Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:01 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 11:13 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver
The Heat continued their search for a 15th man on Thursday, working out unrestricted free agent forward Shavlik Randolph in Miami, league sources told CBSSports.com.
The Heat signed center Mickell Gladness to a second 10-day contract on Feb. 28, according to the Sun-Sentinel. They now must decide whether to re-sign Gladness for the remainder of the season or go a different direction.
Miami reportedly worked out retired forward Rasheed Wallace recently and had been linked to free agent center Joel Przybilla before he signed with the Portland Trail Blazers in February.
Randolph, 28, played for the Heat during the 2009-2010 season and attended training camp with the Heat prior to the 2010-2011 season. Randolph signed a 1-year contract with no NBA opt-out with the Dongguan New Century Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association during the lockout, where he averaged 24.7 points and 11.9 rebounds in 32.9 minutes per game. Dongguan was recently eliminated from the CBA playoffs.
"I'm not going to be someone who is going to sit there and be picky," Randolph said, during a February interview from China. "Anyone who would want me, I'm somebody absolutely willing to accept any role. Rebounder, defender, opportunistic scorer. Hopefully when I get back, I'll get a good opportunity with a number of the teams we've been talking to."
Sportando.net reported earlier this week that Randolph was in contact with multiple NBA teams.
A 6-foot-10 forward out of Duke, Randolph holds career averages of 2.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game during a 5-year NBA career which includes stops with the Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers and Heat.
Posted on: February 22, 2012 7:19 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 7:30 pm
It takes a brave man to play center for the Portland Trail Blazers, and no one ever accused Joel Przybilla of being weak-hearted.
Przybilla, an unrestricted free agent center, has reportedly agreed to sign a 1-year contract with the Blazers for the remainder of the 2011-2012 season, according to Yahoo Sports and The Oregonian. The deal, which reportedly isn't expected to be official until this week, will reunite Przybilla with the team he spent 6.5 years with, prior to a 2011 trade deadline deal that sent him to the Charlotte Bobcats.
The news of the expected signing comes just days after the Blazers announced center Greg Oden underwent season-ending microfracture knee surgery.
Przybilla has not played during the lockout-shortened season, although his name had come up in rumors linking him to the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks.
Known for clogging the middle on defense, and giving hard fouls, Przybilla was a locker room leader for the Blazers before being included in the deal that landed forward Gerald Wallace from Charlotte. Przybilla's playing time was limited during the 2010-2011 season, as he was working his way back from multiple knee surgeries. He will add depth behind starting center Marcus Camby and help fill out a frontcourt that includes All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, Kurt Thomas and the seldom-used Craig Smith and Chris Johnson.
Camby is in the final year of his contract and could be a potential trade chip for the Blazers. Przybilla's presence could potentially make Camby more expendable.
Portland currently has 15 players on its roster, meaning a player will need to be released or traded to make room for Przybilla's signing. Oden is a likely candidate, as Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan said this week that it was possible that he would be released following his latest surgery.
Chris Johnson and second-year guard Armon Johnson are both on minimum-salary contracts so they theoretically could be potential casualties as well. Chris Johnson is Portland's fifth big man and has not seen much time but he has shown flashes in his limited minutes, and he's well-regarded by management. Armon Johnson has played even less, spending most of the season on the inactive list and has appeared in just 1 game, playing five minutes, this year.
Przybilla, 32, is a fan favorite in Portland and has posted career averages of 4.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
Posted on: February 2, 2012 1:22 am
You won't believe this, but it doesn't sound like Eddy Curry was the answer inside for the Miami Heat.
According to ESPN.com, the Heat have made offers to two free agent big men to try and help build their interior depth -- Kenyon Martin and Joel Przybilla.
Martin most recently was in China honoring his contract with Xinjiang, but left the team in December. Because of Chinese Basketball Association rules, Martin wouldn't be eligible to sign with the Heat for another two weeks until Xinjiang's season is over. Martin has also been recruited by the Lakers, Spurs Knicks and Hawks. He averaged 8.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 48 games for the Nuggets last year.
Przybilla has been retired because of injury issues, but according to the report is healthy and "believes he can contribute to a contender in a limited role off the bench." Przybilla is reportedly expected to make a decision between the Heat and Bulls by the end of the week.
Przybilla played in 36 games for the Portland Trail Blazers and Charlotte Bobcats last season, averaging 1.8 points and 4.0 rebounds.
The Heat obviously are desperate for a big man to provide some post scoring, toughness and rebounding on the inside. Joel Anthony is solid, but behind him is Curry, Juwan Howard and Dexter Pittman. If Przybilla is truly healthy, having his 7-1 frame on the block would surely help LeBron and Wade.
Same goes for Martin, who added to a frontcourt of Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem would give Miami quite the trio of power forwards. It's doubtful the Heat would look to sign both.
The Heat's roster stands at 15 so if one were to sign, a cut would have to be made. Curry is the obvious candidate as he has a non-guaranteed contract with Miami.
Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:02 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 11:06 pm
The Portland Trail Blazers made a last-minute play for Charlotte Bobcats All-Star forward Gerald Wallace. Posted by Ben Golliver.
PORTLAND -- The 2011 NBA trade deadline was as wild as it gets, with seven late trades clogging up the league office, and an eighth - a potential deal that would have sent O.J. Mayo to the Indiana Pacers - that wasn't executed in time. As crazy as it was for fans and media to process shortly after the noon PST deadline, things were even more hectic for the executives in the minutes just before.
According to Portland Trail Blazers GM Rich Cho, his organization did not agree to trade for Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace until just seven minutes before the deadline. "The trade did not get consummated in principle until 11:53 AM this morning," Cho said at a press conference Thursday afternoon in the Rose Garden. "All the variables in the trade, the terms and conditions, we didn't come to an agreement until the very end."
Wallace, an All-Star and NBA All-Defense player in 2010, was finally swapped for Blazers center Joel Przybilla, center Sean Marks, backup forward Dante Cunningham and two future first round picks. Cho said the last-minute exchange wasn't entirely expected. "This morning we thought would stand pat. We were sitting in my office, me and my staff, and thinking 'Well, it doesn't look like anything is going to happen.' All of a sudden we had about five deals we could have done."
The late scramble happened despite the fact the Blazers first broached a Wallace trade as far back as "a few months ago" and the fact that acquiring Wallace "was at the top of the list" of Cho's trade deadline priorities. "He exemplifies everything we are looking for in a player," Cho said. "He plays both ends of the floor, his work ethic is tremendous ... He has a lot of toughness, his nickname is 'Crash' for a reason. He just plays really hard."
As we all know, motivation to deal increases exponentially as the clock ticks. Cho compared his team's trade to the one made by the New Jersey Nets that nabbed Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams, noting that the type of assets present in both deals made the late execution possible. "One thing I really believe in is accumulating assets, acquiring picks and young players. It's for this very reason: to acquire better players to improve the team. If you look at some of the deals that were made recently, like the Deron Williams trade that Utah made. One of the big reasons they were able to make that trade is because they had those two picks and that was really attractive to Utah. I really believe in accumulating assets and turning those assets into players to improve the team."
As the deadline neared, the thought of long-term salary cap relief and the hope that two draft picks represent was apparently too much for the Bobcats to pass up. A few more minutes of indecision, however, and Wallace would still be in Charlotte.
The Blazers brass was clearly happy the trade clock didn't run all the way out. "We're thrilled to death to have him," Cho said, cracking a slight smile.
Posted on: February 24, 2011 5:50 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 5:54 pm
The Charlotte Bobcats have traded forward Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trail Blazers. Posted by Ben Golliver and Royce Young.
Portland Trail Blazers receive Gerald Wallace from the Charlotte Bobcats
by Ben Golliver
Years of rumored interest culminated on Thursday when the Portland Trail Blazers acquired Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace for reserve center Joel Przybilla, reserve forward Dante Cunningham, reserve center Sean Marks and two first round picks.
Wallace, famously nicknamed “Crash”, is a prototype for the type of basketball Blazers coach Nate McMillan likes to play: hard-nosed, aggressive, versatile, two-way and old school. He will find himself in like company alongside Blazers guard Wesley Matthews and forward Nicolas Batum, who both share his enthusiam for defense and high-intensity play.
This trade does not push the Blazers over the top into the realm of championship contention, but the fact that it didn’t require Portland to give up any of its major assets makes it a trade more than worth doing. None of the pieces sacrificed were critical or irreplaceable, and allowing Przybilla’s contract to expire this summer wouldn’t have helped the Blazers financially, as they are almost certainly committed to being over the cap for the foreseeable future thanks to long-term contracts already given to Aldridge and Roy, as well as big money that will need to be committed to center Greg Oden. As for the picks, the Blazers can always purchase draft picks in the future as they often have in the past. This trade comes down to cashing in multiple smaller assets into one big chip, a move the Blazers have been hesitant to make in previous years, much to their fans’ collective disappointment.
Pulling the trigger on this trade simply boiled down to whether Wallace was worth adding to the roster at his salary price of $10.5 million. Given his all-NBA defensive pedigree and the fact that two major division rivals – the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets – lost their franchise players this week, that question feels like a no-brainer. The Blazers get better, without a doubt, while the competition got worse. Portland is now poised to compete for the Northwest Division title and has improved its chances of winning a playoff series, something that would mean a lot to Allen and his management team given how injuries to Roy and Oden seemingly derailed the team’s carefully-constructed championship blueprints.
The trade leaves Portland thin in the frontcourt, but the Blazers have found success playing small ball lineups because of a string of injuries this season, and Wallace should fit nicely into that plan. When the Blazers move LaMarcus Aldridge to center, McMillan will be able to use Matthews, Batum and Wallace nearly interchangeably on the perimeter. The rotation could get tight, though, when guard Brandon Roy continues to make his comeback from knee surgery but the Blazers could opt for a big lineup with Roy playing the point guard spot on offense and defending off the ball on defense.
A few questions remain: Are there enough minutes for both Batum and Wallace, how will Portland address the age of key players like Andre Miller and Marcus Camby and where will Portland turn to address its lack of frontcourt depth? But this trade made the Blazers better this season and it didn’t meaningfully compromise their future flexibility. That adds up to a strong start for first year GM Rich Cho.
Charlotte Bobcats receive Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two first round picks from the Portland Trail Blazers
By Royce Young
It had been something on the table this entire season. It was whispered by many, but it didn't appear that the Bobcats were going to get serious about truly blowing up the roster and starting anew.
Wednesday, there was a lot of chatter that Charlotte was in active talks with Portland about sending former All-Star Gerald Wallace to the Blazers. And after a good amount of back and forth with one report saying Michael Jordan was getting cold feet, it finally happened.
Wallace is headed to Portland for Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two first-round picks. The Bobcats decided to set fire to the roster and it was about time.
The price of this trade is the two first rounders, but also Przybilla, whose contract is up after this season. Charlotte is now setting itself up to actually rebuild, instead of just treading water.
They are still in the Eastern playoff hunt and they'll likely slip from there, but it's worth it. That just means they get another lottery pick this season. At some point, hanging on to mediocrity just isn't worth it. If you're actually going to contend and make a dent in the tough top tier of the East, you've got to do better than what Charlotte was putting out.
Yes, losing Wallace hurts. He was under contract through next season and had a player option in 2013. He was making almost $10 million which isn't a ton, but it was painfully clear that he wasn't the type of player that really was going to be a true building block. He's a great player, a great rebounder and a good scorer. But the Bobcats need to find a new identity and the best way to do that is by creating financial flexibility and stockpiling picks.
In this NBA atmosphere, you're either trying to contend now or build for later. The Bobcats had caught themselves in a Bermuda Triangle in between of being good enough to win sometimes, but never with a vision to actually be a true contender. The step to blow up and is rebuild isn't easy and that's why Jordan probably hesitated, but this was the right move.
Posted on: February 24, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 5:37 pm
An updating list of trades at the NBA Trade Deadline. Posted by EOB staff.
The Charlotte Bobcats trade Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trail Blazers for Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham and two first round picks
Charlotte receives: Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two first round picks
Portland receives: Gerald Wallace
Analysis: The Bobcats look to the future, moving Gerald Wallace and his eight figure multi-year contract for the expiring contracts of center Joel Przybilla and forward Dante Cunningham, netting two first round picks in the process. Przybilla, a veteran center who has been slowed by injury, isn't likely to be a major factor for the Bobcats, and has hinted that he might prefer a buyout and/or retirement in the near future. Cunningham, a talented but undersized power forward with a high basketball IQ, had demonstrated the ability to knock down a mid-range jump shot and defend a variety of players both in the post and on the perimeter. Marks is a friendly, fringe NBA center on the tail end of a long career. The Blazers have reportedly coveted Wallace for years, and will add his defensive versatility to a team that features other tough-minded perimeter defenders like Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews.
Posted on: February 21, 2011 9:53 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 2:36 am
Nets talking deal with Portland to swap Harris, Miller, Murphy, Przybilla.
Posted by Matt Moore
UPDATE 2:33 a.m. EST: Well, obviously the Nets did not get Melo, so now they're going to have to come up with an alternate plan. Harris is going to be extremely prevalent in trade rumors from now through the deadline as the Nets know they have to move him now while he has value. The Blazers are clearly looking to move Andre Miller and have had interest in Harris for months. This could be the next domino now that Melo is gone. We'll have more on what the Anthony trade means for Denver on the Eye on Basketball blog.
The New Jersey Nets are making a move one way or another. If they get Carmelo Anthony, great, awesome, good for them. If they don't, it looks like they have a plan they're formulating, except, it doesn't necessarily reflect a clear plan of action.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the Nets are in discussions with the Portland Trail Blazers for an advanced framework of the previously discussed deal for the two teams to swap point guards, with Andre Miller going to New Jersey and Devin Harris to Portland. Berger also reports that the deal includes Joely Przybilla going to New Jersey and Troy Muprhy. The Blazers would also get a pick.
The deal as constructed does not work under current terms financially, so there has to be another element in play. What's odd is that instead of Portland cutting costs, this saves New Jersey money if it goes through, $17.8 million worth, before the third element to make the deal work. But more confusing is why New Jersey is sending a pick, their best player, and their largest expiring for a set of expiring contracts? Bear in mind that the Oregonian reports that should Przybilla be traded, he'll immediately seek a buyout. This is a whole lot of money the Russian is looking to dump in the event Melo does not go through for the Nets.
Meanwhile, the Blazers would think use Murphy to swap with Golden State, according to the Record.
Speaking of which, this does not mean that they've given up on the Melo deal, nor does it mean this is their only option. It's clear that one way or another, the New Jersey Nets' roster will not be the same Thursday night as it is right now, if Billy King has anything to say about it.
Posted on: February 17, 2011 12:27 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2011 12:54 pm
CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports that the Portland Trail Blazers could be in for an active trade deadline. Posted by Ben Golliver.
On Wednesday, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger noted a few factors that could make the Portland Trail Blazers an important player during the 2011 trade deadline season. First, the Blazers are just over the luxury tax line and presumably looking to get under it if possible. Second, the Blazers possess a number of expiring contracts that would serve as good bargaining chips.
Execs are monitoring the intentions of Houston, Portland and Utah -- all tax-paying teams that will be deciding whether to go deeper into the tax or pull back from it.
One exec said he believes Portland GM Rich Cho is "poised for a pretty significant 24th." Given the grim prognosis for star guard Brandon Roy and the uncertainty about what cap space will be worth under the new labor rules, Cho is seriously considering cashing in on the expiring contract of Joel Przybilla and the essentially expiring deal of Andre Miller, whose 2011-12 salary is fully non-guaranteed. Marcus Camby, who has a year left at $12.9 million, could be enticing to one of the few deep-pocketed contenders not shy about taking on future money with CBA changes looming. The Mavericks, for example, will "listen to anything," according to a source.Cho, Portland's first-year GM, doesn't have much of a track record to date, but he previously worked under Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti, who is known for his patience, discretion and how much he values salary cap flexibility. Cho appears to be cut from the same cloth. He's developed a reputation for his analytical approach to evaluating players and has made one significant move this season, dumping reserve guard Jerryd Bayless for a conditional first round draft pick in order to shed salary and increase his flexibility.
Here are the question that Cho has been grappling with all season: Are the Blazers, who have been bounced in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs each of the past two seasons, coming or going? And if they are going, is it time to blow things up and get younger?
I won't bore you with all the surgical details, but the Blazers have a number of factors clouding their ability to properly gauge their future lot. Two are much bigger than the others.
First, and most importantly, All-Star guard Brandon Roy has yet to return from dual knee surgeries and all indications are that he will be limited to some degree by his knees going forward. The Blazers are in the first year of a 5-year, $80+ million fully-guaranteed contract with Roy. He's as untradeable as a player can be.
Second, the Blazers must make a decision regarding chronically injured center Greg Oden this summer. Most likely, that decision will involve extending him a $8 million + qualifying offer which he will likely reject so that he can weigh multi-year offers. While his market value is unclear given that he is currently rehabilitating from his second microfracture knee surgery, the Blazers have indicated they are prepared to do what it takes to keep him. Between Oden and Roy, then, the Blazers have tied up a significant portion of their salary cap.
Making things even more complicated: the remaining Blazers have managed to climb all the way up to the middle of the pack in the Western Conference playoff picture and seem a solid bet to make the playoffs as is. Getting to the post-season matters to every NBA team, but it especially matters to the Blazers. Playoff gate revenue would surely be valued but, perhaps more importantly, this is a franchise that wants to take a place on the national stage whenever it can. Located in a small-market and geographically isolated from much of the basketball viewing public, the playoffs are a matter of pride and a chance for the team to shine when it so often feels overlooked. (Look no further than the LaMarcus Aldridge All-Star snub reaction to get a sense for this sentiment.) On top of that, Blazers owner Paul Allen is competitive and looking for a return on his investment of significant resources into this group of players.
Missing the playoffs, then, would be a blow to the pride, but also a blow to the credibility of the management staff. Despite all of the injuries, the resources and talent is still there, and that's without mentioning the team's solid head coach, Nate McMillan, who's making a case for Coach of the Year consideration. There are still expectations, even if the roof has caved in and eliminated the "contender" hopes for the time being.
Any potential trade deadline move for Portland has to be assessed from the perspective of whether it will meaningfully impact Portland's ability to make the post-season. If a potential deal carries that risk, then it better have a sweetheart reward. If a deal can be engineered that helps the finances or the team's future without compromising this year's run, then that's got to be on the table.
Assessing Portland's roster through this lens divvies the players into some fairly clear groups. Players like Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum are obvious building blocks going forward. Roy and Oden are virtually impossible to move. The obvious candidates for a potential trade are point guard Andre Miller, along with centers Marcus Camby and Joel Przybilla.
While there are financial arguments for moving any of them, Miller, Camby and Przybilla are of varied on-court importance.
Much has been made of Aldridge's breakout season - he's been floated as a Most Improved Player candidate and has twice won Western Conference Player of the Week honors - but none of that happens without his improved relationship with Miller, who hits him not only with lob after lob but also runs an effective late-game pick-and-roll as well. Miller probably trusted in Aldridge more than Aldridge did to start the season, and it's no coincidence that his voice was the loudest to complain when Aldridge was left off the All-Star team. The relationship that never developed between Miller and Roy - the relationship former Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard had hoped would make the Blazers a contender - now exists between Miller and Aldridge.
Without question, Aldridge's now dependable production would be diminished this year if Miller is moved. The Blazers also have no other legit options capable of handling full-time point guard duties. Portland would be left, for the fourth time this season, to craft a new identity for themselves heading into the playoff stretch run. It wouldn't be impossible, but it wouldn't be particularly pleasant. It also wouldn't be all that intelligent, as the Blazers can cut and run out of Miller's contract if they find a better option this summer or he can be moved to a team next year as an expiring contract. Given his on-court value and future financial flexibility it makes far more sense to hold on to Miller than to move him, and I haven't even mentioned that his age and lack of playoff success render his external value questionable.
One of the most intriguing, under-reported wrinkles of Portland's season is that the Blazers are 10-4 since Camby underwent arthroscropic knee surgery. The Blazers have made due by using Aldridge as a center and playing more small-ball. It's certainly possible, perhaps not probable, that the Blazers could move Camby and still remain in the top eight, assuming Aldridge remains as healthy and productive as he has been since December.
The problem, of course, is the team's longer-term uncertainty at the center position. With Oden's future up in the air and Przybilla not at 100% since returning from two knee surgeries last season, Camby figures to be a fairly valuable component of a 2011-2012 Blazers team. Without him, the Blazers would be forced to either re-cast their new franchise player, Aldridge, as a center, draft a big man and be prepared to give him real minutes right off the bat, or find a random big off the scrap heap. None of those options would seem to be nearly as appetizing as making due with Camby for now and moving him during the draft or next season as an expiring contract should the center position crystallize a bit. While playoff teams looking for an extra big have expressed interest in Camby's services during a playoff run, the Blazers are interested in him for the same reason, and also because they don't have another reliable center penciled into the roster next season. He's a key locker room presence, too.
Przybilla, though, is a different story. His contract is expiring and he's not currently a critical component of the rotation, although he's filled in nicely during Camby's absence. When Camby returns, however, Przybilla reverts back to his status as a small-minute insurance piece and would likely be used sparingly in the playoffs with McMillan preferring to ride his starters. Longer-term, Przybilla's future in Portland is unclear as well, even though he's a local icon. He's simply not productive enough at this point to warrant a real financial commitment from the Blazers, given their other commitments discussed above. He is a living seven-foot tall human that can rebound so he will draw interest from around the league this summer, and he's also mentioned the possibility of retirement. Were the Blazers able to move Przybilla and receive limited contracts in return, utilizing a team's trade exception or open cap space, it's possible they could get under the luxury tax line without truly jeopardizing their rotation or playoff chances.
Another player that was mentioned last summer but hasn't found his name in many rumors over the last month or two is guard Rudy Fernandez. Given Matthews' dependability and the potential return of Roy, Fernandez would become the most expendable member of the team's current rotation, although his ability to handle the ball helps his ability to get on the court should his minutes get squeezed. The formerly disgruntled Fernandez claims he is now happy in Portland and he's still on his rookie contract, so trading his $1.2 million salary alone wouldn't be enough to get the Blazers under the luxury tax line. Previously, Fernandez's asking price was said to be a late-first round pick. At this point, however, his internal value to the Blazers is likely higher than that given the questions surrounding Roy's availability. If you move Fernandez, a team that already struggles to score consistently and space the floor will be stretched even thinner. You would also be sacrificing a known, young, cheap rotation piece heading into a summer when you're likely to rebuild and get younger.
Putting this all together, we shouldn't be surprised that things are busy for the Blazers in the run-up to the deadline. They've got loads of questions and an uncertain future, plus a bunch of potential trade chips and prospects on rookie deals. But the potential costs of a midseason overhaul seem to outweigh the benefits, and minimal activity at the deadline wouldn't preclude the team's ability to make the same moves this summer or during next season.