Player News - Trail Blazers

Date: Team: Pos:

The Blazers were high on Noah Vonleh in the 2014 draft.

The Blazers didn't have a pick in the 2014 draft, so definitely take this Neil Olshey quote with a grain of salt. That said, the team made him the focal point at Summer League and they added his contract to help build around Damian Lillard. At worst, he's a late-round flier and he could climb to the 100-120 range with a really strong camp.
Aug 28 - 2:25 PM

Blazers general manager Neil Olshey may have insinuated in an interview with Grantland's Zach Lowe that C.J. McCollum and Meyers Leonard could start.

After calling Al-Farouq Aminu the starter at small forward, Olshey said that Aminu could thrive next to Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Meyers Leonard because of their ability to stretch the floor. To be fair, this could simply mean that McCollum and Leonard are going to have sizable roles (which is obvious), so it will be interesting to see how things shape up during training camp. Leonard will likely battle Ed Davis for the starting PF spot and is worth a look in the later rounds, while McCollum will compete with Gerald Henderson for the SG spot. McCollum is high on our list of breakout candidates, so he is the SG you will want to target.
Source: Grantland
Aug 28 - 11:19 AM

Blazers general manager Neil Olshey said that Al-Farouq Aminu will start at small forward this season.

Aminu was projected to start at small forward, but it's always nice to get some confirmation and Olshey even said that he would play multiple positions. Aminu has a chance to log some serious minutes on the rebuilding Blazers, and it's important to remember that he posted averages of 11.2 points, 7.2 boards, 1.2 assists, 1.6 blocks, 2.0 steals and 1.4 3-pointers in 30.0 minutes during the playoffs last season. In case it isn't obvious, Aminu could be a steal in the later rounds of fantasy drafts this season.
Source: Grantland
Aug 28 - 10:55 AM

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


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