Seth Curry reflects on losing to Steph, shares funny Game 4 moment

Seth Curry reflects on losing to Steph, shares funny Game 4 moment

Steph Curry is headed to his fifth straight NBA Finals.

Seth Curry is headed home for the summer.

The Warriors finished off their sweep of the Blazers in the Western Conference finals on Monday night, and await the winner of the Bucks-Raptors Eastern Conference finals.

Moments after overtime ended in Game 4, the Curry brothers shared a hug and exchanged jerseys before going their separate ways.

"Get it framed or something," Seth said when asked what he will do with Steph's jersey. "Definitely a special way to commemorate this series and this time. Like I said, I don't know if we'll ever be able to match up at this stage of the playoffs ever again, so it was a special time for both of us and something we'll always remember."

While there was quite a bit of chatter between the brothers on the court during the series, they likely won't talk for a while as Seth gets over the sting of his season ending. But once the NBA Finals are over, you can bet the two will get together and reflect on the experience of playing each other.

"I'm sure we'll talk about it," Seth told reporters in Portland after the game. "But just being able to match up against him and the Warriors, it's what you want as a competitor, and having it be against my brother makes it even more special for my family and something we'll remember for a long time. We don't know if this will ever happen again, so we just try to soak it in and compete at the same time."

In a high-pressure situation, the brothers were able to share a laugh. Steph went to the free throw line with 9:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, a situation he had been automatic in. Curry entered Game 4 having made 81 consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter or overtime of a playoff game.

Then he missed the first free throw and immediately turned to point at Seth. But it wasn't the younger brother who had something to say this time.

"Nah, actually he said something to me," Seth said. "He laughed [and said] 'Well, there you go.' He remember from a few games ago when I said he made however many in a row in the fourth quarter. Nah, it was just a funny time."

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Finals Schedule]

Seth is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, so he may not be back with Portland. Maybe he'll end up on an Eastern Conference team and the Curry brothers can meet in an NBA Finals.

For now, the brothers can cherish this moment, even if it ended bitterly for the younger one.

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.

Roy Williams: Nassir Little is “the most explosive player I’ve ever coached”

Roy Williams: Nassir Little is “the most explosive player I’ve ever coached”

Three National Championships and 29 NCAA Tournament appearances. Two-time AP Coach of the Year (1992, 2006). 1997 Naismith Coach of the Year. Rocks a suit with Air Jordan’s on his feet. A fan of Sprite Zero and 69 years of age. This is North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams. 

Williams has been leading the Tar Heels since 2003 and currently holds a 453-133 (.773%) record. He has coached players such as Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Danny Green, Greg Little, Harrison Barnes, and many more who went on to pursue their NBA dreams. It is one of the most established NCAA college basketball universities in the country. It has a signature color and a rich history. And the engine that keeps the Tar Heel train moving? Roy Williams. 

Williams joined The Brian Noe Show on Tuesday afternoon to talk about Nassir Little, the outstanding freshman out of UNC, that the Portland Trail Blazers selected with the 25th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. 

ON WAITING UNTIL NO. 25

No one expected Little to slide down as far as No. 25. The announcers kept talking about “best available” and the cameras kept showing his face as Little had to wait and wait and wait and wait…. 

But it’s not necessarily when you get drafted, but by which team.

“I think it’s a great situation. He’s going with a team that’s really good and has a chance to even get a little bit better,” says Williams. “It will be something that will be upsetting to him and might bother him for a long time, but it’s a great situation to just look at ‘OK, you’re going to be drafted by Portland’ and don’t say a number on it. If I’m Nassir little, I feel really, really good and I think he does.”

ON HIS SHOOTING

The numbers don’t lie: Nassir Little’s shooting percentage is not stellar. In his one and only season with the Tar Heels, Little averaged 9.8 points per game, .770% from the FT line, and a .269 three-point percentage.

“There is nothing wrong with his form,” says Williams. “All it’s got to be is a lot of repetition. He’ll be one of those guys in the NBA that won’t just go to their hour and a half shoot around and leave, he’ll go early, get in the weight room… and shoot some more.”

WATCH: Nassir Little: “I’m going to show everybody that Nassir Little can shoot”

READ: “Trail Blazers reporter Jamie Hudson believes Nassir Little is ‘a steal of a deal’ for Portland”

ON THE STEAL OF THE DRAFT

You heard it all night long. You heard it the next day. Nassir Little was the “steal of the draft.”

Little is indeed a top-10 talent that fell into the Blazers’ hands last Thursday night. He is relentless, a great teammate, a 3-and-D type guy, and was already repping the Portland colors on draft night. 

As Little was sitting at his table on draft night waiting for his name to be called, dreaming of putting on that NBA hat, Roy Williams was thinking of him. Once his name was called, Williams grabbed his phone and texted Little the following message:

“The biggest steal ever. Now you’ve got a chip on your shoulder again. You can prove people wrong.

“It could go down as one of Portland’s greatest draft days ever.”

Simple and yet so powerful. The pick even shocked Portland All-Star guard Damian Lillard:

“He’s a steal for sure…”

Trail Blazers reporter Jamie Hudson believes Nassir Little is ‘a steal of a deal’ for Portland

Trail Blazers reporter Jamie Hudson believes Nassir Little is ‘a steal of a deal’ for Portland

Heading into the 2019 NBA Draft, mock drafts forecasted North Carolina’s highly-touted freshman Nassir Little to be picked somewhere in the 10-15 range.

Portland Trail Blazers reporter Jamie Hudson, who had diligently researched the team’s possible picks, believed Little would be selected somewhere between pick 11 and 14.

But during the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20, Little slid down the draft board and the Trail Blazers jumped at the opportunity to select the former Tar Heel with their first-round pick at No. 25.

“The fact that he landed in the Blazers lap at No. 25, I really agree with all the people out there saying he’s a steal of a deal,” Hudson told Brian Noe of The Noe Show. 

Little has been praised for his intriguing athleticism, but many believe his draft stock slipped due to his lackluster three-point shooting. The long and athletic forward shot 47.8 percent from the field at UNC, but made only 14-of-52 threes and failed to show his abilities as a perimeter threat.

Hudson, however, believes that Little’s got an arsenal of three-point shots ready to be released.

“Fans are all concerned, he can’t shoot the three,” Hudson said. “This is a guy who used to love to play a lot of pick up games and he wanted to take it to the rim because he could. He’s an athletic build, he’s got the height, so he was dominating in that way.”

She continued: “He just needs to get the reps. So I still believe that Nassir Little can definitely be a valuable 3-and-D guy in the NBA.”

While the Trail Blazers sole draft pick has a lot to prove in his first season, Little has shown that he’s ready to prove the naysayers wrong.

[READ MORE: Nassir Little goes from supportive family to supportive brotherhood with Trail Blazers]

Seven fits for the Portland Trail Blazers in free agency

usatsi_12627694.jpg
USA Today Images

Seven fits for the Portland Trail Blazers in free agency

The Portland Trail Blazers are in a tough spot moving into this postseason. They have a significant amount of cap space committed to core players, including Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic. Navigating the NBA's endless list of CBA rules can be tiring, and general manager Neil Olshey and his front office staff have their work cut out for them.

The 2019 summer free agent class is going to be an epic one, but once again Portland will need to go hunting for value — they won't be in the running for the bigger names. For starters, Olshey will need to decide which of his four big free agents he wants to bring back. Al-Farouq Aminu, Rodney Hood, Jake Layman and Seth Curry all need new deals.

Layman will likely return to Portland because he’s cheap. The Maryland product is a restricted free agent, and I'm not sure how much outside interest there will be i him given he's not quite a knockdown 3-point shooter just yet. Curry, returning from a leg injury last year, played to the level Portland wanted him to. Unfortunately, that also means he’s going to be too expensive for what the Blazers can afford.

The real question comes in Aminu and Hood.

Aminu had a descending deal that was smartly set up in 2015 by Olshey, but his performance this year was not up to par. As a starter with this roster, Aminu doesn’t cut it. He simply doesn't shoot the ball well enough, and he’s not a threat as a dribbler. This is an issue made worse when the other wings — Moe Harkless and Evan Turner — also struggled to shoot the ball.

Still, Portland has Aminu’s Bird rights, which means they can go above the salary cap to offer him a new deal. Even if the Blazers give Aminu a raise, having him on the team next year is better than scrimping a few pennies and replacing him with a minimum salary-level player.

Hood is where this whole thing gets sticky. If the team makes some expected moves — including re-signing Aminu — the Blazers will end up with the Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception to spend. That would mean $5.7 million for a player in the first year of his contract. But Hood is going to demand more than that in the open market, even if he gives the Blazers a discount. The former Utah Jazz first round pick is worth more than $8 million a season.

That’s a difficult mark for Olshey to reach, because at his best he’ll only be able to find a little more than that. There’s no reasonable way for the Blazers to have <em>real</em> cap space this summer, and so the full Mid-Level Exception is how Portland would give Hood a fair market contract. Now that Portland has traded Turner for Kent Bazemore, it might just make Hood expendable should he demand his full market value.

Portland should also have use of the bi-annual exception, since they didn’t use theirs last year. That gives them another $3.62 million to spend, probably on Curry’s replacement.

So we’re left with a lot of potential options but not much money to spend on them. As such, here are nine interesting players, at various mid-level exception levels, that Portland could benefit from in free agency.

Rodney Hood — Taxpayer MLE

Hood played well to end the season, adding several impressive playoff performances to his resume. He recovered from a disastrous postseason run in 2017-18, when he was dealing with the birth of twins. Hood has apparently re-discovered his love of the game in Rip City. He was a useful 3-point shooter, and at 6-foot-8 he’s big enough to defend at least three positions on the wing.

Stanley Johnson — Taxpayer MLE

Johnson is a younger small forward whose stock has dropped a bit since coming out of Arizona in 2015. He’s a poor 3-point shooter at this juncture, but a decent enough defender and shows flashes of being able to score enough to invest in. He’s a big body, and if the Blazers punt on Harkless he might be able to fill that gap defensively.

Reggie Bullock — Taxpayer MLE

Bullock is a career 39 percent shooter from beyond the arc, and at 6-foot-7 he can switch between a couple defensive positions. He’s a good defender, with good marks against spot-up shooting, hand offs, and isolation plays. He’s probably reached his limit on potential at age 28, but Portland needs to fill the gaps. Guys here don’t all have to be Blazers in five years.

Wayne Ellington — Taxpayer MLE

Ellington was floated as a potential target for Portland last year. He’s a good 3-point shooter, and excels in both spot-up roles and in hand off plays, two things the Blazers need from this cap space. Ellington also doesn’t get enough credit as a defender, but his Synergy statistics suggest he could be quite staunch for Portland.

James Ennis — Bi-Annual Exception

Ennis is a small forward who might fit with the Blazers in a limited role. That’s OK if he’s taking their bi-annual exception money, and even that might be too much to spend on the 28-year-old. He’s a decent enough shooter, although he’ll struggle on defense given too much to do.

Quincy Pondexter — Bi-Annual Exception

Pondexter finally had a year befitting of his natural talents with the San Antonio Spurs last year. He’s a shooter who plays two positions, and although he was impressive on both sides of the ball in 2018-19, those numbers are likely to be looked at as a product of the San Antonio system, especially at his age of 31. That should keep the market on Pondexter from being driven up, and Portland could be buyers.

Anthony Tolliver — Taxpayer MLE

Like Ross, Tolliver feels like a player who’s been floated in Portland circles for ages. He’s 34 years old, but as a career 37 percent 3-point shooter Tolliver is going to age into contracts if he still wants them. Tolliver ranked reasonably well for his age last season against the pick-and-roll according to Synergy. He also consistently plays more than 60 games a year, so he could contribute if the Blazers let Enes Kanter go.

Blazers give Jake Layman his qualifying offer, making him a RFA

Blazers give Jake Layman his qualifying offer, making him a RFA

The Trail Blazers want small forward Jake Layman to stay in Rip City.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Portland Trail Blazers have given Layman his qualifying offer which now makes him a restricted free agent, meaning any team around the league can give Layman an offer sheet, but the Blazers will be able to match the terms of that offer.

Layman played in 71 games this past season, averaging 7.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 0.7 assists in 18.7 minutes played.

He shot 50.9% for the regular season, including 32.6% from three-point range.

UPDATE at 10:40am: Trail Blazers PR has confirmed this report, saying they have sent Jake Layman his qualifying offer. 

Introducing Nassir Little: Make your own legacy

Introducing Nassir Little: Make your own legacy

When we sat down with Nassir Little, he had just finished his first NBA photo shoot and was in his Trail Blazer uniform for the first time. His mother and sister were nearby, awaiting his one-on-one with us, then his first Portland news conference. It was his first real day as an NBA player – the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

It was a fun interview with a young man who has the vibe of a special person.

And a special player. I think Portland fans will fall in love with their team’s newest rookie. But of course, they always do, right?

Get to know your newest Trail Blazer, seven-year veteran Kent Bazemore

Get to know your newest Trail Blazer, seven-year veteran Kent Bazemore

The Portland Trail Blazers and Atlanta Hawks are swapping veteran wings Evan Turner and Kent Bazemore.

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

Bazemore, a 6'5" guard, is set to make $19.3 million. This deal is essentially a swap of high-expiring contracts. Turner is set to make $18.6 million next season.

With this move, Portland adds more shooting depth on the perimeter especially with Al-Farouq Aminu and Rodney Hood hitting free agency. Bazemore has averaged at least 11 points in each of his last four years with the Hawks.

The 29-year-old should fit in nicely with Blazers head coach Terry Stotts’ system, while Portland will certainly benefit from adding another three-point shooter. Over his seven-year NBA career, Bazemore averages 41.9% shooting from the field and 35.2% from deep.

Last season with Atlanta, Bazemore averaged career highs in all three major categories with 11.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

He will also be a valuable two-way player. At Old Dominion, Bazemore earned First-team All-CAA in 2012 and was a 2X Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012. He also earned CAA All-Defensive Team three different times from 2010-12.

Bazemore went undrafted in 2012, but joined the Oklahoma City Thunder to play for OKC in the Orlando Summer League tournament. He then played for the Golden State Warriors in the Las Vegas Summer League. After his summer stint in Vegas, he signed with Golden State.

Bazemore has spent time with the Warriors, Lakers, and most recently with the Hawks from 2014-2019.

Check out the video above for more highlights from Bazemore's time in the NBA.

Terry Stotts: Kent Bazemore "will be an excellent addition to our roster"

Terry Stotts: Kent Bazemore "will be an excellent addition to our roster"

Portland Trail Blazer Coach Terry Stotts’ reaction to Monday’s trade of Evan Turner to Atlanta for Kent Bazemore:

“We are going to miss Evan and all that he brought to our team, both on and off the court. He was a high-quality person and player who positively impacted our team in many ways.

“Kent will add athleticism, scoring, shooting, and defense to our team. He will be an excellent addition to our roster and I’m excited for what he can bring to our team.”

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.