July 2, 2020, 2:57 pmJusuf NurkicC, Portland Trail Blazers
In a conference call with Portland media, Terry Stotts revealed that Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins are likely to return to their starting jobs and won't be under minutes restrictions when the NBA resumes.
It should be a huge defensive lift for a Blazers squad that gave up points like crazy, though this will throw a wrench into plans for DFS players. Stotts mentioned that he's considered starting Nurkic next to current starter Hassan Whiteside, though that fit would likely only be tenable in certain matchups. This, plus news of Trevor Ariza's absence during the restart, also has big effects on the wing rotation, where it sounds like Carmelo Anthony and Gary Trent Jr. are competing to start with Nassir Little and Mario Hezonja also in the mix off the bench. This is a big blow to Hassan Whiteside's fantasy appeal — a top-15 player in 31.3 mpg this year– as his minutes should sink into the mid twenties. Anyone participating in a short league that covers the restart may want to view Whiteside as more of a middle-round, blocks specialist type, though this all obviously hinges on how Nurkic and Collins look when games begin.
Source: The Athletic
July 1, 2020, 6:03 pmCaleb SwaniganPF, Portland Trail Blazers
Blazers forward, Caleb Swanigan, has opted out of the resumption of the NBA season in Orlando.
Swanigan averaged 13.3 mpg for the Blazers across 20 contests and is off the radar from a fantasy perspective. He will join Trevor Ariza who will also be sitting out the NBA restart. There was very little likelihood that Swanigan would have been part of the rotation in Orlando with Jusuf Nurkić and Zach Collins returning from injury.
Source: NBC Sports Northwest
July 1, 2020, 3:52 pmJusuf NurkicC, Portland Trail Blazers
In regards to the health of Jusuf Nurkić and Zach Collins, head coach Terry Stotts said that "they both look great" and will be available for the restart of the NBA season in Orlando.
Nurkić was close to returning when the league was suspended while Collins was further away from playing basketball in March. However, the additional three months allowed Collins to recover as he has no limitations heading into the restart in Orlando. It is likely that they will find themselves in the starting unit while Nurkić is the more proven player in terms of fantasy production.
Source: Sean Highkin on Twitter
June 22, 2020, 5:45 pmTrevor ArizaSF, Portland Trail Blazers
Trevor Ariza will pass on the NBA's restart in Orlando to spend a one-month visitation window with his son, per Adrian Wojnarowski.
Ariza has been involved in a custody case over his 12-year old son and he has chosen to pick his family over resuming the season. It's a big blow to the Blazers' playoff hopes, as the forward positions have been a major issue all season long and didn't stabilize until Ariza's acquisition. Guys like Carmelo Anthony, Gary Trent Jr., Nassir Little and Mario Hezonja will have to step up. This is also a reminder that the NBA's restart plan won't fly with everyone for a wide variety of reasons.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 18, 2020, 9:57 pmZach CollinsC, Portland Trail Blazers
Zach Collins was cleared by doctors to resume basketball activities on Thursday and will play when the season resumes.
This is big news for the Blazers who need to perform at an incredibly high level to prolong their chances in the tournament. With Collins and Jusuf Nurkic both on track, this is the healthiest they have been so far this year.
Source: NBC Sports
June 10, 2020, 5:51 pmDamian LillardPG, Portland Trail Blazers
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the NBA and NBPA are expected to agree on a deal that would not require players to attend Orlando to finish the 2019-20 campaign.
The only ramification for players who will choose not to participate would be a loss of a portion of their salary for the games missed. Several players have discussed the idea on conference calls over the last day but it remains to be seen which players would opt out for the remainder of the season.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 3, 2020, 11:41 amZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Pelicans, Blazers, Suns, Kings, Spurs and Wizards will be the six non-playoff teams resuming action when the NBA restarts.
This makes complete sense, as they're the only non-playoff teams that can sniff the postseason. Woj backs up an earlier Shams Charania report about a potential play-in tournament for the final playoff spot in each Conference as well. If the ninth seed trails the eighth seed by more than four games when the league's truncated regular season wraps up, the eighth seed makes the playoffs. If the deficit is under four games, however, the two teams will compete in a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for the ninth.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
May 26, 2020, 8:47 pmDamian LillardPG, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard announced on Tuesday evening that, in the event of a continuation of the NBA season, he would not be participating if the Blazers are scheduled to play 'meaningless games' with no shot at making the playoffs.
"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," Lillard told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday morning. It's hard to blame him, as it is quite easy to see the potential situation from his point of view. There have been countless scenarios tossed around by the league office during the pandemic period, but nothing is set in stone so far. Lillard, for his part, is only interested in returning to action if there exists a legitimate shot for his Blazers to reach the NBA Finals. Fair enough.
Source: Yahoo! Sports
May 8, 2020, 8:53 pmCJ McCollumSG, Portland Trail Blazers
Blazers star C.J. McCollum is among those who are skeptical of the league's decision to allow teams to reopen facilities in places (states) where it has been deemed ok to do so, with Portland evidently being one of the cities. The Blazers were able to open their facility on Friday.
Some would say McCollum is correct in his assessment that it's very important to exercise caution with the coronavirus situation. “I get the measures [the league is] taking," McCollum said. "Is it really worth it? It’s either safe or it’s not.” He has a point but, nevertheless, the Cavs and Nuggets, along with the Blazers, were able to open up their facilities today for voluntary workouts. The head coaches are not allowed to be present while players are in the gym.
Source: Chris Haynes on Yahoo Sports
May 6, 2020, 7:54 pmDamian LillardPG, Portland Trail Blazers
Marc Stein reported that the Blazers, Nuggets and Cavs confirmed that they plan to open their practice facilities for voluntary, individual workouts.
The league sent a memo to teams on Tuesday night that Friday was the first allowable day to open facilities in states with eased shelter-in-place restrictions. According to the league's guidelines, teams must limit the facilities to four players at any given time and there can only be one player per basket. In addition, head coaches, assistants and front-office staff are prevented from participating in these workouts. Players on these teams may have a slight advantage if the NBA returns because they can access the facilities sooner. However, given the limitations its still far away from playing live basketball and teams will likely still need time to workout and practice together before playing games again.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
April 15, 2020, 10:25 pmPau GasolC, Portland Trail Blazers
Paul Gasol is hoping to play in his fifth Olympics for Spain in the summer of 2021.
Gasol said he was hoping that he was "going to have enough time to heal" to play in the summer of 2020 before the Olympics were postponed. Gasol admitted that being ready for the Olympics in 2021, at age 41, would be a challenge. He also said that he has "had an incredible career so I'll be happy regardless". Gasol may want to play competitively next season to stay in shape for the Olympics, but that may not necessarily be in the NBA. Even if he does return to the NBA, he will not be an impact player in fantasy.
April 14, 2020, 6:38 pmRodney HoodSG, Portland Trail Blazers
Rodney Hood (torn left Achilles) has recently shed his walking boot and is working out one-on-one with the Portland training staff three days a week.
Hood is hoping to get in some court work in June, but that will largely depend on the pandemic situation. Obviously, Hood won't play again this season even if the Blazers make a deep run, but a delay to the start of next season may give him a shot at suiting up for the onset of 2020-21. Hood mentioned that he hasn't thought much about his $6 million player option, but we would assume he'll opt into it coming off such a major injury.
Source: Sean Highkin on Twitter
March 23, 2020, 12:50 pmPau GasolC, Portland Trail Blazers
Pau Gasol admitted that he thinks about retirement these days.
"With this recovery process and the injury that I have been dealing with for more than a year, it’s undoubtedly inevitable to think about retirement," said the 20-year veteran. Gasol has been dealing with persistent left foot problems that have limited him to 30 combined games over the last two campaigns, and the writing may be on the wall. He'll be 40 if he can return to the court next season but it would be sad to see one of the game's most underrated greats go out like that. Gasol was expected to join Portland's coaching staff for the remainder of this season but everything is obviously on hold.
March 11, 2020, 1:11 amCarmelo AnthonyPF, Portland Trail Blazers
Carmel Anthony enjoyed a favorable matchup against the Suns on Tuesday, recording 21 points (9-of-16 shooting), three rebounds, five assists, two threes, two steals and two blocks.
The Blazers as a whole were on the mark, with four of their five starters chipping in 20-plus points in the win. This is a high-end line from Melo, so don't hold your breath for a repeat performance anytime soon.
March 11, 2020, 1:07 amHassan WhitesideC, Portland Trail Blazers
Hassan Whiteside had a field day on Tuesday, bullying the Suns with his 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting, plus 14 rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks in 37 minutes.
Whiteside took advantage of the Suns' thin frontcourt and asserted his dominance in the paint. His top-15 value this season was one of the more pleasant surprises and lucky owners get to ride all the way into the fantasy playoffs.