PORTLAND, Ore. (Jan. 30, 2018) – The Portland Trail Blazers have recalled two-way guard Wade Baldwin IV from the Texas Legends of the NBA G League, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.
Baldwin IV has appeared in 17 games (16 starts) with the Legends, averaging 18.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 2.18 steals, and 33.8 minutes.
The 17th overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, Baldwin IV (6-4, 200) posted averages of 3.2 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 12.3 minutes in 33 games (one start) as a rookie with the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2016-17 season.
To say the Blazers are excited for this championship is an understatement. Hoist the trophy high, veterans excited for their rookies, and much more on social media reacting to this championship!
Congrats #RipCityOnTheyAss— Jusuf Nurkić (@bosnianbeast27) July 18, 2018
The rookies went to Twitter following the win, excited to bring the trophy home to Portland:
SUMMER LEAGUE CHAMPS🌹 #RipCity— Anfernee Simons (@AnferneeSimons) July 18, 2018
Even the rookies alma mater's chimed in:
So... about the championship parade...
the championship parade for the Summer League Portland Trail Blazers will be held on Mill Plain Boulevard in Vancouver, Washington— Dane Carbaugh (@danecarbaugh) July 18, 2018
Read: Give credit to the Summer League Coaches
Read: Wade Baldwin feels good about his chances
Watch: Why winning Summer League matters
Moving forward, I'm not sure we can draw any conclusions about how much value -- if any -- Portland's summer-league championship will bring to the franchise moving forward. But I can say one thing for sure: it's a great tribute to the Portland coaching staff.
For the second summer in a row, the Trail Blazers assembled a roster of players who came together at both ends of the court. This year's championship team dominated every team it played and offensive execution and defensive aggression were a big part of that. And that is coaching. Head coach Jim Moran does a great job with his teams but the credit doesn't stop there. The entire Trail Blazer coaching staff -- Nate Tibbetts, David Vanterpool, Dale Osbourne and John McCullough -- contributes to the summer-league effort and these guys get only three or four days to organize and coach their squad before its first game.
And somehow, they create a solid team in a very short amount of time that plays the game hard and plays it right.
And it must also be pointed out that Neil Olshey has provided his young players a great chance to learn and improve by surrounding them in summer league with unselfish journeymen veterans who know how to play. This season it was K.J. McDaniels, Archie Goodwin and John Jenkins -- solid vets playing to land a job in the NBA or overseas -- combining with experienced Portland players Jake Layman and Wade Baldwin IV to give the youngsters a chance to succeed.
Time to say a few things about individual players who suited up for Portland's summer unit:
- Anfernee Simons -- Way better than I expected him to be. Not intimidated and very obviously talented.
- Gary Trent Jr. -- A pro shooter. He knows where he wants to get his shots and how to get them.
- Wade Baldwin IV -- A legit NBA player who continues to improve. He's defending people well enough to get them mentally off their game. Man, does he need help at the foul line, though.
- Jake Layman -- If he can bring that offensive confidence and jump shot into training camp, he's going to get rotation minutes this season.
- Caleb Swanigan -- I'm never sure of what to expect from him. He has NBA rebounding and passing skills but struggles when playing against size.
- Zach Collins -- He's coming along fast as a defender but would love to see him be able to consistently make shots.
In summary, you can make whatever summer-league victory parade and championship-ring jokes you want, but winning is fun no matter where you do it. And very often a lot or work behind the scenes goes into the effort.
Updated Thursday, July 19th - With the deadline now passed, Baldwin's contract is now fully guaranteed. The original story appears below.
LAS VEGAS - Wade Baldwin, who earned 2nd Team All-Summer League honors, said his goal was to go ‘full throttle’ and show during Summer League that he deserves to be on this Trail Blazers roster.
The deadline for the Blazers to make a decision on Baldwin’s guaranteed contract is July 18th at 11:59pm, when the clock strikes midnight, his contract becomes guaranteed.
While sporting his Championship shirt proudly, Baldwin told the media he feels good about his chances.
“I think I put myself in the best position possible in terms of accomplishments that I’ve made. In terms of being a winner, coming in here undefeated,” Baldwin said.
One person who will have some say in that is head coach Terry Stotts.
Over the last few years, the final day of Las Vegas Summer League for the Trail Blazers meant Stotts would offer up his thoughts and talk with the media members that were still around, and yes even after the team wins a Summer League Championship.
“I was really pleased with how we played, not how well we played. Obviously, it was a good week, but more importantly, we’re going to have six guys from this team that are going to be on our team and it was how they came together, how they played, they shared the ball. It was different guys, different nights, it was very encouraging,” Stotts said.
Yes, Stotts did say six players from this roster.
So, was that just a subconscious slip or is Wade Baldwin a member of this team next season? Baldwin averaged 13.4 points and 7.4 assists (3rd best in Summer League) in 25.4 minutes per game. “It’s a team decision and I’ve talked with Neil and obviously the decision has to be made soon. It’s not my position to say what’s going to happen,” Stotts said.
[WATCH: The Scoop Postgame Show]
Blazer fans have been wondering who could take backup point guard minutes with Shabazz Napier now heading to Brooklyn.
After Baldwin led this Summer League team on both offense and defense, it would make sense for him to stick with Portland.
“The resume is out there. It’s up for whatever team it is or Portland to make a decision on what they want to do with me. I felt like I left it all out there and did the best I could,” Baldwin said with a smile.
One young guy who will be back in a Blazers uniform next season is Zach Collins, who finished Summer League averaging 8.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, but it’s not his play that he attributes a lot of the team’s success to this year.
“We have a really good leader in Wade Baldwin at the point guard position and that’s huge coming into Summer League, being able to control the game. Summer League sometimes is really chaotic, he did a really good job of being our floor general,” Collins said.
For a Blazers team who has lacked defensive intensity at the guard position, Baldwin would be a great asset to have coming off the bench.
Let the countdown begin for Blazer fans waiting to see if the guy who gave James Harden fits in the regular season last year and now that same guy who led this summer league team to a championship will be back with the Blazers.
We have just hours left of Baldwin Watch 2018.
Joe, Shain and Dan held a special postgame edition of the Outsiders on Tuesday night to celebrate the Summer League Championship!
If you missed the show, check out the link below, join them in a toast and enjoy the look back at the Summer League run.
There may not be a parade for this Championship but the Trail Blazers Summer League Team was very proud of their tournament win on Tuesday night.
The Scoop was live streaming postgame as fans weighed in what this means, player evaluations, and how any of this might translate to the regular season:
He plans to sign with Greece's Panathinaikos, which was first reported by Eurohoops.
According to Eurohoops, "Panathinaikos has already included Papagiannis in the club’s long-term plans and are ready to add him with a three-year contract."
Papagiannis was first acquired by Panathinaikos when he was 17 years old and spent two seasons with the team before joining the NBA.
The 7'1" big appeared in 6 games during the Las Vegas Summer League where he averaged 1.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in just 7.5 minutes per game.
Portland acquired Papagiannis this past March after he was waived by the Sacramento Kings, who drafted him in 2016 with the 13th overall pick.
Papagiannis appeared in just one game for the Blazers, playing four minutes of a 96-94 loss to the Houston Rockets
He averaged 4.1 points and 3.2 rebounds over the course of 39 appearances over two seasons in the NBA.
LAS VEGAS - The Trail Blazers got revenge on the LA Lakers to pull out a victory in the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League Championship Game by a score of 91-73.
SUMMER LEAGUE CHAMPS! pic.twitter.com/OwcMIpQNDX— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) July 18, 2018
It was a rematch of last year's summer league finale, but this time the Trail Blazers came out on top thanks to a strong defensive performance that held the Lakers to just 14.3% from the 3 point line.
Players and Coaches had talked all week about how winning NBA Summer League was a goal for this team from the beginning, and tonight they finished what they started.
Summer League MVP Josh Hart was ejected after his second technical with 4:45 to go in the game, but the Lakers trailed big at that time anyways.
Portland finished the summer league a perfect 7-0 including both pool play and the tournament.
Be sure to follow us on social media for all kinds of postgame videos, a special interview with Head Coach Terry Stotts, and photos from the ceremony!
The following is a press release from the NBA:
LAS VEGAS, July 17, 2018 – The Los Angeles Lakers’ Josh Hart today was named Most Valuable Player of MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018. The 6-5 guard also headlines the All-NBA Summer League Teams.
MGM Resorts NBA Summer League, an 82-game, 12-day event showcasing all 30 NBA teams for the first time, culminates tonight when the top-seeded Lakers face the second-seeded Portland Trail Blazers in the Championship Game at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. The meeting is a rematch of last summer’s Championship Game, which was won by the Lakers.
In this year’s competition, Hart is averaging an NBA Summer League-leading 24.2 points (on 47.1 percent shooting from the field), 5.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals in six games. He scored 27 points and added six rebounds, three assists and three steals in the Lakers’ 109-92 victory over the New York Knicks on July 10. In the tournament semifinals on July 16, Hart recorded 37 points and nine rebounds to lead the Lakers past the Cleveland Cavaliers 112-109 in double overtime.
Joining Hart on the MGM Resorts All-NBA Summer League First Team are Chicago Bulls forward Wendell Carter Jr., Knicks forward Kevin Knox, Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton and Milwaukee Bucks center Christian Wood.
The All-NBA Summer League Second Team is composed of Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, Trail Blazers guard Wade Baldwin IV, Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., Lakers forward Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young.
A media panel selected Hart as MVP and voted for the MGM Resorts All-NBA Summer League Teams.
MGM Resorts All-NBA Summer League First Team
Wendell Carter Jr. (Chicago)
Josh Hart (Los Angeles Lakers)
Kevin Knox (New York)
Collin Sexton (Cleveland)
Christian Wood (Milwaukee)
MGM Resorts All-NBA Summer League Second Team
Deandre Ayton (Phoenix)
Wade Baldwin IV (Portland)
Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis)
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Los Angeles Lakers)
Trae Young (Atlanta)
Some thoughts on the morning of the Trail Blazers' Summer League Championship game vs. the Lakers:
There's really only one reason why winning the summer league matters:
1 – If you win it, you can say it matters. And maybe then it does. You can use it to sell tickets for the upcoming season or just get your fan base geeked up about the future. And if you think I’m kidding, just think back to last year’s summer league when none other than Magic Johnson proclaimed, “The Lakers are back!” after his team beat the Trail Blazers in the championship game. Uh, back? Sure they were – back in the doldrums.
Conversely, there are plenty of reasons why winning summer league does NOT matter:
1 – Each team is a collection of players – many of them key contributors – who won’t even be on your team this season.
2 – While you may care about winning, many of the other teams do not and they sit key players in tourney games just because they’ve played enough and nobody wants to risk injury. Beating those teams means nothing (such as the Blazers tournament game vs. Atlanta).
3 – Well, it just doesn’t matter, you know. No championship parades or rings, no bonuses, no big deal. Get over it.
3 – Players do like to win. It’s akin to playground games where you want to keep winning to stay on the court. In summer league, you want to keep winning so you have more games to show scouts and front-office personnel you are good enough to play for their team. But that doesn’t mean front offices and coaches like to win.
4 – How many days in Las Vegas are too many? About the time the tournament starts is the time when people suffer from neon fatigue and get irritated by the strange noises those slot machines make.
5 – If it mattered, wouldn’t all the teams try to win?