Portland Trail Blazers 2019-20 News Tracker Aug 14, 2019 15:10:41 GMT -8
Post by Monika on Aug 14, 2019 15:10:41 GMT -8
Welcome to the SCtoC Portland Trail Blazers 2019-20 News Tracker. During the course of the Blazers 50th season, we will post all major news regarding the team. This will include, but not be limited to, player movement, scheduling, standout game performances and major news. Posts will appear below in descending order with the most recent news on top.
July 1, 2020 - Blazers and television play-by-pay announcer Kevin Calabro mutually agree to mutually part ways after four seasons.
June 26, 2020 - The NBA releases its schedule for the resumption of the season with all games being played in Orlando, Florida. The Blazers open up with a match up with the Memphis Grizzlies on July 31.
June 22, 2020 - It is announced by the team that forward Trevor Ariza has opted out of the resumption of the season per NBA rule. Ariza is the first Blazer to do so. Though there is speculation that forward Carmelo Anthony will do the same, no announcement has been made. Ariza and other players have already opted out due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 11, 2020 - The following is the NBA's tentative schedule for the resumption of the 2019-2020 season. All games will be played at the ESPN Wild World of Sports Center at Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida. Prior to traveling to Orlando July 7-9, teams will train at their local practice facilities.
-June 15: International players return to markets
-June 21: Players report
-June 22: Coronavirus testing begins
-June 30: Training camps begin
-July 7-9: Travel to Orlando, Fla.
-July 31: 2019-2020 season resumes
-Aug. 16-17: Play-in tourney
-Aug. 18: First round of the playoffs starts
-Aug. 25: NBA draft lottery
-Sept. 1: Second round of the playoffs starts
-Sept. 15: Conference finals start
-Sept. 30: Game 1 of the NBA Finals
-Oct. 12: Game 7 of the NBA Finals (if necessary)
-Oct. 15: NBA draft
-Oct. 18: Start of free agency
-Nov. 10: 2020-21 training camp begins
-Dec. 1: 2020-21 season opening night
June 10, 2020 - Blazers team founder Harry Glickman passes away at the age of 96. Glickman, a Portland native, was heavily involved in sports promotion prior to securing the franchise in 1970. He served as the team's general manager from 1970 to 1987, and went on to become president emeritus from 1987 to 1994. He wrote his autobiography, Promoter Ain't a Dirty Word, in 1977.
June 3, 2020 - Sources indicate that the NBA season will conclude in Orlando with the current top 16 seeds, as well as the six following teams in the standings, including the Trail Blazers. The Teams will participate in an eight-game regular season and if that ends with the ninth seed closer than four games behind the eighth seed, a playoff will be held. The Blazers, Kings and Pelicans all currently sit three and a half games behind No. 8 Memphis. It’s being reported that the playoff between 8 and 9 would be double elimination for the higher seed and single elimination for the lower seed. The specific schedule has yet to be released.
May 26, 2020 - Blazers guard Damian Lillard, questioning the league's potential scheduling regarding the resumption of the season, tells Yahoo Sports he will not participate if playing out the schedule leads to meaningless games. Lillard's statement: "If we come back and they're just like, 'we're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But, I'm not going to be participating. I'm telling you that right now."
May 23, 2020 - The league releases a statement from NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass, stating that it is working with officials in Orlando on a way to conclude the season with that city being a one-site location for all teams. The statement: "The NBA, in conjunction with the National Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with the Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing. Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place." While the NBA has a plan in place, no official announcement has been made as to resuming this season, in any form, to this point.
May 13, 2020 - According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA Board of Directors are planning on making a decision on the 2019-20 season within two to four weeks. The likely scenarios are that the league finishes the regular season in some fashion followed by playoffs, there is a playoff play-in tournament, or that the season will be declared over. If it is one of the two former options, the possibility of using one location for all games would be a realistic scenario; Las Vegas, which already is the site for Summer League, and Orlando, are cities which have been noted as those possible sites, according to multiple reports.
April 27, 2020 - In an effort to keep the 2019-20 season alive, the NBA announces May 8 as a target date for teams to open their practice facilities. Should that goal be met, the league will impose the following guidelines: 1. No more than four players would be permitted at a facility at any one time; 2. No head or assistant coaches could participate; 3. Group activity remains prohibited, including practices or scrimmages, and; 4. Players remain prohibited from using non-team facilities such as public health clubs, fitness centers, or gyms. Of note, all NBA players are allowed to utilize each team's practice facility, regardless of whether they play for that team.
April 6, 2020 - NBA commissioner Adam Silver says, in an interview with TNT's Ernie Johnson, that a decision on the completion of the 2019-20 season will not be made until May 1 at the earliest. He also states the league is considering it's options leading up to a decision being made (Silver pictured below. Photo by Michael Conroy/Associated Press).
March 20, 2020 - To fill the void of Blazers games during the outbreak of the coronavirus and the NBA's suspension of the season, NBC Sports Northwests announces it will air 12 classic Blazers games to coincide with the dates of 12 games on the Blazers schedule. The games will range from game 6 of the NBA Finals when the Blazers won the championship to Damian Lillard's franchise-high 61-point game earlier this season.
March 11, 2020 - Due to growing concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), the NBA announces it has suspended the 2019-20 season. The concerns include crowd exposure to the virus. The Golden St. Warriors already have announced that they would be playing the rest of their home games over the course of the season without fans. Related: Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have tested positive for the virus.
February 23, 2020 - C.J. McCollum scores a season-high 41 points as the Blazers fend off the Detroit Pistons at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. McCollum also dishes out 12 assists and grabs nine rebounds. Carmelo Anthony adds a season-high 32 points, and Hassan Whiteside has 16 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks in the win. The Blazers are without Damian Lillard for the second straight game due to a groin injury.
February 13, 2020 - After suffering a groin strain in the Blazers' February 12 loss to the Grizzlies in Memphis, Damian Lillard is forced to withdraw from both the All-Star Game and the Three-Point Shootout during All-Star Weekend. Lillard would have been making his fifth appearance in the game. Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns was selected by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace Lillard in both events.
February 10, 2020 - Damian Lillard is named as one of 44 finalists to represent the United States Men's basketball team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In lieu of tryouts, the Olympic Basketball Committee will weed the list down to the 12-man roster to be released in June. Lillard is the lone Blazer to mane the final 44.
February 6, 2020 - The NBA trade deadline for the season arrives (9 a.m. pacific). ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Blazers have made one move. Per Woj, Portland is sending backup center Skal Labissiere to the Atlanta Hawks for cash considerations. Labissiere, who has been out with a knee injury since December 15, averaged 5.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists this season for the Blazers.
February 4, 2020 - It is revealed that Damian Lillard not only will complete in the NBA All-Star Game, he will also compete in the Three-Point Contest during All-Star Weekend.
February 3, 2020 - For the second straight week, Damian Lillard is named Western Conference Player of the Week. It's the first time in his career he has earned the honor two weeks in a row. During three games for week ending February 2, he averaged 45.o points, 11.0 assists and 7.0 rebounds per game as the Blazers went 3-0 with all three wins coming against the top five teams in the conference. He also recorded his first career triple-double during that span. Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics is honored as the Easteron Conference Player of the Week as he averaged 25.0 points, 6.3 rebounds 2.7 assists during the same span in which the Celtics went 3-0.
January 30, 2020 - While not voted in as a starter, Damian Lillard is named to the Western Conference All-Star Team for the fifth time in his career and the third straight season. Lillard is fourth in the NBA in scoring at 29.0 points per game.
January 29, 2020 - Damian Lillard records his first career triple-double (36 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists) and leads the Blazers to a 125-112 home win over the Houston Rockets. Hassan Whiteside adds 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
January 27, 2020 - Damian Lillard of the Blazers and Pascal Siakam of the Raptors are named Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week, respectively. Lillard averaged 52.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 9.3 assists during a three-game span in which the Blazers went 2-1. He also scored a career-high 61 points against the Warriors on January 20 (see entry two posts below). Siakam averaged 29.5 points, 9 rebounds and 2.5 assists as the Raptors went an undefeated 4-0 over the week.
January 26, 2020 - Damian Lillard leads the way with 50 points as the Blazers set a season-high in points in a 139-129 home win over the Indiana Pacers. Over his past three games, he has averaged 52.7 points per game. The Blazers' win comes as the NBA community is mourning the loss of 41-year-old L.A. Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who passed away in a helicopter crash north of Los Angeles earlier in the morning. Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also among the nine persons who died in the crash.
January 20, 2020 - Damian Lillard scores a career-high and Blazers franchise high 61 points to lead the Blazers to a hard-fought 129-124 win over the Golden St. Warriors in overtime at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Lillard goes 17 of 37 from the field, including 11 of 20 from beyond the arc, and makes all 16 of his free throw attempts in the win (the 11 made threes is also a career high). He also snares 10 rebounds and dishes out seven assists. Hassan Whiteside adds 17 points, 21 rebounds and six blocks in the win.
January 18, 2020 - With the Blazers shorthanded due to multiple injuries and trades, the team falls on the road to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 119-106. Damian Lillard leads Portland with 34 points. Gary Trent, Jr. scores a career-high 30 points off 12 of 18 shooting including five of nine from three-point range. He also snares five rebounds in the effort.
January 18, 2020 - Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Blazers trade guard/forward Kent Bazemore forward Anthony Tolliver to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for veteran forward Trevor Ariza (6'8"), Caleb Swanigan (6'9") and Wenyen Gabriel (6'9). The Blazers, who also send the Kings two second round draft picks in the deal, have an open roster spot so they will not need to waive a player to complete the deal. Swanigan was drafted by the Blazers in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft and spent the first season and a half with them prior to being traded to the Kings last year for center Skal Labissiere.
January 7, 2020: Carmelo Anthony scores a season-high 28 points (off 10 of 17 from the field and five of 8 from three-point range), and hits the game-winning two-point jumper with 4.1 seconds remaining, as the Blazers defeat the defending champion Raptors at Toronto, 101-99. Anthony also grabs seven rebounds in the effort. Hassan Whiteside adds 14 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocks, and Damian Lillard contributes 20 points and nine assists in the win.
December 28, 2019: Backup center Skal Labissiere goes down with a knee injury early in the Blazers 128-120 loss at home to the Los Angeles Lakers. An MRI is performed the next day confirming the injury is not as major as it could have been. Labissiere, who has been a bright spot for the team as a backup to Hassan Whiteside, is expected to miss at least six games. The Blazers find themselves now down to one player taller than 6'8" (Whiteside). It is anticipated that forward Anthony Tolliver will fill in until Labissiere returns. The team also has recalled one of its two-way players, 7'2" rookie center Moses Brown, from the G-League.
December 12, 2019: It is announced that Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, who played college at Weber St. for four years, will be among the inaugural class inducted into the Mountain West Conference Hall of Fame. Lillard is among 14 players which span 10 different Mountain West sports. He was the first player from the Mountain West to earn All-American honors (during his senior season). He averaged 24.5 points per game; second in the nation.
December 6, 2019: Forward Rodney Hood goes down to an achilles injury and is lost for the season. It's another blow to the Blazers, who are already dealing with injuries to Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins. Prior to the injury, Hood was averaging 11.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. He was shooting 50.6 percent from the field, including 49.6 percent from beyond the arc.
December 4, 2019: Pau Gasol, who was signed with the Blazers in late July but waived on November 20, is named as an assistant coach by the team. Gasol was unable to recover from a foot injury. The 7'0" two-time NBA champion played 18 seasons in the NBA at the center and power forward positions, but never suited up for the Blazers. According to head coach Terry Stotts, it was arranged for Gasol to join the coaching staff as early as the day he was waived.
December 2, 2019: After helping to lead the Blazers to three straight wins, Carmelo Anthony is named Western Conference Player of the Week by the NBA.
November 21, 2019: With Damian Lillard and Hassan Whiteside out, the Blazers' defense suffers as they fall to the Milwaukee Bucks, 137-129. A bright spot for the Blazers is backup forward/center Skal Labisseiere, who notches 22 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, five blocks and a steal in 28 minutes of work.
November 20, 2019: Veteran center Pau Gasol is waived by the Blazers. Gasol announces the news on Instagram, stating that the foot injury he suffered last season is not heeling as quickly as he had hoped. Gasol, who signed with the team as a free agent in July, never played a game with the Blazers. He indicated he would continue to rehab his foot in Portland. It is also hinted that he may pursue another role with the Blazers; possibly as an assistant coach.
November 19, 2019 - Carmelo Anthony makes his Blazers debut as he starts at power forward. Anthony scores 10 points on four of 14 shooting with four rebounds. However, the Blazers fall at the New Orleans Pelicans, 115-104. Damian Lillard sits out due to back spasms. A bright spot in the loss for the Blazers is rookie forward Nassir Little, who scores 12 points and collects 11 rebounds.
November 14, 2019 - Sources report that the Blazers will sign free agent forward Carmelo Anthony. A 10-time NBA all-star, Anthony has averaged 24.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists over an extensive career with the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets (Anthony pictured below; photo courtesy Kamil Krzaczynski/USA Today Sports).
November 8, 2019 - Damian Lillard scores a franchise-high 60 points, but it isn't enough as the Blazers lose at home to the Brooklyn Nets, 119-115. Point guard Kyrie Irving scores 33 to lead the Nets. The Blazers, traditionally a strong home team, fall to 0-3 at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter to start the season.
November 5, 2019 - Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey announces that forward Zach Collins will miss approximately four months following surgery to repair his left labrum (shoulder). Collins, in his third season and first as a starter, injured the shoulder during the team's win at the Dallas Mavericks on October 27.
November 2, 2019 - During 70s Night as part of their decade night series at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, the Blazers appear to survive a comeback attempt by the Philadelphia 76ers when Anfernee Simons hits a left corner three to put Portland up 128-126 with 2.2 seconds remaining. The lead is short lived when the 76ers nail a three-pointer less than two seconds later.
October 23, 2019 - The Blazers fall in their regular season opener at home to the Denver Nuggets, 108-100. It is the first time since 2000 that the team has lost a home opener. In his Blazers debut, center Hassan Whiteside scores 16 points and snags 19 rebounds for Portland. Damian Lillard and Kent Bazemore post game highs of 32 points and 5 steals, respectively. The Blazers shoot just 25 percent from the three-point line while the Nuggets shoot 56.2 percent from beyond the arc. Click to view the entire Blazers Season Schedule and Results.
October 19, 2019 - Per the teams roster on this date, the Blazers list of players consists of the following players heading into the season opener on October 23: Guards Kent Bazemore, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Anferee Simons and Gary Trent Jr.; forwards Zach Collins, Mario Heonja, Rodney Hood, Skal Labissiere, Nassir Little and Anthony Tolliver; centers Pau Gasol, Jusuf Nurkic and Hassan Whiteside. The Blazers still technically have a roster spot open. On two-way contracts are forward Jaylen Hoard and center Moses Brown.
October 17, 2019 - The Blazers conclude their pre-season schedule with a 110-104 road loss to the Denver Nuggets. Many starters/rotation players do not play due to injury or rest reasons including Damian Lllard, CJ McCollum, Hassan Whiteside, Pau Gasol and Nassir Little. Mario Herzongia leads the Blazers with 18 points and six rebounds. Zach Collins finishes with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Blazers finish their pre-season schedule 2-3 with their wins coming against Maccabi Haifa and the Utah Jazz.
October 17, 2019 - Portland converts the Exhibit 10 contract (essentially a training camp contract) of 7'0" center Moses Brown into a two-way contract, which means he will be assigned to a G-League team. That designation did not specify which lower league team to which he will be assigned. Brown went undrafted and played for UCLA in college. Under NBA rules, a team has the option for a pair of two-way contracts. Brown joins forward Jaylen Hoard as the Blazers' two players with two-way contracts.
October 17, 2019 - In a survey of all 30 NBA team general managers (or synonymous titles), Blazers guard Damian Lillard is voted best leader. He received 41 percent of the vote in the category (13 of 30 votes). Warriors guard Stephen Curry is second with 37 percent and Lakers forward LeBron James is third with 15 percent. Lillard also is second with 11 percent in a three-way tie in the category of "which player would you want taking a shot with the game on the line." Teammate forward Zach Collins receives votes in the category of "most likely to have a breakout season."
October 8, 2019 - The Blazers open their pre-season schedule with a 90-74 loss to the Denver Nuggets at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland. To commemorate their 50th season and playing in the arena which housed the team for its first two-and-a-half decades, Portland's coaching staff dons 1977 era fashions.
October 1, 2019 - Training Camp practices begin in preparation for the first pre-season game on October 8 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum against the Denver Nuggets.
September 30, 2019 - Blazers announce that they have signed forward Keljin Blevins (6'6") to a training camp contract. Blevins, who went undrafted in June, played on the Blazers' summer league team. He played college ball at Montana St.
September 30, 2019 - Training Camp begins with Media Day. Players, coaches and executives head from station to station answering questions from the media. In head coach Terry Stotts' press conference, he states: “I think it’s the deepest team we’ve had since we’ve been here. There’s a lot to like about the roster ... We had a great year last year, and I think we can have a better year this year ... I’ll have some difficult decisions on certain nights. I think it’s easier on me to have a 9-10 man rotation. When you have that though someone gets squeezed a bit and that’s tough.” Training camp practices get underway on October 1.
September 26, 2019 - ESPN "experts" release their best players in the NBA, numbers 10 through 3. Blazers guard Damian Lillard comes in at number 9 (he was 10th last year); a spot behind 76ers center Joel Embiid and a spot ahead of Clippers guard Paul George. ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz said this about the Blazers' captain: "From the moment he entered the league as a mystery guest from Weber State, Lillard established himself as a fearless, durable floor general with an uncommon stage presence. His big-game shot-making rivals any of his contemporaries, and he's a first-rate culture-setter who quietly agreed to a supermax extension over the summer that will keep him in Portland well into his 30s. Lillard has publicly stated that he's uninterested in building a superteam or serving as a recruiter in a league where such machinations are bigger than the game itself. Yet Lillard's independence poses a challenge: Without the concentration of star power present on the rosters of most NBA contenders, how far can Lillard lift the Trail Blazers in an unforgiving Western Conference?" Lillard is pictured below (photo courtesy Dylan Buell/Getty Images).
September 25, 2019 - ESPN "experts" release their best players in the NBA, numbers 11 through 30. Blazers guard CJ McCollum comes in at number 13 (he was 30th last year); a spot behind Rockets guard Russell Westbrook and a spot ahead of Jazz center Rudy Gobert. ESPN's André Snellings had this to say about McCollum: "Is McCollum ready to step up as a co-headliner with Damian Lillard for an entire season? McCollum has long been the secondary scoring Robin to Damian Lillard's Batman for the Trail Blazers. The past two seasons, McCollum averaged 21.2 PPG in the regular season versus Lillard's 26.3. However, that story changed during the past two playoffs, with McCollum upping his scoring to 24.8 PPG versus Lillard's 25.2 PPG. If McCollum can maintain that raised level of shotmaking throughout the season, it would ease the load on Lillard and help Portland challenge for the top spot in the West."
September 24, 2019 - The Blazers announce they have exercised 2020-21 options on forward Zach Collins and guard Anfernee Simons. It is the fourth-year option for Collins and the third-year option for Simons.
September 23, 2019 - ESPN "experts" release their best players in the NBA, numbers 51 through 100. Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic comes in at number 83 (he ranked 75th last year); a spot behind Rockets power forward P.J. Tucker and a spot ahead of Suns guard Ricky Rubio. ESPN's Kevin Pelton said this of Nurkic: "Terry Stotts' defensive scheme calls for the screener's defender to drop back into the paint on pick-and-rolls, protecting the rim. The 7-foot Nurkic excelled in that scheme, using his size to intimidate in the paint. Per Second Spectrum tracking on NBA Advanced Stats, the 55.9% of shots inside 5 feet opponents have made with Nurkic as a primary defender ranks in the top 20 among players who have defended at least four such shots per game."
September 17, 2019 - Bleacher Report releases its ranking of the top starting backcourts in the NBA. The site ranks Portland's Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum as first with the caveat that Golden St.'s Steph Curry and Klay Thompson would be first if Thompson were not to be out to injury for the majority of the upcoming season. Interestingly, all five of the top-ranked are from the Western Conference. The rankings are: 1. Lillard/McCollum, Blazers; 2. Steph Curry/D'Angelo Russell, Warriors; 3. James Harden/Russell Westbrook, Rockets; 4. Mike Conley/Donovan Mitchell, Jazz; 5. Jamal Murray/Gary Harris, Nuggets.
September 16, 2019 - To commemorate their 50th season as a franchise, the Blazers announce several home dates designated as throwback nights with several activities planned in and around the Rose Quarter. The dates are as follows: '70s Night - November 2 vs. Philadelphia; '80s Night - December 20 vs. Orlando; '90s Night - January 26 vs. Indiana; '00s Night - February 23 vs. Detroit; and '10's Night - March 10 vs. Phoenix. A '70s Night replica press box ticket represents the November 2 game against the 76ers, the team which the Blazers defeated to win the NBA Championship in 1977, is pictured below (photo courtesy of nba.com/blazers).
September 12, 2019 - Blazers finalize their training camp roster. Along with the 14 players under contract, as well as two-way player Jaylen Hoard, the team has added three players. They are guards Troy Caupin (6'4") and London Perrantes (6'2"), and center Moses Brown (7'1").Training camp is scheduled to start on September 30 with Media Day at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. The first practice will be held the next day, on October 1. Heading into camp, the Blazers have one regular season roster spot available.
September 11, 2019 - Portland announces its annual Fan Fest will be held on Sunday, October 6. The event will feature exhibits around Veterans Memorial Coliseum, as well as an inter-squad scrimmage between the players on the training camp roster. The event will be televised on NBC Sports Northwest.
September 9, 2019 - Blazers announce Travis Demers as new radio play-by-play caller. Demers, who will be the fourth play-by-play announcer in team history, called 57 games while filling in for Brian Wheeler during the 2018-19 season.
August 25, 2019 - The Blazers reveal commemorative throwback uniforms for the 50th season of the franchise. Below, the uniforms are modeled by guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. (photos by Bruce Ely at nba.com/blazers).
August 17, 2019 - Rookie forward Nassir Little makes an appearance at the Trail Blazers Summer Hoops Camp to meet 170 attendees (see tweet below in the comments section).
August 12, 2019 - The Blazers, on their official website reveal a special court design at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter to commemorate their 50th season as a franchise (pictured below/courtesy of nba.com/blazers).
August 12, 2019 - The NBA Schedule is released. The Blazers schedule has them beginning the season at home against the Denver Nuggets on October 23 and concluding the season at home against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 15. The Blazers schedule includes 20 nationally televised games and 12 back-to-backs.
August 7, 2019 - NBA.com's John Schuhmann issues his off-season power rankings. He puts the Blazers at number seven among Western Conference teams; four spots lower than where they finished in 2018-19. Schumann cites the departures of seven players with playoff experience and seems to hint the Blazers' success for the upcoming season hinges on the development of third-year center/forward Zach Collins, who is expected to have a larger role this season. Schumann's top eight in the West are: 1. Los Angeles Clippers; 2. Denver Nuggets; 3. Utah Jazz; 4. Los Angeles Lakers; 5. Houston Rockets; 6. Golden St. Warriors; 7. Portland Trail Blazers; 8. San Antonio Spurs.
July 29, 2019 - Portland releases its five-game pre-season schedule. They play the Denver Nuggets twice (once at home and once away), the Phoenix Suns at home and the Utah Jazz on the road. The schedule also includes a home date with Maccabi Haifa, a touring team based in Israel.
July 25, 2019 - Blazers announce they have signed veteran 7'0" center/forward Pau Gasol. It is anticipated that Gasol will back up Hassan Whiteside at the center position. Gasol was the first foreign player to win NBA Rookie of the Year (2001-02).
July 24, 2019 - Free agent center/forward Pau Gasol announces on Twitter that he has opted to sign with the Blazers for his 19th NBA season. Gasol, a native of Spain, has put up averages of 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds per games in 18 seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. He won two NBA Championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.
July 12, 2019 - The team announces that Brian "Wheels" Wheeler, the radio play-by-play voice for the Blazers for 21 years, will not be returning for the 2019-20 season. No specific reason is given by the team. Wheeler issued the following statement: "I want to thank the Portland Trail Blazers for the incredible opportunity and honor of calling radio play-by-play for the past 21 years. I was honored and blessed to be a Blazer for 21 seasons, and fortunately I've accumulated some precious memories that will last a lifetime." Wheels is pictured below in a previous team publicity photo.
July 9, 2019 - Second-year Blazers guard Anfernee Simons scores a game-high 35 points on 13 of 18 shooting in the Blazers' 97-93 Las Vegas Summer League loss to the Utah Jazz.
July 8, 2019 - Portland acquires the draft rights to Bojan Dubljević from the Minnesota Timberwolves via trade in exchange for forward Jake Layman. A native of Montenegro, the 6'9" Dubljević was originally selected by the Timberwolves with the 59th selection in the 2013 NBA Draft.
July 7, 2019 - Second-year Blazers guard Gary Trent, Jr. scores a game-high 31 points, including going seven of eight from three-point range, in the Blazers' 97-87 Las Vegas Summer League win over the Houston Rockets.
July 6, 2019 - The four-team trade to bring center Hassan Whiteside to Portland is finalized. The Blazers receive Whiteside. The trade also sends center Meyers Leonard from the Blazers to the Heat; forward Maurice Harkless from the Blazers to the Los Angeles Clippers; guard Jimmy Butler from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Heat; guard/forward Josh Richardson from the Heat to the 76ers; and a future first round draft pick from the Heat to the Clippers.
July 6, 2019 - The free agent signings of Anthony Tolliver and Mario Hezonja become official.
July 6, 2019 - Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey announces the team has re-signed guard/forward Rodney Hood (6'8") to a two-year contract. Hood had been acquired by the Blazers in a trade on February 4, 2019. He scored a career playoff high of 25 points for Portland in game 6 of the Blazers' seven game series against the Denver Nuggets. Hood has posted averages of 12.6 points per game in five seasons with the Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Blazers.
July 3, 2019 - It's reported that the Blazers have agreed to terms with 6'8" veteran free agent power forward Anthony Tolliver. He owns career averages of 6.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game over an 11-year career. It's a return to the Rose City for Tolliver, who played two games for the Blazers during his second season in 2009-10. Due to league guidelines, the signing cannot be finalized until the moratorium ends on July 6.
July 3, 2019 - It's reported that Portland has agreed to terms with 6'9" free agent forward Mario Hezonja on a two-year contract. Hezonja, who represents his home country of Croatia's National Team, has posted averages of 7.3 points and 3.0 rebounds per game during a four-year career with the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks. Due to league guidelines, the signing cannot be finalized until the moratorium ends on July 6.
July 1, 2019 - ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Blazers will acquire 7'0" Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside in a four-team deal which will send center Meyers Leonard to the Heat and forward Maurice Harkless to the Los Angeles Clippers. The move to obtain Whiteside is to fill the hole left by injured Portland center Jusuf Nurkic, who is not expected back until early 2020. Whiteside, known as one of the NBA's best defending post men, posted averages of 13.4 points and 11.4 rebounds per game over his seven-year career. Due to league guidelines, the trade cannot be finalized until the moratorium ends on July 6. Whiteside is pictured below in a photo-shopped Blazers uniform (photo credit unavailable).
July 1, 2019 - Blazers announce they have signed undrafted free agent forward Jaylen Hoard (6'9") to a two-way contract. A native of France, Hoard represented the French National Team and played for a season at Wake Forest University, where he averaged 13.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game during the 2018-19 season. His G-League assignment was not announced at this time.
July 1, 2019 - Portland announces it has signed its first round draft pick, Nassir Little, to his rookie contract.
June 24, 2019 - Blazers acquire 6'5" guard/forward Kent Bazemore via trade with the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Evan Turner. Bazemore, a member of the Hawks team of 2014-15 which advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, averaged 10.4 points per game over five seasons with the Hawks. He started his career with the Golden St. Warriors for two seasons, and spent a year with the Los Angeles Lakers prior to joining the Hawks.
June 20, 2019 - Blazers select 6'6" North Carolina forward Nassir Little with the 25th pick in the NBA Draft. In one season with the Tar Heels, Little averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
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