Man, what a classic “dog-bites-man” story this is. I mean, seriously, is anybody surprised that Rudy Fernandez wants to be traded? Or that the team is trying to accommodate him?
Man, things change. And this is one of those times when the team definitely waited too long to deal him. A year ago this guy was thought to be a rising star and considered quite possibly to be one of the best young shooting guards in the world. Now? The Blazers will be lucky to get much for him.
I wrote a piece for Oregon Live last summer about Rudy and suggested the team should consider moving him. It’s worth a read just because it reminds us all how much we thought of the guy after his rookie season. And I may be the only one around who still believes he has a chance to be a very good NBA player.
All the reasons for Rudy to want out of here were easy to see coming down the track, like a freight train headed toward Portland. But man, I took a ton of flack for that piece and I ask that you take a look at the poll that accompanied it.
Nobody liked the idea. I was called an idiot every which way in the comments section of this blog. I know Kevin Pritchard didn’t like the idea because he told me so.
But these are the sorts of decisions that GMs are supposed to make earlier than fans. They’re the kind of decisions that are supposed to be made while a player still has value. I’m not sure Portland is going to get all that much for Fernandez, who seriously devalued himself with his work — or lack of same — in the playoffs last season.
There’s a lesson here — for fans, GMs and everyone else. And this is why general managers get paid upwards of a million bucks a year.