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News » Portland Trail Blazers Roster Report 2008-07-26


Portland Trail Blazers Roster Report 2008-07-26


Portland Trail Blazers Roster Report 2008-07-26
DRAFT PICKS:

Jarryd Bayless, G, 6-3, Arizona -- Quick, athletic, offensive-minded combo guard whom the Blazers will try to convert to a point guard.

Nicolas Batum, F, 6-8, France -- Won't turn 20 until December. Athletic small forward is likely to remain in Europe for at least another season.

BIGGEST NEEDS: The Blazers need to help themselves on offense after finishing tied for 27th in the NBA in scoring (95.4 points per game), 20th in field-goal percentage (.448) and last in both points in the paint and fast-break points. Specifically, they are looking for shooters and feel their biggest needs are at the point guard and small forward positions.

FREE AGENT FOCUS: James Jones has a player option for $3.16 million for 2008-09 that the team expects him to exercise, although Jones has said he isn't sure yet what he wants to do. Jarrett Jack is due a qualifying offer of $2.9 million for 2008-09.

Don't expect the Blazers to be big players on the free agent market in 2008. Pritchard's master plan has been to wait until the summer of 2009 to go after free agents, when he could have as much as $25 million to $30 million of cap room to burn.

PLAYER NOTES:

--G Jerryd Bayless was named MVP of the NBA Summer League after averaging 29.8 points and 4.8 rebounds. The 6-3 Arizona product shot .485 from the field and .430 from three-point range and made 50 of 61 free throws in his four games. Bayless sat out the final game against New Orleans with a minor injury to his left hand.

--C Steven Hill could have earned an invitation to October training camp off his summer-league play, despite averaging 2.6 points and 1.8 rebounds in 17.6 minutes a game. The 7-footer from Arkansas blocked 2.2 shots per game and "showed he can play in our league," Pritchard says. "He did a great job defensively our last two games. He has to become a better rebounder, but he's an NBA shot-blocker."

--G Petteri Kopponen averaged 13.2 points and 3.4 assists in Summer League play, but shot only .380 from the field and played poorly in the final two games. The Blazers' brass will decide next week whether or not to sign the 2007 first-round pick.

--F Nicolas Batum was signed to a contract, though he averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds and shot only .343 from the field in his Summer League stint. The 6-9 first-round pick out of France, who is 19, needs work on offense and getting stronger.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: July 26, 2008

 

 
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