In the Northwest Division off-season, it's been quiet. Too quiet. I always wanted to say that.
There has been some activity, however, and a summary follows.
The Blazers have managed to add a pair of utility free agents. One of them, at least, was a product of a premier basketball factory in the NCAA. The other was Steve Blake.
Central Michigan product Chris Kaman was signed away from the Los Angeles Lakers and should provide some needed depth at center behind Robin Lopez. The seven footer has averaged 11.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in his 11-year career, but struggled with injuries late in the season last year. Kaman will play for $9.8 million with a two-year contract.
Journeyman guard Blake (Maryland) returns to the Blazers for the third time in his career, having averaged 6.9 points and 5.6 assists last season for the Lakers and the Golden State Warriors. Damian Lillard's job won't be in jeopardy, but being employed should not be underestimated.
Blake will receive a food and rent stipend for his trouble.
No major free agent additions, but the team did re-sign an important member of the franchise. Restricted free agent Gordon Hayward, who splits time between the guard and forward positions with career averages of 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.2 assists, will return after the Jazz chose to match the four-year, $63 million offer sheet from the Charlotte Hornets.
There have been no major free agency acquisitions. Serves them right for Mutumbo.
Other than the draft, the team from the home state of Chris Meirose have thus far sat out the off-season. The big question mark is the fate of superstar big man Kevin Love. Will the signing of LeBron James in Cleveland result in a trade that will land number one draft pick Andrew Wiggins? We shall see.
Since it's a Minnesota team, I'm sure they are trying to orchestrate some kind of deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
If OKC was hoping to make an addition that would help them overtake the San Antonio Spurs, they haven't.
There are two pieces of good news for Thunder fans with the signing of Sebastian Telfair. First, he's not Steve Blake. Second, he averaged 26.1 points, 6.0 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.03 steals and 36.3 minutes in 35 games last season. There is one piece of bad news. He compiled those statistics in China.
The good news for we Seattle fans is that the Thunder pursued Pau Gasol without success.