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Rudy's “List”: Examining The Options Best Suited For Portland

For the second year in a row, the Portland Trail Blazers made a “toxic” offer to a restricted free agent and forced the Jazz to make tough decisions, both times restricting their financial freedom.

First it was an offer to Paul Millsap that forced the team to eventually drop starting shooting guard Ronnie Brewer along with Eric Maynor and drift past the salary cap threshold and into cap penalties. The effects are still being felt after another offer from the Trail Blazers forced the Jazz to cut and settle for lesser options, allowing the Blazers to land a coach favorite in Wesley Matthews for (a pricey) 5 years $32.7 million.

But by adding depth and defense to the second unit, the team will more than likely have to part ways with a fan favorite, one that is an offensive threat (one that broke the three point record for rookies) when healthy and confident.

Rudy Fernandez has said that he doesn’t want to be here.

He has said that he and the coach don’t always see eye to eye.

Just recently he told us which teams he would like to be traded to.

Via Twitter…

According to a Blazers Source, Rudy Fernandez has a list of five teams he would like to play for. That list includes theKnicksNetsBullsCeltics, and the Heat.

So which teams would actually be decent trade partners for the Blazers?

Lets start with the Knicks.

The New York Knicks have made their interest known and have been in talks with the Organization, but unfortunately for the Blazers, Knicks roster isn’t appealing and won’t facilitate any reasonable trades.

Wilson Chandler seems to be the only player the Knicks would part with in a deal for Rudy Fernandez, but a recent encounter with the law for marijuana possession would violate moral restrictions surrounding the Trail Blazers organization.

So unless this becomes a three team deal, Rudy Fernandez isn’t going to New York any time soon.

New Jersey

It seems as if the Nets aura as the worst team in the league (by a large margin) has vanished.

And give them credit, they finally have an owner that is willing to spend money to find talent and having a public figure to connect with the younger fan base is a huge plus.

But unfortunately the Nets don’t have what the Blazers would really like; either a solid backup point guard or a strong power forward to backup LaMarcus Aldridge.

For the price there is nothing there for a straight up trade, but if the Blazers package someone like Jerryd Bayless, they might be able to pull something off.

Terrence Williams is a guy that would fit that mold but it is very unlikely that the Nets would want to give him up in any deal. But for the Blazers purposes, that is the kind of player they would be looking for.

If the Blazers were going for a Backup point guard, the options are limited.

They could go after Jordan Farmar, but for the price of Rudy Fernandez, the Nets would have to give up more than a player that averages about seven points and two assists in 18 minutes. The Blazers have had their eyes on guard Devin Harris for a long time, but in terms of a Rudy Fernandez deal Portland would have to give a lot more to get him and would likely have to give up their starting point guard, Andre Miller, and another proven asset.

Both teams seem to be unwilling to give up a lot, so that makes a deal between Rip City and New Jersey unlikely.

The Chicago Bulls

From reports before the draft, the two teams were in talks that would send at least two players to the Bulls in return for Luol Deng. Even in early July there were reports of NBA&id=1047&line=137422&spln=1">talks between the two teams that had Jerryd Bayless and Joel Pryzbilla going to Chicago for Luol Deng.

Although the main purpose behind the move was to cut salary and since the team has no chance of signing two max free agents, common sense says that this deal is dead.

Maybe if the Blazers threw in Rudy Fernandez, the deal would go through, but it seems unlikely since the Bulls roster seems to be almost entirely set with the additions of Kyle Korver and Carlos Boozer. If the Bulls are going to trade anyone it would be someone the Blazers aren’t interested in.

The Boston Celtics

If the Boston Celtics wanted Rudy Fernandez, I would be surprised. Nate McMillan and Doc Rivers are somewhat similar coaches that will expect the same things out of their players.

Limited mistakes and a team defense mentality.

Maybe I should have asked why Rudy wants to go to Boston…

If Rudy were to be sent to Boston, he would experience the same frustration and limited minutes as he would here in Portland. But for the articles sake, what could Portland get in exchange for Rudy?

One player that the Blazers have had talks over in the past is Nate Robinson. The former dunk contest winner has had issues seeing eye to eye with coach Doc Rivers in the past and, if the Celtics could get something in return, the team wouldn’t kill themselves over parting with Robinson.

The 5′ 9″ point guard has enough experience under his belt to make him more valuable to a team like Portland whom has, in recent years, said they would like to add playoff experience to their squad, but Robinson is young enough that it wouldn’t be like adding a Juwan Howard with a one year contract. Nate would be a guy that, if he fit with Nate’s system, he could end up playing for Portland long term.

But the problem is money wise. Portland, with the addition of Wesley Matthews, has emptied their pockets. They have enough room to offer either rookie guard Armon Johnson or second year Australian point guard Patty Mills a non-guaranteed contract, but after that there is little room to maneuver.

In this situation the Bi-annual exception can be thrown out because the rule only applies to teams attempting to sign a player with a contract starting at $1.672 million. Nate Robinson’s Contract is worth $8 million over 2 years.

And since the Celtics just (and I mean just) resigned the guard to a new deal I doubt a change of scenery would be in place.

But if it were to happen, The Blazers would likely have to give up Rudy Fernandez ($1,165,320 million) and Jerryd Bayless ($2,143,080 million) for Nate Robinson and that is something that just wont happen.

The deal is extremely unlikely, but so far it seems to be the only one that works… Sort of…

The Miami Heat

Its the new thing. Didn’t you hear? Everyone’s doing it.

Apparently Rudy Fernandez wants to do it as well. Rudy Fernandez included Miami as part of his wish list, but by the looks of it, the team doesn’t have enough players to make a trade.

But there is one deal in which both teams have shown interest in and could work.

According to reports, the Blazers had made inquiries about Heat point guard Mario Chalmers earlier in the free agency process but talks have died down since. Financially, the deal may be hard to swallow for the Heat but if the Blazers were able to work some kind of trade exception into the deal that would lessen the financial burden for the Heat and even out the contracts between the two players.

Rudy Fernandez is worth $1,165,320 million and Mario Chalmers is worth $756,000 this year. So either the Heat would have to give another asset in return for Rudy or something would have to give.

The real question is whether or not the Heat would be willing to pay that much for a Dwayne Wade backup or if Dwayne Wade could play point guard himself.

All we really know is that the Heat have a lot of work ahead of them in terms of building a team around their three stars and making sure they get the right players at the right price.

In terms of Rudy’s list, lets just say he chose the wrong teams.

No one on this list seems to be in position to trade for him unless they bring in a third party. Each team that he has chosen is in a big city and has aspirations of big success, so I cannot blame him for his choices.

But if he really wants out of Portland, he is going to need to compromise.

The Blazers shouldn’t have a hard time finding another team for Rudy, but they will have a difficult time finding a team with something they want; that is, if Rudy feels he is big enough to choose his own future.

This article courtesy of Rip City Report


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