Daum joins Portland’s summer league squad


Landon Dierks, Sports Editor

He didn’t hear his name called on draft night, but former South Dakota State men’s basketball standout Mike Daum will get his chance to make an NBA roster this summer.

The 6-foot-9-inch forward from Kimball, Nebraska, has agreed to play in the NBA Summer League for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Portland’s backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is among the NBA’s best, but the frontcourt has some holes. Starting center Jusuf Nurkic will likely miss at least a portion of the 2019-20 season after compound fracturing his left tibia and fibula in late March. Reserve center Enes Kanter and starting forward Al-Farouq Aminu are set to enter free agency this summer. Portland will likely be searching for frontcourt scoring and depth — something Daum can provide if his collegiate career is any indication of what he can bring to the NBA.

Even if Portland chooses to round out its frontcourt by re-signing its free agents or bringing in other, more proven NBA players, it isn’t necessarily the end for Daum. He could still earn a spot on an NBA G-League roster or a two-way contract.

The Blazers are currently one of only two NBA franchises without a G-League affiliate (the Denver Nuggets being the other). This means if the Blazers decide Daum is worthy of a spot in the developmental league, they will have to assign him to another team’s affiliate with an open roster spot, but will still retain his rights.

Portland’s Summer League schedule looks like this:

2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 6 at the Thomas & Mack Center (game to be televised on ESPNU)

9 p.m. Sunday, July 7 at Cox Pavilion (game to be televised on NBA TV)

5 p.m. Tuesday, July 9 at Cox Pavilion (game to be televised on ESPN2)

7 p.m. Thursday, July 11 at Cox Pavilion (game to be televised on NBA TV)