San Antonio and Dallas are rumored to be at the top of LaMarcus Aldridge's list as a free agent destination.

Aldridge stated during his exit interview that he's enjoyed his time with the Trail Blazers, but there are rumors out there that he's felt underappreciated in Portland as the spotlight has shifted more towards his fiery counterpart, Damian Lillard. Then again, there are 29 other teams that would have no problem asking Marc Stein or any other writer to print that. He's also spent nine years playing for an organization that has only made it out of their first-round series once, and they've failed to go any further than a second-round exit, so that will likely weigh into his decision. That being said, it's still far too early to make any definitive proclamations, and nothing is final until Aldridge puts his name to a contract. We’ll be following this story very closely this offseason.
Source: ESPN
May 1 - 2:42 PM

C.J. McCollum said that his performance during Games 3, 4, and 5 of the playoffs was "big" for him, as well as for the coaching staff to see his development.

"You kind of leave your stamp on how you perform," said McCollum of his playoff performance. "It was big for me, but big for our coaching staff to see how we develop." McCollum had a very nice finish to the 2014-15 season, putting up averages of 15.6 points, 1.4 three-pointers and 1.3 steals per game through the month of April. He's shown that if given the minutes he can put up quality numbers, and he could find himself in a sixth man role with the team next season. His value will be tied to what the Blazers do through free agency, but if Wesley Matthews or Arron Afflalo leaves, he'll likely be looking at a much larger role in Portland.
Apr 30 - 7:15 PM

Allen Crabbe said he is planning to play in Las Vegas Summer League in July.

He was in Vegas last year and only scored 5.6 points per game because it was C.J. McCollum doing most of the damage. Crabbe still has a lot to learn as a scorer outside of just sitting on the 3-point line and that will likely be his focus.
Apr 30 - 7:07 PM

Wesley Matthews stated during his exit interviews that he expects to resume playing basketball in August.

August is a bit of an aggressive timetable for such a serious injury, but he did say that rehab has been going well and that he's feeling good. Still, players tend to be overly optimistic in projecting their timetables for recovery, and we'd rather hear something from Portland's medical staff before truly projecting his tentative return date. Matthews will be a free agent this offseason, and it'll be interesting to see what kind of salary he can command on the open market coming off a torn Achilles. He'll make for a risky selection in next year's fantasy drafts.
Apr 30 - 6:54 PM

Robin Lopez stated during his exit interview that he would like to return to Portland as a free agent this offseason.

"I like it here [in Portland]. I think it’s a pretty good fit," said Lopez. "I’ve enjoyed my two years here so far." Lopez also acknowledged that he really doesn't know what will happen during free agency, but he has put up some of the best numbers of his career as a member of the Trail Blazers. He did have a bit of a down-year this season due to injury, posting averages of 9.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 53.5 percent from the field and 77.2 percent from the charity stripe. Still, he doesn't hurt you in any one category, and his steady contributions in shot blocking make him worth owning as a low-end guy in standard leagues.
Apr 30 - 6:45 PM

Damian Lillard hinted during his exit interview that he will sign a contract extension with the Trail Blazers.

"For me, this is where I want to be. Whatever we need to do to make that happen, I want to do it," said Lillard regarding a contract extension. He also stated he would like to become a more efficient player on the offensive end, and also become a better defensive player. Lillard had a career-year with Portland this season, putting in averages of 21.0 points (career-high), 6.2 assists, 1.2 steals (career-high) and 2.4 three-pointers per game on 43.4 percent shooting from the field, while again making it through all 82 games. He won't be slipping out of the second-round of fantasy drafts next season.
Apr 30 - 6:29 PM

Nicolas Batum stated during his exit interview that he has no plans to undergo wrist surgery this offseason.

Batum also said that this was his "toughest season," and his numbers would agree with that statement as he averaged just 9.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.4 steals per game on a career-low 40.0 percent shooting from the field. While Batum struggled to find his shot this season, his across-the-board contributions still had him turning in mid-round value, and we'll be expecting a bounce-back year during the 2015-16 season. He could slide in fantasy drafts next year due to his statistical decline this year, which would make him a fantastic value pick.
Apr 30 - 6:17 PM


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