Phil Jackson turns down Blazers head coaching offer; interest in more?

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Phil Jackson turns down Blazers head coaching offer; interest in more?

ChrisHaynes, CSNNW.com Trail Blazers Insider (@ChrisBHaynes)

ThePortland Trail Blazers attempted to snag former Utah Jazz coach,Jerry Sloan, out of retirement this week by formally offering himtheir head coach position in Salt Lake City.

Sloan later turned downthe offer, but that wasn't the Trail Blazers first big swing at a Hall-of-Fame coach.

Forthe last few months, the Trail Blazers have been in back-and-forthdiscussions with Phil Jackson in an attempt to persuade him to taketheir head coaching vacancy, a close source said.Last week, Jackson's agent, Todd Musburger, informed the Trail Blazersthat Jackson was flattered, but has decided he would not coachthis upcoming season.

Trail Blazers general manager, Neil Olshey,confirmed that the organization did chase Jackson, but wouldn'tcomment further on the matter. However he did have this to say, He(Phil Jackson) decided it wasn't time.

Jackson,66, was rumored to have been close to accepting the Orlando Magic'sgeneral manager position but did not take that position, as well.

TheZen Master coached 11 NBA Championship teams (Chicago Bulls and LosAngeles Lakers), was the All-Star Game coach four times, and won theNBA Coach of the Year Award once in 1996.

Portland Winterhawks Rodrigo Abols selected by Vancouver Canucks in NHL Draft

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Photo courtesy Vancouver Canucks

Portland Winterhawks Rodrigo Abols selected by Vancouver Canucks in NHL Draft

Portland Winterhawks forward Rodrigo Abols was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the seventh round, 184th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Abols had 20 goals and 29 assists for 49 points in 62 games this season after the Hawks selected him in the first round of the 2015 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft. He also represented his native Latvia at the 2016 World Championship and helped lead his country to a win in Division I A of the World Junior Championship, earning them a promotion to the top level of the tournament for 2017.

“Being drafted is the first step in a player’s goal of making it to the NHL, and we’re very excited for Rodrigo,” said Portland Winterhawks Vice President, General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “This is a great moment for he and his family as he begins the process of achieving his dream of becoming an NHL player.”

Prior to being drafted by the Canucks today, Abols had attended a prospects camp with them last summer.

The Winterhawks have now had players drafted in eight straight years, with 27 taken in that span.

Former Trail Blazer Brandon Roy to coach High School basketball in Seattle

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Former Trail Blazer Brandon Roy to coach High School basketball in Seattle

Former Trail Blazers All-Star Brandon Roy will coach high school basketball in his hometown of Seattle, Wash. Roy will take over the head coaching position at Nathan Hale High School, according to Chris Fetters, editor of dawgman.com and Seattle Sports Radio 950 KJR contributor. 

Update: Chad Johnson (Ochocinco) will not play summer league for Miami

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Update: Chad Johnson (Ochocinco) will not play summer league for Miami

Update: 

Original Story:

Former NFL wide receiver and Oregon State Beaver, Chad Johnson (Ochocinco) will play summer league for the Miami Heat. 

Yep, you read that right. A spokesman for the Miami Heat has announced Johnson is on the Heat's summer league roster.

Johnson finished his NFL career with 766 catches for 11,059 yards and 67 touchdowns.

What do you think? Will you watch to see if his athleticism will transfer to the basketball court?

Trail Blazers, Olshey get their target: Maryland's Jake Layman

Trail Blazers, Olshey get their target: Maryland's Jake Layman

Shortly after the college basketball season had ended this spring, Neil Olshey had targeted his player for the 2016 NBA Draft: Jake Layman, a sharp shooting wing from Maryland who could defend and play multiple positions.

“Neil and I have been talking about Jake for the past two months,’’ agent Mark Bartelstein said. “He was a guy Neil really targeted. He told me if he could trade into the second round, he was a guy they would really go after.’’

On Thursday, Olshey did just that in the second round of the NBA Draft, trading with Orlando for the 47th overall pick to select the 6-foot-9 forward.

Olshey gave up $1.2 million and a 2019 second round pick to get his guy.

“Jake is a high character young man with a skill set we value on both ends of the floor,’’ Olshey said in a release from the team. “His ability to defend multiple positions and shoot the ball from range will be positive additions to our roster.’’

Layman, 22, played four years at Maryland where he had career averages of 10.2 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from three-point range.

But Bartelstein, a long time power agent in the NBA, said there is much more to Layman.

“He’s one of those rare seniors with gigantic upside to his game,’’ Bartelstein said. “He’s kind of a late bloomer. His strength is coming and he has gotten better and better each year, and even late this season. So I think he’s a fascinating guy because he has so much upside. I think he will be a terrific player.’’

Layman on Friday said he can see similarities between his game and that of Utah wing Gordon Hayward.

“I’m not saying I’m him right now, but a guy who I can (model his game after) is Gordon Hayward,’’ Layman said.

He comes from Wrentham, Mass., a town of less than 11,000 located about 35 miles south of Boston and is the son of athletic parents: his dad played baseball and his mother basketball for the University of Maine.

It was in Wrentham where he watched Thursday’s draft, finally getting a call from Bartelstein who told him “It’s a home run!’” before he even mentioned which team had selected him.

“To finally hear my name called … it was a big sigh of relief,’’ Layman said. “I was very excited, especially to be picked up by the Blazers. I think their style fits me well.’’

Bartelstein said he told his client getting picked by Portland was a home run for two reasons: it’s always big to be a team’s only selection in a draft; and it’s important to be a targeted player, not just someone who is picked because they are available.

“It’s really important to come into the league and know a team wanted you enough to get the rights to get your pick,’’ Bartelstein said. “I know how much time Neil spent scouting and watching him, how much he focused on him, and to me, that says a lot.’’

Layman said he will arrive in Portland next week for the start of training camp for the Blazers’ Summer League entrant. The Blazers’ first game in Las Vegas will be July 9.

Gonzaga's Domantas Sabonis selected 11th, becomes second highest draft pick in program history

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Gonzaga's Domantas Sabonis selected 11th, becomes second highest draft pick in program history

Orlando selected Gonzaga sophomore Domantas Sabonis with the 11th pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, making Sabonis the second highest draft pick in Bulldog program history (behind Adam Morrison, taken third by Charlotte in 2006).   

The Magic immediately traded his rights along with Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Serge Ibaka.

The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 17.6 points and 11.8 rebounds. In his two seasons as a Bulldog, he helped lead Gonzaga to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2001.

Sabonis was named to the All-WCC first team in 2015-16 and was a second-team selection as a freshman.

Gonzaga's Kyle Wiltjer agrees to deal with Houston Rockets

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Gonzaga's Kyle Wiltjer agrees to deal with Houston Rockets

After going undrafted, Gonzaga foward Kyle Wiltjer agreed to three-year deal with Houston. He will play on Rockets' summer league team.

In his senior season at Gonzaga, Wiltjer averaged 20.4 points and 6.3 rebounds, while shooting 49.1 percent from the floor and 43.7 percent from beyond the arc. 

Wiltjer spent his first two seasons at the University of Kentucky; his freshman year, UK won the National Championship, and as a sophomore he was named Southeastern Conference Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 10.2 points ad 4.2 rebounds per game for the Wildcats. 

The Portland, Ore. native then elected to transfer to Gonzaga. He was named to the All-West Coast Conference first team both seasons as a bulldog. 

Golf, 1.2 million, and a phone call: How Jake Layman became a Trail Blazer on NBA Draft Night

Golf, 1.2 million, and a phone call: How Jake Layman became a Trail Blazer on NBA Draft Night

Despite having no picks in the NBA Draft last night, Neil Olshey and Paul Allen found a way to wheel and deal their way into the draft by making a trade with the Orlando Magic for the #47 overall pick and used that selection on Maryland's Jake Layman. Daniel Martin of CSNMidAtlantic.com spoke to Layman last night on a conference call who said, “Honestly, going into it I was confident that I was going to get picked no matter what round it was or when. I found out that Portland traded in to get that pick and I’m their only pick, so that’s a good sign.”

Read more about Layman's draft day experience which started on a golf course and ended with him being drafted by a team he didn't even work out for

 

 

Thunder trade Serge Ibaka to Magic for Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Ersan Ilyasova

Thunder trade Serge Ibaka to Magic for Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Ersan Ilyasova

A team that reached the Western Conference finals traded a veteran star with one season left on his contract to an Eastern Conference team that didn’t even make the playoffs.

This deal is a little backward.

Serge Ibaka is headed to the Magic with Victor Oladipo, No. 11 pick Domantas Sabonis and Ersan Ilyasova going to the Thunder.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

CONTINUE READING

Thunder trade Serge Ibaka to Magic for Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Ersan Ilyasova

Thunder trade Serge Ibaka to Magic for Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Ersan Ilyasova

A team that reached the Western Conference finals traded a veteran star with one season left on his contract to an Eastern Conference team that didn’t even make the playoffs.

This deal is a little backward.

Serge Ibaka is headed to the Magic with Victor Oladipo, No. 11 pick Domantas Sabonis and Ersan Ilyasova going to the Thunder.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

CONTINUE READING

Gary Payton II goes undrafted, set to sign with Houston Rockets

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Gary Payton II goes undrafted, set to sign with Houston Rockets

Oregon State point guard Gary Payton II went undrafted during Thursday's NBA Draft, though it appears he quickly found an NBA suitor. 

From Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Payton, 6'3", 175 lbs.,  was originally projected as a 2nd round pick. The two-time defensive player of the year averaged 16.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.5 steals in 34.3 minutes last season for the Beavers.