2014 Las Vegas Summer League Roster And Notes

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
2 years ago

The Portland Trail Blazers announced their 13-man Las Vegas Summer League roster today in anticipation of practices starting Tuesday at the team’s facility in Tualatin. The six players under contract with the Trail Blazers have been working out together at the practice facility on-and-off for almost a month, but Tuesday will be the official start of their summer league schedule (you can read about those workouts here, here and here). The team is scheduled to have two practices a day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, leave for Las Vegas on Friday before opening their 2014 summer league schedule versus the New York Knicks Saturday at 1 PM at COX Pavilion on the campus of UNLV. All of the Trail Blazers’ summer league games will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Northwest.

The players who are under contract for the 2014-15 regular season are sure to get the majority of minutes, though there will be ample opportunity for those looking to make an NBA roster throughout Portland’s five-game (at least) schedule. Three players (Bobby Brown, Craig Brackins and Rodney Carney) have previous NBA experience, two are fresh out of college (Keith Appling and Davion Berry) and five played their most recent professional ball overseas (Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Jonathan Gibson, Brown, Brackins and Carney).

I’ll be cover practices this week in Tualatin as well as traveling to Las Vegas for the first three games of Portland’s summer league campaign, so keep checking Forward/Center and Trailblazers.com for updates.


2014 Las Vegas Summer League Roster

Summer League Coaches: David Vanterpool (St. Bonaventure), Nate Tibbetts (South Dakota), Dale Osbourne (South Alabama), Kim Hughes (Wisconsin)

Summer League Assistant Coaches: John McCullough (Oklahoma), Jonathan Yim (Cal State Fullerton)

Director of Player Heath and Performance: Chris Stackpole (Boston University)

Head Athletic Trainer: Geoff Clark (Oregon State)

Sports Performance Specialists: Todd Forcier (Washington State), Ben Kenyon (Adelphi)

Keith Appling – Guard – Michigan State

Michigan State v Georgetown

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 185 Born: 2/13/92 NBA Years: 0

NOTEWORTHY: A three-year starter at Michigan State, finished 18th all-time in school history with 1,509 points … Played with USA Basketball at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championships, averaging 4.1 points in 10.3 minutes per contest

2013:14: Ranked third in the Big Ten in assists per game (4.5) and second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1) … Twenty-sixth in the conference in scoring (11.2 ppg) … Selected MVP of the 2013 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic … Posted 27 points vs. Oklahoma in a title game victory … Totaled 22 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a Nov. 12 win over eventual national runner-up Kentucky … Posted a career-high tying 27 points vs. New Orleans with eight assists to earn Co-Big Ten Player of the Week laurels

2012-13: Led Spartans in scoring (13.4 ppg) and assists (3.3 apg) … Second Team All-Big Ten honoree by the coaches and a Third Team by media … Scored five points in the final 1:36 of a 67-64 win over No. 7 Kansas … Notched 16 of his game-high 19 points in the second half … In a 59-56 win over No. 11 Ohio State, had a direct hand in MSU’s final nine points, including scoring all six of their final points

2011-12: Averaged 11.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists. Led the Spartans in assists, while ranking second in scoring and steals (43). Third Team All-Big Ten honoree … 2010-11: Appeared in 34 games, starting 18, including 16 Big Ten contest … Averaged 6.4 points and 2.8 rebounds … Shot a team-best .411 from three-point range (39-of-95)

HIGH SCHOOL: Named Michigan’s Mr. Basketball in 2010 … Attended the same high school, Pershing, as former Trail Blazer Steve Smith … Was a 2010 McDonald’s High School All-American.

Will Barton – Guard – Trail Blazers

San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four

Ht: 6-6 Wt: 185 Born: 1/6/91 NBA Years: 2

2013-14: Averaged 4.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 9.4 minutes in 41 games … Played in the final 17 games of the season … Scored a career-best 23 points and added 10 rebounds for his third career double-double against the L.A. Clippers on April 16 … Finished with seven points, nine rebounds and four assists at Orlando on March 25 … Recorded his first double-double of the season and the second of his career vs. Brooklyn, recording 20 points (8-13 FG, 4-4 FT), 11 rebounds and four assists … Notched 10 points (4-5 FG) and three rebounds against Charlotte on Jan. 2.

NBA CAREER: Has career averages of 4.0 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 114 games (five starts) … 2012-13: Averaged 4.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.47 steals and 12.2 minutes in 73 games (five starts) … Started the final five games of the season and averaged 15.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.40 steals and 37.8 minutes in those contests … Against Dallas on April 7, scored a season-high 22 points (7-11 FG) and set career bests with 13 rebounds and six assists … Became the first NBA reserve to record 22 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals in a game since Cliff Robinson on Jan. 20, 1993, and the first rookie with that stat line since Grant Hill on March 25, 1995 … Led the team in scoring in three of the final six games of the season … Also led the squad in rebounding four times and assists twice … Scored in double figures in two straight games in December, scoring 14 points (6-9 FG) against Sacramento on Dec. 26 and 11 points (5-10 FG) at the L.A. Lakers on Dec. 28 … Finished with 18 points and seven rebounds against Oklahoma City on April 12 … Netted 17 points (5-8 FG) and added nine rebounds and five assists April 14 at Denver … Notched 17 points (8-14 FG), six rebounds, five assists and three steals April 16 at the L.A. Clippers … Scored 15 points to add to seven rebounds and four assists April 17 vs. Golden State … Played in four games (all starts) with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA D-League from Dec. 7-8 and Jan. 7-8, where he averaged 16.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.00 steal and 37.8 minutes.

PLAYOFFS: 2014: Played in seven games, including all five of Portland’s Conference Semifinal series vs. San Antonio … Tallied postseason averages of 6.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 11.6 minutes … Led all reserves with 9.0 ppg in the San Antonio series … His 54.5% (6-for-11) 3-point field goal percentage is tied for sixth-best among Portland’s all-time postseason averages … His 60.0% (6-for-10) mark in the San Antonio series is tied for third best among series averages in franchise history.

COLLEGE: In two seasons with Memphis, averaged 15.2 points (47.1% FG), 6.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.49 steals and 32.9 minutes in 70 games … Received a total of six postseason honors, including CBSSports.com All-America Third Team, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 11 First Team, United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District 4 Team, Conference USA Player of the Year, All-Conference USA First Team and C-USA All-Tournament Team … Named to the 2011-12 John Wooden Award preseason watch list … Earned Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll distinction in 2011 … A 2011 collegeinsider.com National All-Freshman Team member … Named to the 2011 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 11 Second Team and the 2011 All-Conference USA Third Team … Also a member of the 2011 Conference USA All-Freshman Team … 2011-12: Had one of the most prolific sophomore seasons in school history, leading the Tigers in scoring (18.0) and rebounding (8.0) … Netted 631 points his sophomore campaign, the most points scored by a Tiger in a second year in school history … Finished his career with 1,062 points, moving up to the No. 39 spot on the Memphis all-time scoring … 2010-11:Appeared in all 35 games and made 25 starts … Played a team-high 1,070 minutes … Averaged 12.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists … Led the team in scoring 10 times and rebounding 10 times … Netted double figures in 23 games, including 10 straight contests from Jan. 15-Feb. 16 … Shot 42.8 percent from the floor, 26.5 percent from the 3-point line and 69.9 percent from the charity stripe.

PERSONAL:Son of Karen Bush … Helped present awards and participated in a mock press conference with students at Roosevelt High School in February 2013 … Assisted with drills at the Trail Blazers 2013 Spring Break Hoops Camp … Played in four 2013 NBA Summer League games (all starts) for the Trail Blazers, averaging 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists … Appeared in all five games (four starts) for Portland’s 2012 NBA Summer League team, averaging 15.0 points (third on team), 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists … Attended Memphis with brother, Antonio.


Davion Berry – Guard – Weber State

Arizona v Weber State

Ht: 6-4 Wt: 185 Born: 1/11/91 NBA Years: 0

NOTEWORTHY: Played two seasons at Weber State, where he twice earned Big Sky All-Conference First Team honors and First Team All-District honors … Named the 2013-14 Big Sky MVP and the 2012-13 Big Sky Newcomer of the Year

2013-14: Led Weber State to the Big Sky title, Big Sky Tournament title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament … Finished second in the Big Sky in scoring at 19.2 points per game … Led the Wildcats in scoring, assists, steals and free throw percentage

2012-13: Started all 37 games and helped lead the Wildcats to a record-setting 30-7 record … Earned first team All-District 6 honors from the NABC … He also earned First Team Big Sky All-Conference honors … Led Weber State in scoring, assists, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio during the season … Finished fifth in the conference in scoring at 15.2 points per game ……Scored in double figures in 27 of WSU’s 37 games on the season

2011-12:Sat out the 2011-12 season per NCAA transfer rules after transferring to Weber State from Cal State Monterey Bay

2009-11:Played two seasons at Cal State Monterey Bay, a Division II school in Seaside, Calif. … In two years with the Otters he averaged 18.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game and twice earned All-Conference First Team honors

HIGH SCHOOL: Played AAU basketball for Raymond Young of the Oakland Rebels, the same AAU program as Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard … Attended Hayward High School in Hayward. Calif

Craig Brackins – Forward – Stelmet ZG (Poland)

2012 Air Tran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League

Ht: 6-10 Wt: 230 Born: 10/9/87 NBA Years: 2

NOTEWORTHY: Has played in Europe since 2012 with Stelmet ZG (Poland, 2013-present) and Angelico Biella (Italy, 2012-13) … The 21st overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, holds career NBA averages of 1.8 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 17 games (one start) over two seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers … Acquired by Philadelphia from New Orleans on Sept. 23, 2010 along with Darius Songaila in exchange for Willie Green and Jason Smith … New Orleans acquired Brackins along with Quincy Pondexter from Oklahoma City during the NBA Draft in exchange for the rights to Cole Aldrich and Morris Peterson … Played nine game for the D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders in 2012-13, averaging 4.6 points and 2.9 rebounds … Posted averages of 18.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.57 blocks in seven games with the D-League’s Maine Red Claws in 2011-12 … Averaged 20.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 18 games (13 starts) over three D-League assignments with the Springfield Armor in 2010-11… Finished three-year career at Iowa State with averages of 16.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.00 blocked shots in 96 games … Earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors as a junior and First Team honors as a sophomore … An All-American Honorable Mention as a sophomore … Attended the same high school as Portland’s Will Barton (Brewster Academy).

Bobby Brown – Guard – Dongguan (China)

NBA Summer League Las Vegas

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 175 Born: 9/24/84 NBA Years: 2

NOTEWORTHY: Played two NBA seasons (2008-10) with Sacramento, Minnesota, New Orleans and the L.A. Clippers, posting averages of 5.1 points, 0.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 12.8 minutes in 113 games … With the Kings, netted a career-high 21 points on Nov. 23, 2007 vs. the L.A. Lakers … Spent 2013-14 season with the Dongguan Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association, where he averaged 30.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 41 games … Scored 74 points in a double-overtime win over the Sichuan Blue Whales … Has played overseas for Alba Berlin (Germany, 2007-08), Asseco Prokom Gdynia (Poland, 2010), Aris (Greece, 2010-11), EWE Baskets Oldenburg (Germany, 2011-12) and Montepaschi Siena (Italy, 2012-13) … Played four seasons at Cal State Fullerton (2003-07), tallying career averages of 16.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 116 games for the Titans … He remains the school’s all-time leader in points (1,961), field goals (692) and 3-pointers made (307).

Matthew Bryan-Amaning – Forward – Antibes (France)

New Orleans Hornets v Portland Trail Blazers

Ht: 6-9 Wt: 240 Born: 5/9/88 NBA Years: 0

NOTEWORTHY: Bryan-Amaning is playing in his third NBA Summer League this year after joining New Orleans in 2012 and Chicago last summer … He recorded five blocks against the Trail Blazers last summer … Undrafted in 2011 out of the University of Washington, he has played overseas for Hacettepe (Turkey, 2011-12), Radnicki (Serbia, 2012-13), London (United Kingdom, 2013) and Antibes (France, 2013-present) … Played four seasons at Washington, where he finished with averages of 8.7 rebounds, 5.4 rebounds and 1.16 blocked shots in 136 games (60 starts) … Finished his collegiate career as the 36th Husky with 1,000 points and second player with 100 career blocks and 100 career steals … Left Washington tied for most games played, second in blocks and 25th in scoring … His senior 2010-11 season, named the Pac-10’s Most Improved Player, First Team All-Pac-10 and honorable mention All-Defensive Team … Made his debut for the Great Britain National Team against Canada in October of 2010.

Rodney Carney – Guard/Forward – Al Riyadi (Lebanon)

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Clippers (pre-season)

Ht: 6-7 Wt: 205 Born: 4/15/84 NBA Years: 5

NOTEWORTHY: Holds career NBA averages of 5.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 15.4 minutes over five seasons (2006-11) with Philadelphia, Minnesota, Golden State and Memphis … Acquired by Philadelphia in a 2006 NBA Draft day trade after being selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 16th overall pick … Since his last NBA season in 2010-11, has played overseas for Liaoning (China, 2011-12), Antalya BSB (Turkey, 2013), Arecibo (Puerto Rico, 2014), Talk ‘N Text (Philippines, 2014) and Al Riyadi (Lebanon, 2014) … Appeared in five preseason games for Miami in 2012-13 … At the University of Memphis, averaged 14.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 133 games (101 starts) in four seasons … Is the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made (287) … As a senior, named Conference USA Player of the Year, joining Will Barton as one of two Memphis Tigers who’ve won the honor on this year’s NBA Summer League squad.

Allen Crabbe – Guard – Trail Blazers

Phoenix Suns v Portland Trail Blazers

Ht: 6-6 Wt: 197 Born: 4/9/92 NBA Years: 1

2013-14: Appeared in 15 games with the Trail Blazers in his rookie season, averaging 2.2 points, 0.6 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 6.7 minutes … Scored a career-high eight points (3-6 FG, 2-2 3-PT) against Utah on Dec. 6 … Notched seven points (2-4 FG, 2-3 3-PT) and two assists at Philadelphia on Dec. 14 … Finished with four points, five rebounds, two assists and a career-high 29 minutes against the L.A. Clippers on April 16 … In six total games over two separate assignments with the NBA D-League’s Idaho Stampede, averaged 16.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.00 steal and 38.5 minutes.

COLLEGE: In three seasons at the University of California-Berkeley, averaged 15.7 points (44.6% FG, 38.2% 3-PT, 81.9% FT), 5.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.86 steals and 34.7 minutes in 98 games … Voted by the league’s coaches as the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year as a junior in 2012-13 … A member of the All-Pac-12 First Team following his junior season, and was named a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and Sporting News Third Team All-American … Also earned U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and NABC All-District honors following his final season at California … Named to the All-Pac-12 First Team as a sophomore and junior, and was named the Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year in 2011, also earning All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention accolades … Third in school history in 3-pointers (209), seventh in free throw percentage (81.9%), 10th in points (1,537), tied for 10th in 3-point percentage (38.2%) and 12th in career scoring average (15.7)

2012-13: Completed the season with the Golden Bears averaging career bests in points (18.4), field goal percentage (45.9%), rebounds (6.1), assists (2.6), steals (1.12) and minutes (36.2) in 33 games … Helped Cal reach the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010 … Ranked third in the Pac-12 in scoring (18.4), fifth in 3-pointers per game (1.9), eighth in free throw percentage (81.3%) and 10th in defensive rebounds (5.1) … Led the team in scoring in 17 games … Ranked first on the squad in scoring, tied for first in steals (1.12), tied for second in assists (2.6) and third in rebounds (6.1) … Recorded 19 points (7-15 FG), nine rebounds, four assists and two steals in the Golden Bears’ upset over UNLV in the round of 64 at the NCAA Tournament … Set a career high with 33 points (10-18 FG, 4-7 3-PT) against Pepperdine on Nov. 13, also adding six rebounds and three assists … Notched 23 points (8-16 FG, 5-11 3-PT), 10 rebounds and six steals against USC on Feb. 17, one of six double-doubles in his career with the Golden Bears

2011-12: Appeared in 34 games for California during his sophomore season, finishing with averages of 15.2 points (43.1% FG, 39.9% 3-PT, 84.3% FT), 5.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 34.1 minutes … Named to the NABC All-District IX Team … Led the Golden Bears in scoring (15.2), rebounds (5.7), 3-pointers (83) and free throw percentage (84.3%) … Ranked among the Pac-12 leaders in 3-point field goals (first), free throw percentage (second), defensive rebounding (fifth), scoring (sixth) and 3-point percentage (10th) … Recorded double-digit scoring in 28 games, including seven 20-point contests … Notched a season-high 26 points (9-16 FG, 6-8 3-PT) and a career-high 12 rebounds in a win at Oregon on Jan. 8

2010-11: Named the Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year, averaging 13.4 points (44.6% FG, 40.0% 3-PT, 80.4% FT), 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.94 steals and 33.8 minutes in 31 games … Set the school record for most 3-pointers made in a season by a freshman (62), and also ranked third in free throw percentage (80.4%) and fifth in 3-point percentage (40.0%) among freshmen in school history … Scored a season-best 30 points (10-15 FG, 4-6 3-PT) in an overtime win over Washington State on Jan. 13.

PERSONAL:Parents are Allen Crabbe Jr. and Cheryl Price … Has an older sister … His father played basketball at Pepperdine … One of two players to appear in all six of Portland’s 2013 NBA Summer League games, averaging 4.8 points and 3.2 rebounds.


Joel Freeland – Forward – Trail Blazers

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers

Ht: 6-11 Wt: 248 Born: 2/7/87 NBA Years: 2

2013-14: Averaged 3.3 points (47.5% FG), 4.0 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 14.0 minutes in 52 games played … Missed 29 games due to a right knee sprain from Feb. 12-April 13 … Returned to action on April 16 against the L.A. Clippers, tallying six points, seven rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes … Scored a season-best 11 points (5-7 FG) Feb. 8 against Minnesota, adding six rebounds … Grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds vs. Miami on Dec. 28 … Tallied five points, seven rebounds and a season-high three assists against Denver on Nov. 1.

NBA CAREER: In two seasons with Portland, posted averages of 3.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 11.7 minutes in 103 career games (1 start) … 2012-13: Averaged 2.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 9.4 minutes per contest in 51 games played (one start) in his rookie campaign …Set a career-high with 13 points (5-10 FG) along with six defensive rebounds at the L.A. Clippers on April 16 … Recorded a then career-high tying six rebounds three times: Feb. 10 at Orlando, April 12 vs. Oklahoma City and April 16 at L.A. Clippers … Scored 11 points (4-6 FG) and grabbed four rebounds at Toronto on Jan. 2 … Scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds against Detroit on March 16 … Played in two games (both starts) with the D-League’s Idaho Stampede Dec. 14-15, averaging 20.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 37.0 minutes.

PLAYOFFS: 2014: Appeared in nine games during the postseason, grabbing eight rebounds in 24 minutes.

PRO CAREER: 2011-12: Led Unicaja Malaga in scoring and rebounding with 12.9 points and 7.5 rebounds in 28.2 minutes over 31 games … The team leader with 12.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in 14 contests in 2011-12 EuroCup games, as Malaga made it to the round of 16 for the second consecutive season … Named to the Eurobasket.com All-Spanish ACB Third Team … Eurobasket.com All-Euroleague Honorable Mention for the second consecutive season …2010-11: His 13.2 points and team-best 6.2 rebounds per game earned him a place on the Spanish ACB League Team of the Year … Selected to the Eurobasket.com All-Imports team … Selected as a Eurobasket.com All-Euroleague Honorable Mention

2009-10: Team leader in points with 12.3 per game and second in rebounds at 5.1 per game, as Malaga reached the Spanish ACB semifinals for the third year in a row … All-Spanish ACB Honorable Mention

2008-09: Averaged double figures in scoring for the first time in his Spanish ACB career, averaging 10.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in 28 games

2007-08: Averaged 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 28 ACB games

2006-07: Made his Spanish ACB debut at age 19 with Gran Canaria and scored 32 points in 15 appearances.

BRITISH NATIONAL TEAM: A member of Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic team, he averaged 14.6 points (second on team), 6.6 rebounds (tied for second on team) and 25.1 minutes in five games … Has made 41 career appearances for the British National Team … Played in five games for Great Britain at the European Championships in Lithuania, averaging 11.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, including a 27-point, 12-for-12 field goal shooting performance in Great Britain’s 88-81 win over Poland … Made eight appearances at the 2009 European Championships in Poland, posting 8.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest … Averaged 10.0 points and 5.7 rebounds in six European Championship qualifying games … Was named to the English U18 National Team in 2005.

PERSONAL: Became the first born-and-raised Englishman ever selected in the NBA Draft when the Trail Blazers selected him 30th overall in 2006 …Portland’s first English player in team history …On Portland’s 2013 NBA Summer League team, averaged 5.0 points and 5.6 rebounds in five appearances … Helped run drills at a basketball clinic with youth in Beaverton in December 2012 … Primarily played soccer during his childhood and didn’t pick up basketball until he was 16 years old … First played professionally for the Southampton-based Solent Stars while working in a local grocery store … Measured 6-foot-9 by age 17.

Jonathan Gibson – Guard – Petrochimi (Iran)

Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Clippers

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 185 Born: 11/8/87 NBA Years: 0

NOTEWORTHY: Played for the Boston Celtics’ 2012 NBA Summer League entry in Orlando, where he averaged 6.2 points and 1.2 assists in five games … Recently played six games for Petrochimi in Iran after a 2013-14 season with the Zhejiang Lions in China … Averaged 32.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 35 games with Zhejiang … Spent the 2012-13 season playing for Enel Brindisi in Italy, where he averaged 18.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 11 games … In 2011-12 with Trabzonspor in Turkey, posted averages of 19.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists before finishing the season in Italy with Enel Brindisi … Split the 2010-11 season between Oyak Renault (Turkey) and Elizur Ashkelon (Israel) … In four seasons at New Mexico State, finished with averages of 11.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 130 career games with the Aggies.

Meyers Leonard – Center – Trail Blazers

Los Angeles Clippers v Portland Trail Blazers

Ht: 7-1 Wt: 255 Born: 2/27/91 NBA Years: 2

2013-14: Played in 40 games during his sophomore year, averaging 2.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 8.9 minutes … Tied his season-high of eight points four times: Jan. 2 vs. Charlotte, Feb. 12 at L.A. Clippers, March 1 vs. Denver and March 11 at Memphis … Grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds against the Bobcats on Jan. 2 … Tallied a career-best four assists against Atlanta on March 5, adding four points and seven rebounds … Finished with seven points and eight rebounds against the L.A. Clippers on April 16.

NBA CAREER: In two seasons with the Trail Blazers, averaging 4.4 points (52.2% FG), 3.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 14.3 minutes

2012-13: Notched averages of 5.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.55 blocks and 17.5 minutes per game in 69 appearances (nine starts) … In his nine starts, averaged 11.4 points and 5.2 rebounds … Scored in double figures 13 times, leading the squad in scoring once and in rebounding four times … Finished third among all NBA rookies in both field goal percentage (54.5%, 151-277) and free throw percentage (80.9%, 72-89) … Tied for 14th among NBA rookies in rebounds per game (3.7) … Scored 10-plus points in a career-best five straight games from March 27-April 3, as he averaged 13.4 points and 7.2 rebounds during the five-game stretch … Recorded his first career double-double March 30 at Golden State, finishing with a career-best 22 points (9-17 FG) and a career-high 10 rebounds … In his first start Nov. 21 at Phoenix, notched 12 points (6-9 FG), five rebounds, two steals and two blocks … Capped a three-game stretch of scoring in double digits on March 4, scoring 15 points and grabbing six rebounds against Charlotte … Notched a career-best three blocks at Detroit on Nov. 26.

PLAYOFFS: 2014: Appeared in four games during the playoffs, logging two rebounds in nine total minutes.

COLLEGE: Played in 65 games over two season for Illinois, averaging 7.7 points (56.7% FG), 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 19.8 minutes … Became the highest player drafted out of Illinois since Utah selected Deron Williams third overall in the 2005 NBA Draft and just the third member of the Illini selected in the lottery … His 60 blocks in the 2011-12 season rank second in school history … 2011-12: Named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (media and coaches) … Honored as Academic All-Big Ten … Led team in rebounding at 8.2 rebounds per game (third in Big Ten), field goal percentage at 58.4 percent (3rd in Big Ten, 11th in NCAA), and blocks at 1.88 per game (first in Big Ten) … Second on team in scoring at 13.6 points (16th in Big Ten) … Scored in double figures 21 times, including six 20-point games, and was Illinois’ top scorer in 10 contests … His total of 60 blocks and average of 1.88 per game ranked second in Illini single-season history … Tallied a career-high six blocks in the season opener vs. Loyola Chicago on Nov. 11 … Posted his first double-double with a career-high 22 points and 12 rebounds while blocking five shots vs. Richmond on Nov. 22 … Named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week Dec. 5 after leading the Illini to wins over Maryland and Gonzaga, averaging 16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks … Earned his second career Big Ten Player of the Week honor Dec. 26 following games against Missouri and Cornell … Posted his eighth double-double of the season by matching a career-high 22 points to go with 14 rebounds vs. Iowa on Feb. 26 … 2010-11:Played in 33 games, averaging 2.1 points and 1.2 rebounds … Shot 48.3 percent from the field (28-of-58) … Out of his 28 field goals, 14 were dunks … Scored a season-high 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting vs. Northwestern on Jan. 6, helping the Illini break the school record for field goal percentage.

PERSONAL: Mother is Tracie Leonard … Father is the late Jim Leonard … Has two older brothers, Chris and Bailey … Brother, Bailey, is a U.S. Marine who served in Afghanistan … Teams with Genentech and the Children’s Cancer Association to host events that help “Block Out Cancer” … Averaged 11.8 points and a team-high 7.0 rebounds in five games (all starts) for Portland during the 2013 NBA Summer League … Led Portland’s 2012 NBA Summer League entry with 8.3 rebounds, and added 10.5 points and 1.5 blocks in four games (all starts) … Enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, general curriculum at Illinois … Biggest thrill in sports was “winning state my senior year” … Four-year member of the Honor Roll in high school.

CJ McCollum – Guard – Trail Blazers

Atlanta Hawks v Portland Trail Blazers

Ht: 6-3 Wt: 197 Born: 9/19/91 NBA Years: 1

2013-14: Appeared in 38 games as a rookie, averaging 5.3 points (37.5% 3-PT), 1.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 12.5 minutes … Missed the first 34 games of the season due to a fractured left foot suffered prior to the beginning of the season … In his second career NBA game, on Jan. 11 vs. Boston, scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-3 from outside the arc … Scored a career-high 19 points (6-12 FG, 3-6 3-PT) and added three rebounds and three assists against Minnesota on Feb. 8 … The next game, on Feb. 11 vs. Oklahoma City, notched 15 points and three assists … In three games from Feb. 8-12, averaged 15.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game … Became the first Trail Blazer with consecutive games of 15 points, three 3-pointers and three assists off the bench since Greg Anthony (1999) … In the final game of the regular season against the L.A. Clippers on April 16, finished with 12 points, four rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes.

PLAYOFFS: 2014: Spread 24 minutes over six games vs. Houston and San Antonio, tallying four points.

COLLEGE: Played four seasons at Lehigh University, where he averaged 21.3 points (43.9% FG, 37.7% 3-PT, 82.5% FT), 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.04 steals and 32.9 minutes … In 2009-10, became the first Patriot League player to ever be named both Player and Rookie of the Year … Also earned Patriot League Player of the Year honors as a junior … Three-time First Team All-Patriot League member (2009-12) …Ranks first in Patriot League history and second all-time at Lehigh with 2,361 career points … Named an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American as a junior and freshman

2012-13: Played in 12 games as a senior before suffering a broken left foot on Jan. 5 … Was enjoying a superb senior season prior to the injury, leading the nation in scoring at 23.9 points (49.5% FG, 51.6% 3-PT, 84.9% FT) along with 5.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.42 steals and 31.0 minutes … Scored 30-plus points in four of 12 games played, including a season-high 36 points against Baylor to open the season … Tallied 25 second-half points against Quinnipiac on Nov. 27, a career high for most points scored in a half

2011-12: Earned Patriot League Player of the Year honors as a junior after leading the conference in scoring (21.9), ranking second in rebounding (6.5) and averaging career highs in assists (3.5) and steals (2.60) in 33.1 minutes … Ranked fifth nationally in points per game … Named Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Player of the Year, along with being named a Lute Olson All-American and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) First Team All-District member … Earned Patriot League Player of the Week six times during the season, tying his total from the previous year … Helped lead Lehigh to the round of 32 at the NCAA Tournament, including a 75-70 win over second-seeded Duke in the round of 64 … Finished with 30 points, six rebounds and six assists in the win against the Blue Devils … Scored 14 points and tallied eight rebounds against Xavier in the round of 32 … Named Most Valuable Player of the Patriot League Tournament, leading the Mountain Hawks to an 82-77 victory over Bucknell in the championship game by finishing with 29 points, three rebounds, five assists, two blocks and three steals

2010-11: Started all 31 games in which he played as a sophomore, averaging 21.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.48 steals and 34.5 minutes … Finished ninth in the nation and first in the Patriot League in scoring, third in the conference in rebounding and 12th nationally in steals … Also led the Patriot League in free throw percentage (84.5%) … Named to the NABC First Team All-District, as well as the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District team … Named the Patriot League Player of the Week a then-record six times … Scored a career-best 42 points (15-25 FG) Nov. 26 against Kent State, the third-most points scored by a Lehigh player all-time and just seven points shy of tying the school record …Recorded 10 double-doubles on the season

2009-10: Completed a record freshman season, leading the nation in scoring (19.1) while also averaging 5.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.30 steals and 31.9 minutes in 33 games … Along with winning the Patriot League Player and Rookie of the Year awards, was a conference First Team All-League, All-Rookie and All-Tournament Team selection … Named to the Sporting News All-Freshman Team … A nine-time Patriot League Rookie of the Week, tied for the most in conference history … Scored in double figures in 29 of 33 games, including 17 games of 20-plus points and three games of at least 30 points … Scored 26 points against top-seeded Kansas in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64.

PERSONAL:Son of Kathy Andrews and Errick McCollum … Majored in journalism at Lehigh and hopes to become a sports analyst and broadcaster … Penned an article for The Sporting News in 2012 about his decision to return to school his senior year … Favorite foods are french fries and his mother’s lasagna.

Thomas Robinson – Forward – Trail Blazers

San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four

Ht: 6-10 Wt: 240 Born: 3/17/91 NBA Years: 2

2013-14: Played in 70 games, posting averages of 4.8 points (48.1% FG), 4.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 12.5 minutes … Tied a career high with 15 points (6-7 FG) along with eight rebounds vs. Phoenix on Nov. 13 … Recorded his first double-double of the season on Feb. 23 vs. Minnesota, tallying 14 points and grabbing a career-best 18 rebounds … Notched 13 points, six rebounds and two steals against Utah on Dec. 6 … Finished with back-to-back games of double-digit scoring March 27-28 … Recorded 10 points against Atlanta on March 27, then tallied 10 points and four rebounds at Chicago on March 28 … Grabbed double-digit rebounds in three games, also leading the team in that department twice during the season.

NBA CAREER: In two NBA seasons with Sacramento, Houston and Portland, averaged 4.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 13.8 minutes in 140 games

2012-13: Appeared in 70 games with Sacramento and Houston during his rookie season, posting averages of 4.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 15.1 minutes … Played in 19 games with the Rockets after being acquired by Houston along with Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt from Sacramento in exchange for Patrick Patterson, Toney Douglas and Cole Aldrich on Feb. 20 … Averaged 4.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 13.0 minutes with Houston … Scored 15 points (6-7 FG) along with six rebounds, three steals and two blocks against Cleveland on March 22 … Recorded 10 points (3-4 FG), eight rebounds and three steals in a win over Dallas on March 3 … Averaged 4.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 15.9 minutes in 51 games with the Kings … Tallied three double-doubles while with Sacramento, including a 12-point and then career-high 14-rebound performance against Phoenix on Jan. 23 … Grabbed double-digit rebounds in three consecutive games from Jan. 7-12 … Scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds in 30 minutes vs. Portland on Nov. 13.

PLAYOFFS: 2014: Appeared in all 11 playoff games, posting averages of 2.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 11.1 minutes.

COLLEGE: Played three seasons at the University of Kansas, where he averaged 9.8 points (52.5% FG), 7.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 18.7 minutes in 105 games … His overall three-year Kansas win total of 100 (against 13 losses) is the most in a three-year period in Kansas basketball history … A consensus First Team All-American as a junior in 2011-12 … Earned the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year Award as a junior, and was named to the All-Big 12 First Team … Named the ESPN.com National Player of the Year, Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Finalist and was a First Team All-American on the John R. Wooden, The Sporting News and CBSSports.com’s teams

2011-12: Started all 39 games as a junior, averaging 17.7 points (50.5% FG), 11.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.08 steals and 31.8 minutes … Led the nation with 27 double-doubles, and ranked second in the country in rebounding (11.9) … His 27 double-doubles surpassed Drew Gooden’s Kansas single-season record of 25 set in 2002 … His 463 rebounds ranked second all-time in Kansas single-season history behind Wilt Chamberlain (510, 1956-57) … Became the first unanimous Associated Press All-American since Blake Griffin in 2009 … Helped lead the Jayhawks to the Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Tournament … Recorded four double-doubles in six NCAA Tournament games, including an 18-point, 17-rebound performance against Kentucky in the Championship Game … Named to the Final Four All-Tournament Team after averaging 16.7 points and 12.5 rebounds during the tournament … Recorded 30 points (10-14 FG) and 21 rebounds vs. North Dakota on Dec. 31, 2011, becoming the first Jayhawk to post a 30-point, 20-rebound game since Wayne Hightower in 1961 … Just the sixth player in Big 12 history to record a 30-20 game

2010-11: Averaged 7.6 points (60.1% FG), 6.4 rebounds and 14.6 minutes in 33 games (two starts) as a sophomore … Led the squad among players who played at least 10.0 minutes per game in field goal percentage (60.1%) … Posted four double-doubles his sophomore season, including finishing with 12 points (5-9 FG) and 14 rebounds in Kansas’ NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen victory over Richmond

2009-10: Played in 33 games (one start) his freshman season, averaging 2.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 7.2 minutes.

PERSONAL:Born Thomas Earl Robinson … Son of the late Lisa Robinson … Lists his mother as his hero … Nickname is “T-Rob” … Has three siblings … Favorite TV shows include Martin and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Trail Blazers Summer League Notes

Following a 1-5 mark in the 2013 NBA Summer League, the Trail Blazers are now 21-21 (.500) in eight Las Vegas Summer League appearances, having also played in 2012 (4-1), 2010 (4-1), 2009 (1-4), 2008 (3-2), 2007 (2-3), 2006 (3-2) and 2005 (3-3).

The Trail Blazers carried no picks in last month’s NBA Draft for the first time since 1999 and for second time, overall.

Portland’s 2014 NBA Summer League roster includes six players who played for the Trail Blazers last season. Will Barton, Allen Crabbe, Joel Freeland, Meyers Leonard, CJ McCollum and Thomas Robinson all played for Portland in 2013-14.

Second-year guard CJ McCollum, selected 10th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, led the Trail Blazers’ 2013 NBA Summer League entry in scoring (21.0) and assists (3.4) to go with 4.0 rebounds and 1.00 steal in five games (all starts).

Third-year guard Will Barton, selected 40th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, posted averages of 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.80 steals in four games (all starts) last summer. He averaged 15.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.00 steal in five games (four starts) at the 2012 NBA Summer League.

Third-year forward Thomas Robinson, acquired in an offseason trade last summer, paced the Trail Blazers with 12.8 rebounds and 1.20 blocks to go with 10.4 points, 1.00 steals in five NBA Summer League games (all starts) in 2013. His 18 rebounds against Chicago on July 16, 2013 set a new franchise Summer League record.

Third-year center Meyers Leonard posted averages of 11.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist in five games (all starts) last summer after averaging 10.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.50 blocked shots in four 2012 NBA Summer League outings.

Third-year forward Joel Freeland, who just finished his second season in Portland, averaged 5.0 points and 5.6 rebounds in five 2013 NBA Summer League appearances.

Second-year guard Allen Crabbe, selected with the 31st overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft, was one of two players to appear in all six NBA Summer League games last summer, averaging 4.8 points and 3.2 rebounds.

This summer’s roster features two players – Keith Appling (Michigan State) and Davion Berry (Weber State) – who played in the 2014 NCAA Tournament in March. Appling posted averages of 2.5 points and 3.0 assists in the Spartans’ Elite 8 run and Berry led Weber State with 24 points in one game.

In addition to the six Trail Blazers with NBA experience on the roster, Craig Brackins, Bobby Brown and Rodney Carney have all played in the league. Brackins, 26, holds career averages of 1.8 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 17 games over two seasons (2010-12) with the Philadelphia 76ers. Brown, 29, has career averages of 5.1 points, 0.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists over two seasons (2008-10) with Sacramento, Minnesota, New Orleans and the L.A. Clippers. Carney, 30, has averages of 5.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 15.4 minutes over five seasons (2006-11) with Philadelphia, Minnesota, Golden State and Memphis.

Three-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge finished second in rebounding during the 2007 NBA Summer League with 11.0 boards per game.

At the 2012 NBA Summer League, All-Star guard Damian Lillard averaged 26.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists, earning co-MVP honors.

Two Trail Blazers have won the NBA Summer League MVP Award – Damian Lillard (2012) and Jerryd Bayless (2008) … Other Trail Blazers to garner all-Summer League honors include Brandon Roy (2006), Martell Webster (2006), Travis Outlaw (2005) and Sebastian Telfair (2005).

The Trail Blazers posted a 54-28 record in Terry Stotts’ second season at the helm in Portland, marking the largest improvement in franchise history and the sixth-best record all-time after the team went 33-49 the previous year. Portland won its first playoff series in 14 seasons, defeating the Houston Rockets in six games and setting up a Western Conference Semifinal matchup with the San Antonio Spurs. The postseason berth was the team’s first since 2010-11. Portland featured two players in the NBA All-Star Game for the first time in 20 years when LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard were named to the Western Conference squad. Both players earned All-NBA Third Team honors as well. Joining Aldridge and Lillard in the starting five last season were Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews, who all played key roles in Portland’s success last season.

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Familiar Faces Highlight Portland’s 2016 Summer League Squad

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
4 weeks ago

The NBA’s July moratorium isn’t even over yet, so we’re still a ways away from knowing what Portland’s roster will look like come the start of the 2016-17 regular season. But there is no such mystery, at least not anymore, regarding who the Trail Blazers will be taking to Las Vegas.

On Tuesday, the team announced their 2016 Summer League roster and as expected, current Trail Blazers Noah Vonleh, Pat Connaughton, Cliff Alexander and Luis Montero are all on the team, as is rookie second round Jake Layman out of Maryland, who was acquired from the Magic during the 2016 Draft for a future second round pick and cash considerations. As for the rest of the roster, it’s rounded out with undrafted rookies, players who recently saw time in the D-League and overseas and even a few familiar faces…

POR SL roster.pdfBoth Johnsons (no relation) have had previous runs with the Trail Blazers, with the lanky Chris playing a combined 30 games over the course of two seasons in Portland while Omari, a former Oregon State Beaver, was a training camp invite in 2015. There are other recognizable names on Portland’s summer league roster, from Pierre Jackson, who seemed to be on the cusp of cracking the NBA before blowing out his Achilles in a summer league game back in 2014, to Stacy Davis, who finished his career at Pepperdine as their all-time leading scorer, to Russ Davis, who won a national championship with Louisville in 2013. Assistant coaches Dale Osbourne, David Vanterpool and Nate Tibbetts will share head coaching duties (as is often the case at summer league).

Though many of these players, if not all of them, have been working out at the team’s facility in Tualatin, summer league practices officially run from July 6th through July 8th, with their first game scheduled for July 9th at 1 pm versus the Phoenix Suns at COX Pavilion on the campus of UNLV. That game, along with their contests versus the Spurs on the 10th, the Jazz on the 12th and whenever and whoever they play in the summer league tournament, will be broadcast on NBA TV.

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Turnovers Too Much To Overcome Versus Spurs

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
1 year ago

LAS VEGAS — The Portland Trail Blazers completed pool play at the Las Vegas Summer League Tuesday afternoon with a 79-75 loss to the San Antonio Spurs at COX Pavilion on the campus of UNLV. With the loss, the Trail Blazers move to 1-2 at summer league, meaning they’ll start tournament play Wednesday at 7:30 pm versus the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Trail Blazers had a chance to tie the game late in regulation, but rookie Pat Connaughton’s baseline jumper missed the mark with 4.3 seconds to play, tipping the scales in San Antonio’s favor.

“It’s a learning experience,” said Connaughton, who was selected with the 41st pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Nets before being traded to Portland. “Whenever you lose a game, you’ve got to learn from it. The last shot is something I’ll think about for a while, but it’s not just the last shot. I was more or less disappointed in myself on being short on the majority of shots I missed. The ones I made, I wasn’t short. As a shooter, you never want to be short and the end shot was just a little short as well. It’s a matter of trying not to think about shooting it, you’ve got to just shoot it. You’ve got to trust in yourself and it’s something I’ll learn from moving forward. The older guys have done a great job helping me with that and a phenomenal job to draw up the last play for me.”

Connaughton finished with 8 points on 4-of-9 shooting, seven rebounds and a steal in 25 minutes. Dale Osbourne, who handled head coaching duties for the Blazers Tuesday afternoon after Nate Tibbetts ran the first two games, said Connaughton turned in his best defensive performance of the summer league, though that effort might have played a part in the 6-5 shooting guard missing what would have been a game-tying jumper.

“Noah Vonleh set a good screen and Pat was wide open,” said Osbourne. “Pat’s young, he plays hard. This was probably the first game he understands what it means about locking and sprinting and chasing guys around screens, so he expended a lot of energy on the defensive end, kind of lost his legs a little bit in the second half. But he’s going to be fine, very coachable and works hard.”

While Connaughton hitting what ended up being Portland’s final shot of the game would have put the Trail Blazers in a better position to come away with the victory, it was in no way the reason they lost the game. That honor goes to turnovers. The Trail Blazers gave the ball away 22 times, which the Spurs turned into 24 points, or roughly a third of their total Tuesday afternoon.

“That hurt,” said Osborne. “That’s a good team, they do a good job executing. When you look at the stat sheet, our defense was really good, but you can’t give a team like that opportunities to score and score and score. That kind of hurt us. It’s a learning process, obviously we’re a young team and we’ll continue to get better.”

The Trail Blazers were led by Noah Vonleh, who turned in yet another quality performance Tuesday with 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 shooting from the free throw line to go with eight rebounds and an assist. Vonleh hurt his right knee in the second half, but said post-game that he planned on playing in Wednesday’s contest.

Allen Crabbe went 7-for-13 from the field for 15 points, two rebounds and two assists, though he turned the ball over a game-high seven times in 31 minutes.

Malcolm Thomas went a perfect 6-of-6 from the field and 3-of-6 from the free throw line to finish with 15 points and four rebounds off the bench. Tim Frazier added eight points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes.

The Spurs were led by Kyle Anderson, who shot just 5-of-14 from the field but went 9-of-12 from the line to finish with 19 points in 29 minutes.


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Vonleh To Play In Tonight's Summer League Game Versus Mavericks

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
1 year ago

Though it comes one day late, Noah Vonleh is ready to make his summer league debut as Portland Trail Blazer.

After sitting out Portland’s 85-76 loss to the Boston Celtics Saturday night in the Trail Blazers’ 2015 Las Vegas Summer League opener with a sore left ankle, Vonleh, a 6-10 power forward out of Indiana, will play in Sunday night’s game versus the Dallas Mavericks at COX Pavilion on the campus of UNLV.

“I went through shootaround yesterday, I felt really good,” said Vonleh, who the Blazers acquired along with Gerald Henderson from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Nicolas Batum. “I went through it this morning and I’m feeling even better, so I’m definitely going to play tonight.”

There is probably more interest among Trail Blazers fans in Vonleh than any other player on Portland’s summer league roster. Not only is he new to the team, but after playing in just 25 games during his rookie season in Charlotte, Vonleh is still a relative unknown. And while summer league performances aren’t typically a great gauge of how skilled a particular player is, the book on Vonleh is so small that any game reps, even in Las Vegas, could prove enlightening even in a guard-dominated environment.

“I don’t think that limits me,” said Vonleh of the guard-heavy play at summer league. “I’m a real versatile player. In high school and college I played on the wing so I’m used to covering guards and using our versatility. I like when teams go small, it just creates a mismatch problem for me on the other end.”

The addition of Vonleh to Portland’s summer league rotation comes at just the right time, as the Trail Blazers gave up 15 offensive rebounds to a much smaller Celtics team in Saturday night’s loss. One assumes Vonleh, who looks to have added quite a bit of muscle since his rookie season, will be able to help in that regard.

“Last night the Celtics were just playing real hard against us, they were beating us on the boards,” said the 19-year old Vonleh. “They had a small lineup in, so it was crazy how they were beating us on the boards but we picked it up in the second half. I think it’s going to translate to the game later tonight. We’re going to be aggressive on the boards and try to stop second-chance points.”

Vonleh also gives Portland another big to throw the ball to in the paint, something they did too infrequently in the first half of Saturday night’s loss.

“I think we needed to get that first game under our belt,” said Allen Crabbe, who scored 15 points before fouling out Saturday night. “During the minicamp that we had, we were playing against each other and everybody knows the plays, we kind of cheat, so I think it’s different once you play against another team who hasn’t seen your sets. The way we played in the second half was good. The guards didn’t just take all jumpshots like the first half, we kicked it into the post, let them feel a little good about themselves instead of just having them run up and down and rebound and not getting any touches.”

As the only big man on Portland’s summer league roster who is also under contract with the Trail Blazers for next season, you should expect to see Vonleh get the majority of those touches, though Malcolm Thomas and Daniel Orton both had success at times in the paint Saturday night.

But more than anything, just getting a chance to see Vonleh in game action as a Trail Blazer for the first time, regardless of how many touches he get or points he scores, will be a welcomed event considering the hopes many have pinned on his development in Rip City.

“Tonight, just try to go out there, play hard, help my team win the best way I can,” said Vonleh. “I’m going to rebound the ball really well, go after every rebound, offensive, defensive, and just try to help my team win. When they find me open looks on the offensive end I’m just going to try to go to work down there and try to create for the other guys.”

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 pm on CSNNW and 620 AM.

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