Free Agent Center Joel Przybilla Signs with Portland Trail Blazers

Hunter Konsens@HunterKonsensCorrespondent IIFebruary 22, 2012

Joel Pryzbilla
Joel Pryzbilla

According to Marc J.Spears of Yahoo! Sports, free agent center Joel Przybilla has decided to sign with the Portland Trail Blazers.

This is a huge addition for a team that just received the devastating news that former first-overall pick Greg Oden will need to have knee surgery that will sideline him for the rest of the season.

Earlier this week, many believed Przybilla's preferred destinations to be the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and the aforementioned Portland Trail Blazers. Despite not being a championship contender, the Portland Trail Blazers were always considered the favorites for the center's services due to his familiarity with the organization.

Signing Przybilla will absolutely improve the Blazer's chances of a playoff berth. Not only does the 32 year old fill their backup center need, but the former Minnesota star's 7'1" frame will help the Blazer's match up with the bigger Western Conference squads.

Besides starters LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby, the Blazers have no solid big men in their rotation. Przybilla possesses an efficient mid-range jumper and a knack for hitting the boards hard.

The Blazer's roster currently stands at 15 players, which means the team must make room to acquire their new center. It is expected that Przybilla will sign at the veteran's minimum.

Last season, Przybilla averaged 1.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in 14.4 minutes of action in 31 games. The veteran was then shipped off to the Charlotte Bobcats, where he would finish the season, at the trade deadline for star Gerald Wallace.

Przybilla's debut will be on February 29 when the Blazers take on the Denver Nuggets on the road.

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