This is Ronnie Price. Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

One Big Signing And One Other Signing (AND ONE UPDATE)

Nicolas Batum will be playing in Portland in 2012-13, the former home of Brandon Roy, not Minnesota, the current home of Brandon Roy. Credit: Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

The Batum saga is over. He will be a Blazer, as we all thought he would. It’s been a long week, with Summer League and trades and signings, and hopefully I’ll get around to some kind of longer summary piece about everything.

Until that time, here’s the official word on one Nicolas Batum. Welcome home. Time to earn that money.


Forward returns to Portland after four seasons with the team


PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Trail Blazers have re-signed forward Nicolas Batum, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Batum carries averages of 10.2 points (46.0% FG, 37.2% 3-PT, 83.6% FT), 3.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 26.2 minutes in four seasons with the Trail Blazers. At age 23, he has started in 202 of 255 career games and has increased his scoring and rebounding averages in each of his four seasons.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to continue my career in Portland and look forward to getting together with my teammates after the Olympics to start preparing for the season,” said Batum. “It feels right to be back with the Trail Blazers, playing in front of the best fans in the world.”

Batum averaged career highs in points (13.9), rebounds (4.6) and steals (0.97), while leading the Trail Blazers in blocks (60) last season. Ranking ninth on the team’s all-time ledger for 3-pointers made (341), his nine 3-pointers Feb. 4, 2012 vs. Denver broke a franchise record on his way to a career-high 33-point outing.

“I’ve maintained all along that Nic Batum is one of the cornerstones of this franchise and keeping him in Portland was our top priority,” said Olshey. “Without question, Nic has worked hard to get to where he is today and this contract is a reflection of that. The real beauty is he’s only 23 and is just beginning to scratch the surface of where we think his ultimate upside will be. His continued growth is going to be something very exciting and special for Trail Blazers fans to see.”

Portland originally acquired Batum (6-8, 210) in a draft day trade with Houston on June 26, 2008.

A starter for the French national team that will compete in the 2012 London Olympics this summer, Batum’s signing gives the Trail Blazers three players in the Olympic games, after the team signed Spain’s Victor Claver and Great Britain’s Joel Freeland last week.


Nicolas Batum wasn’t the only official signing by Portland this week. The Blazers have added veteran point guard Ronnie Price. Everybody will probably recognize Ronnie Price when they see a picture of him, but probably don’t know too much about him. I’m with you. So brush up on Ronnie Price, and remember it’s RONNIE PRICE, not RONNIE Brewer or A.J. PRICE.

Here’s the second press release:


PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Ronnie Price, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A seven-year NBA veteran, Price, 29, has played for Sacramento, Utah and Phoenix. In 355 career games (33 starts), he has averaged 3.6 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 11.5 minutes per game.

“Ronnie gives us a different look in the backcourt and we feel he’ll be a nice complement to the players we have in place,” said Olshey. “He works out with Damian Lillard in the summer and has played with Wesley Matthews in Utah, so there is some built-in chemistry there that we like.”

Price (6-2, 190) appeared in 36 games, including eight starts, for Phoenix last season. The Friendswood, Texas, native averaged 3.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 14.4 minutes in his only season with the Suns.

Undrafted out of college in 2005, Price signed with the Kings as a free agent. He averaged 24.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists as a senior at Utah Valley State.



The Blazers have traded Jon Diebler to the Houston Rockets in a three-team trade that will bring Sasha Pavlovic to Portland. Diebler was taken in the second round of last year’s draft, and played last season in Greece’s top professional league. Until being traded today, Diebler has been getting limited minutes with the Blazers’ Summer League squad in Las Vegas. By all accounts he hasn’t been great.

Here’s the press release:


Portland sends draft rights to Jon Diebler to Houston


PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired forward/guard Sasha Pavlovic, two 2013 second round draft picks and cash considerations from the Boston Celtics while sending the draft rights to guard Jon Diebler to the Houston Rockets as part of a three-team trade, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Pavlovic (6-7, 235) was acquired via a sign-and-trade with the Celtics.

“This trade is a continuation of our pursuit of assets, while at the same time helping to bolster our roster,” said Olshey. “We’re looking forward to adding Sasha Pavlovic’s veteran leadership to our squad. He’s a very experienced wing player that we feel can add depth to our rotation.”

Pavlovic, 28, has played nine NBA seasons with Utah, Cleveland, Minnesota, Dallas, New Orleans and Boston. He holds career averages of 5.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 15.8 minutes in 528 games (141 starts).

A native of Bar, Montenegro, Pavlovic spent last season with the Celtics, averaging 2.7 points, 1.6 rebounds and 11.7 minutes in 45 games (seven starts). He averaged a career-high 9.0 points per game while shooting 40.5 percent from 3-point range as a member of the Cavaliers in 2006-07.

A member of Portland’s 2012 NBA Summer League team, Diebler spent last season with Panionios of the Greek Basketball League, where he averaged a team-high 10.8 points to go with 3.5 rebounds and 25.6 minutes in 34 games. He shot 45.0 percent from 3-point distance and 84.6 percent from the foul line.

Diebler (6-6, 205) played four seasons at Ohio State from 2007-11, averaging 10.7 points (41.6% 3-PT), 2.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 32.5 minutes in 144 games (115 starts). The Big Ten’s all-time leader in career 3-pointers made (374), Diebler shot 50.2 percent from beyond the arc as a senior in 2010-11.

Portland originally selected Diebler in the second round (51st overall pick) of the 2011 NBA Draft.

Pavlovic joins France’s Nicolas Batum, Spain’s Victor Claver and Great Britain’s Joel Freeland as the fourth international player on the Trail Blazers roster.


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