Raivio must pass the cut
TUALATIN, Ore. — Reality immediately set in for Nik Raivio.
After running through a two-hour practice Wednesday morning during the Portland Trail Blazers’ first warmup session for the 2010 NBA Summer League, the former Mountain View High School standout had already developed the perspective of an eager but unsure freshman.
Wearing Blazers workout clothes and running the court with a loose collection of NBA rookies and well-traveled veterans was great, Raivio said. But the ex-Portland Pilot still has one more major obstacle to overcome before he is truly part of Portland’s Summer League team.
Right now, the Blazers’ summer-team roster has 15 players. But Portland will likely only take 12 athletes to Las Vegas to participate in a five-game schedule that starts 3 p.m. Sunday versus Houston.
“We have a good group out here and a lot of healthy bodies,” Blazers Summer League coach Kaleb Canales said. “So I think as the week progresses, we’ll kind of decide that.”
Thus, Raivio at the most has three more days remaining before a cut is made. And with Portland possessing six guards on its 15-man roster — highlighted by Patty Mills, a second-year Blazer, and 2010 second-round draft pick Armon Johnson — Raivio knows that his work has only just begun.
“They said if you come here and do well, you get to go to Vegas,” Raivio said. “So, I’ll just come in here and play well and see what happens.”
However, if the former Thunder star does not make the team, he is not out of options. Raivio said he is already eyeing a spot overseas with a European club, focusing on the possibility of obtaining dual citizenship in Belgium, where he was born.
And should Raivio be cut before the Blazers make the trip to Nevada, he is certain that the exposure he will receive and the high level of competition he will face during Summer League practices will nevertheless make his summer a win-win.
“I’m excited for the opportunity and I’m ready to compete,” Raivio said.