Player News - Trail Blazers

Date: Team: Pos:

The Blazers selected Caleb Swanigan with the No. 26 pick in the draft.

If you’re looking for a new player to root for, Swanigan could be your guy. He had to overcome several problems, including the death of his father, homelessness and weight issues. However, the 6’9" big man really showed some skill, making 54.8 percent on twos, 78.1 percent from the line and 44.7 from deep for his 18.5 points, 12.5 boards and 1.1 treys per game. His 7’3" wingspan really helped him dominate in the paint, making a very impressive 79.7 percent within three feet. The Blazers have a lot of depth up front and selected Zach Collins with the No. 10 pick, so it's hard to see Swanigan making a fantasy impact as a rookie.
Jun 22 - 10:25 PM

The Blazers acquired the No. 10 pick from the Kings on draft night for the No. 15 and 20 picks, and used it to take power forward Zach Collins out of Gonzaga.

There are not many shot-blocking bigs with Collins’s shooting touch and the Gonzaga product had a whopping 4.1 blocks per 40 minutes while also converting 47.6 percent of his 21 attempts from deep. Collins also thrived on his two-point jumpers with his 55.6 percent on those, but he still doesn’t offer much of a sample size with only 17.3 minutes per game. He'll compete with Al-Farouq Aminu and Noah Vonleh for minutes at the four, and can also play some backup center. He could make a small impact given Vonleh's struggles thus far.
Jun 22 - 8:40 PM

Zach Collins will have a workout with the Lakers on Monday.

Collins is projected to go towards the back half of the lottery, so the Lakers would likely be trading down if the opted to go with him on draft day. However, with news coming out that Paul George is interested in joining the Lakers in 2018, it would make much more sense for the Los Angeles franchise to hold onto that No. 2 overall selection and draft Lonzo Ball. Collins averaged 10.0 points, 5.9 boards and 1.8 blocks in just 17.2 minutes of floor time during his freshmen season at Gonzaga.
Jun 18 - 4:39 PM

Zach Collins will visit with the Kings for a pre-draft meeting.

The Kings are getting plenty of meetings this year because they have the No. 5 and 10 picks. There is a clear need for backcourt help with Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere looking like their frontcourt, so the Kings may not be looking at the 7'0" Collins with their picks. The Gonzaga product was a terrific shot blocker last year with 1.8 blocks per game in just 17.2 minutes per outing. He's likely coming off the board in the 10-20 range as a backup big man.
Jun 10 - 3:25 PM

Pat Connaughton was at a Blazers workout on Wednesday.

A report from last month said Connaughton was considering a move to baseball to be a pitcher. He was able to hit mid 90s on his fastball, so it's not exactly a Tim Tebow-esque move for the talented player. He may play in Summer League, which may further support the idea he'll be staying as a basketball player.
Jun 7 - 4:04 PM

Caleb Swanigan will work out for the Kings on Wednesday.

Swanigan put in averages of 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.1 triples, 0.8 blocks and 3.4 turnovers per game during his sophomore season with Purdue, and he's currently being projected as a potential late second-round pick. He has a nice post-up game and can hit from long range, but his lack of quickness and explosiveness could make him a liability on defense.
Jun 6 - 4:00 PM

ESPN's Ian Begley is reporting that Knicks and Blazers have had preliminary discussions about a trade involving Moe Harkless and draft picks.

Portland is well over the cap, with more than $132 million in guaranteed contracts on their ledger for the 2017-18 season. Thus, the Blazers may be willing to trade away one of their three first-round picks (they have the 15th, 20th and 26th picks in the 2017 draft) to shed salary. Portland would probably prefer to trade away Evan Turner or Meyers Leonard as opposed to Harkless, but it makes sense that the Knicks would like to land Harkless, a New York native. It is unknown what NY may be willing to offer in return.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 2 - 11:42 AM

The Blazers are looking to unload a first round draft pick(s) according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News.

Portland has three first round picks this year at No. 15, 20 and 26. They have 12 players under contract for next season and are $12 million over the league’s luxury-tax threshold, so they will be looking to attach a draft pick to entice other teams to take one of their contracts off the books. Some likely trade candidates include Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard, Evan Turner and Moe Harkless. The Nets and Knicks have both reached out to Portland, but nothing seems imminent at the moment.
Jun 1 - 12:44 PM

Brian Lewis of the New York Post said the Nets may target Allen Crabbe in a trade this summer.

The Nets signed Crabbe to a a four-year, $75 million offer sheet last summer which the Blazers matched, so this report makes sense. The Blazers would like to shed some salary and Keith Smith of RealGM said they are willing to attach one of their three first round picks, so they seem motivated. Crabbe was underwhelming in Portland this season with 10.7 points per game, but he did shoot 44.4 percent from beyond the arc. If Brooklyn fails to land one of their top targets in restricted free agents Otto Porter and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Crabbe may be their fallback option.
Source: NY Post
Jun 1 - 10:35 AM

Pat Connaughton hinted during a recent interview that he may consider taking his talents to the MLB.

Connaughton still has one more year remaining on his rookie deal with the Trail Blazers, but only the first two years of that contract were guaranteed, and he really hasn't seen many opportunities during his first two years in the league. "[I'm] not going to unrealistically chase a dream if it appears that dream is getting farther and farther away." said Connaughton. He was drafted by the Orioles during the fourth-round of the 2014 MLB draft, and Orioles executive VP has made it clear that he would welcome him to the team should he opt to switch careers and play professional baseball.
May 24 - 11:39 AM

The Hawks requested the opportunity to talk with Blazers general manager Neil Olshey about its vacant GM job, but were denied permission, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

The Blazers ownership didn't budge on keeping their man. Olshey, coach Terry Stotts and owner Paul Allen seem to be on the same page, so it is going to be really tough to break up these three. While the Hawks didn't get Olshey, it's clear they're going all out to get a high-demand GM.
May 19 - 6:58 PM

Allen Crabbe (foot) had successful foot surgery on Wednesday.

The surgery was to repair a stress reaction of the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot. Crabbe is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of training camp. After getting his massive deal last summer, Crabbe scored 10.7 points per game in 79 outings.
Source: NBA.com
May 11 - 6:33 PM

Allen Crabbe is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a stress reaction of the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot on Thursday.

Crabbe was dealing with what the Trail Blazers initially referred to as "soreness" in early-April, but after having another MRI at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, it was revealed that he would require surgery to correct the issue. The Trail Blazers will announce a firm timetable for his recovery after his procedure, but it's worth noting that initial reports anticipate him being ready for the start of the 2017-18 season.
May 8 - 6:14 PM

Shabazz Napier said he understands he has to serve as a backup in Portland, but wants to earn more minutes next season.

Napier is stuck behind one of the most dynamic starting backcourts in the NBA. Both Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum averaged over 35 minutes a night. That is not expected to change next season. "I would be lying to you if I said I'm comfortable [being a backup], but I understand," said Napier. "I understand it, but I'm not satisfied where I'm at." Shabazz did finish the season on an encouraging note, scoring 57 points over the final two games of the regular season and the scoring in double figures in two of Portland's four playoff games.
Apr 29 - 10:33 AM

Portland GM Neil Olshey said Noah Vonleh's development excited him the most of any player this season.

Vonleh will only be 22 years old in August and played well for Portland down the stretch, averaging 6.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.4 blocks and 0.5 steals on 57.5 percent shooting after the All-Star break. Barring some trades, the Blazers are basically returning their entire frontcourt with the exception of Festus Ezeli (knee) for 2017-18, but Vonleh has made a decent case to remain in the rotation.
Apr 27 - 10:49 AM


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