The 2010 off-season certainly hasn’t been lacking in drama for the Portland Trail Blazers. First they re-signed Marcus Camby. Then they fired Kevin Pritchard. They made a trade, released a player, and signed a restricted free agent.
But the plot continues to thicken. On Friday, according to multiple sources including ESPN and the Bleacher Report, it became even more evident that disgruntled guard Rudy Fernandez wants to be traded to a different team or have his contract bought out so he can return to Spain.
This isn’t the first time Rudy has expressed his desire to move on, but it’s the first time he’s explicitly asked to be traded or released. Back in June, the Knicks attempted to deal for Fernandez, but Portland was uninterested. The Knicks, however, remain undeterred as they continue to show interest in acquiring Rudy.
The problem is what the Knicks have to offer. Portland has zero interest in any player on the Knicks roster, which leads many to believe that New York will have to involve a third team if they’re truly set on trading for Rudy.
The Knicks traded both of their first round draft picks for the next two seasons to the Houston Rockets in the deal for Tracy McGrady last year, meaning that the only first round pick they have available to send to Portland would be a 2013 selection.
Adding to Rudy’s unhappiness was the signing of guard Wesley Matthews to an offer sheet by the Blazers on July 11, which was a clear indication to Fernandez that the team is ready to move on without him. The Utah Jazz have since informed Portland that they have no intention of matching the offer, meaning that Matthews will indeed become a member of the Blazers.
Back on April 14, we concluded that Rudy Fernandez had to perform at his highest potential for the playoffs or the Blazers would surely send him packing:
“As has been the case for some time now, Rudy has seemed to be frustrated with his role as a backup player on the Trail Blazers. He longs for real minutes as a starter, or at least as a big-time player off the bench. Instead, he’s been largely used without having a clear role on the team. He has also expressed interest in returning to Europe, where he was a star basketball player.
“That could change in the  playoffs. If Rudy has a strong showing, and helps Portland make it out of the first round, his value to the franchise, and the NBA as a whole, would increase dramatically.”
You’ll remember that Fernandez had a lackluster playoff performance, and Portland was again ousted in the first round, ultimately sealing Rudy’s fate.
Expect a deal to be made before the pre-season begins.