Portland Trailblazers Assign Cliff Alexander & Luis Montero to Santa Cruz Warriors

Sep 28, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Luis Montero (44) poses during media day at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Luis Montero (44) poses during media day at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports /

The Portland Trailblazers assigned Cliff Alexander and Luis Montero to the Santa Cruz Warriors on Thursday.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The Santa Cruz Warriors will have two players from out of town available for their Saturday night game against the Los Angeles D-Fenders, those players being Cliff Alexander and Luis Montero of the Portland Trailblazers. The Blazers announced Thursday they would utilize the D-League’s flexible assignment rule to allow Alexander and Montero some much needed playing time.

Per Blazers PR:

"PORTLAND, Ore. (March 10, 2016) – The Portland Trail Blazers have assigned rookie forward Cliff Alexander and rookie guard Luis Montero to the NBA Development League’s Santa Cruz Warriors, pursuant to the flexible assignment rule, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey."

For those unfamiliar, the D-League’s flexible assignment rule, a.k.a. the “flex assignment rule,” allows any of the 11 NBA teams currently without a D-League affiliate to designate the team to which to assign their player(s). Since the Trailblazers voluntarily ended their hybrid affiliation with the Idaho Stampede after 2014, the team has yet to construct their own D-League team, and therefore is able to to use the flex assignment system.

The receiving team must also be willing to accept the assignment, in which case, the player will be added onto that team’s roster until recalled by his home team. Some may recall a similar situation regarding the Warriors in February, in which Santa Cruz accepted the Chicago Bulls’ assignment of former Golden State player, Mike Dunleavy Jr.

With the Blazers in Oakland getting ready for a Friday night game against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena, it’s only natural that the Blazers would seize the opportunity to allow two of their seldom-used players some time to play NBA basketball.

Santa Cruz Warriors
Cliff Alexander — Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports /

Alexander, 20, has averaged 1.4 points and 0.9 rebounds in 4.5 minutes played per game this season. After signing with Portland as an undrafted free agent in 2015, the 6-foot-8-inch power forward has played in just seven games all year. A former five star recruit out of high school, some may also recall the Chicago-native’s short collegiate career playing at the University of Kansas prior to the 2015 NBA Draft.

Montero, 22, has averaged 1.9 points, 0.3 rebounds, and 0.1 assists in 3.3 minutes played per game this season. After going undrafted in 2015, the 6-foot-7-inch shooting guard signed with Portland last summer, subsequently competing on Portland’s 2015 NBA Summer League squad. A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Montero has appeared in seven games with the Blazers this year. Montero last played for Westchester Community College in New York before declaring for the 2015 NBA Draft.

Alexander and Montero will be on the active roster for Santa Cruz on Saturday, March 12, when the Warriors are set to play the Los Angeles D-Fenders at 7:00 PM/PT at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz. 

Also: Baron Davis, formerly of the Golden State Warriors and currently of the Delaware 87ers, is set to play Santa Cruz on Sunday, March 13.

[UPDATE 03-12-2016 12:12 p.m. Pacific]: Kevon Looney has been assigned to the Santa Cruz Warriors.