Every Blazer fan, no doubt, has a recurring nightmare. They wake up in a cold sweat after dreaming that Portland has opened the 2012-13 NBA season with Raymond Felton as the team’s starting point guard.
Disregard the fact that there was almost no way Portland brought back the most criticized Blazer of last season, or that the Blazers used their first of two lottery picks on a point guard, or that Will Barton, Portland’s second-round pick, was officially introduced as wearing the number five, Felton’s number. Until moments ago, the Blazers’ point guard with the most experience was one Raymond Felton.
Fear not. He is a Blazer no longer. Portland has officially dealt Ray-Ray and Kurt Thomas to the New York Knicks, a team rushing headlong to become the oldest team in the history of the NBA, in exchange for journeyman forward Jared Jeffries, oft-traded center Dan Gadzuric, the rights to Georgios Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou, a 2016 second-rounder, and cash considerations.
Gadzuric’s deal is non-guaranteed, so he’s likely to be waived. Printezis and Papanikolaou will probably stay in Greece. But Jared Jeffries will probably be a Blazer, barring a quick flip in another deal. Jeffries has been around, but that’s not always a bad thing, especially since Portland is getting younger by the minute.
The real news here, of course, is that Raymond Felton’s time in a Blazer jersey has come to an end. I was never a proponent of Felton. I thought he had moments, many of them, where he looked awful. I also thought he played well every now and again. I do think he was hamstrung by the media, and regardless of what he did or said he was going to be painted as a pivotal part in Portland’s demise and ultimate downfall.
He won’t look back fondly on his time in Portland. I don’t doubt that feelings will be mutual.
Here’s the press release:
TRAIL BLAZERS ACQUIRE JARED JEFFRIES FROM NEW YORK
Portland also receives Dan Gadzuric, draft rights to two Greek stars, a 2016 second round draft pick and cash considerations
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired forward Jared Jeffries, center Dan Gadzuric, the draft rights to Georgios Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou, a 2016 second round draft pick and cash considerations from the New York Knicks in exchange for Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.
Felton was signed by the Trail Blazers earlier today to facilitate the sign-and-trade transaction.
“This trade allowed us to acquire multiple assets for the future without impacting our current cap position,” said Olshey. “Jared Jeffries provides depth and a versatile skill to our front court. He is a consummate professional on and off the floor, competes every night and is a veteran leader for our locker room.”
Jeffries, 30, carries averages of 5.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 22.4 minutes in 10 seasons with Washington, Houston and New York. Last season with the Knicks, Jeffries averaged 4.4 points (41.0% FG), 3.9 rebounds and 18.7 minutes in 39 games (four starts).
Appearing in two games for the Knicks last season, Gadzuric, 34, posted averages of 4.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 14.8 minutes in 10 seasons with Milwaukee, Golden State, New Jersey and New York.
Printezis, 27, was originally selected with the 58th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by San Antonio. The forward currently plays for the Greek national team and professionally for Olympiacos in Greece.
Selected by New York with the 48th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Papanikolaou, 21, also plays forward for Olympiacos and the Greek national team. He led Olympiacos with 18 points, while Printezis hit the game-winning shot to go with 12 points in the team’s Euroleague Championship victory over CSKA Moscow in May.
In one season with the Trail Blazers, Felton, 28, averaged 11.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 31.8 minutes in 60 games (56 starts).
Thomas, 39, finished his lone 2011-12 season in Portland with averages of 3.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 15.2 minutes in 53 games (three starts).
Also, in Blazer-related, number five news, Portland has officially signed Will Barton. This happened a few days ago, but here’s the press release just in case you missed it.
TRAIL BLAZERS SIGN ROOKIE FORWARD WILL BARTON
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Trail Blazers have signed rookie forward Will Barton, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Trail Blazers used the 40th overall pick in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft to select Barton, 21, the reigning Conference USA Player of the Year. In two years at Memphis, Barton averaged 15.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.49 steals for the Tigers. He led the conference in scoring last season with 18.0 points per game.
Check out Barton in Summer League action all this week.
The deadline to match Minnesota’s offer-sheet and sign Batum is Wednesday. Word on the street is Blazer brass has requested Nic’s presence in Portland, an indication that the Blazers will be matching following the passing of a physical.
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