Raivio cut from Summer League team
Nik Raivio’s time with the Portland Trail Blazers was short but sweet.
The former Mountain View High School standout was cut from the Blazers’ Summer League team on Saturday, Blazers assistant coach Kaleb Canales said.
Raivio acknowledged that he was not surprised by the move.
He received a last-minute invitation to the team’s training camp. He then attended with the understanding that it was very unlikely that he would be allowed to travel with the squad to Las Vegas for a five-game exhibition schedule that begins at 3 p.m. today against Houston.
“This isn’t the end of anything,” Raivio, 24, said.
The former University of Portland star practiced with the Blazers’ 15-player summer squad this week, going against Portland players with regular-season roster spots such as Jeff Pendergraph, Dante Cunningham and Luke Babbitt.
“I have no doubt I can play with those guys,” Raivio said.
Canales, who will coach the summer team, said Raivio has a bright future in professional basketball.
“He’s got great basketball sense when he’s out there on the court,” said Canales, following a morning workout at the team’s practice facility. “I think he’s a very intelligent, smart player. … He can shoot the basketball.”
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Raivio was not drafted after playing three seasons at the UP, where he averaged 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists and led the Pilots in scoring each season.
Canales said that the one area Raivio needs to improve is his ballhandling. But the main factor in the decision to cut Raivio was that the former UP star is still recovering from a right Achilles tendon injury he suffered in January.
“Any time you come out of an injury, it’s difficult,” Canales said.
Nevertheless, Canales said Raivio was “wonderful” during this week’s camp and did everything the team asked of him.
“He’s a team guy first,” Canales said.
Now, Raivio will attempt to play pro ball in Europe and join his brother, Derek Raivio, a fellow ex-Thunder standout.
Nik Raivio said he expects to soon receive an offer from a European team, and could be playing overseas by Aug. 1.