This is an oddly-timed column, to say the least. Nevertheless, Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune did a little digging into the situation of Rudy Fernandez and came to this conclusion:
If he decides he wants to play for Real Madrid, the Spanish team will have to reach a settlement with Portland. Or perhaps the Blazers will find a deal that works for both sides and trade him to an NBA team that suits him.
Regardless, Fernandez’s days with Portland are numbered. Enjoy him while you can.
From quotes like this:
“I have a contract with Portland,” he said. “I have to be with this team. But I tell you, sometimes I miss my family and my friends. And I miss the Euro competition, too.”
“I’ll focus right now on playing hard the rest of the games and trying to help my teammates,” he said. “This summer, we’ll see.”
Not much more needs to be said about this, because absolutely nothing has changed. Rudy is frustrated — partially because he’s been fairly awful — and doesn’t have a huge support group immediately around him outside of hoops. It’s perfectly understandable, and not at all different from what he was saying in February when that Marca story came out that had some of its facts wrong.
To rehash, Rudy can’t legally play anywhere else next season unless he can organize a buyout with the Blazers. Sure, he could pout and refuse to play, but given how poorly he’s been playing, he doesn’t have a ton of leverage.
I want him to do well, just as I do everyone else on this team, but I’m also, as I’m sure many of you are, very open to the idea of trading Rudy this summer. It’s not tough to think that way, given the on-court performance, but this team isn’t going to change just to suit Rudy’s needs, ever. It’s a longshot, but would anyone be opposed to trying to get a Ty Lawson or Darren Collison with Rudy as the centerpiece of a deal? It’s only realistic if he has a good playoff run, but, as it seems is the case with everyone in the organization, Rudy’s future with the team will certainly be reevaluated after the season. Until then, let’s just hope he plays better, because even if you don’t have any fondness towards Fernandez left in you, it’s still good for everyone involved.