By Associated Press • 

Trail Blazers bring Aminu into fold


Of the AP

The Portland Trail Blazers appear to be entering a period of change, so one of general manager Neil Olshey’s first calls during free agency went to a familiar face.

The Blazers quickly agreed with veteran Al-Farouq Aminu, reuniting the defensive-minded forward with the man who drafted him with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2011.

“Headed to Portland with my guy Neil Olshey, who believed in me since day one,” Aminu tweeted. “Much love Rip city here I come.”

The four-year deal is worth $30 million, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. The person requested anonymity because the deal has not been announced.

The Blazers’ calling card in recent seasons has been continuity, with a starting five of LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard played enormous minutes together. But that group is dissolving this summer, with Batum already traded to Charlotte and Aldridge, Lopez and Matthews all on the open market as free agents.

Olshey got Gerald Henderson from Charlotte in the Batum deal and Mason Plumlee in a draft-night trade with Brooklyn to start the remodel.

Then Olshey made an aggressive play for Aminu, a player who averaged just 5.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 74 games for the Dallas Mavericks last year. He has never scored 20 points in a game in his five-year career. But the 6-foot-9 Aminu can guard multiple positions and was the eighth overall pick out of Wake Forest by Olshey’s Clippers in 2011.

For a team that finished in the bottom third of the league in points allowed and field goal percentage defense, adding someone of Aminu’s defensive prowess figures to make a difference.

And as large as that contract appears at first glance, the $7.5 million average annual salary won’t look as big when the league’s new television contract sends the salary cap skyrocketing.


Blazers sign ex-Laker forward Ed Davis

Ed Davis is leaving Los Angeles for the Portland Trail Blazers. Now, like most of the rest of the league, he’s waiting for LaMarcus Aldridge to make a decision and determine just how big Davis’ role will be in his new home.

Davis agreed to terms on a three-year, $20 million deal with the Blazers on Thursday, agent David Bauman of Relativity Sports said.

The 25-year-old Davis was the 13th overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in 2010, but he has bounced around the league for his first five seasons. He spent two and a half seasons in Toronto and another season and a half in Memphis before signing a two-year deal with the Lakers last summer that allowed him to opt out after his first year.

Davis averaged 8.3 points and 7.6 rebounds in just over 23 minutes per game with the Lakers, a productive stint especially for a player making under $1 million. He’s getting a hefty raise to go to Portland, but he won’t know exactly what his role will be with the Blazers until Aldridge decides where he will sign.

Davis cannot sign his contract until July 9, per league rules.


Lillard inked to $120 million extension

A person with knowledge of the negotiations tells The Associated Press that Damian Lillard has agreed to terms with the Portland Trail Blazers on a five-year extension worth more than $120 million.

The two sides finished the negotiations on Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.

Lillard’s contract could be worth up to $129 million, depending on the salary cap.

Lillard has made two All-Star teams in his first three seasons in the league. He won the rookie of the year award in 2012. He averaged 21.0 points and 6.2 assists for the Blazers last season.

The deal cannot be signed until July 9, per league rules.

The Blazers also agreed to a three-year, $20 million contract with Ed Davis on Thursday.


Afflalo leaves Portland, signs with New York

Arron Afflalo is about to team up with Carmelo Anthony again.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations tells The Associated Press that Afflalo has accepted a two-year, $16 million offer from the New York Knicks. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no NBA deals can be completed before July 9.

ESPN first reported the agreement.

A shooting guard, Afflalo spent parts of two seasons as Anthony’s teammate in Denver. Afflalo also has spent time with Detroit, Orlando and Portland, averaging 11.4 points per game in his first eight NBA seasons.

The Knicks are coming off a 17-65 season, the second-worst record in the NBA. Anthony played in only 40 games because of left knee problems.