Trail Blazers

Inside Tony Snell's journey to Portland

Trail Blazers

The Blazers’ free agency continues by signing Tony Snell, following the acquisitions of Ben McLemore and Cody Zeller.

Snell joins the Blazers on a one-year deal after spending last season with the reigning Eastern Conference Finals participants, Atlanta Hawks.

During their playoff run, the 29-year-old didn’t receive much playing time. Only appearing in nine games, averaging 7.3 minutes. Although his role greatly reduced during the playoffs, during the regular-season it was much different. 

 Download and Subscribe to the Talkin' Blazers Podcast

He appeared in 47 games -- started 23 -- and averaged 5.3 points in 21.1 minutes on 51.5% shooting, 56.9% from three, and 100% from the stripe. Snell is the only player in league history with such a shooting split.

Before one season in Atlanta, Snell was with the Pistons for a season, and three seasons each in Milwaukee and with the Bulls, the team that drafted him.

Before he entered into the 2013 NBA Draft, Snell was a New Mexico Lobo. Having attended a mid-major school, it took him three seasons to develop into an NBA prospect.

Junior year is when Snell had his best collegiate season, averaging 12.5 points. Although his numbers weren’t impressive, his team’s play was, as they made the NCAA Tournament.

The way the Lobos played gave scouts the impression Snell was being held back. Just by how much was the unknown but also the intrigue teams had. The team with the most intrigue was the Bulls, who selected him with the No. 20 pick.


What the Blazers are getting is a guy that was able to excel in limited minutes with the Hawks a season ago. Snell could be part of their rotation for his defense and reliable shooting to be in the ilk of a Robert Covington and a lesser Norman Powell.

Floor spacing for the penetration of Powell coupled with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is being addressed by the Blazers. 64.7% of Snell’s shots were catch-and-shoot a season ago and connected on said shots at a blistering 57.3% clip. He shot 59.2% on catch-and-shoot threes.

Snells’ role in Portland is simple: defend and hit the open three. That’s the type of player Blazers fans can expect.