Blazers Summer League practice begins after big changes to the t - KPTV - FOX 12

Blazers Summer League practice begins after big changes to the team

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Trail Blazer Summer League practice began on Tuesday after a dramatic change in the team's roster.

New additions Noah Vonleh and Pat Connaughton will join returning Trail Blazers Meyers Leonard, Allen Crabbe and Tim Frazier in Las Vegas.

In the last two weeks, the Blazers have lost an assistant coach and four starters.

Tuesday was the first time the Blazers got back into action since LaMarcus Aldridge announced over the weekend that he's leaving to head back home and play for the San Antonio Spurs.

It's just the latest in series of losses for the Blazers, including trades for Nicholas Batum, Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews.

Returning and new players said they aren't surprised by Aldridge's departure.

Meyers Leonard said he will always respect Aldridge's leadership and work ethic.

"There'd be times when I'd come in here at night and I would see LaMarcus shooting on the far basket and you probably don't see that from a lot of vets. But you know, I respect his decision, but now he's going to be an opponent of mine and I have to gear up to play against him now," said Leonard.

"I don't know if it's strange for a new guy because I don't know anything else. I wasn't here last year when they had all the guys that they lost," said Blazer newcomer Pat Connaughton. "So for me, it's just getting to know the guys and doing whatever I can do to help win ball games."

Connaughton arrived in Portland two days ago from Boston and before he was drafted into the NBA, he played Minor League Baseball.

The Blazers NBA Summer League opener is set for Saturday, July 11, against Boston at COX Pavilion on the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus.

All Trail Blazer games will broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet, and on Rip City Radio 620 AM.

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