Five Things To Watch: Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard

The city of Portland is at a crossroads. With a new apartment complex on every block and thousands of new residents flocking to the land of fair trade coffee and cruelty-free, artisan baked goods, the battle between Old Portland and New Portland has Rip City searching for a new identity. In an ironic twist of fate, as the City of Roses undergoes an extended facelift, so too does its basketball team. Gone is four-fifths of the starting lineup that won 50-plus

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Fantasy Spin: Update From FIBA Americas & NBA Sleepers

Mirza Teletovic

The first round of the FIBA Americas tournament was like a four-game warmup to eliminate the worst team in each group. Cuba simply wasn’t good enough, though 21-year-old Jasiel Rivero has talent. The surprise was a weak team from Brazil. It’s understandable that Leandro Barbosa, Nene Hilario, Anderson Varejao and Tiago Splitter preferred to rest, but younger NBA players like Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira might have helped. The second round gets under way at 1:00 Eastern on Sunday, with every team

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Bernucca: 2012 Draft Class Contract Extension Scoreboard

JonasValanciunasSH1

The silence following Jonas Valanciunas’ contract extension was deafening. When the Toronto Raptors gave a reported $64 million over four years to Valanciunas, there were no proclamations from pundits that the NBA’s financial sky was falling. Owners didn’t start forming plans of collusion. No one drew comparisons to Jim McIlvaine. On the other side, there have been no whispers that Raptors GM Masai Ujiri engineered another steal. Virtually no one has suggested that Valanciunas got fleeced. Agent Leon Rose – who days

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Sheridan: Midsummer Report Cards — Northwest Division

reportcard

We are now about to enter Year 6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dynasty … Oh, sorry about that. The James Harden trade slipped my mind. Allow me to begin again … We are now about to enter the final season of Kevin Durant’s career in Oklahoma City, and the clock is ticking as well on Russell Westbrook’s departure. In the summer of 2017, when the salary cap is nine figures, the NBA’s best-dressed man will be taking his talents elsewhere, too. And

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Three-Man Weave: Playoffs or Lottery for These West Teams?

Thunder jersey sleeves

It takes a lot to make the NBA playoffs if you are in the Western Conference. The West is the grown-up table of the NBA. It has had at least one team finish above .500 and miss the postseason every year since 2007. There will be some shuffling in the West’s playoff picture this season. But who is in the frame, and who gets cropped out? And has any team improved enough to topple the defending champion Golden State Warriors? The staff of

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Eisenberg: A Stronger, Hulking Vonleh Shines at Summer League

Noah-Vonleh-Blazers

Last week at the Las Vegas summer league, a 19-year-old, seven-foot rim protector averaged 17.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. It was not Kristaps Porzingis, but Noah Vonleh, who has somehow become Portland’s summer afterthought in spite of his overwhelming potential. After excelling in Vegas, all Vonleh has to do is try and fill LaMarcus Aldridge’s shoes as the Blazers— who acquired Vonleh and Gerald Henderson from Charlotte in exchange for Nicolas Batum on the night before June’s draft— begin

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Three-Man Weave: Good or Bad Moves by Thunder, Kings, Blazers?

Damian Lillard

After taking a look at the offseason activity of a handful of teams in the Eastern Conference, we turn our focus to the Western Conference. The Oklahoma City Thunder, Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers all made significant moves for different reasons. The Thunder want to remain title contenders. The Kings want to make the playoffs. And the Blazers want to rebuild. But did they make the right moves? In this edition of the Three-Man Weave, the Sheridan Hoops staff takes a look

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Sheridan: Teams with unfinished business include Cavs, Blazers, Sixers

unfinishedbusiness

You won’t find Neil Olshey, Sam Hinkie or David Griffin on a beach at some island resort this week. We are deep into summer, but those three general managers have plenty of unfinished business as we head into the latter third of July. If you want to take pity on one of the three, pick Olshey. His Portland Trail Blazers lost four-fifths of their starting lineup from a team that ran away with the Pacific Division, and his only center heading

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