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.
"I put my first pro paycheck in the bank and let it sit there. During my rookie season the only thing I bought was a Chrysler 300."
Not All About Basketball Nets
For the past few years, Tolliver has pledged to support and help send nets to save lives.
‘Nothing But Nets’ is a global grassroots campaign to raise awareness, funds, and voices to fight malaria.
Both Tolliver and Steve Blake joined the ‘Nothing But Nets’ campaign earlier this year and hope to raise awareness and funds, as well as encourage fans, to help protect refugees and their families from malaria.
“To me, it is inexcusable to accept that depending on the zip code you were born in, or the country you live in, your destiny is already pre-determined by the level of access you have to health care. I serve as a Nothing But Nets ambassador because it shouldn’t matter where you are born — no child should die from a mosquito bite. I know that even with just a little help, I can help kids across the globe with an opportunity to live another day and have another birthday just by sending a bed net and protecting them from malaria.
Imagine that — something as simple as sending a bed net can protect a child from a deadly, but preventable disease.”
All The Love For Portland
Tolliver is happy to be in Rip City:
“Free agency was a bit of a whirlwind. I was really looking for an opportunity to go to a team where I was valued and wanted. They made that very clear. I haven’t had free agency go this quickly in my entire career. But I couldn’t really pass up the opportunity to play for a contender and play with guys like Dame and CJ and there are a lot of great players on this team.
“And also, kind of watching the playoffs last year, how they got double-teamed a lot and that’s literally how guys like myself can excel.”
^^^ Tolliver told the media at his introductory press conference.
In 2011, Tolliver married Jessica Svoboda. They met at Creighton University, during their freshman orientation. The couple has two kids together.
Jonah Ballow, a reporter of the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2011, sat down with Tolliver for the ‘Wolves Hot Seat.’ Tolliver answered 10 rapid-fire questions, including the biggest change in his life since his proposal to his longtime girlfriend:
“I spent a lot of money,” Tolliver said with a big smile.
Watch the throwback video to hear more from a younger Tolliver:
Greg Swartz, author of the article, had this to say of the star tandem:
"With no Curry and Thompson to look up to (for now), the Trail Blazers backcourt can finally stake its claim as the NBA's best.
Coming off a trip to the Western Conference Finals, Lillard and McCollum combined for 46.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.9 assists during the regular season while turning the ball over just 4.2 total times per game.
In six years together, Portland has never had a losing record, reaching the postseason every time.
Following a 53-win season and the third seed in the West, Lillard almost single-handedly dismantled the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise with a now-iconic shot and pose to end the first round, leading to Paul George requesting a move and a subsequent trade of Westbrook to the Houston Rockets.
In their 16 postseason games, both Lillard and McCollum proved why they deserve to be called the NBA's best. Lillard averaged 26.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.6 assists, 1.7 steals and shot 37.3 percent from deep on nearly 10 attempts per game. McCollum was right behind with 24.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists, and he drilled 39.3 percent of his three-pointers."
Coming in second on the Bleacher Report list is Golden State Warrior’s Stephen Curry and D'Angelo Russell. (That’ll take some getting used to).
Houston's new backcourt of James Harden and Russell Westbrook came in at No. 3.
Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell in Utah ranked No. 4.
Denver's Jamal Murray and Gary Harris round out the Top 5.
"You get some Voodoo Doughnuts. I got like three dozen," Whiteside said. "Giving them out to the city! We giving them out to the city, man. We sharing love, man. More love, man. We don't do the hate, my man. Less hate, man.”
A big part of his everyday life is his fishpond. It’s easy to see Whiteside’s love of fish, particularly Koi fish from reading the article.
Here is an excerpt from The Ringer article by Haley O’Shaughnessy:
We’re crouched down in his front yard in Miami Beach, sweating into a pond of 40 koi fish. “Come here, OGs,” Whiteside says, touching the water. Like him, they’re strikingly oversized, a group of orange and black and white koi all longer than my forearm. His Snapchat followers (who he also talks to, several times a day) know them well. “They’re more famous than me, man,” he says, wiping water off on his worn-in brown tank top. Whiteside’s been in Miami since the Heat signed him in November 2014, but his drawl—the kind that acts as a thickening agent for vowels and turns “man” from one syllable to two—comes from Gastonia, North Carolina, his hometown.
All 40 fish have a name. Whiteside names everything: The planter in the backyard (Man of Ultimate Wisdom), the bust made of Canadian pennies in the living room. Every name has an explanation, and every explanation has deeper meaning. Which he shares with me, one by one. (The bust is Penny. Name. Sure, a penny itself is worthless, but thousands of pennies together aren’t, especially the Canadian penny, because it’s discontinued. Explanation. Isn’t that beautiful? And, Whiteside smiles, what’s more beautiful than the human body? Meaning. Deep.)
So yes, to answer my question, the fish are individuals. Together he calls them the OGs. He knows what I’m thinking, but it’s short for Old Guys. “They can live to be 140. Don’t matter how much shit they swim through,” Whiteside explains as we walk the stairs of his all-white waterfront home, “they keep swimming.”
Throwback To A Day In The Life Of Hassan Whiteside
Seven years ago, the Sacramento Kings posted a video to their Youtube page as they followed Whiteside around for a day.
From breakfast to working out at the Kings practice facility to figuring out what goes in his protein shake to taking a tour through his condo to getting a haircut to checking out a fish store for his growing aquarium – it was an all-access look.
Check out Whiteside's routine in Sacramento with this throwback video:
The Trail Blazers start their training camp in just a few weeks. That means the NBA season is right around the corner and so is the end of summer. Speaking of "End of Summer," that's the names of the latest freestyle track dropped by Dame D.O.L.L.A, aka Damian Lillard for you basketball fans.
Earlier this summer D.O.L.L.A released "Big D.O.L.L.A," his third album and the follow-up to 2017's "Confirmed." The track "End of Summer" just adds to a near endless list of impressive lyrical endeavors for the Trail Blazers star point guard. If you haven't heard it, you can listen to it below.
If social media is to believed (and it is), fans loved D.O.L.L.A.'s latest track:
Interview Question: How did having military background parents sort of help you in staying disciplined because I know you're not just a great basketball player, you're a great student. You were the salutatorian of your high school, so how did they help you with that?
Little’s Answer:Growing up, I feel like, they did a lot of work as a child. They’re not really strict. People think, ‘You have military parents and they’re like sit up straight all the time,’ for me it wasn’t really like that it was just kind of like, just being courteous and being conscious and as I got older in middle school, I had a rough year academically. But my parents were never the type to like, get mad at me about it because it wasn’t nothing that they taught me, like it’s not their grades, so I looked at myself in the mirror and I guess it’s just something in me, and I looked at myself and I said, ‘I want to do better.’ So I told myself that I’m going to do good for the rest of my high school, middle school, whatever career. Ever since that year, I started grinding, doing better in the classroom and I’ve been good ever since.
Trail Blazers fans have long been anticipating the start of the 50th season of their beloved franchise. It was announced over the summer that the team would turn back the clock and play a preseason game in Veteran Memorial Coliseum (VMC), they also announced special Decade Nights to be celebrated throughout the regular season.
On Monday the Blazers dropped some more info on these special events:
The preseason game at VMC will feature members of the original team including Geoff Petrie, Rollan Todd, Jim Barnett, Shaler Halimon, and Bill Schonely in attendance.
Rose Quater Commons will feature outdoor activities for fans to enjoy prior to the game, as well as special throwback photo opportunities throughout the concourse. Exclusive retail items will also be available.
The team will also have special decades nights to celebrate the '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, and '10s.
Every decade night will feature Trail Blazers alumni from the respective era.
A special decade themed poster will be given to fans in attendance, and special themed retail items will be available for purchase.
The team will wear the special Classic Edition uniforms during the decade night games.
“We have to be accountable,” Hoard said. “We need to make sure when we’re making a mistake, we’re not pointing fingers. We have to really own up to our mistakes and actually like, work to fix them, not just talk about it, not just say, ‘Oh, we’re going to do better’ in everything, we actually have to do it.
Hoard had 22 points and 10 rebounds and was the only Deacon in double-figure scoring in the loss.