When I think of Rudy Fernandez, I think back to a gangster Robert DeNiro or Joe Pesci saying, "Get the %^ out of here!" I think you know what I'm talking about.
There's always that one player. That one player on your favorite team that you do not like and you want immediately off the team.
For me, that's Rudy Fernandez.
I'm just not a big fan of Fernandez. He's a great shooter and somewhat of a prolific dunker, but there's too much of a flux at the shooting guard and small forward positions.
Not to mention, he has shown his displeasure towards the Trail Blazers organization and has constantly said that he does not want to be part of the team. He has openly said that he wants to be dealt, but has lately said he'd prefer to re-sign with the team.
His initial wish needs to be granted.
Over the past year or so, Fernandez, in my opinion, hasn't seemed very grateful and easily gets irritated. Whether the average fan thinks so or not, this hurts a team.
When you have a disgruntled player, you automatically think that he's not giving it all he's got and he'd rather be at home, sitting on his couch, than on the court playing ball. And in some cases, that's true.
I'm not going to come out and say that Fernandez doesn't show enough effort, but he could do a lot better, especially with the players he's surrounded by.
In Aug. 2010, Fernandez was fined $25,000 by the NBA for what they call "public statements detrimental to the NBA."
Head coach Nate McMillan said that he had tried to call Fernandez for about two weeks, and the guard would not respond. Fernandez's agent also publicly demanded a trade for the disgruntled guard.
McMillan told ESPN.com, "I've tried to contact Rudy, and he hasn't returned calls [since the season ended]. So we'll just have to see what happens. We're looking to improve our team at all times, but I don't know what's going to happen."
Nearly two months later, Fernandez was fined once again. This time for $50,000.
This fine was delivered because of his agent's demand that he be released from his contract.
$75,000 in two months? Hell, I wish I could make that in two months. I could use that money.
But, anyway, how's that for team chemistry? Not very good is the answer.
Personally, I think he should be dealt because even though he says he wants to stay in Portland, he's not thinking that in the back of his mind. He's just saying that because that's what the public wants him to say. And there are a good amount of Blazers fans that want him to don a Blazers uniform. However, I am not one of them.
Simply put, if he doesn't want to be part of the team, then grant the player his wish. It's that simple.
Fernandez has already said it multiple times, so clearly, he doesn't want to be part of the Blazers organization. Things like that can only hurt a team, not help it.
He should also be dealt because there is already a flux at both of his primary positions.
The Blazers already have former All-Star Brandon Roy occupying the shooting guard position. There's also Wesley Matthews, who the Blazers signed to a five-year deal, worth approximately $35 million last offseason.
There's also former Memphis guard Elliott Williams, who the Blazers used their 2010 first-round selection on. He did not play last season, but his potential is very good and could be a decent player off the bench for the 2011-12 season.
At small forward, there is Nicolas Batum, who I think could become one of the greatest Blazers of all-time (see my article). Batum could very well start next season and like Williams, his potential is through the roof.
Not to mention, there is Gerald Wallace, who they dealt for at the trade deadline from the Charlotte Bobcats. Wallace and Batum will be fighting for the starting role in the rotation, as both bring a defensive mind to the hardwood.
There is also Luke Babbitt, who was drafted by the Timberwolves last year and then dealt, along with Ryan Gomes, to Portland for Martell Webster. Like Williams, Babbitt also didn't play last season, but could very well see some action next season.
Fernandez's contract is very low and could easily be dealt.
The Blazers should definitely look into dealing Fernandez in exchange for a backup big man.
If Oden continues to be injured, there is only one option at center and that's Marcus Camby. Camby is also getting old and may retire before the start of next season, so there is a definite need of another quality big man.
Fernandez is a sharpshooter and a deep threat, which many teams in the NBA need. I'm sure that there are a couple of teams out there that are willing to take a chance on the disgruntled player.
So, considering the attitude problems and the flux in the backcourt, something needs to be done with Fernandez. The Blazers need to get something in return for him while they still can before he becomes a free agent in the next year.
Might as well do it now.