Jaylen Hoard

Jaylen Hoard has a career night with the Texas Legends

Jaylen Hoard has a career night with the Texas Legends

Jaylen Hoard has had an up and down season for the Blazers, literally.

The two-way player has been called up and had numerous stints with the Blazers, and has been sent back down numerous times to play with the G-League's Texas Legends. 

In fact, the Blazers sent Hoard back down to the G-League on Wednesday. 

On Thursday, his first game back with the Legends, Hoard exploded. 

Hoard had a career night, scoring 34 points and pulling down 12 rebounds in the Legends' 144-140 victory over the Oklahoma City Blue. 

Hoard played his college ball at Wake Forest, as did Oklahoma City Thunder star Chris Paul.

With the Thunder on an off night, the former Demon Deacon star was on hand to support a fellow Wake Forest alum. 

Hoard has averaged 2.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 0.3 assists in 12 games with the Trail Blazers this season. In the G-League, he has averaged 18.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists with the Legends prior to tonight's outburst. 

Trail Blazers transfer Jaylen Hoard back to G League

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USA Today Images

Trail Blazers transfer Jaylen Hoard back to G League

The Portland Trail Blazers announced Wednesday afternoon that they have transferred two-way rookie forward Jaylen Hoard back to the G League’s Texas Legends.

Now that Portland has officially completed its trade with Sacramento, which brought in forwards Trevor Ariza and Wenyen Gabriel along with big man Caleb Swanigan, Hoard will be better served getting more playing time with the Legends.   

Hoard is approaching his total of 45 days spent with the team. Per league rules, that is the total allotment of days that a two-way player can spend with its NBA team.

Hoard has played in 12 games with the Trail Blazers, averaging 2.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 0.3 assists.

As for his time with the Legends this season, Hoard has averaged 18.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in nine games. 

Through the eyes of Jaylen Hoard: A window seat guy with a curious mind

Through the eyes of Jaylen Hoard: A window seat guy with a curious mind

It was the morning of October 27th before the Trail Blazers tipped off their third game of the season. They were facing the Dallas Mavericks on the road. Yes, that’s when Zach Collins suffered his shoulder injury, but that’s also when Jaylen Hoard and Moses Brown were first transferred to the G-League Texas Legends.

Fast-forward to January 11th and a lot has changed.

Anthony Tolliver started at center Saturday night with Hassan Whiteside out due to an upper respiratory illness.   

That also meant rookie two-way forward Jaylen Hoard, who was recently brought back to the NBA ranks, saw back-up center minutes.

Who would’ve guessed a night like this would happen in early January?

Not Hoard.

“I felt like I’d mostly be playing in the G-League with the Texas Legends and just kind of work my way up… Just being able to play early like this it feels great. Even though we didn’t get the win today, just being out there was a blessing,” Hoard said.

As Damian Lillard described it, his frontcourt teammates are being forced to figure it out on the fly.

“Certain guys are playing positions that they weren’t’ gonna play and have never played. Guys are playing more extended minutes than they have ever played or had to play. We got guys -- this is their first time consistently playing. That’s tough. There’s a learning curve. It’s a physical battle for the people that haven’t experienced it,” Lillard said.

EARNING THOSE FREQUENT FLYER MILES

Hoard has now been transferred to and from the G-League a total of seven times this season. SEVEN!

“At first the traveling was a little different, a little difficult, but I feel like I’ve adjusted to it,” Hoard said after Saturday’s game.

Yet, this seventh transfer might be the longest time Hoard spends with the Blazers.

In 17 minutes of action Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, Hoard proved he has no fear against the best team in the league. 

Yep, there was no 'fear the deer' for Hoard even though the Blazers ultimately lost 122-101

There’s plenty the Blazers know they need to work on. Of course, being banged up isn’t helping them; however, Hoard was a bright spot and his performance didn’t go unnoticed.

“I thought he did a great job,” CJ McCollum said postgame. "Obviously he’s gone back and forth from the G-League to here. He’s extremely athletic, he wants to learn, he’s aggressive, and we need as many bodies as possible right now based on what we’re going through.”

He played really well. Since he’s been back up, he’s been put out there a lot and getting some minutes, and I think it’s evident that he’s a smart player. He’s able to figure things out on both ends of the floor, good instincts, and I think with more experience, and the more he’s out there, and the more comfortable he gets, I think you’ll just see him keep getting better and better.  -- Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard said postgame

Kent Bazemore picked up two quick fouls just three minutes into the first quarter, leading Terry Stotts to call Hoard's number early on. The 20-year-old made the most of his minutes and didn’t shy away from contact, taking it right at the Bucks.

Hoard finished the game with six points and five rebounds.

They weren't jump-off-the-page numbers. But, they didn't need to be.

It was plays like the one that happened at the end of the third quarter, when Hoard stole the ball from Giannis Antetokounmpo and took it coast-to-coast for the and-one that people will remember. 

“I feel like I’m getting pretty comfortable and my coaches – I feel like they believe in me and my teammates they give me a lot of confidence too,” Hoard said.

Per league rules, two-way players can only spend a total of 45 days with their NBA team before the team must add them to their roster with a fully guaranteed contract or part ways with them.

But, Hoard is out to prove his worth. 

EAGER TO LEARN

In this most recent stint with the Blazers, Hoard has progressed since signing a two-way contract with Portland on draft night. 

One thing is for sure: Hoard is getting valuable time with the Blazers right now after being transferred from the Legends on January 2nd.

The rookie forward also got some run against the Timberwolves Thursday night. In the losing effort, he had eight points to along with four rebounds and two steals. Blazers head coach Terry Stotts has been pleased with Hoard's progression.

“I thought Jaylen played well in Minnesota, I thought he played well tonight, looks like he’s improved since training camp, and it’s very encouraging,” Stotts said.

Stotts also understands the challenges that arise for Hoard.

“This is our first two-way guy, really. And going back and forth, I think, playing for two different teams and knowing two different systems, fitting in, in that situation… I think it’s probably the most impressive [thing] in two games – just being able to come in and blend in, and do well."

Besides his consistent effort during game action, Hoard has shown consistently that he's hungry to learn.

Stotts added, “He asks good questions.”

That may seem like an obvious thing. Duh, a young player who doesn’t have a guaranteed contract wants to learn more.

That’s just not always the case, and his teammates have been able to see his drive and his want to get better and continue to learn.

"During the game everybody was trying to give me pointers and stuff, so I feel like I’m not as lost as I would be if I didn’t ask questions," Hoard said. "Everybody’s just trying to help me, the coaches too, it’s been pretty good."

THE FIRE RUNS DEEP

Hoard says he has a different mindset ever since going undrafted last summer.

Honestly, I feel like it just motivated me, it gave me a chip on my shoulder. Now I feel like I play with a lot more fire. I’m just confident, just trying to prove that I belong in this league. – Trail Blazers rookie Jaylen Hoard on being undrafted

And now, not only is Hoard dealing with being transferred back and forth from Portland to Texas, he’s also dealing with having to learn three different positions with the Blazers:

Small Forward. Check.

Power Forward. Check.

And now… Center...? Check.

With Whiteside out against the Bucks, Hoard saw time at the five spot.

Think about that for a moment.  

“It was just different I hadn’t really played center before at this level, so it was kind of different. I feel like with time and if the team still needs me to play that position I’ll be able to contribute,” Hoard said.

Try learning stick shift on the fly. Sure, you know how to drive. But, somehow it's different. Now do that in front of thousands of people, on TV, against the best other "driver" in the world.

That's a lot of driver's manuals... positions to memorize, and he already has to know two different playbooks.

Hoard is up for whatever is thrown his way, though, even if that means he'll take another Southwest Airlines flight back to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to play for the Legends again.

Because, at least for Hoard’s sake, he's a good airplane sleeper.

“I’m a window seat guy. Because I sleep the whole time, so I just like to lay my head on the side,” Hoard said with a smile.

And, at least for the Blazers' sake, he’s a good teammate who is eager to get better, and has already shown he can fit in, in such a short amount of time.

Jaylen Hoard transferred to Texas Legends

Jaylen Hoard transferred to Texas Legends

PORTLAND, Ore. (December 11, 2019) – The Portland Trail Blazers have completed the two-way transfer of forward Jaylen Hoard to the Texas Legends of the NBA G League, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. 

In five games with the Trail Blazers this season, Hoard, 20, has averaged 1.4 points (50.0% FG, 50.0% FT), 1.4 rebounds and 0.4 assists. Hoard (6-8, 215) has appeared in four games with the Legends, posting averages of 17.8 points (55.8% FG, 53.8% FT), 6.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists.

Trail Blazers have transferred rookies Moses Brown and Jaylen Hoard back to G League

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USA Today Images

Trail Blazers have transferred rookies Moses Brown and Jaylen Hoard back to G League

The Portland Trail Blazers have completed the two-way transfers of center Moses Brown and forward Jaylen Hoard to the Texas Legends of the NBA G League, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. 

Brown, 20, has played in four games for the Trail Blazers this season, posting averages of 2.0 points and 2.3 rebounds. In three games with the Legends this season, Brown (7-1, 245) has averaged 5.7 points (66.7% FG) and 4.7 rebounds.

In three games with the Trail Blazers this season, Hoard, 20, has averaged 0.7 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.3 assists. Hoard (6-8, 215) has appeared in three games with the Legends, posting averages of 18.7 points (56.4% FG, 75.0% FT), 7.7 rebounds and 1.0 assist.

Trail Blazers transfer Moses Brown and Jaylen Hoard back to G League

Trail Blazers transfer Moses Brown and Jaylen Hoard back to G League

Friday morning, the Portland Trail Blazers announced that they have completed the two-way transfers of center Moses Brown and forward Jaylen Hoard back to the G League’s Texas Legends.

It was on November 9th that the two rookies were recalled from the G League to join the Blazers.

Players on two-way contracts can spend up to 45 days on NBA rosters while spending the rest of their time in the G-League. The Blazers had initially assigned both Brown and Hoard to the G-League's Texas Legends back on October 27th.

[RELATED]: Moses Brown makes his NBA debut

In two appearances with Portland this season, Brown played a total of five minutes, recording three rebounds. Hoard appeared in one game and finished with one rebound in one minute of action.

The Texas Legends (1-2) will visit the Iowa Wolves on Saturday.

Report: Blazers recall Jaylen Hoard and Moses Brown

Report: Blazers recall Jaylen Hoard and Moses Brown

Injuries have hit the Blazers hard this season, and it appears the team will be looking to their two-way players to help fill some voids in the rotation. 

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Blazers are recalling Jaylen Hoard and Moses Brown from the G-League. 

The Blazers were already without Jusuf Nurkic (leg), Zach Collins (shoulder), and Pau Gasol (foot) entering Friday's game, then the injury bug bit again. Rodney Hood played just six minutes before leaving with back spasms, and Skal Labissiere left the game in the fourth quarter after spraining his right ankle. In need of bodies, the Blazers will look to their two-way players for help. 

Jaylen Hoard went undrafted this past summer and the Blazers signed him to a two-way contract on July 1st. Hoard averaged 8.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists for the Blazers during the Las Vegas Summer League. He also played in five games this preseason averaging 1.4 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 0.4 assists per game. 

Moses Brown also went undrafted this past summer before signing a training camp contract with the Blazers. Brown averaged just 5.2 points and 2.2 rebounds this preseason for the Blazers, but impressed the team enough that they converted this training camp deal into a full two-way contract. 

Players on two-way contracts can spend up to 45 days on the main roster while spending the rest of their time in the G-League. The Blazers assigned both Brown and Hoard to the G-League's Texas Legends back on October 27th.

According to the report, Hoard and Brown will be available for Sunday's game against the Hawks. 

 

2-way contract player Jaylen Hoard finding his way on Trail Blazers summer squad

2-way contract player Jaylen Hoard finding his way on Trail Blazers summer squad

LAS VEGAS – Thursday marked the fourth Summer League game for the Portland Trail Blazers. It was a hard-fought game between the Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder. Portland was down by as many as 14 points, but despite their fight back mentality, the Blazers were unable to complete the comeback. Portland drops to 1-3 after losing to OKC, 92-87.

The Blazers were undermanned with point guard Anfernee Simons out due to a right ankle injury and rookie forward Nassir Little going down in the first quarter with a left shoulder injury. Little did not return to action.

With Little out, forward Jaylen Hoard was given more of an opportunity. Hoard has been showcasing his aggressiveness on both ends through the Blazers’ first four games in Vegas.

Hoard signed a two-way contract with the Blazers after going undrafted out of Wake Forest.

Blazers assistant coach, and Summer League head coach, Jim Moran has been very pleased with Hoard’s defensive effort.

“Jaylen’s been really good. I think he’s unique defensively because he can switch multiple positions,” Moran said.

“We’re still trying to get him to be more aggressive on the defensive end. And, offensively… just trying to figure out where he fits in the offense, where he’s gonna get us plays. But I’ve been happy with his overall effort for the last four games,” Moran added.

The 20-year-old led the Demon Deacons in rebounding and ranked second in scoring during his freshman 2018-19 season. He finished the year averaging 13.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 31 games. He also recorded seven double-doubles.

Hoard is all about bringing the energy.

“I feel like I’ve been doing pretty good. I just come out there give energy, rebound hard and just control what I can control which is playing hard,” Hoard said.

“Hoard was also very complimentary of his teammates, saying, “We’ve fought really hard through these past few games. Obviously we didn’t get the results we wanted… We’ve played great defense and we’ve really tried to compete as hard as we can.”

[RELATED]: Jaylen Hoard brings versatility to the table

Through his first three Summer League games, Hoard averaged 8.3 points on 58 percent shooting from the field.  

The Blazers small forward admitted there are a couple of big differences from his college ball days to playing against NBA caliber players.

“Guys are much more athletic, quick, fast, you really have to be able to be real conditioned and get up and down a lot,” Hoard said.

[RELATED]: Jaylen Hoard ready to pour his heart out with Trail Blazers

In Thursday’s loss to OKC, second year player Gary Trent Jr. led the way with 22 points.

Trent Jr. has been pleased with the rookie’s performance so far.

“He’s been great,” Trent Jr. said of Hoard. “When he first got here, I really didn’t know too much about him. I know he works hard and he plays every possession. So, he has a bright future if he just stays with it, continues to work hard he’ll be successful,” Trent Jr. said.

Hoard and the rest of the Blazers Summer League squad will play a consolation game on either Friday or Saturday. The schedule will be set late Thursday night.  

Jaylen Hoard ready to pour his heart out with Trail Blazers

Jaylen Hoard ready to pour his heart out with Trail Blazers

Jaylen Hoard may have went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, but a call one day later from his agent proved he made a strong impression in Rip City.

Hoard, a 20-year-old forward out of Wake Forest, officially signed a two-way contract with the Portland Trail Blazers earlier this week, after participating in a pre-draft workout with the team in mid June.

“When I got the news after draft night, I was really excited. I’m glad to be back,” Hoard said. “The coaching staff, I’m glad that they gave me a chance and I’m ready to pour my heart out, play my hardest for this franchise.”

In one year at Wake Forest, Hoard averaged 13.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists in 31 games during his freshman campaign. The 6-foot-8, 215-pounder also impressed at the 2018 Nike Hoop Summit, dropping 11 points, 15 rebounds and two assists for the World Select Team.

Hoard’s strengths include his physicality and athleticism, as well as his versatility to play the 3 and the 4. What Hoard lacks is three-point shooting—he shot just 22.6 from the floor last season.

[RELATED: Jaylen Hoard brings versatility to the table]

While Hoard’s future on the perimeter is no guarantee, the French national player knows there’s many things he can do to help his teammates win.

“I can do a lot on the court,” Hoard said. “I feel like I’m able to space the floor. I’ve been working on my three a lot. I was shooting it around at practice today, and just guard my guy. I feel like those are the main things I can do coming in.”

Hoard will make his debut as a Trail Blazer at NBA Summer League this weekend. His expectations for his first game in a Blazers uniform? 

“Just come out, play well, win a championship, just play with my teammates, get a feel for an NBA game.”

Jaylen Hoard brings versatility to the table

Jaylen Hoard brings versatility to the table

The Blazers held their first round of pre-draft workouts on Friday, welcoming six NBA hopefuls to the practice facility in Tualatin. 

Portland holds the No. 25 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Whether they decide to use it or not remains to be seen. The Blazers have a lot of salary cap questions to answer, and the addition of a first round pick could complicate things. But should they use the pick, you would certainly expect them to draft at a point of weakness - the forward position.  

Of the six players on hand for tryouts, one player specifically could fit the bill - Wake Forest's Jaylen Hoard. 

Hoard is a 6'8" forward that can play both the 3 and the 4.  Portland is weak at both those positions, so getting a guy that can play both would be a plus. Hoard is only 216lb, so he would have to put on a little size to really get dirty in the paint, but that's usually something you see with taller prospects. Not to mention, Portland's starting power forward last season, Al-Farouq Aminu, was just four pounds heavier than Hoard is now.

Speaking of Aminu, Hoard can best be described as Al-Farouq Aminu light, and not just because they are about the same size and both went to Wake Forest. 

Just look at their college stats:

In two seasons at Wake Forest, Aminu averaged 14.1 points and 9.4 rebounds, while shooting 47.6% from the floor but just 23.8% from three. 

In his one and only season at Wake Forest, Hoard averaged 13.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, shot 45.8% from the floor and just 22.6% from deep.

To say the two are comparable is an understatement. 

While Hoard lacks a three-point game, he will block shots, get steals, clean the class, and pepper the stat sheet.  Should the Blazers lose Aminu in free agency, Hoard would be a nice replacement. As I said, he has a very similar skill set to Aminu and would fit in nicely with the team. They have already built around a player of his archetype. 

The downside here is that most fans would like to see an upgrade over Aminu at power forward, and Hoard would be a step back, at least to start.

The upside is that we saw Aminu go from a 23.8% three-point shooter in college to a 34.3% three-point shooter last season. 34% isn't great, but jumping by more than 10% from a three-point line that is further away from the basket is quite impressive. It's easy to see Hoard doing the same. Add in the fact that is a better athlete than Aminu, at least on tape, and you really start to see the upside. 

Hoard is probably a late first or mid second round prospect, so there could even be a chance you see Portland trade out of the first round and buy a second round pick to get a guy like this. Going back to the salary cap situation, there is a big difference between first round and second round picks when it comes to the finances, and Portland wouldn't want to hurt their situation more just to draft a guy at No.25 that they could get in the second round. So what they do here will be very interesting. 

For Hoard though, what Portland decides doesn't really matter. The kid has a very good skill set for today's NBA, outside of his weak deep ball. something that will take little time to fix and will find a home in the NBA.

I don't know if any of the players the Blazers brought in are "the guy" for Portland, but remember that in 2017 they didn't even bring Zach Collins in for a workout, so you never know exactly what the team has its eye on. But if the Blazers were forced to pick on of the six players that they brought in Friday, Hoard would be that guy.

I did say Hoard is Al-Farouq Aminu light. Well, General Manager Neil Olshey actually drafted Aminu when he was with the Clippers in 2010. Hoard is exactly the type of guy Olshey loves.

Will he hear his name at No.25? We will find out on June 20th at the 2019 NBA Draft.