Tag:Portland Trail Blazers
Posted on: June 23, 2011 1:01 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 1:26 pm

NBA Rumor: Blazers, Magic to swap Miller, Nelson?

The Portland Trail Blazers and Orlando Magic are reportedly discussing a trade involving Andre Miller and Jameer Nelson. Posted by Ben Golliver. andre-miller

The Portland Trail Blazers are clearly looking for an upgrade at point guard. The Orlando Magic are always looking to shake things up, especially after the team bounced out of the NBA playoffs in the first round and now feels the pressure to do whatever it takes to keep franchise center Dwight Howard from skipping town.

Could the two teams find a deal that satisfies their mutual interest? DraftExpress.com reports that they are working on it: "Hearing Portland and Orlando are talking about swapping Andre Miller and Jameer Nelson, with the #21 pick going to Orlando." 

Miller is on the books for $7.3 million while Nelson's contract figure is at $7.8 million, so the two players could be swapped for each other without other contracts being thrown in. Nelson is on the books through 2012-2013 while Miller can either be waived before June 29 for salary cap relief or can be paid $7.8 million next season. The Blazers would have no issue taking on the additional salary because the team lacks depth at the point guard position and realizes Miller is not the long-term solution. The Magic, meanwhile, would likely keep Miller or flip him for another point guard rather than waive him, as Gilbert Arenas represents the only available option at the one. 

Miller is 35 years old while Nelson is 29, so the interest from Portland's side would come from getting younger at the point guard position. Nelson boasts an NBA Finals appearance on his resume and has actually played in the same number of playoff games (39) as Miller, despite being six years younger. He also is a career 39.0% 3-point shooter, a significant upgrade over Miller (20.4%). For years, the Blazers have repeated a desire to improve their outside shooting.

What he lacks in range, Miller makes up for in basketball smarts, consistency and play-making. In 2010-2011, he averaged 12.7 points and 7.0 assists -- compared to Nelson's 13.1 points and 6.0 assists. He is also one of the league's most durable players, and has not missed a game due to injury in eight seasons. He's also one of the league's best lob passers, an excellent weapon if he were to be paired with Howard. He has yet to win a playoff series in his 11-year career, though, a potential red flag or sticking point for a team like Orlando which is desperate to win now to appease Howard.

The Magic currently only have one pick, a second round selection at No. 53 overall. 

Given the difference in age between the two players, it feels like Orlando should be able to siphon off additional, minor assets if a Miller-for-Nelson swap were to go through. The No. 21 pick in a relatively weak draft wouldn't seem to make up for the difference in future productivity between the two players, especially given the affordable nature of Nelson's contract.
The Blazers have also been linked to San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker, as recently as last night.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 12:10 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 11:22 am

NBA Trade Rumor: Spurs G Tony Parker to Blazers?

The San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers are reportedly discussing a trade involving All-Star guard Tony Parker. Posted by Ben Golliver. tony-parker

There continues to be billowing smoke around San Antonio Spurs All-Star guard Tony Parker. But is all the talk legit?

On Tuesday, we noted a report that Parker was being shopped to the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings. Earlier Wednesday, we noted that the Spurs denied Parker was being shopped.

Just hours after that denial, though, HoopsWorld.com reported that the Spurs nearly consummated a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers involving Parker.
The San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers nearly completed a blockbuster trade on Wednesday afternoon, but the deal fell apart in the late stages. San Antonio was prepared to ship Tony Parker and the #29 pick to Portland in exchange for Andre Miller, Nicolas Batum and the #21 pick, but the trade died when the Spurs insisted that Richard Jefferson somehow be included in the deal. Other players would have been included in the trade to make salaries work. Talks have quieted for now, but they could pick back up tomorrow if one of the teams has a change of heart.
CBSSports.com's Ken Berger then reported that the ongoing chatter is simply San Antonio attempting to gauge Parker's value on the open market.
Spurs officials continue to do what they're paid to do -- find out what their players are worth on the trade market. That's all the Tony Parker speculation is, several rival execs believe. "You know and I know they're not trading Tony Parker," one GM said. "You can't get anything close to equal value for him."
With Parker on the books for big money and George Hill waiting in the wings, the Spurs are smart to shop Parker. Usually, though, the rumor mill surrounding the Spurs is almost nonexistent. The franchise is known and praised for its secrecy and this week's worth of chatter is certainly out of the ordinary.

One thing is for sure: attempting to include Jefferson radically alters any Parker deal. He's owed roughly $30 million over the next three seasons. To match salaries, a team taking on Jefferson and Parker must be way under the salary cap or able to send out roughly $20 million in salaries that don't include long-term money. Not many teams fit that bill.
Posted on: June 21, 2011 1:16 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 2:17 pm

Tough times for Oden - people think he's LeBron

Posted by Royce Young

Not that you should expect anything better from a TMZ reporter stalking athletes and celebrities, but this one thought -- for some reason -- that Greg Oden was LeBron James.

Oden, who has always had one of the most underrated senses of humor around, played the whole thing magnificently. When he was asked if he was a "baller," Oden shook his head and said, "No, I tried, but I'm not any good at it." Please hold all Greg Oden surgery jokes for later. Though Blazer fans all probably just took a shot when Oden said that.

Not the best time to be mistaken for LeBron either. With all the criticism and backlash laid on him after this season and the finals, being Greg Oden might've actually been a little better this time.

Posted on: June 16, 2011 9:45 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 11:29 pm

Blazers listening to Andre Miller trade offers

Portland Trail Blazers GM Chad Buchanan says the team is being "very aggressive' in pursuing trades and that point guard Andre Miller is drawing "a lot of interest." Posted by Ben Golliver. andre-miller

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers have gone through two GMs in 11 months and have endured too many knee injuries to count. In that time, there have only been a few constants. At the top of the list: point guard Andre Miller.

Miller has missed just one game since 2002-2003, a forced suspension that resulted when he body-checked Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin last December in retaliation for what he felt were two dirty plays in rebounding scrums.

Since arriving in Portland in the summer of 2009, Miller has moved into a starting role, averaging 12.7 points and a team-high 7.0 assists in 2010-2011 despite being 35 years old. 

His on-court consistency hasn't bought him any certainty this offseason. His $7.8 million contract for next season is fully non-guaranteed, meaning the Blazers can choose to waive him prior to June 30 without needing to pay off the balance of his deal.

Speaking from the team's Tualatin practice facility on Thursday, Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan said that while the team values Miller's play, it is keeping its options open.

"We've spoken with Andre a little bit," Buchanan said. "Obviously he's aware of what his contract situation is. He knows how we feel about him. We're going to see as we listen around the league. There's a lot of interest in Andre for various reasons. At the same time, we value him and realize what he's done for us the last two years.

"There's a lot of respect around the league for Andre. Both for what he's done for us in his entire career, people talk about his age but the guy hasn't missed a game in seven or eight years."

Teams could be interested in Miller for two reasons. First, as a steady veteran point guard (starting or back-up) who can still produce at a rate that makes the $7.8 million figure not look totally outrageous. Second, the non-guaranteed nature of his deal means that it functions an expiring contract to facilitate a draft day move. Trading for Miller could help a team match salaries or dump a contract on or around the draft day before waiving him prior to June 30, avoiding any future salary commitment.

Reading between the lines, the Blazers seem to be exploring their options and approaching Miller as their fall-back option at point guard.

"If Andre is back as our point guard next year we're very happy with that," Buchanan said. "Like any other player, if there's a chance to improve your team, you're going to listen to what offers are out here."

Miller was reportedly shopped at the February trade deadline but remained in Portland after the Blazers traded a package of smaller assets to acquire forward Gerald Wallace from the Charlotte Bobcats. Buchanan said that the team is being "very aggressive" in pursuing draft day deals and admitted that point guard is a position that needs to be addressed.

"The point guard and some depth in the frontcourt is going to be something that we have to address," Buchanan said. "Andre has been a rock for us but we realize where he's at, the stage of his career, we're going to have to address that position moving forward at some point. [Center] Marcus Camby is obviously at the tail end of his career as well. Those are kind of the two areas that we're looking to address, whether it's draft, through trade or free agency."

Buchanan, who stepped in as acting GM when former GM Rich Cho was abruptly fired by owner Paul Allen in May, seemed excited when he said that draft week trade talks are already underway.

"This time of year around the league, it's a lot of dialogue between teams," Buchanan said. "We've been very aggressive reaching out to teams and we've had a lot of calls. There's a lot of interest in some of our players as you can imagine. A lot of dialogue. As you get closer to the draft, there's a lot more serious talk. The offers get a little more concrete at that point. Up until now, it's a little more flirtation, you could call it, between teams. In the next four to five days things will pick up even more."

Conventional wisdom in Portland dictates that any trade involving Miller this summer will net a starting caliber point guard in return. Behind Miller, point guard isn't exactly a position of strength for Portland. Backup Patty Mills could become a restricted free agent this summer if Portland extends a qualifying offer to him. Otherwise, Portland's optinos are to play off guards Brandon Roy or Rudy Fernandez out of position or turn to two relatively untested guards coming off of their rookie season: Armon Johnson and Elliot Williams.
Posted on: June 16, 2011 8:37 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 8:56 pm

Jeremy Tyler has no idea who Nate McMillan is

Draft prospect Jeremy Tyler works out for the Portland Trail Blazers but has no idea who Nate McMillan is. Posted by Ben Golliver.

This is the most unintentionally hilarious exchange from an NBA pre-draft workout that you will ever see. Period.

Jeremy Tyler has had a whirlwind journey over the last few years, as he left high school early so that he could play professionally in Israel and Japan. Over the last few weeks, he's travelled cross country multiple times working out for teams, looking to boost his stock back up into the first round after he nearly fell off the map.

Apparently, all the world travelling and pre-draft workouts have left his head spinning.

Tyler was in Portland for a pre-draft workout with the Trail Blazers on Thursday and was asked an innocuous question about whether he had crossed paths with Blazers coach Nate McMillan over the years.

Tyler responded with a quizzical look, wracking his brain as he tried to untangle the query. "Nate McMillan," he said finally. "No ... What college is that?"

The answer drew dropped jaws and laughter from the assembled media, and Tyler was quickly reminded that McMillan was the coach of the Blazers. "Oh," Tyler then responded. "I'm tripping."

Here's video of the unbelievable exchange courtesy of YouTube user CSNNW.

McMillan attended the workout and met briefly with the players afterwards. As Tyler met with the media, McMillan was standing no more than 30 feet away.

Draft prospects generally go through extensive interview preparation and training prior to the pre-draft combine. This error is so basic, though, I'm not sure it even gets covered in those training sessions.

"Make sure you know the coach's name when you workout for his team. He might draft you. Also: No NBA head coach is a college." Do agents really need to remind players of that?

It's worth noting the interview was conducted after a lengthy workout that left him gasping for air and clutching his shorts near the end. Is fatigue a legitimate excuse here? Who knows. Let's just watch the video over and over and laugh without over-analyzing it.
Posted on: June 15, 2011 6:09 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 6:27 pm

Agent: Greg Oden underwent 'interventions'

Bill Duffy, president of BDA Sports, says Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden has undergone "interventions" to help deal with the mental strain ofgreg-oden being injured. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, has had trouble staying on the court, playing just 82 games in his four-year NBA career. Throughout the trials, which have involved multiple microfracture knee surgeries and a fractured patella, Oden has received support off the court.

Bill Duffy, president of BDA Sports, the agency that represents Oden, told Portland radio station 750 AM on Wednesday morning that the center has received professional help in dealing with the mental side of all the injuries. 

"Counseling, therapy, interventions, just to let him understand all the pressures, not to put too much pressure on himself," Duffy said. "Everybody needs that. Not just an athlete but someone to talk to and share your thoughts and your concerns and just get reassurance. If you do things the right way, stay patient, keep your eye on the prize, you'll be fine."

In 2009, Oden revealed to Yahoo! Sports that he had visited a sports psychologist, however there has been no previous talk of interventions publicly. 

Reached by telephone Wednesday, Portland Trail Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan, newly installed after Blazers owner Paul Allen fired previous GM Rich Cho in May, told CBSSports.com that he personally had not been a part of an intervention with Oden but refused to divulge any additional information.

"I'd rather not confirm or deny any of that," Buchanan said. "I was not involved with it. I couldn't tell you either way."  

In September 2010, The Oregonian reported that Oden had stopped drinking and going out to clubs. "My first year (2007) was probably my worst," Oden told the paper. "But after that, I definitely cut back. I never thought that I had a problem or anything. I actually stopped last season." 

Asked whether Oden's interventions were to express support for him or whether they were specifically related to drinking or substance abuse, Buchanan again refused to comment. 

"That's something I'd rather not comment on," Buchanan said. "Greg has been great for us and anything that took place along those lines is between Greg and his people. Greg has been awesome for us."

Oden is currently rehabilitating from microfracture surgery in November 2010. Microfracture surgery generally carries a 12 month recovery time period.

"You proceed with caution," Duffy told 750 AM. "We don't want to come back too soon. We're not going to even challenge it until we get to that 12 month threshold. If it were December or November or January we just can't afford any more slip ups. We'll wait until we get full clearance and then probably err on the side of caution, maybe a month or so after that."

Buchanan's timeline was slightly more optimistic -- sometime between October and December -- but he said the Blazers, who must issue a qualifying offer to Oden before June 30 to make him a restricted free agent, would work with Oden, his representatives and the medical experts to establish an appropriate timeline for his return.
"We'll work together collectively, Greg and the doctors and us," Buchanan said. "We're still a little ways out. It's hard to put a timeline on it other than what you can go by historically from a player recovering from a microfracture. We're going to be supportive of Greg making sure he feels 100% comfortable to get back on the court. We're going to rely on what both Greg and what the doctors tell us. We want to make sure that he's in the right mindset as well as the right physical condition to get him back on the court. We're going to wait until all the conditions are right for him to get out there and play again."
Posted on: June 14, 2011 12:59 am
Edited on: June 14, 2011 9:17 am

Rich Cho hired as Bobcats GM

Posted by Royce Young

The Bobcats announced that they have hired former Portland general manager Rich Cho as the organization's new GM. Cho replaces Rod Higgins as the team's GM, with Higgins moving up to President of Basketball Operations.

Cho got his start in basketball management with the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise, eventually assuming the No. 2 role behind Sam Presti before taking the Trail Blazers position. However, Cho parted ways with the Blazers last month because of what were called "chemistry issues" with owner Paul Allen, 

A smart basketball excecutive like Cho wasn't going to go unemployed for long, though. He was immediately considered a candidate in New York after Donnie Walsh didn't come to an agreement with the Knicks. The Bobcats position wasn't really open but evidently Michael Jordan put in a call pretty quickly to swoop up Cho.

Cho's known for his analytical approach to the game. He was an engineer and a lawyer before moving into NBA front offices. He was responsible for contract negotiations, salary cap and Collective Bargaining Agreement matters, player contracts and all player personnel issues.

Cho is a native of the Pacific Northwest and a member of the Washington State Bar, a graduate of Pepperdine Law School and achieved his undergraduate at Washington State University.

“He has a unique set of skills that I don’t possess,” Higgins told the Charlotte Observer. “His analytical mind is a big plus for us. His legal background is a big plus for us."

Cho of course has a connection to the Bobcats having negotiated with Higgins at the trade deadline last season. The Blazers acquired Gerald Wallace for Joel Pryzbilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two draft picks. Higgins must've come away impressed. At least someone was.

Posted on: June 9, 2011 5:14 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 8:27 pm

The NBA Trade Movie of the Week: "Get Monta"

Posted by Matt Moore

Coming this summer from the NBA Board of Governors' CBA Negotiation Meeting Productions: a new film by director Larry Riley. Starring Mark Jackson, Andre Iguodala, Jerry West, and Monta Ellis as Monta Ellis, the biggest blockbuster of the summer, "Get Monta." 

From KB:
The Warriors and representatives for Monta Ellis are working cooperatively to see if a trade to a contending team can be arranged, a deal that would likely happen around the NBA draft later this month, a person with knowledge of the discussions told CBSSports.com. “It’s pretty hot,” the person familiar with the talks said.

UPDATE: The Trail Blazers, Lakers, and Hawks, are among the teams that made exploratory calls after word leaked that the Warriors and 76ers were discussing an Ellis-for-Andre Iguodala swap, league sources said Thursday. Ellis-for-Iguodala is a “50-50” proposition at the moment, a person with knowledge of those talks said. A third person with knowledge of the Warriors strategy described trading Ellis as a secondary priority to the draft.

Ellis would be interested in a trade to the Bulls, who have previously expressed interest in him. But a person with direct knowledge of Chicagos offseason discussions refuted the notion that the Bulls have had recent contact with Golden State about the electrifying guard.
via Source: Monta trade talks pretty hot - CBSSports.com.

Let's look at some of these options. Logic Score refers to how much the trade makes sense, on a scale of 1 to 5. 

Trail Blazers

Logic Score:  3

The Blazers need backcourt help and Brandon Roy is walking through that door, but he's probably limping. The Blazers have the young talent available to make a deal but sent some picks to Charlotte that could limit them. For the deal to make sense, it would likely have to center around standout small forward Nicolas Batum, along with Wesley Matthews. It makes a lot of sense for the Blazers, provided Nate McMillan thinks he can get through to Ellis on defense. It would be interesting to see Ellis play in a halfcourt offense for once. 

Los Angeles Lakers

Logic Score: 2

Yeah, because Kobe Bryant's definitely going to want to give the ball up to Monta Ellis. Yeah, because Ellis is definitely Mike Brown's kind of defensive standout guy. Yeah, because Ellis can definitely run point guard in a system that relies on low turnovers. Yeah, because the Lakers are definitely willing to give up on their center of the future, Andrew Bynum, for Ellis with no reasonable addition in return. Yeah, because otherwise the Warriors are really looking for Matt Barnes, Luke Walton, and Derek Fisher. I don't care how much Mark Jackson likes veteran guys, this deal makes absolutely zero sense.

Chicago Bulls 

Logic Score: 4

The Bulls have Luol Deng's contract they can send, along with some good big man defensive talent to cash in on. Ellis would take possessions away from Rose, sure, but he could also be deadly as the drive and kick option and an incredible complement in transition. Ellis would take pressure off Carlos Boozer, and the Bulls can send Charlotte's 2012 pick as part of their package. This makes a lot of sense on a lot of levels. Ellis' defense? Listen, if Tom Thibodeau can make the best defense in the league with Carlos Boozer at power forward, he can do the same with Ellis at the two-guard.

Philadelphia 76ers

Logic Score: 3

This is likely to happen, and it makes a ton of sense for the Warriors. They get a defensive presence in Iguodala, likely some other personnel to fill more defensive roles and a true building block to go along with Curry. But the Sixers get Ellis, while having to mitigate further what Evan Turner can give them and force him to play big at the 3 or bury Jrue Holiday with Ellis running point. The only way this could be a slam dunk for the Sixers is if they manage to dump some other salary as well, but they'd have to get quality players like Dorell Wright or Ekpe Udoh in return. With the Warriors' pick seemingly set on a big man, that might be a decent option.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com