PORTLAND, Ore. - On the first day in his new NBA city, Gerald Henderson was asked Monday about his impressions of Portland. Before he was able to answer, Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey mentioned the city's recent naked bicycle race.
Henderson's eyes widened.
"What time is that?" Henderson said.
Henderson may not know about some of Portland's quirks, but the recently acquired shooting guard from Charlotte appears to have adequate knowledge of the Blazers' history.
"I've been in Charlotte for six years, and this is a fresh start. They have a really good thing going on here. They're used to winning," Henderson said. "I've only played four games in the playoffs. You play the game to win. I'm looking forward to having an impact in the playoffs."
New Blazers Noah Vonleh, Mason Plumlee and Henderson were introduced during a Monday press conference. Vonleh, a 6-foot-10 power forward, and Henderson were acquired through a trade last Wednesday from Charlotte for small forward Nicolas Batum.
The 6-11 Plumlee landed in Portland on a draft-night trade with Brooklyn, which also swapped second-round pick Pat Connaughton for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the No. 23 overall pick, and reserve guard Steve Blake.
Henderson, who has spent his entire NBA career in Charlotte, earlier in June picked up the player option in his contract for the 2015-16 season. A week later, Henderson found himself packing his bags for Portland.
"It's something you prepare yourself for all the time, but it surprised me. I didn't know going in," said Henderson, who started all but 15 games during the past two seasons, and averages 12.0 points during his six-year career.
Plumlee gives Portland options up front, as the Blazers don't know about the futures of All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and fellow free agents Robin Lopez and Chris Kaman. Plumlee says he feels comfortable playing centre or power forward.
"Wherever the coach needs me," said Plumlee, who played in all 82 games for the Nets last season, and is shooting 60.6 per cent during his two-year NBA career.
Vonleh is the wild card of the Portland newcomers. The ninth pick of the 2014 draft, the 19-year-old Vonleh played in only 25 games for Charlotte last season, averaging 3.3 points and 3.4 rebounds.
"I didn't get much opportunity to play in Charlotte, so I'm looking at this as a new beginning," Vonleh said. "When I was able to get minutes, I showed I could produce."
How Henderson, Vonleh and Plumlee fit in Portland's plans for next season won't be known for a while. The Blazers' roster is a work in progress, as up to seven players from last year's team could hit the free agent market starting Wednesday.
"They're all unique in that they're plus athletes, even at the NBA level," Olshey said. "It's easier to turn an athlete into a shooter than a shooter into an athlete. ... We're trying to get guys who can impact an NBA game."
Henderson acknowledged there is uncertainty at the moment with Portland, but he's not concerned.
"There are places that could have been worse," Henderson said. "I'm looking forward to this opportunity. It's an opportunity for me, if I can make it work. They have a great thing going here."