Trail Blazers

Blazers are 2-0 in Summer League while leaning on their veteran players

Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers summer squad is rolling in Las Vegas.

Now with a 2-0 record, Portland is proving that having a good mix of veterans and young players that are looking to crack NBA rotations works out nicely.

The Blazers dominated in the second half of their second Summer League outing, defeating the Clippers, 86-66 Tuesday night in Las Vegas.

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With 32-year-old Michael Beasley, 31-year-old Kenneth Faried, and 25-year-old Emmanuel Mudiay, the Blazers rookie forwards Greg Brown and Trendon Watford along with third-year forward Nassir Little and second-year guard CJ Elleby are gaining even more by learning from the three NBA vets.

Mudiay and Beasley showed off their experience Tuesday night.

Mudiay notched 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the win.

“I think we’re competitive guys, we’ve got some guys that are very experienced,” Mudiay said postgame. “I took the year off. Mike [Beasley] hasn’t played in two or three years and for me, it was just getting back acclimated – that’s why I really wanted to play Summer League. I haven’t played in over a year.”

 

Mudiay, the seventh overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, saw his career go downhill since earning a spot on the second-team All-Rookie squad in 2016 after averaging 12.8 points and 5.5 assists in 68 games, including 66 starts. 

In the last two seasons played in the league he has played in a combined 113 regular season games for the Knicks (2018-19) and the Jazz (2019-20).

Not only is Mudiay getting back into the swing of an NBA game, but he is hoping to share his knowledge as well.

I think trying to help the young guys as well… Just trying to give back to the young guys and try to help them out.

Emmanuel Mudiay

As for Beasley, he last played in the NBA in 2019 for the Los Angeles Lakers. In 26 games, he averaged 7.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assists. 

The former No. 2 overall pick holds career averages of 12.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists and was named to the All-NBA Rookie First Team in 2008. 

But why did Beasley join the Trail Blazers summer team? Is he looking to stick with the Blazers or land on another NBA team?

“I wouldn’t call it trying to get back in the league,” Beasley said following Tuesday’s win. “I’m playing basketball, let god take care of the rest and just doing my part – playing hard, being attentive, giving my knowledge of the past 12 years and just having fun with these young guys.”

Faried, who saw success in a Nuggets jersey while with Denver from the 2011-12 season to 2018, is looking for this Summer League team to come together.

“We’re just trying to get better each and every day,” Faried said. “Play hard and get our defense solidified.”