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Chinanu Onuaku Among Hopefuls Trying to Crack Trail Blazers Roster

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The big man hopes for a two-way contract and a chance to prove himself after two years in Houston.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Among the hopefuls on the Portland Trail Blazers roster as preseason commences stands Chinanu Onuaku, a 6’10 center hoping to stick in the NBA after two seasons, and only six appearances, with the Houston Rockets. Old friend David MacKay caught up with Onuaku this week, as the big man reflected on his time in Houston and talked about his chances with the Blazers.

As MacKay chronicles, Onuaku wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with Portland’s roster:

The fit in Portland has been comfortable thus far. Onuaku was already familiar with several of the roster’s younger members, and he feels well-liked among his peers.

“Like just meeting up with old friends,” he says of playing with Wade Baldwin, Caleb Swanigan, Jake Layman, Gary Payton II, and Cameron Oliver. Onuaku previously teamed with Payton in Summer League and G-League play, while sharing the court with Oliver in Rockets training camp last year.

And his goals are modest:

“A two-way contract is not out of the question,” he firmly asserted. “I’ll try to get a two-way somewhere.”

Would you be excited to see Onuaku on a two-way deal with Portland this season? The big man rotation has plenty of holes. Any chance he catches on?