Skal Labissiere

Trail Blazers Pregame Notebook: "We'll miss him" -- Terry Stotts on Skal Labissiere

Trail Blazers Pregame Notebook: "We'll miss him" -- Terry Stotts on Skal Labissiere

Before the Trail Blazers and Spurs tip-off at 7:00p.m. tonight on NBC Sports Northwest and on the 'MyTeams' App, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts discussed the Skal Labissiere move, how he deals with the trade deadline, and how he didn’t doubt that LaMarcus Aldridge would become a good three-pointer shooter.

Coach Stotts said he’ll miss Labissiere and so will his players, but everyone understands it was a financial decision.

 

Stotts also added that leading up to the trade deadline, he doesn’t get caught up in any possible moves. He’s also been happy with the current roster makeup.  

 

“We’ve been playing well. We had a flat game against Denver… Obviously, our starting unit is playing well… From my standpoint, nothing really changes. Our focus is always on the next game.”

 

HEAR FROM COACH STOTTS HERE:

 

BLAZERS INJURY REPORT:

Nassir Little (left ankle sprain), Rodney Hood (left ruptured Achilles tendon),  Zach Collins (left shoulder dislocation), and Jusuf Nurkic (left leg fracture) are out for Thursday's game vs. San Antonio.

SPURS INJURY REPORT:

Luka Samanic (G League) and Quinndary Weatherspoon (Two-way) are out.

STANDOUT GAME NOTES:

-- Thursday’s game will bring an end to the three game series between the Trail Blazers and Spurs during the 2019-20 season. The season series is tied, 1-1.

-- LAST MEETING: The Trail Blazers defeated the Spurs 121-116, in San Antonio on Nov. 16. CJ McCollum paced Portland with 32 points (13-25 FG, 6-11 3-PT), six rebounds and seven assists, while LaMarcus Aldridge led San Antonio with 30 points (12-20 FG, 2-5 3-PT, 4-4 FT), 13 rebounds, two assists and one block.

-- CLOSELY CONTESTED: Eight of the last 11 games between Portland and San Antonio have been decided by single digits, including each of the last four. • CJ McCollum is averaging 29.5 points (48.9% FG, 52.9% 3-PT, 80.0% FT), 4.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists in two games against San Antonio this season.

--CJ McCollum has scored at least 20 points in six of his last eight games against the Spurs, and tied a career-high with seven 3-PM on Feb. 7 of 2019.

--Damian Lillard recorded 22 points (4-19 FG, 1-9 3-PT, 13-13 FT), six rebounds, six assists and one steal against the Spurs on Nov. 16. Lillard has scored at least 20 points in each of his last seven games against San Antonio, recording three or more made threes in five of those outings.  

--Hassan Whiteside added 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting (5-5 FT), to go with 12 rebounds and three blocks against San Antonio on Nov. 16. Whiteside has recorded a double-double in five of his last seven games against the Spurs, dating back to his time with the Heat.

It’s official: Trail Blazers complete trade with Atlanta Hawks

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It’s official: Trail Blazers complete trade with Atlanta Hawks

The Portland Trail Blazers have traded forward/center Skal Labissiere and cash considerations to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for a future protected second-round draft pick, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

Labissiere averaged 5.8 points (55.1% FG, 23.1% 3-PT, 75.8% FT), 5.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.94 blocks in 33 games (one start) for the Trail Blazers this season before suffering a left knee articular cartilage lesion against the L.A. Lakers on Dec. 28. Acquired in a trade with Sacramento on Feb. 7, 2019, Labissiere averaged 5.3 points (56.6% FG, 33.3% 3-PT, 71.8% FT), 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 42 total games (two starts) with the Trail Blazers.

 

[RELATED]: Social media reacts to Skal Labissiere "will be absorbed into space”

Social media reacts to Skal Labissiere "will be absorbed into space”

Social media reacts to Skal Labissiere "will be absorbed into space”

The NBA Trade deadline has officially passed.

The Portland Trail Blazers were quiet on the trade front until this morning when the Blazers sent Skal Labissiere and $2M to the Atlanta Hawks.

[RELATED]: Details of Skal Labissiere trade to Atlanta, which includes tax savings, pick

Senior NBA Insider for Yahoo! Sports Chris Haynes reported the trade on Twitter, but made a rather head-turning mistake:

And of course, the Twiiter world latched onto the idea of Skal being "absorbed into space":

Rest assured, we're almost positive Skal will end up in Atlanta. 

Portland Trail Blazers send Skal Labissiere to Atlanta

Portland Trail Blazers send Skal Labissiere to Atlanta

Perhaps not the move Rip City wanted to see, but still a move.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Portland Trail Blazers have traded center Skal Labissiere and cash to Atlanta. 

Further details are here. Portland will receive a protected second round pick in 2024 from Atlanta, NBCSNW has learned. They will also receive a $2.4M trade exception.  

In addition, Portland will save $2.8 million against the luxury tax. 

The Blazers entered the day $6.3 million dollars over the luxury tax line and were reportedly Portland was looking to reduce their bill.

Their tax bill is now $5.9 million, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks. The Trail Blazers now have an open roster spot.

Skal was set to make $2.3 million in the final year of his rookie contract this season. 

Labissiere has not played since injuring a knee against the Los Angles Lakers on December 6th. 

Some thoughts on the Trail Blazers' trade-deadline options

Some thoughts on the Trail Blazers' trade-deadline options

The trade deadline is near (finally) and the question has been around for months:

What are the Trail Blazers going to do?

There are possibilities and probabilities -- although distinguishing between the two is impossible at this point. Neil Olshey, the Trail Blazers’ president of basketball operations, has always been known as an executive who keeps his options to himself. Not much leaks out of the Portland front office.

But there are several possible outcomes and we will attempt to lay them out:

  • The elephant in the room is the expiring contract of center Hassan Whiteside, said to be $27,093,018, which was originally believed to be an asset the team could use to acquire a very good player with several seasons left on his contract from a team looking to shed salary. The problem with that has been that the free-agent market this summer is not going to be very attractive so the cap room from the expiring contract doesn’t hold as much value. Whiteside’s play has been exceptional this season but his value as a trade piece is inhibited by the fact that he will be a free agent at the end of this season,

  • A year ago, it was believed Portland could land the likes of Kevin Love or Blake Griffin or even LaMarcus Aldridge with Whiteside’s expiring contract. But Love may not be available to them, Griffin is hurt again and the Spurs’ asking price for Aldridge is probably higher than just the expiring contract.

  • There are other players available on the market but there is competition for them and it’s not known how much more the Trail Blazers would add to a trade beyond Whiteside.

  • Put your hands in your pocket and step away from the trade machine. Just because a trade works under the cap doesn't mean a team will make the deal.

  • At this point, it would likely be a win to add a solid rotation player, perhaps not even a starter, for Whiteside. A big-time shooter would be very nice.

  • As well as the Trail Blazers have been playing, would the team stand pat? Jusuf Nurkic is still probably a few weeks away from playing and dealing Whiteside would temporarily leave the team without a center. It's possible. But if you think the team should not do anything and let this suddenly hot team go, I'd ask you -- do you think this squad, as it stands, could it win an NBA title? If not, think about putting together a roster that could, using all the tools at your disposal.

  • Actually, I am pretty sure the long-term benefit of adding another player to help in future seasons would probably outweigh concerns over this season. And it’s possible Skal Labissiere would be available to play soon, as a fill-in center until Nurkic can play.

  • Almost always, it’s better to play the long game than the short game at the trade deadline. The short-term fixes often don’t work and the price for them is usually too high.

  • Could Nurkic and Whiteside play together? I don’t see it for any long period of time, but temporarily they probably could.

  • Would Portland be tempted to bring Trevor Ariza back next season? Maybe, he’s been terrific in his role so far. But that $12.8 million salary would be a tough one for the Blazers to swallow, what with luxury tax concerns.

In summary, I still believe the Trail Blazers are trying to make a deal. This may be the last chance to add a quality player to the roster without tampering with the team’s core. There are obviously some difficult decisions ahead,

Can they get something done?

At this point, I’m not sure even the Trail Blazers know the answer to that.

Pregame Notebook: Hassan Whiteside is available for tonight's game vs. Timberwolves

Pregame Notebook: Hassan Whiteside is available for tonight's game vs. Timberwolves

It’s the final game of the Portland Trail Blazers (16-22) five-game road trip as the Blazers look to go up 2-0 in their regular season series with the Minnesota Timberwolves (14-22).

Knowing that Skal Labissiere has suffered a left knee articular cartilage lesion and will be out for at least four more weeks, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts was asked about how the team will continue to deal with a thin frontcourt. 

When Skal went down we didn’t know the extent of it, and we kind of assumed it was -- he wasn’t going to be around for a little bit, but we didn’t know how long… The team is what it is right now and we keep moving forward. – Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts

Before the Trail Blazers and Timberwolves tip-off at 5:00 p.m. PT tonight on NBC Sports Northwest and on the 'My Teams' App, coach Stotts discussed how they are dealing with no height, especially now that Hassan Whiteside has come down with an upper respiratory infection.   

“You’ve got to do it by committee when Hassan’s not there, he can get a lot of them, but when he’s not, it’s gotta be a team thing,” Stotts told reporters during this morning’s shootaround.

THE GOOD NEWS for the Blazers: Whiteside is available for tonight's game. 

BLAZERS INJURY REPORT:

Skal Labissiere (left knee inflammation) and Jusuf Nurkic (left leg fracture) are out for tonight’s game at Minnesota.

TIMBERWOLVES INJURY REPORT:

The Timberwolves will be without Karl-Anthony Towns (left knee sprain) and former Trail Blazer Jake Layman (left toe sprain).

STANDOUT GAME NOTES:

• Thursday’s game will be the second of four matchups between the Trail Blazers and Timberwolves during the 2019-20 season. The Trail Blazers lead the season series, 1-0.

• LAST MEETING: Portland defeated Minnesota, 113-106, on Dec. 21 in Portland. Damian Lillard led Portland with 29 points (10-25 FG, 3-12 3-PT, 6-9 FT), three rebounds and seven assists. Andrew Wiggins paced the Timberwolves with 33 points (13-24 FG, 4-6 3-PT, 3-4 FT), six rebounds and a season-high three blocks.

• OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION: The Trail Blazers (112.0 ppg) and the Timberwolves (111.8 ppg) rank 11th and 12th in the NBA in scoring, respectively. • Damian Lillard has scored at least 20 points in 10 of his last 14 appearances against Minnesota.

• CJ McCollum scored 26 points (8-23 FG, 5-10 3-PT, 5-7 FT) to go with three assists and a season-high three steals against Minnesota on Dec. 21. McCollum has shot 8-of-17 (47.1%) from 3-PT range over his two most recent games opposite the Timberwolves.

MRI confirms Skal Labissiere's left knee injury, will be re-evaluated in 4 weeks

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MRI confirms Skal Labissiere's left knee injury, will be re-evaluated in 4 weeks

The Trail Blazers have announced that an MRI has confirmed that Blazers backup forward/center Skal Labissiere has suffered a left knee articular cartilage lesion.

The injury occurred at the 10:20 mark of the first quarter of the Trail Blazers home game vs. the L.A. Lakers back on December 28th.

The first MRI done Labissiere’s knee was inconclusive.

According to the team, Labissiere will continue his rehabilitation and will be re-evaluated in four weeks.

The 23-year-old had become an integral part of the Trail Blazers rotation this season due to all the other frontcourt injuries the Blazers have been dealing with this season.

In 33 games played this season, Labissiere averaged 5.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.94 blocks.

Anthony Tolliver, Mario Hezonja, and Nassir Little will help fill the void in Portland's frontcourt.

How to watch, stream Trail Blazers vs. Suns tonight at 7:00pm

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How to watch, stream Trail Blazers vs. Suns tonight at 7:00pm

In Portland’s final game of 2019, the Trail Blazers (14-19) will look to go up 2-0 over the Phoenix Suns (12-20).

The Blazers will be without backup center/power forward Skal Labissiere for Monday's game due to left knee inflammation.

Saturday’s MRI on Labissiere's left knee came back inconclusive. According to the team, Labissiere will undergo a second MRI later this week and will not travel with the team on their upcoming five-game road trip.

You can watch all the action between Portland and Phoenix on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers and you can stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

And, have you heard about Blazers Pass?  

You can get 15 live Trail Blazers games, pre and postgame shows, and on-demand full-game replays with Blazers Pass! (Only available to fans located in Blazers Territory, pursuant to NBA rules and agreements. No TV provider required. Subscription Period: November 4, 2019 - April 16, 2020. Subscription auto-renews prior to start of next season.)

Don't miss any of the coverage of tonight's game:

4:30pm Blazers Game Day with Chad Doing

6:00pm Blazers Warm-Up

6:30pm Trail Blazers Pregame Show

7:00pm Trail Blazers vs. Suns

After the game catch Blazers Outsiders with hosts Joe Simons and Dan Marang!

And, full coverage of the game from Dwight JaynesJamie Hudson and our digital team. Follow us on social throughout the night for the latest updates. 

QUOTABLE

 "I mean, it’s tough any time you lose a teammate to an injury. Just because you don’t know how serious it could be or how much time he’ll miss. It’s a guy who’s been in our rotation all season. It hurts even more especially with us already dealing with so many injuries." -- Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard after the Blazers lost Skal Labissiere to a knee injury Saturday night vs. LA

Skal Labissiere's MRI on left knee is inconclusive

Skal Labissiere's MRI on left knee is inconclusive

Trail Blazers backup center/power forward Skal Labissiere, will miss Monday's game with left knee inflammation, the Trail Blazers announced Sunday.

The MRI on Labissiere's left knee came back inconclusive. According to the team, Labissiere will undergo a second MRI later next week and will not travel with the team on their upcoming five-game road trip.

The specific play in which Labissiere injured his left knee is still unknown.

The third-year player limped off the court during the first quarter of Saturday’s game after getting the starting power forward nod against the Lakers.

He played in just the first three minutes, subbed out, and did not return to the game. Labissiere intentionally committed a foul on LeBron James at the 9:23 mark so that he could be subbed out. He then limped straight back to the locker room. 

Following Saturday’s loss to the Lakers, the Blazers shared their well wishes for their latest injured teammate.  

“For him, it will just be about getting healthy, for us as teammates, we’ll keep supporting him through that process,” Carmelo Anthony said postgame.

CJ McCollum added, “It’s something we haven’t seen in a long time with this many injuries, but it’s part of the game. I wish him nothing but the best going forward.”

Yes, the Blazers have been here before.

The injuries have continued to pile up.

But what’s the saying, again?

Next man up.

As Melo explained it Saturday night, the health of a player is the most important thing, yet as a team, they have to be “selfish” moving forward.

It’s sad… You lose another guy to injury. But then sports make situations become selfish and when I say that -- it’s next man up, right? That’s a selfish way to look at or think about it, but it is literally next man up. The next number that is being called has to step in and it’s going to take a committee to figure this thing out. – Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony

The Blazers realize injuries are part of the game and they have to move forward, but there is a bright spot with the progress of Jusuf Nurkic as he continues to rehab his left knee.

“It definitely helps knowing that you’ve got a 7-footer coming back,” McCollum said. “We’ve lost… Pau [Gasol], Zach [Collins], Skal – that’s three. So, we need all the bodies we can get, and Nurk’s a valuable player and an important part of our team, and someone who can change the game on both ends. So, whenever he’s ready to go, we’ll welcome him back with open arms and continue to try to push.”

At 14-19 on the season, Portland currently sits in the eighth and final playoff spot. With 49 games remaining in the regular season, the Blazers will continue to push through the season and push through the injuries. 

Trail Blazers transfer Moses Brown back to Portland

Trail Blazers transfer Moses Brown back to Portland

As expected the Trail Blazers have completed a transfer of rookie two-way player Moses Brown from the G League's Texas Legends. The move was announced Sunday by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

The Blazers are in need of healthy big men.

Saturday night in their loss to the Lakers, Skal Labissiere suffered a knee injury just 2:37 into the first quarter. He left the game and did not return.

Labissiere had an MRI on his left knee after the game. The results of Labissiere’s MRI were “pending,” according to Blazers head coach Terry Stotts, who said that was the update postgame.

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers began season with six centers -- and now it's down to one 

Although Brown has only played in four games this season for the Trail Blazers, he has been gaining a lot of experience in the G League.

In 12 games with the Legends, Brown has averaged 14.3 points (65.5% FG, 45.2% FT), 6.9 rebounds, and 1.25 blocks.   

[RELATED]: Next man up (again) for Trail Blazers with severity of Skal Labissiere's knee injury unknown

The 7-footer is averaging 2.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in four games for Portland this season.

Check back later for updated news on Labissiere and the severity of his knee injury.