HoopsHype Portland Trail Blazers rumors

Portland Trail Blazers highlights

April 17, 2014 Updates

And there would be no quibbling if Olshey wanted to do it behind closed doors. But judging from Stotts’ unease, it is clear Olshey hasn’t afforded him that courtesy. I asked Stotts on Wednesday night if he has been given that assurance that his future is secure in Portland. Stotts, as he is wont to do lately, was curt. “I don’t think I have to answer that,’’ he said. Oregonian

It’s hard to make sense of it considering four players I spoke with — LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum — all say they want Stotts back. It’s hard to fathom there’s danger for the guy who has coached the league’s best offense, and has guided the marked development of Joel Freeland, Will Barton, and Lillard while igniting career-best seasons from Aldridge, Robin Lopez, Batum and Matthews. Yet, from all appearances, Stotts is dangling in the wind. Oregonian

April 16, 2014 Updates

After signing Stephen Colbert to succeed David Letterman on “Late Night“ — trumping the CNN upfront presentation with the announcement — Moonves is moving to “Billionaires Beach.” Page Six has exclusively learned Moonves has bought Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s home on Malibu’s prestigious Carbon Beach for $28 million. Allen bought the gorgeous, white-walled and glass modern oceanfront house for $25 million in 2010. New York Post

April 14, 2014 Updates

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard signed a contract extension with adidas on Monday that will make make him one of the highest-earning endorsers in the NBA. The deal, which can extend to 10 years, could be worth up to $100 million including incentives and options, sources told ESPN.com. It's believed to be the largest shoe deal since Derrick Rose signed a 13-year deal in 2012 that could be worth more than $185 million. LeBron James and Kevin Durant, both of whom are with Nike, are the highest-earning active players when it comes to shoe endorsements. ESPN.com

Adidas has the official apparel deal of the NBA, but only had a 5.5 percent stake of the U.S. basketball market shoe sales market in 2013, according to SportsOneSource, a market retail tracking firm. Nike and the Jordan Brand, which it owns, combined for 92 percent. ESPN.com

Damian Lillard's banner year continued Monday, when the second-year Portland Trail Blazers point guard finalized a new shoe contract with Adidas that is believed to be among the most lucrative of any player in the NBA. While the exact figures of the deal were not immediately known, a person with knowledge of the contract said it is smaller only than that of Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (reportedly $185 million over 13 years with Adidas) and the Miami Heat's LeBron James (reportedly $20 million annually with Nike) among NBA players. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the financial terms are not typically disclosed. USA Today Sports

The structure of Lillard's previous deal was such that he could opt out and renegotiate at this early juncture of his fasttrack career. Adidas would have had stiff competition if they waited any longer, as their window to have exclusive negotiating rights with his agent, Aaron Goodwin of Goodwin Sports Management, recently ended and Nike as well as the Jordan Brand were known to be very interested in luring Lillard away. USA Today Sports

Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard and adidas have finalized a deal that makes it the third richest shoe endorsement deal in history, a source informed CSNNW.com. The deal, according to another source, is an eight-year contract that has the potential to stretch out to 10 years if he reaches certain incentive clauses. We’ve confirmed Lillard’s new contract is slightly less than that of Derrick Rose. CSNNW.com

But there is some concern inside the locker room that Lillard is not held to the same accountabilities that other players are. In other words, his mistakes are often either overlooked, or not held to the same examination as others. That’s not to say there is raging discontent among the ranks when it comes to Lillard. From what I gather, he is respected deeply for his talent, his work ethic and his efforts at becoming a leader. Oregonian

April 13, 2014 Updates

Boston has seven first-round draft picks in the next three drafts, not to mention young and promising players like Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk. But transformative opportunities don't come along all that often, so patience and poise are required from here as general manager Danny Ainge looks to seize the right opportunities yet again. "That's always the second prong of the plan, is that 'If we can't get great young guys to grow up together like Oklahoma City did, then we'll at least make a strategic trade at the right time,'" ESPN analyst and former Portland Trail Blazers assistant general manager Tom Penn told USA TODAY Sports. "Projecting and foreseeing the likelihood of that happenings is really hard, but the first step of making that a possibility is to get access to a lot of young, promising assets. The best positioned franchise to do that over the next three years is going to be Boston." USA Today Sports

"The ninth team in the West has a better body of work for the season than every single team in the East," Tom Penn, the former vice president of basketball operations for the Portland Trailblazers and a current ESPN analyst told USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick. "I mean 49 or 50 wins in the West is so much more impressive than the 55 or 56 that Indiana or Miami is going to stumble to. "And in fact, if the playoff format was such that Indiana or Miami had to face off against the ninth team in the West, they'd have a challenge on their hands big-time with the way they're playing. Those (West) teams are charging to the finish. Everything is relative. There should be an asterisk on everything based on the uneven schedule." USA Today Sports

April 12, 2014 Updates

Asked if his affection for Utah meant he might possibly wind up playing someday for the Jazz — whose front office was definitely very interested in drafting Damian before the Trail Blazers beat 'em to the punch in 2012 — Lillard smiled sheepishly and did his best to deflect the question like he would an opponent's entry pass into the paint. "I'm real happy in Portland," he said. "I love the organization, I love the city, and I think that's a great place for me. I fit right in and hopefully I'll be there for my whole career. "It's not often, you know, it doesn't happen too often where people get to spend their whole career with one team, but hopefully I do." Deseret News

"And I got on the court and it was like they cheered me on like I had been here already. And when I became a little more popular and a little more well-known, people recognized me and they were really polite. "And there's a lot more to do here, I think a lot more than people realize is going on in Utah," he said of the state's unfair nothing-to-do-here bad rap. "You think Utah, the first thing people think about is it's a Mormon state, and I think you've got to experience it to see the value here. I tell (my teammates) all the time it's a really nice place. But it's my time and it's my decision on where I like to spend my time at in summers or where I like to go back to, and this is definitely one of those places." Deseret News

Barton says he tries not to worry about his contract situation with the team on a mission to finish out the season strong before the playoffs, but admits he does ponder it more than he should. “I try not to think about it as much but I do sometimes,” he said. “You just never know what people are thinking. Hopefully I make it past the deadline. I would love to stay here and be here. But, you just never know. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. Portland took a chance on me. It would be huge if I can stay in Portland. But like I said, it’s a business and I’m aware of that. You just never know.” CSNNW.com

His third year becomes fully guaranteed if the team doesn’t request waivers on him on or before July 31. If he is kept past that deadline, the third year of $915,243 is guaranteed. General Manager Neil Olshey will likely take all the time he has at his disposal before making a decision in order to fully assess Barton's growth and development. Barton says he tries not to worry about his contract situation with the team on a mission to finish out the season strong before the playoffs, but admits he does ponder it more than he should. “I try not to think about it as much but I do sometimes,” he said. “You just never know what people are thinking. Hopefully I make it past the deadline. I would love to stay here and be here. But, you just never know. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. “Portland took a chance on me. It would be huge if I can stay in Portland. But like I said, it’s a business and I’m aware of that. You just never know.” CSNNW.com

April 11, 2014 Updates

Forty-five minutes later, as players from both teams begin to join him on the court for pre-game workouts, Leonard is finished. It’s a refrain played over and over throughout the course of a long NBA season. “There’s a misnomer going around that Meyers doesn’t work hard,” says Kim Hughes, the assistant coach who spends the most time with Leonard. “He puts in as much time as anybody.” Portland Tribune

“I’ve shut down social media for a reason,” he says. Before he did that, “I heard it all (on Twitter). I’ve heard, ‘F you, I hope you tear your ACL.’ I’ve heard, ‘You’re a bust.’ That’s the reason I don’t look at that stuff anymore, and I probably won’t during a season. It’s just not worth it. I don’t ever listen to that stuff or buy into it, because mentally I have to stay locked in and confident in myself, or that will just kill me.” Leonard deleted the Twitter app on his phone and says he doesn’t get on his computer to see what’s out there. “I don’t read any more articles, either,” he says. “I don’t listen to talk radio. You should never get too high or too low. Social media and people talking about you will do it.” Portland Tribune

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN TRAIL BLAZERS HISTORY
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Only four Hall of Famers, but plenty of fantastic names in the Top 50 of the storied franchise.

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