Blazers sign TJ Leaf

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free-agent forward TJ Leaf to a two-way contract, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. Leaf, 23, holds career averages of 3.3 points (49.1% FG, 34.1% 3-PT, 57.1% FT), 2.0 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 8.7 minutes in 139 games (two starts), all with Indiana. A three-year veteran, Leaf (6-10, 222) was selected with the 18th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Pacers following his freshman season at UCLA.
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Part of the Blazers’ calculus in swapping Trent for Powell was projecting their former second-round pick’s next salary to average around $15 million annually, only for Trent to largely play backup minutes to McCollum. Powell’s number is expected to be around $20 million, according to league sources polled by B/R, yet he’s played as the Blazers’ third starting guard, capable of defending opposing small forwards.
Overtime Elite, which will feature up to 30 players ages 16 to 18 who will be paid a minimum salary of $100,000 along with bonuses and equity, is slated to begin in September 2021. If an Overtime Elite player doesn’t ultimately pursue a pro career, the league will pay them up to $100,000 towards college tuition. Overtime, which includes Durant, Carmelo Anthony and late NBA Commissioner David Stern among its investors, was founded in 2016. Ollie, who is still in arbitration with UConn over the $10 million he was still owed on his contract and isn’t permitted to discuss his exit from the program as a result, wrote an Op-Ed for The Athletic about his return to the basketball world.