Player News - Trail Blazers

Date: Team: Pos:

Luis Montero will not play for the Dominican Republic in the FIBA Americas tournament this summer, instead electing to focus on the NBA.

Montero will start the year off playing behind Al-Farouq Aminu, Moe Harkless and Mike Miller in the rotation, so there's no reason to target him on draft day.
Aug 27 - 2:42 PM

Moe Harkless is currently dealing with a sprained ankle, and he may not be able to play for Puerto Rico at the FIBA Americas tournament this summer.

Harkless is scheduled to fly to Portland to be evaluated by the team's medical staff, so we'll be monitoring this story closely. For what it's worth, Puerto Rico deemed the sprain mild, but we'll be awaiting official confirmation from Portland's side. Harkless will be competing for minutes with Mike Miller and Al-Farouq Aminu this season, but if he's able to earn himself a role in the rotation, he could be worth owning in deep leagues as a steals specialist.
Aug 26 - 11:18 AM

Noah Vonleh said he thinks that the Blazers will be a "great spot" for him, and he believes that he can earn some minutes right away.

"I think it’s going to be a great spot for me," Vonleh said. "I think I can come right away and get some good minutes. It’s an opportunity for me. We’re going to be in the Western Conference. The West is a beast. It’s a tough conference. We’re going to have to play Blake Griffin, Zach Randolph, and guys like that, all year round, so we’ve got to be prepared for that." Vonleh was buried on the depth chart in Charlotte last year, but he does have a chance to play a significant role on a rebuilding Blazers team. Vonleh will be competing for minutes with Ed Davis, Mason Plumlee and Meyers Leonard, so he will need to have a strong preseason before owners should use a late-round flier on him.
Aug 21 - 9:14 AM

Al-Farouq Aminu led Nigeria to a 88-63 victory over the Central African Republic at AfroBasket on Thursday.

AfroBasket serves as the African qualifier for the Olympics and Aminu helped Nigeria open group play with a win by scoring a team-high 15 points to go along with eight rebounds and four assists in just 21 minutes. Aminu will have plenty of opportunity to earn minutes on what should be a lackluster Trail Blazers team, so he's worth a look in the later rounds of fantasy drafts.
Aug 20 - 1:23 PM

Coby Karl has officially retired, according to David Pick.

Karl will reportedly join a D-League coaching staff according to Pick and will officially end his NBA career with averages 2.4 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assists. He hasn't played in the league since the 2009-10 season, so it goes without saying that fantasy owners can skip to the next blurb.
Aug 20 - 10:30 AM

Terry Stotts expects Damian Lillard to improve on the court this season, but he's most eager to see growth in Lillard's "leadership ... his ability to make his teammates better."

Lillard will shoulder a huge burden for the Blazers' offense as the only remaining starter from last year's squad that won 51 regular-season games to clinch the Northwest division. "He’s going to score, he’s going to run the team," Stotts said, "but his challenge is going to be to make his teammates better." Given Lillard's sheer upside, fantasy owners can comfortably target him at the turn of the first and second rounds.
Aug 18 - 11:30 PM

Blazers coach Terry Stotts would like to play "a little more uptempo" next season, but conceded that his team needs to improve their 3-point shooting.

"Our bigs can run, we’re probably a more athletic team, top to bottom, than we have been in the past," Stotts said. "Certainly getting out in transition, getting easy baskets is going to be important." Damian Lillard should be the primary beneficiary of a faster pace, but it also helps the prospects of Al-Farouq Aminu, Mason Plumlee, Meyers Leonard, Ed Davis, Gerald Henderson and everyone else who earns substantial playing time.

Dorell Wright said he's looking forward to playing in China.

Wright confirmed on Monday that he's accepted a one-year contract with the Chongqing Dragons and said he's looking forward to his time in China. "I’m really looking forward to it," Wrightsaid. "I’m going to be able to go play and really contribute and try to help a team win. If I have to start my career and be over there like a [Stephon Marbury], who paved the way for us American players and NBA players, I’m all for that." While the 29-year-old may find an avenue back to the NBA, he only averaged 4.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in 116 games with the Trail Blazers so fantasy owners can feel free to move on from Wright.
Source: CSN NW
Aug 18 - 11:08 AM

Dorell Wright will sign in China with the Chongqing Dragons for next season.

The Blazers were never really close to signing Wright and perhaps the closest team was the Miami Heat. Wright is certainly better than some players that will make an NBA roster, but chances are he will make more money overseas. Interestingly, his younger brother, Delon, was drafted by the Raptors this year and was looking forward to playing against Dorell.
Aug 17 - 5:06 PM

Dorell Wright is reportedly considering signing in China.

Wright, somewhat surprisingly, has struggled to attract interest in free agency, and it's possible he may go overseas for a more lucrative contract as a result. The Heat, Clippers and Lakers have all been linked to Wright, but nothing has materialized at this point.
Aug 17 - 9:20 AM

The Heat have been in talks with free agent forward Dorell Wright, but they haven't made a contract offer yet.

Wright has also drawn some interest from other NBA teams, but he is reportedly unlikely to return to the Blazers. The Heat's roster is full and they would have to unload a player such as James Ennis to make a deal work, so we will be watching this story closely. Wright averaged 4.6 points in 12.4 minutes per game last season, and he wouldn't have more than a limited role if he did land in Miami.
Aug 16 - 9:25 AM

Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said that Al-Farouq Aminu and Moe Harkless will be asked to do what Nicolas Batum did for Portland.

"I think it's an opportunity for a lot of these players coming in to expand their games offensively in particular," Stotts said. "You look at [Al]-Farouq [Aminu] and Moe [Harkless], they have a chance to become ball handlers, facilitators much in the way that we used Nic Batum." This a great sign for both players, but Aminu figures to have a much larger role and is worth a look in the later rounds due to the fact that he is projected to start on opening night. As for Harkless, he will have to earn his minutes in the rotation and shouldn't be on the radar in standard leagues.
Aug 14 - 1:50 PM

Allen Crabbe said that people have already ruled out the Blazers from making the playoffs this season, but he said that it only gives them more motivation.

"We lost LaMarcus [Aldridge]. We lost four of our five starters, so I'm pretty sure they are," Crabbe said. "But it's good to have a chip on your shoulder going into the season. A lot of people may take you lightly in games. It just gives us more motivation to go out there and practice harder, get ready for games and play as a team and just deal with that." The Blazers do have some exciting young pieces to build around, but playoffs seems like a lot to ask with almost a completely new group in town. As for Crabbe, he is recovering from an ankle injury but is expected to fight for a role off the bench in training camp.
Source: NBA.com
Aug 14 - 9:09 AM

Damian Lillard said that he's looking forward to playing at a faster pace next season.

"I think playing faster is going to be the best thing for our team," said Lillard. "We have a lot of really athletic guys that can really run. It’s not like we can play the same way [as last year] because we don’t have the same personnel. So I really like that idea of playing a faster game." Lillard is going to be the main man on offense for the Blazers this upcoming season with the departure of LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews. The increased responsibility will likely lead to a slight dip in field goal percentage, but his usage rate, points and assists should trend upwards during his fourth NBA season. He's an easy second-round selection.
Aug 12 - 11:58 AM

Ed Davis said that he decided to sign with the Trail Blazers this offseason because he felt they would give him the greatest opportunity to earn consistent minutes.

"For me, I’m at the point in my career where I wanted to take [my game] to the next level, I wanted that opportunity to be there," Davis said. "I wanted to go into a situation where there were no caps on my minutes, where whatever I do on the court is going to pay off. I definitely wanted that opportunity to play, that had a lot to do with it." If Davis is able to lockdown the starting power forward position in Portland, he could emerge as a shot blocking and rebounding specialist in standard leagues, and he'll be worth a late-round selection on draft day.
Aug 12 - 10:58 AM


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