The Nicolas Batum saga has yet to be concluded, but there is a little piece of positive news coming out of Blazers’ HQ this afternoon. Portland has reached a deal with Spanish forward Victor Claver, and he will be a Blazer in 2012-13.
Color me surprised. I thought for sure we’d never see this guy in a Blazer jersey. Like most of you, I don’t know very much about Claver. However, Claver will participate in the 2012 Olympics for his country. Last time Portland had an in-coming Spaniard in an Olympic year, that Spaniard was Rudy Fernandez. Although Rudy’s tenure in Portland ended in shame, and his NBA-career is over, that first season after an awesome Olympic tournament was pretty amazing.
Here’s hoping Claver is Rudy Fernandez circa 2008-09, not Rudy Fernandez 10-11, and especially not Sergio Rodriquez.
And the press release:
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Trail Blazers have signed forward Victor Claver, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
A native of Valencia, Spain, Claver joins the Trail Blazers three years after the team selected him with the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft.
“Victor is a player with a high basketball IQ who will come in as a good complement to our roster,” said Olshey. “He defends well for his size, has a nice shooting touch, and we look forward to having him on board.”
A member of the Spanish national basketball team that will compete in the 2012 London Olympics this summer, Claver (6-10, 235) joins the Trail Blazers from Valencia in the Spanish ACB League, where he averaged 8.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.22 steals and 25.8 minutes in 37 ACB and Eurocup games. In six seasons with Valencia, Claver posted averages of 7.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.99 steals and 22.2 minutes.
Claver, 23, won the 2010 Eurocup Rising Star Award, an honor given to the most outstanding young player in the competition.
He will wear No. 18 with the Trail Blazers.