Blazers exercise options for CJ McCollum, Mason Plumlee and Noah Vonleh
The Portland Trail Blazers exercised the options of three players on Wednesday morning. The team announced that they have picked up the fourth year options for guard CJ McCollum and center Mason Plumlee, as well as the 3rd year option for 2nd year forward Noah Vonleh.
McCollum is entering his third season as a Blazer. He’s coming off a breakout playoff performance against the Memphis Grizzlies which included a career-high 33 points in the elimination game in Memphis. Taken 10th overall and getting frequent public praise from Olshey, this was a matter of when, not if.
The same goes for the two young players they acquired in trades this summer.
Plumlee was acquired by the team on a draft day trade with the Brooklyn Nets, along with Pat Connaughton in exchange for Steve Blake and first round draft choice Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Plumlee has averaged 21 points and 14 rebounds per 100 possessions in his first two seasons with the Nets. Plumlee has started 67 games over that time, but was in and out of the line-up as he was behind veterans with bigger contracts and/or more gifted offensive players like Brook Lopez.
Vonleh was the crown jewel of the Nicolas Batum trade on the eve of the draft that also brought Portland Gerald Henderson. Just 20 years old, Vonleh played only 25 games last season with the Charlotte Hornets after being taken ninth overall in the 2014 draft. Vonleh had a nice showing for the Blazers during summer league, but he is essentially going into a second rookie season with the Blazers.
Portland gave up assets to acquire both Plumlee and Vonleh, both still on rookie deals, so it isn’t much of a surprise that both of their options were picked up as their future depends on their development.