The Blazers have announced that Will Barton and Nolan Smith’s time in the D-League is over…for now. Barton and Smith headed over to Boise to participate in the D-League Showcase. They were both with the team Wednesday for practice, and will be with the team Thursday when the Blazers take on the Miami Heat.
Here’s the official release:
TRAIL BLAZERS RECALL NOLAN SMITH AND WILL BARTON FROM IDAHO STAMPEDE
Guards to rejoin team in time for Wednesday’s practice
PORTLAND, Ore. (January 9th) – The Portland Trail Blazers have recalled guards Nolan Smith and Will Barton from the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.
Portland assigned Smith and Barton to the Stampede on Sunday, Jan. 6. The guards played in both of Idaho’s games at the 2013 NBA D-League Showcase in Reno, Nev., on Monday, Jan. 7 and Tuesday, Jan. 8.
Smith posted averages of 22.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.00 steal and 38.0 minutes per game. Smith led Idaho with a game-high 28 points on Jan. 7 against Texas.
Barton averaged 14.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.50 steals and 33.5 minutes per contest. The first-year guard out of Memphis tied for the team lead in rebounds (8) and assists (6) vs. Texas on Jan. 7.
Both players will be in Portland for today’s practice and are available for tomorrow’s game vs. Miami.
I’m of the opinion that Barton and Smith were in the D-League for different reasons. Barton to develop in a less pressure-packed environment; Smith to audition for other teams that might have an interest in him for the purpose of including him in a trade.
Though Nolan probably isn’t going to get traded on his own, although nobody would say no to a trade like this, he could very easily be thrown in on two-for-one type deal because of his expiring contract. I really don’t think Portland will make any trades this season, I also don’t think the Blazers will make an offer to Nolan in the off-season and it might be in their best interest to get something for a guy they drafted 21st overall. That being said, Portland let Greg Oden go for nothing, Brandon Roy too.