The Latest Trail Blazers Rumors On Hassan Whiteside, Bismack Biyombo And 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:

Blazers planning strong pitch for Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside is the top center free agent available this summer, and all of the usual suspects are going after the Miami big man - the Lakers, Celtics, Mavs, Rockets and Heat. However, the Trail Blazers have emerged as a dark horse in the race, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon and Marc Stein:

The Portland Trail Blazers, sources say, are widely expected to be among the other suitors attempting to pry the 7-foot Whiteside away from the Heat, sources said.

Portland struggled to find consistency amongst their big men last season, particularly defensively. Whiteside, who led the league with 3.7 blocks per game, would definitely fill that void.

Biyombo a backup option?
Another strong rebounder and shot-blocking specialist, the Blazers plan to pursue Raptors center Bismack Biyombo if they can't land Whiteside.

While doing a video for The Player's Tribune, guard C.J. McCollum made his own recruiting pitch to Biyombo, saying he "looks good in red and black."

Biyombo averaged 5.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 22 minutes per game last season.

Portland was targeting Layman?
Many were surprised when the Blazers trading into the second round to draft Maryland forward Jake Layman, but according to's Jason Quick, Layman was the guy they were targeting from the beginning of the process.

Shortly after the college basketball season had ended this spring, Neil Olshey had targeted his player for the 2016 NBA Draft: Jake Layman, a sharp shooting wing from Maryland who could defend and play multiple positions.

“Neil and I have been talking about Jake for the past two months,’’ agent Mark Bartelstein said. “He was a guy Neil really targeted. He told me if he could trade into the second round, he was a guy they would really go after.’’

Olshey gave up $1.2 million and a 2019 second round pick to get his guy.

“Jake is a high character young man with a skill set we value on both ends of the floor,’’ Olshey said in a release from the team. “His ability to defend multiple positions and shoot the ball from range will be positive additions to our roster.’’

The Blazers picked Layman with the 49th pick in the draft. He averaged 11.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for Maryland last season.

Follow our Portland Trail Blazers news page for all the latest Blazers rumors!

Back to the Portland Trail Blazers Newsfeed

Related Topics: NBA Free Agency News, Bismack Biyombo, NBA Free Agency, Jake Layman, Trail Blazers News, NBA Free Agency Rumors, NBA News, Hassan Whiteside, 2016 NBA Free Agency