Rudy Fernandez to play in Madison Square Garden… but not as a Knick

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Rudy Fernandez finally gets to play a game in Madison Square Garden tonight. He’s wanted that, his agents have pushed for that all summer (pushed hard enough to get him fined, twice).

Of course, they pushed for him to be a Knick, instead he comes in as part of the visiting Portland Trail Blazers. The place he was trying to get away from.

Alan Hahn of Newsday tells us that if Fernandez does get out of Portland, the Knicks are not the likely destination because the price is a first-round pick.

The Knicks, who don’t have a first-round pick that they can trade until 2014, made an offer of two second-round picks for Fernandez, which the Blazers quickly dismissed. Knicks president Donnie Walsh could have traded Anthony Randolph to the Pacers for a first-round pick, but with a potential trade for Carmelo Anthony on the horizon, it is believed he would prefer to keep as many assets as possible.

While Fernandez’s value may remain the same, the asking price likely has gone up, especially in the wake of Portland’s trade with the New Orleans Hornets , who gave up a partially protected first-round pick in exchange for Jerryd Bayless.

“That raises the bar,” an NBA source said. “You think they’re going to take two seconds from the Knicks?”

The Knicks look like they are going to live with rookie Landry Fields at the two for now, he has looked surprisingly good in that role through two games (averaging 11 points on 50 percent shooting with seven boards).

Fernandez will come up in trade talks again, but the Blazers seem willing to wait for the market to come to them.