Update: Fred Katz reported tonight that Alexander signed a two year contract with Portland. The contract is non-guaranteed for year two, and year one has a partial guarantee.
Cliff Alexander's deal is two years. Non-guaranteed for year two. Partially guaranteed for $100K in year one.— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) July 25, 2015
University of Kansas forward Cliff Alexander has tweeted that he is "now a member of the Portland Trail Blazers family".
God has still found ways to bless me through the struggle. I am officially apart of the NBA & Trailblazer family pic.twitter.com/O69Jj5frhM— Cliff Alexander (@CAlexander) July 24, 2015
Once considered a top-5 player, Alexander slipped through the 2015 NBA Draft without hearing his name called. A knee injury hampered his only college season and allegations of improper payments to his mother kept him out of the NCAA Tournament, limiting his exposure. He played Summer League for the Brooklyn Nets before signing with the Blazers.
Terms of his contract have not been revealed yet. It's customary to "reserve" players during the summer with non-guaranteed contracts that don't outlast fall training camp. Alexander may be under such terms. We will update you as the story progresses.
The 6'9" PF/C averaged 7.1 points and 5.3 rebounds on 56.6% shooting in 17.6 minutes per game for Kansas last year.
Alexander's DraftExpress profile lists him 6'7.25" without shoes, with an impressive 7'3.5" wingspan and a sturdy 240 pound frame.
According to DraftExpress, he has all the physical tools of an NBA player, has good hands, and runs the floor well despite not being super explosive. Most of his scoring come from dunks and putbacks off rebounds, but it's noted that his shooting mechanics are solid. Defensively, Alexander is seen flashing hard and recovering nicely in one predraft video, making him a good fit for the Blazers' lineup if their new defense (as Willy Raedy recently suggested) focuses on using speed and athleticism to force turnovers and moving quickly to contain the offense as it shifts.
Update: Here's a nice article on Alexander's journey from the Chicago Tribune.
And an excerpt from the Trail Blazers official press release:
PORTLAND, Ore. (July 24, 2015) - The Portland Trail Blazers have signed forward Cliff Alexander, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.
Undrafted, Alexander, 19, averaged 7.1 points (56.6% FG, 67.1% FT), 5.3 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 1.32 blocked shots in one season at Kansas in 2014-15. His field goal percentage led Kansas and ranked fourth in the Big 12 last season.
The 2014 Naismith Boys High School Player of the Year, Alexander (6-8, 240) was a 2014 McDonald's All-American, a member of Team USA at the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit and earned co-MVP honors at the 2014 Jordan Brand Classic.