Blazers’ Nolan Smith to Leave as Free Agent?
This past October, the Portland Trail Blazers elected not to pick up the third year of second year guard Nolan Smith’s rookie contract, making him an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2012-13 season. In 62 career games, Smith is averaging 3.4 points, 1.3 assist, shooting 36 percent from the field and 24 percent from three-point range.
That’s not a huge body of work and the stats don’t indicate he’s found a niche in this league, but he’s confident going into free agency that NBA personnel know what he’s capable of providing to an organization.
“I think teams know [what I can do],” he said. “I think there’s players in this league that have been buried on the bench, as people would say. And there’s a lot of people that know what I can do. I’ve shown in spurts what I can do. It will be seen and I think when the time comes, whether it’s here this summer when I’m a free agent and I’m working on staying on this team or getting on another team, whatever it may be, people know [my game].”
Smith is not sure what his future holds in Portland, but before his time ends there, he would like to show the city what he can offer. On the other hand, he’s realistic and knows he probably won’t be able to prove his worth until he’s on another team. This is especially true with rookie point guard Damian Lillard becoming the face of the franchise while Smith is currently the third-string point guard.
“Change is good for everybody,” Smith said. “I love Portland and if I’m here, I’ll be happy to be here. But at the same time, everybody knows that when change comes, there’s a lot of players in this league that when change happened, great things happened and that’s what I’m looking at. We’ll see what happens.”