The Portland Trail Blazers’ current free agent mini-camp will be the first of three, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports. The participation of guard Dwight Buycks and forward LaDontae Henton was announced this morning, and now Kennedy expands on that short list of players, marking a few more names and specifying the scope of the workouts.
Blazers will have 3 free agent camps. They'll look at ~30 guys and may sign a few. Russ Smith, Erick Green, Dwight Buycks, etc in 1st camp.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 7, 2016
Russ Smith, one of the Philadelphia 76ers’many 2014 draft picks, has played for the 76ers, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Memphis Grizzlies at the NBA level, but experienced the most success with the Deleware 87ers, where he broke the D-League single-game scoring record with a 65-point performance. He averaged 27.9 points per game in 2015-16; excluding his brief stint with the Grizzlies.
Erick Green, a former NCAA Division 1 scoring leader, was drafted 46th overall by the Denver Nuggets in 2013. Although he signed a 3-year contract, he was eventually waived in November of 2015 to make room for Kostas Papanikolaou as part of the trade that sent Ty Lawson to the Houston Rockets. A few 10-day contracts with the Utah Jazz to get him through the 2015-16 season later, he remains a free agent.
The Blazers are likely looking for warm bodies to fill out their Las Vegas Summer League roster next month, but rumor has it that they may also be looking for diamonds in the rough. Putting about 30 players through rigorous workouts in an offseason where a penny saved could mean a star player earned is a subtly intriguing move.
To read more about Buycks and Henton, click here.