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Blazers settle roster at 15 with guaranteeing of Will Barton's contract

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

The Portland Trail Blazers don't have many questions about their roster heading into 2014-15. After rebuilding the depth of this team a year ago, making it to the second round of the playoffs last season, and essentially swapping out Mo Williams for Steve Blake as the backup point guard this summer, the Blazers were headed in the right direction and set for next season without much to do. The last bit of business to take care of was deciding whether or not to guarantee the contract of Will Barton.

Joe Freeman of The Oregonian tells us the team has officially let Barton's deal become fully guaranteed by not waiving him before Thursday's deadline. The Blazers now have 15 players under contract for the 2014-15 season, meaning there isn't any change they can do to the roster unless they decide to eat a guaranteed deal or make a trade.

The Trail Blazers' 15-man roster was officially settled Thursday morning, when Will Barton's 2014-15 contract became fully guaranteed.

General manager Neil Olshey had the option of waiving the backup shooting guard this summer to create an open roster spot. But by keeping him on the roster until Thursday, Olshey ensured that his burgeoning talent would remain in Portland for at least one more season.

Barton played in 41 games for the Blazers in 2013-14 after being the 40th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft. He averaged just 4.0 points in 9.4 minutes while shooting 41.7 percent from the field. He played in seven playoff games for the Blazers, scoring 6.4 points in 11.6 minutes while making 50.0 percent of his shots and 54.5 percent of his 3-pointers.

The Blazers go into training camp and likely the regular season with Damian Lillard, Steve Blake, C.J. McCollum, Wesley Matthews, Will Barton, Allen Crabbe, Nicolas Batum, Dorell Wright, Victor Claver, LaMarcus Aldridge, Joel Freeland, Thomas Robinson, Robin Lopez, Meyers Leonard, and Chris Kaman. The next question they have for their roster is trying to figure out a new contract with Aldridge, but he'll likely become a free agent before that happens. He's expressed interest in returning to the Blazers, but as a free agent to maximize his earning potential.

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