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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Articles tagged: Portland Trail Blazers

Blazers coach Terry Stotts backs Daryl Morey over Hong Kong tweet

Terry Stotts

People within the NBA community are slowly starting to back Daryl Morey after the Houston Rockets general manager started a firestorm by tweeting about the protests in Hong Kong, and Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts is among those who supports Morey’s point of view.

Stotts was asked about the controversy between China and the NBA this week, and he complimented NBA commissioner Adam Silver for doing an “excellent job” managing a difficult situation. He also said he sides with those standing up for freedom of speech and democracy.

The latter point is the important one. While there’s no question Morey’s tweet has sparked controversy for the NBA and could potentially cost the league billions of dollars, the GM was supporting protestors who are fighting in favor of democracy in a communist country. That should be a cause self-proclaimed social justice warriors like LeBron James get behind, but some — including LeBron — have been hesitant to support Morey out of fear that their bank accounts could be impacted.

Both Stotts and Doc Rivers have supported Morey despite the fallout, while other prominent NBA coaches have been a bit more hesitant.

CJ McCollum agrees to three-year extension with Blazers

CJ McCollum

The Portland Trail Blazers made a surprisingly deep playoff run this season when they reached the Western Conference Finals, and they have proven this offseason that they are intent on keeping their core together.

On Tuesday, the Blazers agreed to a three-year, $100 million contract extension with CJ McCollum. The star guard had two years remaining on his previous deal.

McCollum has been the model of consistency for the Blazers for several years now, and he averaged 21.0 points per game last season. He elevated his game in the postseason and averaged 24.7 points, which was one of the primary reasons for Portland’s success.

The Blazers signed Damian Lillard to a max contract extension worth around $200 million earlier in the offseason, so their backcourt is now locked down for several years.

Enes Kanter offers interesting explanation for leaving Portland

Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter had the option to remain with the Portland Trail Blazers, but he claims he was not given nearly enough time to make a decision on his future.

Kanter agreed to a two-year deal with the Boston Celtics on Monday. He told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, however, that he had the chance to remain with Portland, but was given six minutes to decide whether he wanted to stay.

NBA free agency moves quickly. One wonders if Kanter was prompted to make a quick decision because the Blazers were making a big trade involving a center on Monday, and perhaps their ability to swing it depended on Kanter’s plans.

Report: Heat trade Hassan Whiteside to Blazers

The Miami Heat are shipping Hassan Whiteside out of town.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Heat have agreed to trade Whiteside to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for forwards Moe Harkless and Meyers Leonard.

Essentially, the Blazers have cover for Jusuf Nurkic without giving up any major pieces. Their goal is to remain among the biggest contenders in the Western Conference, and this deal helps them do so.

The Heat, on the other hand, are on a mission to clear salary to bring in Jimmy Butler on a sign-and-trade deal. While this helps, it won’t be enough on its own, and with other avenues seemingly closed to them, they’ll have to keep working on it.

Report: Blazers working toward supermax extension with Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard is reportedly closing in on a supermax contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Lillard is expected to sign a four-year, $196 million agreement to keep him in Portland for the foreseeable future.

This move had been widely expected since Lillard was named second-team All-NBA at the end of last season. While he has two years remaining on his previous deal, that vote made him eligible to sign a supermax extension this summer, which he seemed eager to do as soon as he was able.

Lillard will likely be a Blazer for life, or close to it. He’s getting a lot of money to stay there, too.

Blazers reportedly trade Evan Turner to Atlanta for Kent Bazemore

Evan Turner

Evan Turner reportedly has a new home back east.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Portland Trail Blazers will trade Turner to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Kent Bazemore.

This is essentially a swap of veteran wings who are entering contract years, but Bazemore should be a nice fit in Portland, a team with playoff ambitions in a potentially wide-open Western Conference. He’s a good defender who can shoot from three fairly capably. Turner, a reserve for Portland last year, essentially becomes a veteran leader on a young Atlanta team with a gift for a good quote from time to time.

Report: Damian Lillard expected to sign supermax extension with Blazers

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard is not set to become a free agent for two more seasons, but the Portland Trail Blazers could lock him in for even longer than that this summer.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that Lillard is expected to sign a four-year, $191 million supermax contract extension with the Blazers this offseason. Lillard will be eligible for the supermax if he is named to one of the three All-NBA teams, and that is a virtual certainty after he averaged 25.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and a career-high 6.9 assists per game this season.

A four-year extension would keep Lillard under contract with Portland through age 35, so the likelihood of him playing his entire career there seems high.

Lillard’s new deal would likely include a player option, according to Haynes. He said after the Blazers were swept by the Golden State Warriors on Monday that he is not yet focused on his contract situation.

While the end result was disappointing for Portland, Lillard brought us some of the most entertaining moments of the postseason. His importance to the Blazers cannot be overstated, and it’s no surprise they are willing to make that type of financial commitment to the 28-year-old.