Blazers news: Summer league debuts, latest on Scoot injury, Lillard rumors

Scoot Henderson, Portland Trail Blazers (left) (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Scoot Henderson, Portland Trail Blazers (left) (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Rip City made its 2023 NBA Summer League debut and lost to the Houston Rockets on a buzzer-beater, but a shoulder injury to Portland’s prized rookie Scoot Henderson was the game’s most significant takeaway. Here’s the latest Blazers news the morning after game 1 in Las Vegas, including an update on Scoot’s shoulder and the latest Damian Lillard trade rumors.

Trail Blazers rookies make their NBA debuts

In what was dubbed an “appetizer” and a “warm-up” to an underwhelming Victor Wembanyama debut, Scoot and the Blazers faced Amen Thompson’s Houston Rockets in both teams’ first game of this year’s Las Vegas summer league.

Henderson ultimately finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal, but the most impressive part of the 19-year-old’s performance was his pace. He never got sped up, rarely lost control, and ran the team like a legitimate floor general, knowing when to take an open shot and when to get teammates involved.

His physical traits are one thing, but if Scoot can patiently maestro pick-and-rolls and run an offense like he did against the Rockets (admittedly in one summer league game), maybe we should increase expectations a bit for his rookie season.

Kris Murray, Portland’s selection at No. 23 in this year’s draft, finished with 10 points after hitting a couple threes early, one of which came on a catch-and-shoot opportunity after a Scoot drive-and-kick. The Blazers’ second-round pick, Rayan Rupert, looked lost, showing just how raw his offensive game is.

Expectedly, Shaedon Sharpe was the best player on the floor. He finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Jabari Walker quietly had a nice game, posting a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double.

Scoot Henderson injury update

Henderson left the game in the third quarter with an apparent right shoulder injury, but Portland fans can breathe that good old collective sigh of relief.

After leaving the arena for an MRI, Scoot returned to hang out and take pictures with family and friends in the stands.

Blazers Summer League Head Coach Jonah Herscu said the team was just – understandably – “being cautious,” per Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

Sharpe injured his left shoulder during his summer league debut last year and was shut down early. His injury was more serious than Henderson’s seems, but there’s still a chance we lose out on the Scoot-Wembanyama matchup scheduled for Sunday evening if the Blazers decide to put their No. 3 pick on ice until training camp.

Latest Damian Lillard trade rumors

There haven’t been any concrete developments on a potential Damian Lillard trade, but it appears this could be some long-term drama that drags on closer to the start of the regular season.

Per Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian, the Trail Blazers are looking for a massive haul in return for their franchise point guard:

"The Blazers, according to NBA sources, are seeking in the neighborhood of four first-round picks and two quality players. But accomplishing that could require adding a third team to the equation."

The goal is still to get Lillard to the Miami Heat, according to Dame’s agent Aaron Goodwin, but as Fentress pointed out, the Heat can’t offer that kind of package to Portland, or at least not an attractive one.

Miami could offer up to three first-round picks if it can get the Oklahoma City Thunder to release protections on its 2025 first-rounder, but Heat picks aren’t terribly desirable, and the most “quality” players Miami can offer are Caleb Martin, Nikola Jovic and rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr.

Next. 4 things to watch for during Blazers summer league. dark

Everyone’s digging their feet in the sand, at least for now.