The latest in the Rudy Fernandez trade saga comes from various sources stating that a rumored deal between the Chicago Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers could be immanent. Remember this is just a rumor, nothing has been confirmed and considering this is the off-season it should be taken, as always, with a grain of salt. Let’s just try and make sense of all this. This is being reported by The Knicks Blog and comes from the twitter of SNY’s Tommy Dee:
Source says a deal with Rudy Fernandez and the Bulls could be done by monday. James Johnson to portland but blaz want a draft pick as well.
The last ‘official’ word we’ve heard on Rudy Fernandez is there was no deal imminent, which perks my ‘speculation’ ears up like a puppy hearing the word treat. Interestingly enough, plugging this Johnson for Fernandez swap in the ESPN Trade Machine actually failed. I’m sure with considerations and what not it could go through, but it’s something to think about. Let us not forget that the last time a Bulls/Blazers deal was rumored the name attached was Taj Gibson. Nonetheless, the continued mantra seems to be Portland refusing to simply ‘give away’ Rudy, and without getting a first round draft pick in this deal, that’s exactly what they would be doing. Johnson is a talented 6-9 second year forward who averaged 3.9 points and 2 rebounds and 65 games for the Bulls last year.
If we have learned anything about the summer Fernandez telenovela, it’s that the market is continuing to shrink. Looking at the teams who were reportedly in the hunt for Fernandez, Chicago may be the last team with a legitimate shot at acquiring him. Boston’s signing of Von Wafer seemingly took them out of the race as did the Knicks signing of Roger Mason Jr. Thinking out loud here, I’m not sure that a trade to the Bulls would be the ‘upward’ move that Fernandez so desires. Chicago may seemingly have a gap at the 2 spot, however let us consider this off-season they signed both Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer to 3-year deals in which both will be scheduled to make in between $4-5 million respectively. That is quite the financial commitment to just turn around and trade for Fernandez, despite the team option to extend his deal next year.
Now, just playing along, if this deal were to go down the Blazers, I would have to scratch my head. Losing your returning top shooter and potential 6th man for someone who duplicates the services of Dante Cunningham and Jeff Pendergraph, both who have a year in Portland under their belt seems iffy at best. Not to mention Johnson is guaranteed $1.7 million next year which is more than Cunningham and Pendergraph are scheduled to make combined. As down as everyone seems to be on Fernandez, the Blazers are still in a position of power. With the World Championships coming up, Fernandez could re-find his game and boost his trade value for a larger package deal, or just re-find his game period which would help the Blazers much more than simply giving him away.
Also, passing this long, this comes from the editor of Orlando Pinstriped Post and SBNation’s Ben Q. Rock, who found a tweet from a Madrid based sportswriter where Fernandez states that the Eastern Conference ‘seems attractive’ to him. Now this is nothing new as the majority of teams that have been attached to Fernandez have been Eastern Conference teams. Let us also consider that it is highly doubtful the Blazers would deal Fernandez within the very tough Western Conference. Just messing around the Trade Machine it’s tough to see a lot of Eastern Conference teams that either need Fernandez or have the talent or contracts to get him.