Atlanta Hawks

Outsiders Blog: Goodbye, ET

Outsiders Blog: Goodbye, ET

News broke early Monday afternoon that the Portland Trail Blazers had agreed to trade Evan Turner to the Atlanta Hawks in return for Kent Bazemore. After three full seasons in Portland, Turner's time in Rip City has come to an end. While he may not have been everything fans wanted on the court, off of it he was in a class of his own. A social media icon, and locker room leader, Evan Turner was well-liked and highly respected. Now Rip City has to move on without him, and he has to move on without Rip City. Our Blazers Outsiders gave us their thoughts on the departure of ET.

ALEX HAIGH: 

“That’s my bread, and I earned my bread.” (via The Athletic)

Evan Turner came to Portland on a fluffy contract, which effectively divided the fan base into two camps: the “this guy is overpaid and underperforming” camp, and the “this guy’s social media presence alone is worth it” camp. Me? I’m in the second camp. I’ve been here since the beginning. Actually, I’ve been *glamping* here, babe. Straight chillin’. Now, the fire has died and the s’mores are gone, and all I’m left with is just...

...the most entertaining Instagram and Twitter
accounts the NBA has to offer.

The squirrel feeding saga. Icing his forehead with a chain. Refusing to pay the parking meter because he “already pays Uncle Sam enough in taxes.” Stuck in the elevator. “If they liked me, I liked them”, referring to his high school love life on the Road Trippin’ Podcast. Trolling teammates on the plane. The fits, I mean the absolute drippity fits. The list goes on, and it will continue to go on, because I will never unfollow Evan Turner. There is no other NBA player as charismatic, hilarious, entertaining and real as ET.

Plenty can be said of Evan Turner’s emergence as a solid (and what proved to be series-saving) second unit leader for the Blazers this season. He knew how to spread the floor, find the open man, get creative with assists and facilitate an offense that could stay afloat long enough to give Dame some much-needed rest. The dude saved us in that playoff game- if you know, then you know.

That’s not what I will remember most about the man who secured a spot on my Trail Blazers Mount Rushmore. Posting up is cool or whatever, but the man could POST. On social media. Do you get it?

“Thanks for the cheese.” (via @evanturner’s IG post)

Evan Turner made a sandwich out of what Portland gave him, but I hope his next adventure in Atlanta gets him the chip with the dip, too. Whatever the hell that means.

CHRIS BURKHARDT: 

From an on the court perspective, I love the trade. Turner was good on defense, ran the second unit well as the point guard, but his inability to hit shots from deep would handicap the Blazers offense at times. Bazemore, on the other hand, is also good on the defensive end but hits the deep ball at a much higher clip (career 35.2% compared to Turners 29.6%).

It's the things Turner did off the court and in the locker room that will be hard to fill. Turner has always been a team-first guy. He's well-liked in every city he has ever stopped in. Fans love his personality, his grit, and teammates just loved playing with him. He was a glue guy, and while Damian Lillard gets all the credit as the leader of the Blazers, Turner's contributions to the team's culture in Rip City can't go unnoticed. If Lillard was the ship's captain, Turner was the first mate.

He was the guy in the locker room that made sure everyone was focused, yet light-hearted, and kept everything even-keeled. He didn't need to play 40 minutes a night to be happy, he just wanted his team to win. Not everyone is like that.

Again, strictly from an on-court perspective, this is an upgrade for the Blazers. But don't go and act like Turner isn't a one-of-a-kind dude who will be sorely missed in that locker room. On the plus side, we still get this funny dude on social media! THANKS FOR THE LAUGHS. #NamingMyDogET

JAKE MCGRADY: 

Where do I start.... pours out adult beverage onto the carpet.


It's been a hell of ride here in Portland. As a content creator and social media addict myself, I can wholeheartedly say that I bow down to the social media KING that is Evan Turner. He busted his ass on the court and was an incredible teammate to both the young guys and the fellow veterans.

However, what I'll remember most about ET is his personality. Get that guy a TV show the minute he retires. Hell, anytime you're back in Portland you have a free invite to come run the show on Blazers Outsiders. There's something to be said about a guy who is literally liked by every single, former, and current teammate he has played with. Attitude, a sense of humor, and overall relatability goes a long way in the NBA.

I guarantee you that ET will get some of the loudest cheers a returning former Trail Blazer has ever gotten in the Moda Center. Keep up those ridiculously amazing fits in Atlanta. See you on the timeline.

Blazers get better long-distance shooting in Kent Bazemore trade

Blazers get better long-distance shooting in Kent Bazemore trade

Evan Turner is out and Kent Bazemore is in for the Trail Blazers, bringing an improvement in three-point shooting – a need for the team.

Portland acquired Bazemore from the Atlanta Hawks Monday in a straight one-for-one deal for Turner, a trade of two players with a year left on their contracts. Bazemore exercised his player option on his deal last week, a contract that reportedly will pay him $19,269,662. Turner’s final season with Portland would have paid him a reported $18,606,557.

“Kent’s skillset and ability to make an impact at both ends of the floor will be an excellent addition to our team and bolsters our perimeter prior to the start of free agency,” said Neil Olshey, Portland’s president of basketball operations.

Bazemore, who turns 30 on July 1, has played both small forward and off-guard, much like Turner, who will turn 31 in late October. Bazemore is known as a solid defender who has had two seasons in the top 20 in steal percentage. He is a career .352 shooter from three-point range while Turner sits at .296 for his career. Last season Bazemore shot 32 percent from three while Turner made 21.2 percent of his shots from distance.

Last season Turner averaged 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game and had back-to-back triple-doubles during the season. Bazemore averaged 11.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Bazemore played 24.5 minutes per game while Turner averaged 22 minutes.

Turner was a very popular player among his teammates and was solid at the foul line and defensively in late-game situations. He was also often the playmaker for the team's second unit.

Bazemore has shot 39.9 percent on corner threes for his career, 30 points higher than Portland free agent forward Al-Farouq Aminu has shot in his career from the same distance. Turner has shot .343 from the corner on threes.

 

 

Report: Evan Turner traded to Atlanta

Report: Evan Turner traded to Atlanta

According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Portland Trail Blazers have agreed to send Evan Turner to the Atlanta Hawks for Kent Bazemore. 

Turner had just finished his third season with the Blazers and is entering the last year of a four-year, $70 million deal. 

Turner had one of the worst season's of his career last year, averaging just 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3,9 assist per game. In exchange, the Blazers are getting Bazemore, a 6'5" guard that averaged 11.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game for the Hawks. 

This deal is essentially a swap of bad, expiring contracts. Turner is set to make $18.6 million next season, while Bazemore is set to make $19.3 million.

Stayed tuned to NBC Sports Northwest for all the latest updates. 

From Zags to Hawks? Gonzaga's Zach Norvell Jr. is headed south for a pre-draft workout

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From Zags to Hawks? Gonzaga's Zach Norvell Jr. is headed south for a pre-draft workout

Before Gonzaga sophomore guard Zach Norvell Jr. travels to Brooklyn, New York for the NBA Draft in June, he’ll make a stop in the ATL first. 

According to the Atlanta Hawks, Norvell Jr., who averaged 14.9 points and 3.1 assists last season with the Zags last season, will take part in a pre-draft workout with the team.

The 6-foot-2 guard declared for the NBA Draft after redshirting his first year and then spending two years as Gonzaga’s starting wing. 

I have grown so much from my first day at Gonzaga both on and off the court. I’d like to thank Coach (Mark) Few and the entire GU coaching staff for the past three years, and for their support with this decision.

I am excited to have this chance to fulfill my dream. I want to thank my family, teammates, coaching staff and Zags fans for their support.

Norvell started 36 of 37 games for the Zags in 2019 and led the West Coast Conference with 97 3-pointers while shooting 37 percent from behind the arc. The Zags have reached the Elite Eight and Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament when Norvell has played.

At the end of April, Norvell Jr. was one of three Gonzaga players to receive invites to the NBA Draft Combine, which takes place from May 14-19. He’ll join teammates Brandon Clark and Rui Hachimura in Chicago.

Kanter is picking and the Trail Blazers are rolling to another win

Kanter is picking and the Trail Blazers are rolling to another win

ATLANTA – The indoctrination of Enes Kanter into the Portland Trail Blazers’ system continued Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks and it went very well.

First, the Trail Blazers thumped the Hawks 118-98 for their sixth straight win. Second, Kanter, again starting in place of injured Jusuf Nurkic, had perhaps his most-complete game yet for the Trail Blazers.

The former backup center scored 14 points on 7-11 from the field, had eight rebounds and a blocked shot in two seconds shy of 25 minutes on the court.

And he looked comfortable in the pick-and-roll with Damian Lillard, something we hadn’t seen a lot of prior to this game.

In fact, hadn’t seen a lot of it in Kanter’s career. He’s been a post-up, low-block player through most of his time in the league, but when you put him with Lillard, there’s instant chemistry.

“When you have Dame – they said Nurk and Dame was the best pick-and-roll in the league, so Coach told me, ‘Hey, we have the best guy so just go set a pick and he’s going to make the shot.’

“So my thing is, from Day One they were telling me to go set a good pick for Dame and that’s my focus every game. He’s going to score the ball and make everyone else better.

“This is the first time I’m actually running this much pick-and-rolls. But when you have a guy like Dame, I mean he’s just making everyone around him better. The game becomes so easy and everyone is comfortable out there.”

Lillard, of course, carried his usual heavy load with CJ McCollum home recovering from his knee injury and Nurkic out with a broken leg.

Lillard made 13-of-25 shots, including 4-10 from three-point range, had seven assists, a blocked shot, only two turnovers and 36 points in 32:04.

And he was taking on Trae Young, the latest of the young point guards to try to take Lillard on and prove something.

Young held his own in the first quarter, getting an 18-18 draw with Portland’s All-NBA point guard. But for the game he was only 1-8 from three-point range and needed 25 shots to score 26 points.

Portland Coach Terry Stotts liked his team’s defense.

“From a defensive standpoint, Atlanta had been on a roll, scoring 120 or something since the All-Star break,” he said. “So to hold them under 100 says a lot for our defense.

“First quarter, we probably didn’t defend as well as we needed to but after that it was pretty good. Damian was terrific again -- scoring, passing. Enes did a nice job in the lane, offensively and defensively. So, anyway, against a team that’s been playing pretty well lately it was a good win. They just beat Utah and Philadelphia and I think that speaks enough (about how good Atlanta is).”

Stotts continued his tinkering with lineups and ran out a group in the first half that included no centers at all.

“I mean Chief (Aminu) is long,” Stotts said, “He’s not a typical center but I think it’s something we have to look at, Whether it’s having Chief and Mo (Harkless), or Rodney (Hood) or Jake (Layman), Even (Turner) – we’ve got good length on the wings, so I don’t know how much we’ll do that but it’s something we have to look at and see how it goes.”

Stotts talked about the pick-and-rolls with Kanter.

“Our first five pick-and-rolls with Enes were scores,” he said. “Whether it was him or Dame, he set good screens, he’s rolling. The way the game started, him and Dame in pick-and-rolls worked pretty well.”

Porltand got balanced scoring, with 17 from Al-Farouq Aminu, 12 from Seth Curry and nine from Zach Collins.

The Trail Blazers get no rest on Saturday. They meet the Pistons in Detroit on the second of back-to-back games before finishing the four-game trip at Minnesota against the Timberwolves Monday night.

Al-Farouq Aminu posts double-double in homecoming win over Hawks

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Al-Farouq Aminu posts double-double in homecoming win over Hawks

Offense came pretty easy for the Trail Blazers on Friday night in Atlanta.

Damian Lillard exploded for 18-first quarter points on 7-of-9 shooting, and he never looked back. Lillard totaled 36 points in the Blazers’ 118-98 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

The Trail Blazers have now won six straight.

Friday marked the second game without starting center Jusuf Nurkic (left leg) and the sixth game without CJ McCollum (left knee).

In McCollum’s absence there have been several role players to step up and try to make up for his 21.3 points per game. Friday night in Atlanta, it was Al-Farouq Aminu who helped in that department. The Blazers starting forward was Portland’s second leading scorer with 17 points.

Friday was also a homecoming Chief.

After the game, Aminu talked with reporters about how great it was being back home and seeing his family.  

“It’s always nice, especially when I get to see the family, my brother’s kids. I don’t get to see them, and a lot of other people here. So, it’s just nice for people getting to see what I do for a living,” Aminu said.

The 28-year-old grew up in the greater Atlanta area and attended high school just 21 miles from downtown.

Aminu spent his day with his family on Thursday, and for Chief, it was almost like a reset button on the season.

“It’s just nice to get quality time. It’s like an escape from the season… You get to talk about old memories and things like that,” Aminu said.

Aminu not only stepped up in big way on offense, he also grabbed 11 rebounds to go along with two assists and one block.

Blazers head coach Terry Stotts decided to start Enes Kanter at the center spot in place of the injured Nurkic for the second straight game, but Stotts was also continuing to experiment with lineups.

With the different lineups, Aminu played limited minutes at the five and Moe Harkless was moved to the four, which meant Aminu was the only “big” on the floor at times.

“Chief is long. You know, he’s not a typical center, but I think it’s something that we have to look at… Having Chief and Moe, Rodney or Jake, Evan -- we’ve got good length on the wing. I don’t know how much we’ll do that, but we’ll have to look at it and see how it goes,” Stotts told reporters postgame.

Now that Portland is 9-2 in its last 11 road games and they continue to roll, Aminu is giving a lot credit to his teammates.  

“I think we’re still playing solid. I think we’re a smart team. I think we’ve adapted quickly, which is impressive,” Aminu said.  

In his postgame interview, Aminu also mentioned that between him and Evan Turner, they have been the two role plays who are able to use their veteran leadership to “make sure the team doesn’t get to high, doesn’t get too low.”

Aminu also said he isn’t feeling any added pressure with two of the Blazers leading scorers out with injury, but he is making sure to step up and knock down shots when the chance is there.

“Obviously, when the opportunities are there, I’m just trying to capitalize,” Aminu said. 

Everything you need to know from pregame as Trail Blazers prep for Atlanta Hawks

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Everything you need to know from pregame as Trail Blazers prep for Atlanta Hawks

The Trail Blazers will look to slow down the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night with Atlanta currently riding a season-high three game-winning streak.

As for the Blazers, Portland has won five in a row and eight of its last nine games. This will be the Blazers second game without starting center Jusuf Nurkic.

Blazers Injury Update: Nurkic (left leg) and CJ McCollum (left knee) are out for Friday’s game.

Hawks Injury Update: Miles Plumlee (left knee), Alex Poythress (right ankle), Omari Spellman (left ankle),Taurean Prince (foot) are all out. Prince was initially listed as doubtful.  

Before tonight’s game, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts talked in depth about what went into his decision to placing Enes Kanter in the starting lineup for the injured Nurkic.

“[Enes] was our backup center, so now he’s our starting center… I just felt it was the right thing to do. I thought he played well in Chicago… He’s got a good resume in this league. He’s been a starting center for almost half of his career. He earned it,” Stotts said.

Coach Stotts also gave praise to Atlanta rookie point guard Trae Young, saying “the improvement he’s made over the season” has been impressive.

Hear from coach Stotts right here:

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Atlanta Hawks: How and Where to Watch

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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Atlanta Hawks: How and Where to Watch

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your Blazers and stream the games easily on your device.
GAME DETAILS

Where to Watch: NBC Sports Northwest

Where to Watch on the go: Stream the game live on the new MyTeams App

Tip-Off Time: 4:30 p.m. 

Point spread: Portland -3

NBCS NW Coverage: Blazers Outsiders Pregame Show (3:30 p.m.), Blazers Outsiders Postgame Show (immediately after the game). 

Radio: 620AM Rip City Radio

 

INJURY UPDATES

Portland will be without Jusuf Nurkic (left leg) and CJ McCollum (left knee) for Friday’s game at Atlanta.

For the Hawks, Miles Plumlee (left knee), Alex Poythress (right ankle) and Omari Spellman (left ankle) are out. Taurean Prince (foot) is doubtful.

 

QUICK LINKS

Dwight Jaynes: With Nurkic "In the locker room" Blazers blow out Bulls

Jamie Hudson: Trail Blazers current style of play is both “simple” and “sustainable”

VIDEO: Highlights: Every Blazer scores in dominant win over Bulls

VIDEO: Sharing is caring in this "sustainable" Portland offense

VIDEO: Who will fill the defensive shoes left by Nurkic?

Download the brand new MyTeams app today - This is the app for everything Blazers: games, highlights, articles, podcasts and more from your NBC Sports Northwest Blazers team.

Curry's big day features a contest invite and starting nod in Blazer win

Curry's big day features a contest invite and starting nod in Blazer win

Saturday was a big day for the Trail Blazers’ Seth Curry. Early in the day, word got out that he had been selected to compete in the three-point shootout during NBA All-Star Weekend, alongside his brother Steph in their hometown of Charlotte.

And then, with Damian Lillard sitting out the game with some knee soreness, Curry got a rare start in the backcourt alongside CJ McCollum. He responded by going 8-13 from the field, including 4-8 from three-point range, on the way to 22 points, to go with a steal, two assists, three rebounds and a pair of blocked shots in a 120-111 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

“Felt very good,” Curry said. “Obviously with Dame out, there were more opportunities out there. Go out and do the same job and get the win any way possible.”

Curry had a ringside seat next to McCollum, who  posted his first career triple-double.

“CJ was great,” Curry said.

“It’s been tough for (Curry),” Coach Terry Stotts said. “Coming off the bench and playing behind Dame and CJ and coming into a new team.

“All that -- it’s been a rough transition but I think he showed tonight what he’s capable of doing. He stepped up, I mean we needed a performance like that from him.”

Curry is still operating as if he isn’t officially in the three-point contest yet because the league hasn't made the announcement of the participants.

“It would be fun,” he said, “if I’m in it with my brother in Charlotte. It would be a dream come true to be on a stage like that – especially in Charlotte. If it happens, it will be a lot of fun for our family.”

How good would it feel to beat his brother in that contest?

“If it happens, I would love to,” he said. “He already has one in his trophy room. We are very competitive. If I’m there, it’s my goal to win it.”

And how many times have the brothers squared off in empty gyms or backyards somewhere in shooting games?

“Every day in the summer,” he said.

And who wins?

“It’s 50-50,” he said with a laugh. “50-50… There are a lot of makes.”

A lot of Trail Blazers had big nights on offense:

Maurice Harkless went 7-11 from the field and scored 16. Al-Farouq Aminu was 4-5 from the field and 7-7 from the foul line with eight rebounds and four assists, scoring 17.

Meyers Leonard played just 9:23 after sitting out the Phoenix game but made all three of his shots from the field and both foul shots to score nine points.

The only down side for Portland was that Evan Turner (left Achilles soreness) and Nik Stauskas (left knee soreness) were forced to sit out the second half. Neither injury is expected to be serious.

“The starters tonight, the box score tells it all,” Stotts said. “They did everything.. They scored, they rebounded, they assisted. They played very well at both ends of the court.”

Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Blazers win over the Hawks

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usa today

Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Blazers win over the Hawks

The Blazers had the lead after three quarters so you knew how this one was going to end. The Blazers are now 31-0 when holding the lead heading into the fourth quarter. To make this win even better, the Blazers took care of business without start guard Damian Lillard who was out due to right knee soreness. Seth Curry started in his place and all five Blazers starters ended the night in double figures, and CJ McCollum recorded the first triple-double of his career. 

Here are some quick thoughts from our reporters on the scene...

Final Box Score: Blazers 120 - Hawks 111

Dwight Jaynes, Trail Blazers' Insider:  Blazers did not defend well, especially in the paint. Trae Young is not supposed to be a good shooter but he was in this game. Aminu was sensational on offense -- in spite of that dislocated finger in that last game. Curry did a nice job filling in for Damian Lillard in the starting lineup.

Jamie Hudson, Trail Blazers' Reporter: In a game that tipped off with no Damian Lillard (right knee) due to nagging injuries and really for Lillard to get some necessary rest, turned into a game against the Hawks with Evan Turner (left Achilles soreness) and Nik Stauskas (left knee soreness) not returning to game action in the second half. The good news- all three injuries are not serious. The other good news- The Hawks entered Saturday's game with just seven road wins, so... The Blazers gambled and figured they could handle Atlanta without their All-Star and then ET and Stauskas for the final two quarters. The gamble paid off.  More good news-- after tonight's win the Blazers play just one game in the next the nine days. Hello, some much-needed rest!

Mike Richman, Trail Blazers' Reporter: The Blazers played like a team missing their best player for most of the night and yet they still gutted out a clunky win. CJ McCollum's triple-double really upstaged Seth Curry's season-high 22 points. The shorthanded Blazers needed both those performances to outlast the upstart Hawks. Now Portland gets an unusual amount of time off for Damian Lillard, Evan Turner and Nik Stauskas to get healthy with three full days before their next home game.

***Be sure to check back here throughout tonight for locker room videos with Coach Stotts and the players, plus locker room reports from Jamie Hudson and Dwight Jaynes***

NEXT UP: The Blazers have a three day break before hosting the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, January 30th. Tip-off is set for 7:30pm with coverage beginning at 6:30pm on NBC Sports Northwest.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your Blazers and stream the games easily on your device.