SEATTLE — The NBA is returning to Seattle — for the preseason, that is.
The Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers will play a preseason game at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena on Oct. 3, the teams announced Wednesday.
It will be the first NBA event since the former KeyArena was gutted and reconstructed as the home of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and WNBA’s Seattle Storm.
The final event in the previous version of the building was a NBA preseason game between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings in October 2018. That game was the first NBA event in the arena after the departure of the SuperSonics for Oklahoma City following the 2008 season.
Clippers president of business operations Gillian Zucker said the idea for playing the game in Seattle was the brainchild of Los Angeles coach Ty Lue and Portland coach Chauncey Billups, who have been longtime friends.
The game between the Blazers and Clippers is being dubbed the “Rain City Showcase.”
In addition to playing at Climate Pledge Arena on Oct. 3, the Blazers will have a five-game preseason schedule with two of those at the Moda Center.
The home games are Oct. 4 vs. the Utah Jazz, and Oct. 6 against Maccabi Haifa of Israel.
Two Northern California road games finish the preseason. Portland will be at Sacramento on Oct. 9 and at Golden State on Oct. 11.
Tickets for the two preseason home games will go on sale at a later date.
Simons given qualifying offer
The Portland Trail Blazers extended a qualifying offer to guard Anfernee Simons on Wednesday, making him a restricted free agent, general manager Joe Cronin announced.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
By extending a qualifying offer to Simons, Portland obtains the right of first refusal on any offer sheet he may sign with another team.
Simons, 24th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, averaged 17.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 29.5 minutes per game in 57 games last season.