As it’s known to happen when a lot of NBA stuff goes down at the same time, details on the Eric Maynor to Portland trade were fast and furious a few hours ago. Now that the proverbial dust has settled, what was speculation (trade exception and a pick) and what was pure conjecture or wishful thinking (Elliot Williams or Nolan Smith were going to be waived to make room for a new player) has made way for cold hard fact.
They are as follows:
The Blazers will receive 25 year-old Eric Maynor from the Oklahoma City Thunder. In return, OKC will receive the trade exception Portland got back from the sign-and-trade that sent Raymond Felton to the New York Knicks and the draft rights to Georgios Printezis that also came over with Felton and Jared Jeffries. The Blazers will waive Ronnie Price to free up a roster spot for Maynor.
Here’s the release from the team making it all officially official:
TRAIL BLAZERS ACQUIRE GUARD ERIC MAYNOR FROM THUNDER
Portland trades draft rights to Georgios Printezis, waives Ronnie Price
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired guard Eric Maynor from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for the draft rights to Georgios Printezis, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.
Maynor, 25, has appeared in 37 games this season with the Thunder, averaging 2.8 points, 0.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 10.6 minutes per game.
“Eric is a player we have valued and pursued for some time,” said Olshey. “His skill level and character will be excellent additions to our culture on and off the floor.”
Maynor (6-3, 175) holds career averages of 4.2 points, 1.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 14.3 minutes in 209 career games with Oklahoma City and Utah. He was originally selected out of Virginia Commonwealth by the Jazz with the 20th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
The Trail Blazers acquired the draft rights to Printezis on July 16, 2012, in the deal with New York that included Jared Jeffries coming to Portland in exchange for Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas. Portland acquired Maynor by using a trade exception created in the Jeffries deal.
Portland waived guard Ronnie Price to make room on the roster. In his only season with the Trail Blazers, Price averaged 2.7 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 13.1 minutes in 39 appearances.
“Ronnie has been a consummate professional and we thank him for his contributions to the team,” said Olshey.
Certainly a lot of Blazer fans aren’t going to be totally satisfied with how everything went for Portland at the Trade Deadline. Everybody expected and wanted the Blazers to ship J.J. Hickson. That didn’t happen. When the trade for Maynor was announced and it became clear Portland would be giving nobody up, many fans hoped that Nolan Smith might be the guy getting shipped out of town. That didn’t happen either.
Ronnie Price seems to be getting a bit of the short shrift here, but RP has been dealing with an injury all season. Ben Golliver sums up the reasoning for cutting Price loose pretty well:
Noteworthy that Neil Olshey decided to waive his mistake (Price) rather than previous mistake (Smith). Paul or Bert must still be in love
— Ben Golliver (@blazersedge) February 21, 2013
Neil Olshey brought Price in, it makes sense than that he cuts a guy he brought in as a way to take a bit of responsibility for how bad the second unit has been in 2012-13. Also, as every working stiff knows, the last hired is the first fired. As for the trade itself, and the mixed bag it presents Blazer fans, in my mind it’s not quite a total coup for Portland, but it’s an indication that management is thinking correctly about how to build a winner. Maynor has been squeezed out of Oklahoma City, but he’s a big improvement over either Ronnie Price or Nolan Smith.
RP is known as a locker room guy, and has been something of a mentor to Damian Lillard, but Maynor has spent his entire career with Kevin Durant. He might not have the NBA mileage of Ronnie Price, but he’s got plenty of wisdom to impart on a young guard on the rise. The real upside to this trade though is that the Blazers didn’t really give up anything. Maynor may prove to be the best back-up point guard in the NBA (as he was being called at one point long ago) or he may not, but Portland isn’t on the hook for a big salary and they didn’t sacrifice anything of value on a gamble.
If turning J.J. Hickson into a high protected pick was the best possible move, and flipping one or more of their unproven rookies or a starter for a superstar on loan for a season and a half was the worst possible move, making a trade for a decent player who makes the team significantly better while not losing a consistent contributor or a future asset is a solid B+. The high end of the bell curve.
If Portland can land a nice free agent or two (a shooter to come off the bench and/or a big man) in the off-season, there’s real potential here. The Blazers’ biggest weakness at the moment is depth. Eric Maynor addresses that weakness.
— Craig Birnbach (@CBirnbachKATU) February 21, 2013