ChrisHaynes, CSNNW.com NBA & Trail Blazers Insider
ThePortland Trail Blazers are gearing up for their Halloween showdownwith the Los Angeles Lakers, but before that match, they'll finishoff the second half of a home-and-home preseason finale against theUtah Jazz on Thursday night in Salt Lake City.
The Trail Blazers will travel to Utah with two less guys electing to allow DallasLauderdale and Demonte Harper to go home with family before they areassigned to the team's NBA Development League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede.
Wedidn't think it was fair to make them practice, because they weren'tgoing to travel to Utah, Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olsheysaid. We wanted a smaller traveling party. So we let them go hometoday because they've been here for like a month, so they can seetheir family and do whatever before D-League training camp opens.
Olshey said the organization will wait until Oct. 27 to make roster cuts.The players that are waived, will be placed into a 48-hour waiver window,open for any to team to claim, similar to what the Trail Blazers didwith Justin Holiday.
However,if a team does claim a player off waivers, they will be responsiblefor their prorated salary.
An NBA D-League team can carry up to 10 guys and Olshey says the makeup of theStampede will probably be four to five players that were on the teamlast year, three players that they'll assign out of the pool of campinvites, and a couple of draft picks.
Holiday will likely be the third camp invitee allocated to Idaho.
AdamMorrison, Sasha Pavlovic, and Coby Karl have the best chance ofmaking the Trail Blazers' regular season roster. Each player has had their moments,but at this current time, Karl has been the talk of town.
Hissteady point guard play and leadership has been a pleasant surprisefor a team that has struggled finding a backup to Damian Lillard.Karl knows that and is going full throttle in hopes of landing aroster spot.
I'mjust going in and not thinking about what will happen if, Karlsaid. My goal is to make this team and that's what I'm trying todo.
Stotts has rewarded Karl with a nice stretch of minutes due to Ronnie Price's ankle injury, along with the poor play of Nolan Smith. Price was signed to bethe backup to Lillard on opening day and Olshey expects him to be ready and in the lineup on Oct. 31.
Ronniewill be fine, he'll be fine,Olshey said. I anticipate him opening day,his ankle it's not going to be an issue for Ronnie. He's makinggreat progress. He was running around the Ultra-G today. The good thingis, from a conditioning standpoint and from an experience standpoint,the two guys I would worry least about are him and Jared Jeffries.