Portland Trail Blazers Player News: All Positions

News: In an interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports on Tuesday, Lillard said that if the NBA resumes regular season play, he will not participate in games unless the Trail Blazers have an opportunity to qualify for the playoffs. "If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But I'm not going to be participating. I'm telling you that right now. And you can put that in there," Lillard told Haynes.
Impact: At the time the season was suspended on Mar. 11, the Blazers were in the thick of the race for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, sitting 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies. With Jusuf Nurkic (leg) and Zach Collins (shoulder) expected to return in the near future, Portland may have had an opportunity to close the gap. But as the future of the 2019-20 season hangs in the balance, it's still unclear if the league will opt to jump directly to the playoffs with the current top eight teams in each conference, or give teams like Portland a chance to qualify. Lillard noted that he would play if the league chose to employ a "play-in" style tournament, which has been rumored as a possibility,but is far from a guarantee. "If we come back and I don't have an opportunity to make the playoffs, I will show up to work, I'll be at practice and I'll be with my team. I'm going to do all that and then I'm going to be sitting right on that bench during the games," Lillard said. "If they come back and say it's something like a tournament, play-in style, between the No. 7 and No. 12 seeds, if we're playing for playoff spots, then I think that's perfect."
News: Hood (Achilles) has progressed to performing explosive workouts, Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports Northwest reports.
Impact: Hood posted a video on Instagram of him doing a quick-feet sidestep exercise using a Bosu ball. Considering the explosiveness needed for the workout and how much it relates to basketball, it's an encouraging sign that Hood was able to take the court for drills again soon. Hood has a player option for 2020-21 worth just over $6 million and averaged 11.0 points on 8.2 shots this season before suffering a torn Achilles.
News: Collins said in a recent interview that he's "on the right track" with his recovery from left shoulder surgery and noted that he hasn't experienced any setbacks in his rehab, Chris Burkhardt of NBC Sports Northwest reports.
Impact: Before the NBA suspended its season March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Collins had been eyeing a potential return during the postseason. Because teams haven't been holding practices during the shutdown, Collins hasn't had the opportunity to test out his shoulder in full-contract drills on the court, but he's likely to do so at some point in May, when clubs are expected to reopen their facilities. If Collins checks out well during his initial workouts, he could be ready to contribute whenever the season resumes.
News: Hood (Achilles) is working out one-on-one with the Trail Blazers' trainers three times per week, Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report reports.
Impact: Hood has presumably shed his walking boot, which is an important milestone in his recovery. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, he may not be able to rehab as aggressively as he would otherwise, but the expectation remains that he'll be ready for the early portion of the 2020-21 campaign. Hood also said that while he's undecided on whether he'll exercise his player option for next season, he "fully expects" to remain with Portland.
News: Coach Terry Stotts said Monday that while Collins (shoulder) has resumed on-court work, the big man is "not even close to being ready for a full practice," Dwight Jaynes of NBC Sports Northwest reports.
Impact: Collins has been sidelined since late October after requiring surgery to address a dislocated left shoulder, missing each of the Blazers' last 63 games before the NBA officially suspended its season Wednesday. Though commissioner Adam Silver confirmed Thursday that the league's hiatus is likely to last at least 30 days, Stotts' comment suggest that Collins may not be a lock to be ready to play if the NBA returns to action as early as mid-April. Since Collins was shut down following the Blazers' third game of the season, Carmelo Anthony has taken over as the club's starting power forward.
News: Ariza posted 22 points (7-12 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 3-4 FT), six rebounds, one steal and one block across 37 minutes during Tuesday's 121-105 victory over the Suns.
Impact: Ariza continued his strong play Tuesday, hitting a season-high five threes in the victory over Phoenix. Since the All-Star break, he's averaging 12.0 points on 7.8 shots, plus 5.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.5 steals in 35.5 minutes. Ariza's stretch of performances makes him a strong option for the fantasy playoffs in most leagues.
News: Anthony registered 21 points (9-16 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 1-2 FT), five assists, three rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 32 minutes during Tuesday's 121-105 win over the Suns.
Impact: Anthony was coming off two straight single-digit scoring performances, but he bounced back nicely here and showed he is still capable of lighting up the scoreboard on any given night. Despite two sub-par outings, Anthony has looked good during the current month since he's averaging 14.2 points while shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from three-point range in five March outings.
News: Lillard posted 25 points (8-17 FG, 5-10 3Pt, 4-4 FT), seven assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks in 40 minutes during Tuesday's 121-105 win over the Suns.
Impact: This was Lillard's best game since he returned from a six-game absence due to injury, and all signs point toward the All-Star point guard returning to the sizzling form he had prior to the injury sustained last month. Lillard is averaging 20.8 points with 6.0 assists in his last four games, and he will look to keep producing Thursday against the Grizzlies.
News: McCollum scored 22 points (9-20 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT) while adding six rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block in 36 minutes during Tuesday's 121-105 win over the Suns.
Impact: McCollum extended his stellar run of form since the All-Star break, and he's averaging 28.8 points, 7.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game in his last 10 outings. His numbers could decrease a bit with the return of Damian Lillard, but McCollum should be trusted as a premium scoring source moving forward if he keeps playing like this.
News: Nurkic (leg) will practice in the G League this week before his expected return Sunday against Houston, Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports Northwest reports.
Impact: The Blazers don't have their own G League affiliate, so Nurkic will practice with the Santa Cruz Warriors a few times this week in an effort to help him move toward game shape. All indications are that Nurkic will debut on Sunday, but he'll likely face a minutes restriction and could be eased back into action, especially given how well -- all things considered -- Hassan Whiteside has played for the Blazers this season.
News: McCollum generated 19 points (7-15 FG, 1-7 3Pt, 4-6 FT), six assists, four rebounds and two steals across 34 minutes in Saturday's 123-11 loss to the Kings.
Impact: It wasn't the best shooting night for McCollum, but contributions from the charity stripe and a healthy supply of assists gave the shooting guard a decent total. At the moment, McCollum is still outperforming Damian Lillard as the latter gets back in the groove after a lengthy absence.
News: Whiteside logged 19 points (8-11 FG, 3-5 FT), 11 rebounds and three blocked shots across 30 minutes in Saturday's 123-111 loss to the Kings.
Impact: While Whiteside has provided excellent production for Portland, it will be interesting to see what happens to his output once Jusuf Nurkic returns to the team, an event that could occur within the next couple of weeks. Teams in seasonal formats who are depending on Whiteside for their playoffs may need to develop a contingency plan in anticipation of an imminent downtick in production.
News: Anthony finished with seven points (3-12 FG, 1-3 3Pt), four rebounds and two assists across 34 minutes during Friday's 127-117 loss to the Suns.
Impact: Coming off an excellent 25-point outburst, Anthony regressed in a big way Friday. The effort was the seventh of Anthony's season with double-digit field-goal attempts with single-digit points -- tied for the ninth-most such performances this season. He'll look to bounce back Saturday while facing off against the Kings, who are in the race for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff picture along with the Trail Blazers.
News: Ariza posted 17 points (5-9 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 4-5 FT), five rebounds, three assists and one steal across 36 minutes during Friday's 127-117 loss to the Suns.
Impact: Ariza has provided strong contributions for the Trail Blazers as they hunt the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race. Across the past 11 games, he's averaging 12.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and a combined 2.5 steals-plus-blocks. He's also shooting an efficient 51.2 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from distance and 87.9 percent from the charity stripe. Ariza should be owned in most fantasy formats while he continues playing like this.
News: Lillard scored 24 points (6-16 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 9-10 FT) while adding six assists and three rebounds in 38 minutes during Friday's 127-117 loss at Phoenix.
Impact: Lillard has done a good job since returning from an injury that forced him to miss the All-Star Game, scoring at least 20 points and dishing out at least five dimes in both contests thus far. The fact that he's healthy is the most important thing regarding the star point guard, and he should experience an increase on his usage rate -- as well as his overall production -- in the coming games as the Blazers remain alive in Western Conference the playoff race.
News: McCollum delivered 25 points (10-20 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 2-2 FT), eight assists, three rebounds, one steal and one block in 39 minutes during Friday's 127-117 loss at Phoenix.
Impact: McCollum has now scored 20 or more points in 10 straight games, but his numbers could decrease a bit now that Damian Lillard is healthy and back into the starting unit. McCollum also dished out 7.1 dimes per game during that 10-game stretch, but his role as a playmaker could be reduced moving forward, putting even more importance on his scoring capacities.
News: Nurkic (lower leg) will make his season debut March 15 against the Rockets, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports. "I'm ready to help my team make the playoffs," Nurkic said. "It's time."
Impact: Nurkic has been on the shelf for nearly a year following a severe lower leg injury. He returned to practice in late January and has been steadily progressing since then. Last season, Nurkic was a huge part of Portland's success, as he averaged career highs in points (15.6), rebounds (10.4) and field-goal percentage (50.8), not to mention 3.2 dimes, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steal. He'll presumably see limited minutes for his first few games while he gets back into the flow of real game action. Presumably, Nurkic will come off the bench behind Hassan Whiteside, who is having a bounceback 2019-20 campaign.
News: McCollum had 22 points (9-18 FG, 2-7 3PT, 2-4 FT), six rebounds and five assists in Wednesday's win over Washington.
Impact: Coming off of a 41-point outing against Orlando on Monday, McCollum came back down to earth, but he still posted his ninth consecutive 20-plus-point game. McCollum's 18 field-goal attempts were his fewest in any game since Feb. 11 against New Orleans.
News: Whiteside had 24 points (10-14 FG, 4-5 FT), 16 rebounds and four blocks in Wednesday's win over Washington.
Impact: Going up against one of the most vulnerable defenses in the league, Whiteside was able to have another huge night, posting his 11th straight double-double and tacking on four blocks. Over that 11-game span, Whiteside is averaging 17.5 points, 15.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in 33.2 minutes.
News: Lillard (groin) recorded 22 points (6-12 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 6-6 FT), five assists, four rebounds, two steals and one block across 32 minutes Wednesday in the Trail Blazers' 125-104 win over the Wizards.
Impact: Wednesday marked Lillard's return from a six-game absence, and the Blazers were able to cruise to a relatively comfortable victory at home. That allowed Lillard to ease himself back into action, as he finished with only the fourth-most field-goal attempts among Blazers' starters.
News: Anthony posted 25 points (8-13 FG, 3-5 3pt, 6-6 FT), five rebounds, two steals and one assist across 32 minutes during Wednesday's 125-104 win over the Wizards.
Impact: Wednesday was one of Anthony's better all-around performances of the season, and it came at an important time as the Blazers scrap and claw for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The effort was one of Anthony's five 25-point outings this season, and of those, Wednesday's required the fewest shot attempts. Over the past seven games, he's averaging 17.9 points on 12.9 shots, plus 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 33.5 minutes.
News: Ariza recorded 15 points (3-5 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 7-8 FT), four assists, three rebounds, two steals and two blocks across 34 minutes during Wednesday's 125-104 win over the Wizards.
Impact: Wednesday was one of Ariza's best performances of the season, and this is the type of upside the Trail Blazers were banking on when trading for him. In terms of efficient two-way efforts, his statline was a rare one. With his effort in the win, Ariza became just one of six players over the past 10 years to post at least 15 points on five or fewer shots, plus two steals and two blocks. Over the past 10 games, Ariza is averaging 11.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.5 threes across 35.4 minutes.
News: Lillard (groin) will join the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Wizards.
Impact: As anticipated, Lillard will be back with the first unit in his return from a six-game absence. On the year, the star point guard's averaging 29.5 points, 7.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 3.9 threes in 37.0 minutes per game.
News: Trent will come off the bench for Wednesday's game against Washington.
Impact: Trent will be relegated to the second unit with Damian Lillard returning to the starting five. Across 41 games as a reserve this year, Trent's averaging 6.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 17.8 minutes.
News: Lillard (groin) will return to the lineup Wednesday against the Wizards and won't have a minutes restriction, Jamie Goldberg of The Oregonian reports.
Impact: The 29-year-old has been sidelined since Feb. 12 due to the right groin injury, but he'll make his return Wednesday after a six-game absence. Lillard is averaging 29.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.0 steal through 54 games this season, and he'll have a prime opportunity to pick up where he left off against a porous Wizards defense.
News: Anthony posted 10 points (5-9 FG), eight rebounds and two assists across 26 minutes during Monday's 130-107 win over the Magic.
Impact: Anthony saw his six-game streak of at least 30 minutes come to an end, but it was the result of a blowout victory. He shot the ball well, and it was his fourth consecutive game with exactly five made field goals. Over the past 10 games, he's averaging 14.3 points on 13.2 shots, plus 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 33.6 minutes.
News: Hezonja posted 10 points (4-6 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 2-2 FT), eight rebounds, four assists and one steal across 28 minutes during Monday's 130-107 win over the Magic.
Impact: Monday marked the first time that Hezonja has cracked 20 minutes since Feb. 7, and it was his first time seeing at least 28 minutes since Jan. 18. Despite the Trail Blazers dealing with a myriad of injuries, Hezonja still can't seem to find consistent playing time. As of now, it seems like he'll only see significant minutes in blowouts.
News: Whiteside scored 16 points (6-12 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 4-4 FT) while adding 13 rebounds, two blocks and an assist in 27 minutes during Monday's 130-107 win over the Magic.
Impact: That's now 10 straight double-doubles for the veteran center, and 47 on the year. Whiteside is averaging 16.9 points, 15.5 boards, 2.9 blocks and 1.6 assists over that stretch -- numbers right in line with his overall performance this season.
News: Trent scored 24 points (9-16 FG, 4-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT) while adding four rebounds, two assists and a block in 34 minutes during Monday's 130-107 win over the Magic.
Impact: The second-year guard had his second-best scoring performance of the season as he continues to fill in for Damian Lillard (groin) in the starting five. Over the six games Lillard has missed, Trent is averaging 14.5 points, 2.3 boards, 2.2 threes and 1.3 steals in 34.0 minutes a night. With Portland's superstar potentially returning Wednesday, however, Trent will soon return to his bench role.
News: McCollum scored a game-high 41 points (14-24 FG, 6-12 3Pt, 7-7 FT) while adding five rebounds, five assists and a steal in 36 minutes during Monday's 130-107 win over the Magic.
Impact: The 28-year-old continues to carry the offensive load for the Blazers while Damian Lillard (groin) is on the shelf. McCollum has scored at least 27 points in all six games Lillard has missed, averaging 33.3 points, 8.3 assists, 5.3 boards and 4.3 threes over that stretch.
News: Simons (ankle) will play Monday against the Magic, Casey Holdahl of the Trail Blazers' official site reports.
Impact: As expected, Simons is good to go Monday after getting through warmups with no issues. Over his last five games, he's averaging 7.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steal in 20.8 minutes. With Damian Lillard (groin) expected back Wednesday, Simons could see his role diminish following Monday's tilt.
News: Simons (ankle) is probable for Monday's game against the Magic.
Impact: While an official confirmation regarding his availability likely won't come until closer to tipoff, it sounds like Simons is trending towards taking the court. If he plays, Simons should see steady minutes off the bench with Damian Lillard (groin) sidelined.
News: Lillard (groin), who has already been ruled out Monday against Orlando, is targeting a return Wednesday against the Wizards, Shams Charania told Stadium.
Impact: Lillard hasn't played since Feb. 12 due to a groin injury -- a span of six games -- but it sounds like he's planning to return Wednesday against Washington, assuming he's given the green light by Portland's medical staff. If he does take the court, it's possible Lillard could face a minutes restriction as the Trail Blazers look to ease him back into action. Prior to getting hurt, the point guard was in the midst of an enormous year, averaging 29.5 points, 7.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and one steal in 37.0 minutes per game.
News: Simons (ankle) said that his status for Monday's game against Orlando will hinge on his ability to go through pregame warmups, Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports Northwest reports.
Impact: Simons stated that he's "leaning towards playing," indicating that he'll try to give it a go against the Magic. That said, the team has yet to make an official call either way and will likely hold off until after warmups.
News: Simons (ankle) was able to participate in shootaround ahead of Monday's tilt with Orlando, Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports Northwest reports.
Impact: Simons remains questionable to play, though his participation in pregame drills is encouraging. Look for the final word on his status to come ahead of tipoff.
News: Simons (ankle) is listed as questionable for Monday's game against the Magic, Jamie Goldberg of The Oregonian reports.
Impact: Simons exited Saturday night's game against Atlanta with a sprained left ankle, so the Blazers will wait to see how he progresses overnight before reevaluating him at shootaround. The injury limited Simons to 16 minutes of action Saturday, as he finished with 10 points on 3-of-8 shooting.
News: McCollum collected 35 points (14-26 FG, 3-9 3Pt, 4-6 FT), five rebounds, five assists and two steals across 39 minutes during Saturday's 129-117 loss to the Hawks.
Impact: With Damian Lillard (groin) sidelined over the past five games, McCollum has averaged 31.8 points, 9.0 assists and 5.4 rebounds in 39.0 minutes, but the Trail Blazers have only managed to post a 1-4 record over this stretch. Saturday's effort marked McCollum's ninth 30-point performance of the season.
News: Simons won't return to Saturday's game in Atlanta after suffering a left ankle sprain, Casey Holdahl of the Trail Blazers' official site reports.
Impact: Simons had 10 points (3-8 FT, 2-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT) and one rebound in 16 minutes before going down with the injury. The 20-year-old should be considered questionable for Monday's game at Orlando until the team updates his status.
News: Lillard (groin) is out Saturday against the Hawks and Monday against the Magic, Jason Quick of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Lillard will continue to sit out as he goes through rehab sessions to address a strained right groin. Monday will mark his sixth consecutive absence. His next opportunity to play arrives Wednesday against the Wizards.
News: Lillard (groin) is listed as out for Saturday's game against the Hawks.
Impact: Reports earlier in the week suggested that Lillard would travel with Portland for its three-game road trip that began Thursday in Indiana, but Casey Holdahl of the Trail Blazers' official site later relayed that the point guard opted against making the flight to Indianapolis. The fact that the team is ruling Lillard out a full day in advance of Saturday's game suggests that he won't be joining the Trail Blazers in Atlanta either. Portland is still seemingly evaluating Lillard's status on a game-by-game basis, but at this point, it would be surprising if he even makes the trip to Orlando for Monday's game against the Magic, much less plays.
News: Nurkic (lower leg/calf) is listed as out for Saturday's game against the Hawks.
Impact: Nurkic initially looked on track to make his season debut at some point shortly following the All-Star break, when he was cleared for full practices in late January, but his progress has since been stalled after he strained his right calf in one of his workouts. While the injury is to the opposite leg in which he sustained compound fractures last March, the calf issue is significant enough to keep him off the court. With no reports indicating that Nurkic practiced at any point in February, he looks to be multiple weeks away from playing in games. Considering the 26-34 Blazers are three games off the pace for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, there's a real possibility the organization errs on the side of caution and shuts Nurkic down for the season if Portland falls out of the playoff picture.
News: Ariza finished with eight points (3-10 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 0-1 FT), four assists, one rebound and one steal in 37 minutes during Thursday's 106-100 loss to Indiana.
Impact: Ariza struggled from the field in the loss, unable to replicate his strong scoring night from only 48 hours prior. Over the past two weeks, Ariza has been a top-90 player across standard leagues, albeit with a positive contribution in steals and field goal percentage only. He can have 12-team value, but his upside is certainly capped and not everyone is going to need what he can offer moving forward.
News: Trent tallied 20 points (7-15 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 2-4 FT), five rebounds and one steal in 41 minutes during Thursday's 106-100 loss to Indiana.
Impact: Trent played a team-high 41 minutes in the loss, scoring at least 20 points for the first time since early February. With Damian Lillard (groin) still sidelined, it has been Trent soaking up the bulk of his minutes. Unfortunately, the production has been far from consistent; however, he is worth considering as a points and threes streamer if you can catch him on the right night.
News: Whiteside compiled 18 points (9-15 FG), 16 rebounds, four blocks and one steal in 35 minutes during Thursday's 106-100 loss to the Pacers.
Impact: The Trail Blazers have now lost five of their past six games and sit three wins outside of the Western Conference playoff picture. Despite the team's misfortunes, Whiteside continues to put up big numbers on a nightly basis. He has been a first-round player over the course of the season and shows no signs of slowing down. The only downside is the fact that his fantasy game is extremely lopsided. Outside of rebounds, blocks and field-goal percentage, he is basically a negative contributor everywhere else.
News: McCollum had 28 points (11-27 FG, 3-12 3Pt, 3-3 FT), eight assists and three rebounds in 38 minutes during Thursday's 106-100 loss to the Pacers.
Impact: McCollum was unable to keep his run of double-doubles going Thursday but still managed a game-high 28 points. The continued absence of Damian Lillard (groin) is feeding McCollum's success right now, as he is putting up top-40 numbers over the past two weeks. An interesting side note is that during the two-week period, he is shooting just 71 percent from the free-throw line. This is well below anything he has done for his career and an improvement certainly seems inevitable.