In the bustling fray of one of the most active and competive free agencies in sometime, between all Neil Olshey’s astonishing moves to improve the roster, the Trail Blazers have waived goodbye to several free agents.
Al Farouq Aminu
Al Farouq Aminu was the first Blazers unrestricted free agent to go. Soon after the moratorium ended, Aminu signed a three year $29 million deal with the Orlando Magic. The third year is a player option.
Aminu had been Portland’s starting power foward since 2015 when LaMarcus Aldridge left. He played well defensively for Portland despite being undersized, but struggled on the other end of the floor.
Often left open on defense, Aminu was an inconsistent three point shooter, often missing when the Blazers needed him to hit most. He shot 35% from three during his four years in Portland. He averaged 9.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game.
He seemed often lost during the postseason and spent more time on the bench than on the floor as the playoffs went on. The writing was on the wall. He was replaced by Zach Collins who will likely take over starting power forward. Good luck in Orlando Chief.
Back up point guard Seth Curry became popular among fans after he was signed last offseason to help bolster Portland’s bench. One of the best three point shooters in the league at 44% in his career. He shot 45% from distance for Portland, but never seemed to get off enough shots for it to matter much.
Whether from defense or oppurtunity, he never really got to show his full potential on the Trail Blazers. Though coming back from missing a season due to a broken leg could have been part of it, it seems opponents respected his shot and simply wouldn’t let him have it.
He did have several good games for Portland, and for q good portion of the season when he scored 10 or more points it meant a guaranteed victory for the Trail Blazers. Many hoped Curry would return on a MLE or a minimum contract after a Blazers western conference finals run.
Seth left on day two of free agency to go back to his prior team the Dallas Mavericks on a 4 year $32 million deal. He averaged about 8 points and 2 rebounds for Portland. He had a career year with Dallas before his injury, averaging about 13 pts a game. Good Luck in Dallas Seth.
Kanter was a big help in Portland’s playoff run. He stood in for injured center Jusuf Nurkic, and he did so with injuries of his own. He played most of the playoffs with a seperated shoulder. A one armed man on the glass, with putbacks, with an unstoppable energy.
It was hoped he would also come back on a MLE or minimum deal. The Blazers reportedly gave him the chance. According to Kanter he was given only 6 minutes to decide and felt pressured and disrespected. Damian Lillard said it was more like 45 minutes and Kanter embellished the facts. Either way Kanter said no, and decided on the Celtics for a two year $10 million conctract. A bargain signing for them after losingbAl Horford.
The Trail Blazers decided to go another way and trade for Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside. Though it would have been nice having the extra depth with Kanter on board as well, especially if Whiteside, an expiring contract is dealt away at the deadline. Oh well. Thanks for the help Enes. No hard feelings. No tall tales. Good luck in Beantown.
Image – Isaiah J Downing/USA Today Sports
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