Pat Connaughton will be returning to the Trail Blazers next season after the team on Thursday picked up a $1.4 million option on the shooting guard, but that didn’t mean the third-year player celebrated.
“Time to make some shots,’’ Connaughton texted when asked if he had time for an interview.
The Blazers had until Thursday to decide whether to keep Connaughton or waive him, a deadline that was extended from the original June 25 date in order to give the Blazers more flexiblilty. Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey notified Connaughton shortly after 9 a.m.
Connaughton’s signing gives the Blazers 14 guaranteed contracts for the 2017-2018 season, one below the NBA maximum.
Connaughton, 24, averaged 1.8 points in 73 games in his first two seasons and had brief stints last season where he broke the rotation. In the season’s final two games, when the Blazers rested their starters, the 6-foot-5 Connaughton had 15 points against San Antonio and 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists against New Orleans.
Connaughton's status was murky heading into the summer after his Las Vegas Summer League was cut short by a hamstring injury that came after he struggled with his shot.
After the summer trade of Allen Crabbe to Brooklyn, Connaughton will enter training camp as the potential backup to CJ McCollum at shooting guard.