Now that the Trail Blazers are NBA Summer League Champions, head coach Terry Stotts is heading to Iowa for summer break. Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune caught up with Stotts to discuss his impressions from Summer League, thoughts on the rookies Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr. and new free agents Seth Curry and Nik Stauskas.
Stotts made sure to mention his appreciation for the players who are not likely to be on the Portland roster when the season starts.
“We played really well,” said Stotts, who was in Las Vegas for the duration of the tournament. “The guys who are going to be with us next year had good camps, but I was happy that Archie Goodwin, John Jenkins and K.J. McDaniels got a chance to show what they can do.”
He also highlighted the contributions from many different players that helped Portland to a 7-0 finish in Vegas.
”Wade did a really good job of running the team,” Stotts said. “He was dynamic. Jake had a three-game stretch where he was really good. Zach had a much better summer league than he did last year. Caleb had a slow start but came on strong the last three games.
”Both of the rookies showed they have a lot of talent. Gary was able to get quality shots and make them within the flow of the offense. Anfernee is a skilled young player who has a lot of room to grow.”
Next year’s team will feature a handful of new guards with the rookies and free-agent signings. Stotts is ready for the challenge of incorporating the new players into the lineup.
”There are minutes to be had,” Stotts said. “Seth and Nik are NBA players. They’ve been around. But there is opportunity for the rookies, too. I don’t have any preconceived notions about what we’re going to do as far as the rotation and minutes. That’s a long ways off.”
Read more in Eggers’ article which includes information about the Men’s Warehouse Suit Drive, a partnership with the National Basketball Coaches Association. Drop gently used suits and accessories at any Men’s Warehouse before July 31. Donated items will be distributed by non-profit organizations to men and women who are looking to re-enter the workforce.