Trail Blazers looking for a fast trade involving Rudy Fernandez
Published: Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 8:38 PM Updated: Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 9:28 PM
Jason Quick, The Oregonian
At the urging of Rudy Fernandez and his agent, the Trail Blazers have engaged in accelerated trade discussions to deal the disgruntled, once-popular shooting guard to one of three Eastern Conference teams.
Boston, Chicago and New York are all in the running to land the 6-foot-6 Spaniard, who set an NBA rookie record two seasons ago by making 159 three-pointers.
Fernandez, 25, is unhappy in Portland because of limited playing time behind All-Star Brandon Roy and because of the playing style of coach Nate McMillan, who primarily used Fernandez as an outside shooter, not the playmaker Fernandez believes he can be in the NBA.
Fernandez has two years remaining on his contract, which will pay him $1.25 million next season. The Blazers acquired Fernandez, along with James Jones, from Phoenix for cash considerations on draft night 2007. Fernandez signed with Portland in July 2008, ending his seven-year career in the Spanish ACB League.
Some of the teams interested in Fernandez have offered a future first round draft pick, while other offers would pair Fernandez with another Blazers player, but agent Andy Miller would not get into specifics.
In December 2009, Miller asked the Blazers to trade Fernandez during a breakfast in New York with the Blazers' top two basketball executives, general manager Kevin Pritchard and assistant general manger Tom Penn.
Pritchard and Penn have since been fired, and newly hired general manager Rich Cho started on the job in earnest on Monday. Miller said he has been encouraged by Cho's efforts this week.
"I'm confident that Portland is cooperating and finding a solution for everyone involved," Miller said Tuesday night.
Cho said Miller quickly made him aware last week of Fernandez' discontent in Portland.
"I've spoken to Andy and I'm aware of Rudy's feelings," Cho said. "But at the end of the day we are going to make the best decision for the franchise."
It appears both sides agree that Fernandez is a talent, but that Portland is not the best situation for him. Fernandez averaged 8.1 points in 23.2 minutes a game last season.
"I totally understand how he feels," McMillan said Tuesday. "He was a star in his league. He was Brandon Roy. Now, he's playing behind an All-Star and the minutes are really limited. For me, I can make it work, but it's not about me. It's about him."
Playing time for Fernandez figured to get even more complicated next season after the Blazers signed free agent Wesley Matthews, a shooting guard, to a five-year contract.
In the 2010 playoffs against Phoenix, Fernandez did get a chance to show what he could do with a bigger role, but he struggled. He started the first three games at shooting guard in place of the injured Roy, but was tentative and ineffective, making just two of his first 12 shots in the series. He had two flurries -- making four three pointers in the fourth quarter of a Game 3 blowout loss and five three pointers in the season-ending Game 6 loss.
"Let me put it this way," McMillan said. "Rudy is a team player, and his style of play requires minutes. He's not a guy who is just going to come down and jack up a shot. He needs to get into a flow, into a rhythm, and that's not a backup role. And I think that is his frustration."
Miller said he expects that frustration to end shortly with a trade.
"But then again, there are expectations and there's reality," Miller said.
discovery69 wrote:Tester, I posted early this evening before Jason Quick broke the story of the teams from my source....
discovery69 wrote:Anyway, I was told Boston is the front runner and that it will be a three team deal with Portland getting a young PG back.
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