Jake Layman

Zion Williamson ties rookie record previously set by... Jake Layman?

Zion Williamson ties rookie record previously set by... Jake Layman?

There was some serious hype surrounding New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson as his made his debut Wednesday night.

It really wasn’t until the fourth quarter, though, when he really showed he was worth all the hype.

But here’s the thing…

Zion reached a special feat in NBA history, which was held by a former Portland Trail Blazer.

With his 17-fourth quarter points, Williamson became the first rookie to score that many points in his rookie debut since Jake Layman did in back in 2016.

Fear the Turtle, Zion!!

Layman made his NBA debut on November 1, 2016, scoring 17 points in eight minutes off the bench in the Trail Blazers' 127-104 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Layman hit five three-pointers in the game, while Williamson knocked down four threes in the Pelicans 121-117 loss to the Spurs Wednesday night.

Layman became the first Trail Blazer ever to make five three-pointers in a debut, and finished one shy of the franchise record in a quarter.

As for the Pelicans overall No. 1 pick, Williamson scored 17 points in just 3:08 minutes of work in the final quarter. He finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the loss.

Now everyone in Rip City can brag about Layman when NBA fans hype up Zion's 17 points in a quarter.

Been there, done that.  

Official: Minnesota Timberwolves acquire Jake Layman from Trail Blazers

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Official: Minnesota Timberwolves acquire Jake Layman from Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers announced on Monday afternoon that Portland has acquired the rights to big man Bojan Dubljevic in a sign-and-trade agreement.

In the deal, Blazers restricted free agent Jake Layman heads to Minnesota.

As a part of the trade, Portland will receive a traded player exception that they will have one year to use. 

[RELATED]: The Jake Layman Era ends in Portland with a trade to Minnesota

Dubljevic was selected with the 59th overall pick in the second round by the T-Wolves in the 2013 NBA Draft. The 27-year-old spent the last seven seasons playing for Valencia in Spain.

As for Layman, after being drafted by the Orlando Magic as the 47th overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft, he was acquired by Portland in a draft-night trade.

Over three seasons in Portland, Layman averaged 4.6 points 1.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists in 141 games played. During his tenure with the Blazers, Layman started 35 games.

Late last week, Layman thanked Rip City for their support.

Social media reacts as Trail Blazers trade Jake Layman to Minnesota

Social media reacts as Trail Blazers trade Jake Layman to Minnesota

Jake Layman's time in Portland has come to a close. 

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the beloved Trail Blazer who boasted the names Jake Slayman, The Turtle, and Jake and Shake, has agreed to a three-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The move is said to pay the 25-year-old forward out of Maryland approximately $11.5 million. 

[RELATED: The Jake Layman Era ends in Portland with a trade to Minnesota]

Layman will be remembered for his jaw-dropping dunks, explosive three-point shooting, and the times where it was obvious it's Jake's world and we just live in it. Here's a look at how fans, and Jake himself, reacted to the news on social media. 



The Jake Layman Era ends in Portland with a trade to Minnesota

The Jake Layman Era ends in Portland with a trade to Minnesota

The Jake Layman Era in Portland has come to an end.

The popular 6-9 forward out of Maryland has agreed to a three-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves that is said to pay the 25-year-old, three-year veteran $11.5 million. To facilitate that move, Neil Olshey, Portland’s president of basketball operations, engineered a trade with the Timberwolves that sent Layman away in return for a $1.8 million trade exception and the rights to 27-year-old, 6-9 European player Bojan Dubljevic. That spared the two teams from having to go through an offer-sheet process, which can be lengthy during a free-agent signing period.

Layman appeared in 141 games during his three seasons as a Blazer and averaged 4.6 points. He had some outstanding moments last season, with three games of more than 20 points and some crowd-pleasing dunks, but played sparingly in the playoffs and shot just 30.2 percent from three-point range during his career.

"We're extremely appreciative of how hard Neil Olshey worked with us to accommodate what we were trying to accomplish in sign and trade," Layman’s agent, Mark Bartelstein told ESPN. "The deal couldn't have happened without the Blazers looking out for Jake's best interests."

Facilitating a deal of this nature is something Olshey has done in the past and it shows his organization to be player- and agent-friendly, which can pay off later.

The Trail Blazers are not allowed to comment on the deal until July 6, but one would assume they felt the price of the Layman contract to be too high to match, given the circumstances. Portland is in the luxury tax and also has agreed to terms with free agent small forwards Kent Bazemore and Mario Hezenja and has agreed to re-sign Rodney Hood, as well as picking another small forward, Nassir Little, in the draft.

The team is still looking for a free-agent center but that market will become more clear once the Lakers – still holding a lot of cap space – find out if they are getting Kawhi Leonard.

Most-likely Trail Blazer free-agent target: Enes Kanter

Most-likely Trail Blazer free-agent target: Enes Kanter

Free agency opens in the NBA Sunday afternoon and the Portland Trail Blazers, already into the luxury tax and with just the $5.7 million taxpayer mid-level to spend, are taking a knife into a gunfight.

There are hundreds of millions of dollars in cap space and exceptions out there, including 17 max-contract slots and really only about 10 top-tier free agents to fill them. Just like the summer of 2016, there are likely to be a lot of players overpaid this time around.

That doesn’t bode well for the Trail Blazers.

But keep in mind, just a couple of weeks ago, Portland had the 25th pick in the draft and Evan Turner. Since then, the Blazers have drafted Nassir Little, a consensus lottery pick, and traded Turner for Kent Bazemore, a defender with three-point shooting skill. So the summer is already off to a successful start.

It makes sense that while the Lakers, Clippers, Warriors, Knicks, Celtics and Raptors are fighting over the big names Sunday, the Trail Blazers will be going about their business trying to tie up one of their own free agents for that $5.7 million slot. Enes Kanter and Rodney Hood are much more likely to sign with the Blazers than most other free agents because they had a taste of Portland last season. They were comfortable with the system, their teammates, the culture of the franchise and the winning that they experienced last year.

Of those two, the most likely Portland target would be Kanter, who was originally acquired to be a backup center to Jusuf Nurkic, but became a solid starting center through the team’s run to the Western Conference finals. Kanter spoke highly of his time with the Blazers and he is shaping up as the team’s No. 1 target in free agency, to continue to fill Nurkic's spot. Hood would have been a top target until Bazemore was obtained, but there is a duplication of skills there with Bazemore.

That would leave the team’s expiring contracts free to be used later in a deal for a more high-profile player.

The Blazers will also need a minimum salary player to fill out the roster and Neil Olshey usually has that player identified early. Last year, you remember, he signed Nik Stauskas July 5 and added Seth Curry July 6.

Here’s a look at free-agent scenarios for the Trail Blazers:

BEST CASE: Enes Kanter doesn’t get some extravagant offer out of the gate from another team. If it’s close, I think there’s a good chance he’d choose Portland. But asking him to turn down big money over multiple seasons would not be fair. Best case – the popular center from Turkey will be back. With the team already in the luxury tax, I would expect Al-Farouq Aminu to be gone, with his market value somewhere around $10 million a year. Second-year guard Anfernee Simons is scheduled to move up into Seth Curry’s spot in the rotation and with Curry’s price going up, he will not be back, either. That leaves restricted free agent Jake Layman and the best-case scenario is that he doesn’t get an offer above $3-$4 million a year, and the team would probably match and bring him back.

WORST CASE: Kanter gets an offer of $40 million over four years from somebody and accepts it, leaving Portland to search for another center to hold down the fort for Nurkic. Then Aminu doesn’t find an offer at his asking price and the team re-signs him – which would probably end up with him starting again this season, effectively blocking Zach Collins from a starting role. I don’t expect that to happen, but it is the worst-case scenario long-term, for this team. Then Portland ends up having to fight teams with a lot more money for a free agent to fill that taxpayer mid-level slot. The end result of that would probably be having to pay a $3 million player $5.7 million to sign here.

The Scoop: Will Rodney Hood be back on the Blazers roster next season? What’s your gut feeling...

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The Scoop: Will Rodney Hood be back on the Blazers roster next season? What’s your gut feeling...

A new rookie.

A new player.

A new Scoop.

Also, what about new contracts?

It’s time to get all of this week’s Trail Blazers news in one place! The Scoop livestream on Facebook presented by Toyota of Portland is back for the summer!

On Wednesday afternoon, Trail Blazers reporter and the host of The Scoop Jamie Hudson had plenty to discuss with draft night in the rearview mirror, along with a Blazers big trade this week.

Also, special guest Justin Meyers, host of ‘The Bridge" on NBC Sports Northwest, joins The Scoop.

Here’s a quick rundown of Wednesday’s show:

Wednesday morning, Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey and head coach Terry Stotts introduced the newest Trail Blazer: Kent Bazemore. On The Scoop, we breakdown the press conference and how Bazemore is going to fit in nicely with the Blazers.  

Plus, Jamie puts Justin on the spot, asking him if he believes that unrestricted free agent Rodney Hood will be back in a Blazers uniform next season?

Other Scoop topics include:

-Blazers extend qualifying offer to Jake Layman making him a restricted free agent

-Should Rip City be concerned about Nassir Little’s shooting woes?

-More free agency chatter: What’s going to happen to Enes Kanter?

-What to expect out of Anfernee Simons in his second-year?

-How nice was Simons to give up No. 24 for Bazemore!?!?

That and so much more.

Watch the FULL EPISODE right here:

Summer Scoop

It’s time to talk Little, Layman, and Bazemore and that’s just in the first five mins! Plus, Justin Meyers, host of ‘The Bridge’ joins The Scoop for the first time! The Scoop brought to you by Toyota of Portland starts right now!

Posted by NBC Sports Northwest on Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Seven fits for the Portland Trail Blazers in free agency

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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.

As first reported by 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. 

Who will start if Maurice Harkless can't go tonight for Trail Blazers?

Who will start if Maurice Harkless can't go tonight for Trail Blazers?

Five questions I keep being asked, with my attempts at answers, on the morning of Game 3:

WHO WILL START IF MAURICE HARKLESS CAN’T GO?: A great question because Terry Stotts is one of the most unpredictable coaches you’ll ever find when it comes to his lineups.

If you just want to move up the most effective bench player capable of handling the position, you would plug Rodney Hood into that spot. In this series, Hood has been borderline spectacular off the bench.

But do you want to take Hood away as the No. 1 scoring option for that bench unit? And he gets many more opportunities to score as a reserve than he would as a starter, when Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Enes Kanter are getting a majority of the shots

Throughout his tenure as the Portland coach, Stotts has been reluctant to mess with his bench unit when a starter is out. More often, he has reached down past the rotation players and plugged in a player who hasn’t been part of that rotation.

That would likely mean Jake Layman, who started the second half of Game 2 when Harkless, fighting an ankle sprain, wasn’t available after halftime of Game 2. Layman had not played at all in Game 1 of the series.

My hunch would be Layman would get the start. And I do believe it’s possible his movement on offense would be a help in the halfcourt. And his activity on the boards might be a boost on the other end.

WILL THE PORTLAND DEFENSE BE THE SAME IN GAME 3?: It might change. And it probably should. Yes, the Blazers did a great job of holding down the Nuggets’ shooting percentages by packing the middle and swarming Nikola Jokic off the dribble. But keep in mind, the Blazers were fortunate to get away with that defense Wednesday night.

Denver people, by its own calculations, had 17 uncontested three-point shots – many of them from the easiest spot on the floor, the corner. The. Nuggets, by their count, made just three of their 17 open threes. In the first quarter Denver missed corner threes time after time.

It would be wrong to believe that will continue. While the Nuggets were only a middle-of-the-road three-point shooting team during the regular season, even average teams make those shots on a fairly consistent basis.

The Trail Blazers are going to have to do a better job of contesting the threes.

WILL OFFICIATING CHANGE IN GAME 3?: I believe it will. The league and its referees are constantly perusing video of these games and they had to see the number of times Jokic hacked Portland shooters. I wouldn’t expect him to continue to get away with that.

I would also assume they’d be watching his time spent in the lane more closely. He camps in there.

SHOULD PLAYERS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED FOR THIS GAME?: I would say definitely. The NBA rulebook makes no mention of players leaving the area of the bench to participate in an altercation during a timeout being exempt from penalty:

Rule 12 (A, Section VII, c): During an altercation, all players not participating in the game must remain in the immediate vicinity of their (bench.) Violators will be subject to suspension, without pay, for a minimum of one game and fined up to $50,000.

As you can see, there’s a word missing in the online version of the rulebook, which is included here in parenthesis. As you can also see, there is no mention of players being exempt from the rule during a timeout.

And another consideration in this case is that Jamal Murray dashed on the court to actually START the altercation. And he did so under the false assumption that Enes Kanter intentionally did harm to one of his teammates. In fact, Kanter was pushed into that player by Jokic – a full, two-handed push, which, by the way, should have been Jokic’s sixth foul.

For me, the fact that Murray misread the situation and caused a fracas without real provocation should count for something, too.

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO THE BLAZERS TO WIN THESE TWO HOME GAMES?: Critical, I would say. They have taken away Denver’s homecourt advantage but losing a home game would mean Portland would need another win at Denver to capture the series. That would be difficult in a Game 5 situation and VERY difficult in a Game 7.

Trail Blazers make 16-point comeback but fall to Kawhi Leonard at the end

Trail Blazers make 16-point comeback but fall to Kawhi Leonard at the end

TORONTO – The Trail Blazers had a lot of things go against them Friday night against the Raptors.

The Blazers left their backup center behind in Boston and their starting center got in almost immediate foul trouble. They didn’t shoot three-point field goals well in the first half and found themselves trailing by 16 points in the third quarter.

But, as has been their habit lately, they just kept their heads down, kept working and continued to battle. But in the end, it was Kawhi Leonard’s 12-foot jump shot with a second and a half to play that gave Toronto a 119-117 win over Portland.

Jusuf Nurkic drew his second foul just 3:11 into the first quarter and sat the rest of the period. Then he played only 2:11 of the second quarter before getting tagged with another one. He was on the floor for just 5:22 of the first half and didn’t take a shot and had only one rebound.

“I was disappointed at how I played in the first half,” he said. “It looked like I couldn’t stay on the floor for a second. They took full advantage of it.

“I hurt my team tonight – which is not good. But I’m proud of how we fought and still had a chance to win the game.

“You can tell we are a really good team when we play our way, as a team. We find a way to compete and stay in a game. That was a great example of how we play.”

Meyers Leonard and Zach Collins filled in admirably for Kanter, who didn’t make the trip north of the border due to his problems with the government in his native country of Turkey. And CJ McCollum kept Portland in the game with his offense until help arrived in the second half.

Down the stretch of the game, Nurkic hit a pair of difficult shots and Damian Lillard scored his team’s final seven points, including three free throws that tied the game with 13.8 seconds to play.

With two timeouts in the bank, the Raptors chose not to use one and pushed the ball up the floor and forced the Blazers to switch a screen and got Lillard on Leonard, with Harkless switching off onto Kyle Lowry.

“Lowry sets the screen and you try to get the smaller guy so you can vault up over and shoot it,” said Toronto Coach Nick Nurse.

“I knew (Leonard) was going to try to get to his right hand and get to a pull-up,” Lillard said. “I saw him going into the move and I was going to sell out and try to contest it high – going to try to make him make a really, really tough shot but with just a few seconds left I didn’t want him to get me in the air and send him to the line with just a few seconds left.

“The ball hit every part of the rim. Home cooking. It took more time off. We didn’t have any timeouts left and it would have almost been better if it would have gone straight in. Maybe we would have had like three seconds.”

Lillard gave the Raptors credit but was proud of his own squad.

“They really disrupted us defensively,” he said. “They made it hard for us at the offensive end. We just stayed with it. We were physical, defensively – just a great effort. We stuck with it. It came down to one shot and he made a tough shot.”

Portland got a solid game from Jake Layman off the bench and Coach Terry Stotts chose to go with him down the stretch up front with Maurice Harkless.

“I liked Jake on the floor,” Stotts said. “I debated putting Mo or Chief back in. They were both having the same type of game, offensively and defensively.

“I wanted to keep Jake in the game. He was doing some good things out there for us.”

Layman finished with 13 points, Harkless 11 and Aminu 10.

“That’s a good team over there,” Harkless said. “They made it tough on us. But the way we stayed with it showed what type of team we are. It was a rough night most of the night but we kept fighting to where we had a chance to win or take it to overtime.”
The Raptors have lost just six home games all season and are 46-17 overall, having won nine of their last 10.

The Blazers had a five-game win streak snapped but are 4-1 on their seven-game road trip with games at Charlotte (Sunday) and Memphis (Tuesday).