Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What Wheels had to say

You've no doubt heard that Brian Wheeler divulged some Blazers news you couldn't hear anywhere else on his show yesterday on 95.5 The Game. If you missed it, the audio is below.









You can download the audio here.

And for those of you who can't listen to mp3 audio for one reason or another, here's the transcript of what Wheels had to say.

"The Blazers news, as promised, that you can't get anywhere else. A few items to pass along to you.

"First of all, glad to report that Travis Outlaw has been back in town and working out at the Blazers practice facility. You might remember that last offseason, when Travis was a free-agent, he was very nervous about working out in the offseason for fear that he'd have an injury without having a new team to count on, or at least a new contract with a team to count on. Now that he knows that he has an ongoing contract he has been much more diligent about working out in the offseason. If you recall last year, he really didn't get into shape until about a third of the way into the season, and it cost him from having a terrific overall season even though he had a great year as it turns out. But he would have had an even better season had be been ready from the get-go. This is very encouraging. He is back in Mississippi, but is going to be making frequent trips back into Portland to continue to workout, continue his workout plan with strength and conditioning coach Bobby Medina. And so Travis, again, working out a very encouraging sign for those who like having him around.

"And for those who like having him around, you might be interested to know that the Memphis Grizzlies proposed a deal to the Blazers, one that would have asked for Travis Outlaw and the Blazers' number one selection, number 13 overall, in the first round, in exchange for Mike Miller. Now there might have been some filler on either side to make the deal work perfectly salary cap wise. The Blazers declined the offer from the Grizzlies feeling that that was too much to give up for Mike Miller. But even though they like Mike Miller, that they consider those two assets to be very, very valuable, and that that wasn't enough coming back for the Blazers to consider making that move.

"I can also tell you that a few of Travis' teammates spoke up on his behalf to Blazers management saying that they want Travis to continue to be a Trail Blazer. he's a very popular guy in that locker room and you may have seen an interview with Brandon Roy late in the season in which he said Travis was his best friend on the team. So you can bet there's a lot of support in that locker room for Travis to continue to be a Trail Blazer. Not saying that that's a guarantee he won't ever be moved, but that particular offer was not one that the Blazers were interested in pursuing any further.

"Now, we certainly have heard the name Jose Calderon brought up quite a bit in terms of the possibility of where the Blazers might like to go if they have the opportunity to improve their point guard situation. I can tell you now that through information I've been able to gather, Jose Calderon is not going to be an option for the Trail Blazers or any other team for that matter. The Toronto Raptors are not considering any offers for Calderon. The hope was -- for the teams that are interested in Calderon -- that the Raptors, who have determined that Calderon and TJ Ford can not continue to co-exist on the same team, the hope was that the Raptors would find no takers for TJ Ford. Unfortunately, they are finding takers for TJ Ford, so they're going to be able to do what they wanted to get done from the very beginning, that is hold on to Calderon and instead deal TJ Ford to remedy that problem with those two guys trying to co-exist on the same team in the future. So Calderon is an untouchable. You can take him out of any equation in terms of looking at where the Blazers might try to find some help in terms of the point guard situation. Calderon will not be coming to Portland or anywhere else for that matter.

"Now you may have heard some news that Rudy Fernandez apparently had suffered an injury during the playoffs in Spain. In fact, according to ACB.com, the official website of Rudy's league in Spain, they gave an indication that he hurt his right hand and that they were going to do more tests over the next couple of weeks to get a better sense of how bad the injury is. I communicated with Trail Blazers General Manager Kevin Pritchard today, who is at the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando with the rest of the Blazers brass and every other team in the NBA for that matter, and KP said first off all, it's not his right hand. It's his left wrist that is the issue, but Kevin said he should be fine. So anybody who is concerned about the healthy of Rudy Fernandez from those earlier reports: first of all, incorrectly the report saying it's his right hand, apparently it's his left wrist. And according to Kevin Pritchard, who should probably know better than most, he says that Rudy will be fine.

"Now, I cannot give you any further official news on Rudy Fernandez. There's none to be had. But I can tell you this much, I think it would be an upset of mammoth proportions if Rudy Fernandez is not a Trail Blazer for next season. There won't be anything official regarding Rudy until after July 1, so want to make sure everybody cools their jets over the next month or so and isn't anxious about Rudy's future and where he's going to be. Baring something tremendously unforeseen, my gut feeling -- this particular part of this bit of news is my gut feeling -- is that Rudy Fernandez will be a member of the Trail Blazers next season."

Great stuff from Wheels. And a huge thanks to the soon-to-be-wed Jay Allen from 95.5 The Game for the audio.

So what are your thoughts on this news. Would you have turned down the trade for Mike Miller? Do you think it's simply a jumping off point for further negotiations? Could Travis Outlaw be add into any trade considering the support he has in the locker room?

If a team offers Calderon big money in restricted free agency, are the Raptors really going to match like they say they will? What kind of offers do you think teams are considering to acquire TJ Ford? Is Ford a viable option for the Blazers?

Are you worried at all about Rudy Fernandez's injury or his situation regarding jumping to the NBA?

3 comments:

Sophia said...

Casey,

Good piece of info. I was a little dissapointed that the prelude to all this was "big blazer's news" but it made us tune in to listen. Anyway, I think its a bit irrational to think that just b/c Travis is friends w/ every1 and bff w/ Brandon that he wont be traded. His salary, age and progress I think make him an attractive piece to any trade. However, his working out and staying in shape is huge in my mind b/c from what I understand he struggled w/ asthma, so if he's continuing w/ conditioning and endurance that has to help. If he becomes more consistant offensively and makes noticeable progress on his D i think he could be here for a while. After 5 years in the league, potential must turn 2 productivity or at least consistancy, if it doesnt happen, i have no doubt he will be gone.

Now the subjective:

I <3 Travis a whole lot, I have a pic w/ him that ive posted up at work for everyone to see and he is my favorite player on this team. I think his attitude is adorable. I really would not be mad if he was a life long Blazer :)

And lastly Rudy... im not a doctor but i think that metacarpel fissure does not = micro fracture surgery or possible amputation so im not worried and to every1 @espn that thinks this news to blazer fans might "sting a little" you are wrong..bones are stronger when they break and then heal..:) Wheels is right, no more RUDY???? untill July 1 or at least June 29...

Sophia

dagreat01 said...

Great news to hear. Travis in my opinion is an important piece to the team. He is only going to get better next year especially because he is starting his training early just like Martell. But if we ever do a trade involving Travis and our 13th pick this year which could happen because it is a business, it should be for like a Danny granger or something along those lines. Mike Miller is a great fit for our team but they were asking a bit much and Miller is getting old. I'm glad Travis is still here. It was great watching him all season, our Mr. 4th quarter is still here.Go Blazers!!! And Rudy is going to be a beast....we all have seen his youtube videos ..Amazing!

OPY

mrblazer said...

Some GMs do not have much communication with the players and prefer it that way. That isn't Pritchard's style. However, i can see why some do their job that way. It isn't the players' job to tell the GM who he should or should not get rid of. I hope these guys aren't overstepping just because KP happens to have an open communication philosophy. Bottom line, it isn't their decision. I do like the camaraderie, though.

As far as the trade, Casey, after looking at it, it doesn't make much sense. First of all, Travis is a BYC player. The filler involved that Wheels eluded to is difficult to come up with if your aren't talking about other significant blazer assets.

The easiest way to complete that deal is to throw in Raef and Jason Collins. However, there is a problem with that. Raef won't be able to be traded until after the draft because he has an ETO that he'll be deciding on. Of course, he will not terminate his contract, but he can't be traded until that decision is legal and binding.

This means we would be picking for Memphis at 13, and then be executing the trade afterward that would be agreed upon in principle. This is very risky for the blazers. What if the night after the draft, Miller slips on a banana peel and breaks his leg? Do we still want to make that trade? And if we don't, now we are stuck with another team's target instead of our own.

Personally, i think either there is a lot to that trade offer that we didn't get to hear, Wheels' sources are off, or it is a case of what you suggested. Perhaps it was just talk to open up discussions. The reason why i think this is because that is just a very difficult trade to execute.

I challenge anyone to give me a scenario where Outlaw, #13, and Miller are the only principle assets involved in a two way deal between us and Memphis where the deal is legal, makes sense, and doesn't require us to pick for Memphis without a finalized deal. Personally, i don't consider Webster, Frye, or assets such as these filler.