The new Lakers 2010 NBA Champions DVD is out this week — get your copy at the NBA store — and as always the production value is outstanding. Like this great synopsis of the Lakers and Celtics rivalry.
Rudy Fernandez isn’t talking about his future, but everyone else is.
Fernandez is in Las Palmas training with the Spanish national team for the upcoming FIBA World Championships (nice location, by the way). He said on his personal blog that is his focus right now.
There is gossip about my future and everyone asks me but I’m really just focused on the national team right now.
That gossip includes the Trail Blazers new general manager Rich Cho asking for a first round pick for Fernandez, according to Alan Hahn of Newsday. If so, the Knicks are out because they don’t have one they can move until 2014 (you can’t trade first round picks in consecutive years, thank you very much Ted Stepien).
That would leave Boston and Chicago as the front runners, at least of the teams we know.
Boston is negotiating with Portland, as reported at CelticsBlog. Some Celtics fans live in a dream world where they can turn Rasheed Wallace’s deal into Fernandez, but that’s not happening. First, the salaries don’t match, so Portland would have to move another player as part of the deal and they don’t want to. Also, Sheed’s contract is not a pick — we mentioned they want a first-round pick, right?
Portland is listening to offers, but they are really under no pressure to make a deal. They can wait until training camp to see if a team gets desperate and ups the ante, or they could wait even longer. So sit back and get comfortable, this could take a while.
Rudy Fernandez has gone where Chris Paul can’t — he has basically demanded a trade. The man wants out of Portland and away from Nate McMillan as fast as he can. Fernandez wants the ball in his hands, he envisions himself to be a playmaker. Portland already has those and McMillan just wants him to shoot. That makes Rudy sad.
New Portland General Manager Rich Cho is listening to offers. Can you blame him — who wouldn’t want to make a trade when you just get the power to green light one? But you’re going to have to wow Cho, his first trade will not be crap, as he told Jason Quick of the Oregonian.
“I’ve spoken to Andy and I’m aware of Rudy’s feelings,” Cho said. “But at the end of the day we are going to make the best decision for the franchise.”
Boston, Chicago and New York are all in the running for Fernandez, at least that’s what his agent, Andy Miller. However, he is an agent whose client wants to be on the move, so find yourself a salt flat before swallowing anything he says.
But there is interest, and those three teams make some sense.
Chicago could slide him right in at the two, where they had pictured JJ Redick would go. Of course, Redick is primarily a shooter and Rose is the guy making the plays with the ball in his hands, but Rudy wants out and Chicago is out. Chicago has been offering James Johnson to anyone and everyone this offseason, but Johnson and a pick may not be the best deal Cho will hear.
Boston has interest and they certainly could use depth and playmakers coming off the bench. But what are they going to offer? Rasheed Wallace and pick that likely will be near the bottom of the draft? Not thrilling either.
On the court, New York might be the best fit — Fernandez would fit well in Mike D’Antoni’s system and he gets to set up plays. The question is what would the Knicks offer to go with what could be a nice pick? Toney Douglas? That would certainly be an upgrade for the Knicks (as much as they like Douglas, who has real potential). Just a guess. But the Knicks have a roster of options, and more than one player could be involved.
Bottom line, there is some smoke. That smoke could become a real fire in the next 48 hours. Or Rudy could sulk on the Portland bench all next season. Which would make Rudy sad. And does anybody want to see that?
Boston is looking for some bench players, and thanks to the rose-colored-glasses of time, they remember how great Eddie House was in the finals in 2008, and since they are getting the band back together anyway….
The Celtics are in discussions to bring Eddie House back to the Celtics next season, according to the Boston Globe. House was shipped to New York for Nate Robinson in a deadline deal last February.
House had his shooting numbers drop to near career lows across the board last season both in Boston and New York, including 38 percent shooting overall. The Celtics can risk that was a one-year aberration, but at age 32 next season it may not be.
Boston can only offer a veteran’s minimum of $1.35 million, so it’s not a big risk. Well, so long as it is just a one-year deal.
With a deep backcourt that includes Chauncey Billups and Russell Westbrook, there were questions about Rajon Rondo on Team USA. Basically, how would his game translate to the international stage? Could his lack of a steady outside shot cost him?
And was he really committed to the team after seeming to waffle on his commitment?
On the first part, Rondo told Sports Illustrated it was not about his willingness to play, it was about his body after a long season.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be here,” he said. “It’s the wear and tear on my body. I played  games last year. I was pretty banged up after the season. It was the same thing the last couple of years. I’m young, which is probably the only reason why I’m here. If I was a little older, I probably wouldn’t have done it.”
As for how his game translates — Rondo has been one of the standouts in camp. He makes good decisions in transition and with a young team that can run he gets a lot of opportunities. He likely will be headed on to New York, where 15 players will go to compete for 12 roster spots next month.