The Portland Trail Blazers have a problem on their hands, guard Rudy Fernandez wants out in a major way. Fernandez would prefer to head home and play basketball in Europe, if he can’t he’s got a list of four NBA teams he’s willing to play for. Brian Smith of The Columbian says that the Blazers are willing to move Rudy but only if the right deal presents itself.
@blazerbanter: #Blazers actively pursuing trade for Rudy Fernandez. Team is willing to keep Fernandez, though, and will not give him away for “free.”
It’s surprising that the Blazers would be looking for so much as I’m not sure how much leverage they have. In two years he’s put up respectable numbers (about nine points and two assists over 25 minutes in two years) as a backup but hasn’t been given the chance to be a starter. That won’t change either with Brandon Roy around, in fact his role might decrease after Portland signed Wesley Mathews. By bringing in Mathews the team is kind of saying that Rudy doesn’t fit into their plans.
On the flip side, Rudy doesn’t have much leverage himself. Those kind of numbers aren’t going to make another team want to give up something of value for his rights. In fact, Rudy further limits his opportunities by saying he’d only play for four other teams.
Only one of those teams is actually known and that’s the New York Knicks. What a surprise right? He’d fit in perfectly in Mike D’Antoni’s system, at least he and most experts think he would.
With that being said a trade is probably not likely. What Rudy really wants is to go back home and play in Europe. Would the Blazers be willing to sell his rights and allow him to do so?
This might actually wind up the most likely scenario in my opinion as the Blazers never gave up much for him. They acquired his rights in the 2007 Draft with just some dollars, no players.
Now if a European club would be willing to give up at least that much, more likely then some, then I’m sure the Blazers would facilitate selling his rights. I’m quite sure they’d also work into the agreement that he can’t join another NBA team.
It’s not a good situation for Fernandez or the Blazers but unless either side backs down he’ll be in camp this fall.