Blazers Rumors Roundup: Portland Targeting Howard, Losing Crabbe To Sixers & More

The Portland Trail Blazers were one of the biggest surprises in the NBA last season, and this promising young team is looking to free agency to help them go from playoff team to title contender. Here's all the latest Blazers news and rumors you need to know:

Trail Blazers making Howard top target
Portland has been relatively quiet about their free agency plans this summer, but they reportedly have their sights set on Dwight Howard, according to John Canzano of the Oregonian:

The Blazers also planned to pursue Hassan Whiteside, but they were clearly fourth in the race to land him behind the Heat, Mavs and Lakers. 

Howard opted out of his contract with the Rockets and isn't expected to return to Houston. He currently has meetings scheduled with the Celtics and Hawks, while the Heat could also be interested.

Portland extends qualifying offers to Leonard, Harkless, Crabbe
The Trail Blazers took some expected steps to keep several important parts of their young team on Wednesday, extending qualifying offers to Meyers Leonard, Maurice Harkless and Allen Crabbe, according to

The Trail Blazers on Tuesday extended qualifying offers to Meyers Leonard, Maurice Harkless and Allen Crabbe, ensuring the three players will be restricted free agents beginning July 1. By extending the qualifying offers, the Blazers reserve the right to match any offer the players receive on the free agent market, which begins July 1. A qualifying offer is 125% of the players’ previous salary.

Blazers to lose Crabbe to 76ers?
While Portland can match those offers, it doesn't necessarily mean that they will if they think the deal isn't worth paying to keep the player. The 76ers are hoping that is the case with Crabbe, who they plan on pursuing in free agency, according to the Sporting News.

A source told Sporting News that the Sixers will also show interest in two other restricted free agents, Dion Waiters of the Thunder and Allen Crabbe of the Trail Blazers. The Thunder would likely let Waiters — a Philadelphia native — go without matching because they’ve acquired guard Victor Oladipo, and Philadelphia could make a sizable offer for Crabbe, who is 24 and had a breakout year with the Blazers. Crabbe, though, is stuck behind guards C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard, and Portland would not be able to match an offer if it is big enough.

Crabbe averaged 10.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game last season.

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Related Topics: NBA Free Agency News, Blazers News, Meyers Leonard, NBA Free Agency, Mo Harkless, Trail Blazers News, Allen Crabbe, Dwight Howard, NBA Free Agency Rumors, NBA News, 2016 NBA Free Agency