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Tuesday , Sep , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Rudy Fernandez vetoed trade to New Orleans

 Rudy Fernandez, according to a source, rejected a possible trade to New Orleans, where he could have played for former Blazers assistant Monty Williams, now the Hornets' coach.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Beggars can’t be choosers –unless, of course, that beggar is Rudy Fernandez.

For months, the Spanish swing has been whining for a trade out of Portland. And when the Blazers finally accommodated his wish by working out a deal to the New Orleans Hornets, Fernandez vetoed the move.

To be fair, New Orleans has its share of issues: superstar Chris Paul remains uncommitted; the much discussed ownership change has yet to occur; and Dell Demps and Monty Williams are in their first years as lead executive and head coach.

But Fernandez wanted an opportunity to play. He got it. But New Orleans wasn’t good enough. So he said no.

The saga between Fernandez and the Blazers will continue. And it’s bound to get uglier.

 --Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Sep , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Portland close to moving Rudy Fernandez?

Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune writes that the Trail Blazers may be getting closer to trading swingman Rudy Fernandez. Portland general manager Rich Cho is working to accommodate Fernandez's trade request behind the scenes."The first-year GM has some options, and I'm getting the feeling he might pull the trigger on something before camp," Eggers wrote.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Both sides need closure –and the sooner, the better.

For months, Rudy Fernandez and the Portland Trail Blazers have been at odds on how to part ways. Fernandez wants a trade to a team where he’ll get minutes, touches, and shots.

The Blazers also want to trade Fernandez. They, however, won’t give him away. And they want equal value for such an accurate shooter and athletic swing.

Unfortunately, Fernandez has been his own worst enemy. He has put the Blazers in an impossible situation by publicly lobbying for a trade. Teams have been low-balling GM Richie Cho, offering nothing near equal value.

But Cho has been patient. He hasn’t panicked. And according to Eggers, a deal is close to materializing. Perhaps potential suitors have improved their offers.

Something must happen because this tiff is beyond ugly. Hopefully, the Blazers get ‘fair compensation, so they and Fernandez finally move on.   

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

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Wednesday , Sep , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Nate McMillan on Rudy Fernandez: ‘he’s in my notes for training camp’

He's a great player," McMillan said. "He's a good player. A talented player. Very talented."He is in my notes for training camp. All right," the coach said when pressed for more.

Through his agent, Andy Miller, Fernandez told The Oregonian two weeks ago he intends to not report to training camp even though he has two years left on his contract.



HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Rudy Fernandez won’t be at the Portland Trail Blazers’ training camp. His coach, Nate McMillan, expects him to be there.

Call me crazy but something will give. It has to. And for the sake of all involved, hopefully it gives soon.

For months, we’ve heard about Fernandez’s unhappiness. He apparently sacrificed millions of dollars leaving his European pro side to ply his trade in Rip City.

And because of his ‘financial sacrifice’, he feels entitled to minutes, shots, and a leading role with an NBA team. At least, that’s what he’s telling foreign journalists.

If he doesn’t get his way, Fernandez and his agent have even mentioned breaking the final two years of his NBA contract and returning to Europe.

This, of course, puts the Blazers in an impossible position. The other 29 teams know Fernandez wants out. They smell opportunity and are offering little in a trade.

But the Blazers have to get something significant for Fernandez. Fans would never forgive rookie executive Rich Cho if he got back less than equal value.

So Cho must hold the line, stand firm, and pull a rabbit out of the hat in a trade.

Until such a situation presents itself, the standoff between Fernandez and the Blazers will continue. And it will only get even more unpleasant.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Sep , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Knicks passing on Fernandez to get Anthony or Paul?

Knicks president Donnie Walsh recently rejected a three-team deal that would have sent Anthony Randolph to Indiana, a first-round pick to Portland and Rudy Fernandez to New York, according to a team source.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: For the New York Knicks, acquiring Rudy Fernandez is, well, complicated.

Clearly, the rebuilding Knicks have interest in acquiring the Spanish swing from the Portland Trail Blazers. And, clearly, the Blazers have interest in cutting ties with the disgruntled Fernandez.

Why the hold-up? This seems a fit for both organizations.

Turns out the Knicks lack the right assets to satisfy the Blazers, so they need a third team to complete a trade. Recent reports had the Indiana Pacers getting involved.  

This mysterious third team holds considerable leverage over the Knicks. For instance, they'll probably demand blue-chip talent Anthony Randolph as compensation for their role in the Fernandez ordeal.

Randolph is an elite prospect. The Knicks want to keep him. They would include the pogo-stick post as part of a trade package for an elite talent –like Carmelo Anthony or Chris Paul. The Knicks, however, won’t trade Randolph for just a good player –like, say, Fernandez.

For now, Fernandez stays with Portland.  And Anthony stays with New York.   

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Monday , Aug , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Derek Fisher and Steve Blake perfect duo for Lakers

The Lakers signed guard Steve Blake this summer, an addition that will likely help give veteran Derek Fisher some rest. Andy Kamenetzky of ESPNLosAngeles.com writes that the Lakers may have finally found an option to start over Fisher.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Los Angeles Lakers are expecting Derek Fisher to pass the baton to Steve Blake.
After all, Fisher is in his late thirties. Blake is an established pro, with a reputation for tenacity, intelligence, and feistiness.
Problem is, D-Fish' is a purple-and-gold cult hero, defying age with clutch shots and heady play.
For instance, Jordan Farmar and Javaris Crittenton were tabbed to replace the veteran. Both are with different teams, while Fisher - after much outcry - was re-signed this summer. 
Blake is a different breed, though. In December of 2007, he turned the Portland Trail Blazers' season around by participating in a practice that was more like Fight Club. He's also been known to train with MMA fighters.
Look for Blake to learn from and eventually replace Fisher. Like B.J. Armstrong replacing John Paxson, and Derek Fisher replacing Ron Harper, there will soon be a new lead guard in Phil Jackson's triple-post system.

And the world champion Lakers will only get stronger after this well-thought out transition.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Aug , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

When will Greg Oden return?

Nearly nine months after suffering a patella fracture in his left knee, Greg Oden's timeline is still in flux. With roughly six weeks left before the Trail Blazers start training camp, the playing status of Greg Oden remains as unclear as ever. Oden continues to rehabilitate his surgically repaired left knee and the Blazers insist things are progressing according to schedule. But at the same time, the organization is so intent on keeping once sky-high expectations low for the injury-prone center, officials refuse to say that Oden will be ready to play by Oct. 26, when the team opens the season against the Phoenix Suns.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: After three years of injuries, setbacks, and heartbreaks, hope is all the Portland Trail Blazers have with former first overall pick Greg Oden.

The franchise can only hope their hardluck center is healthy for training camp and the season opener in late October. And the franchise can only hope he somehow salvages his career.

The early signs on his rehab are good: Oden's weight is down, he's jogging, and participating in some drills.

However, the giant needs to try and have more fun whenever he returns. Too often, Oden struggled with the pressure to meet his own expectations.

In 2011, he needs to get healthy and just play. There's nothing else to hope for.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Aug , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Wilson Chandler for Rudy Fernandez?

I mentioned this in my report yesterday on the feud/pending divorce between Rudy Fernandez and the Portland Trail Blazers, but it belongs in the lead paragraph for this site: The Knicks are among the teams trying to acquire the Spanish shooting guard, and they have offered Wilson Chandler.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: For many reasons, Wilson Chandler isn't enough.

The on-going and never-ending Rudy Fernandez trade saga has backed the Portland Trail Blazers and their rookie GM Richie Cho into a corner.

So the New York Knicks offer of Chandler, an athletic swing, won't get a deal done and bring the Spaniard to The Big Apple.

The Blazers are peeved at Fernandez's constant whining to the international press. And Cho, who was just hired as head suit, can't accept anything but equal value in a trade.

Put yourself in Cho's situation. This is your first test as GM. Why cave to Fernandez's demands, take back less than equal value, and bear the brunt of a fan backlash? Instead, why not make a strong first impression with 'Rip City' and try for a home run?

Chandler's mixed record doesn't help. On-court, his athleticism is obvious. Off-court, is a different story: in May, he was arrested for possession of pot during a traffic stop in Queens, New York.

Of course, Portland is weary of acquiring such players because they endured years of 'Jail Blazer' antics and arrests.

Bottom line: the Knicks must up the ante if they want Fernandez's three-point shooting and energy in Madison Square Gardens next season.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe in the comment box below.      

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Thursday , Aug , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Brandon Roy: ‘I don’t smoke marijuana’

“It’s something I shouldn’t have been involved in. I don’t smoke marijuana. I don’t think kids should do it. I’m against those things. I just feel really bad that that’s something that’s associated with my name and my family. And that’s not what we’re about.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Credit Brandon Roy for admitting poor judgement.

The Portland Trail Blazers star is apologizing for an inadvertant cameo in a music video that depicts marijuana use. 

Apparently, Roy is old friends with Seattle rappers Cali and Cavalli and allowed the duo to film him at a basketball tournament, which was then edited into the group's video for What They Want.

Jamal Crawford, an Emerald City native and Atlanta Hawk, also appears in the video. Moments after Crawford and Roy's apperance, a member of the group's entourage is smoking marijuana into the camera.

Watch the video for What They Want and then watch Roy's apology to Blazers' Edge. Is too much being made of a 'little smoke'? 

(Cali and Cavelli's What They Want.) 

(Roy's apology to Blazers' Edge.)

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


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Thursday , Aug , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Memo to Rudy Fernandez: lay low

I made a great effort going to the States, making less money that I would in Europe. This season, I decided with my agents that the best thing was to try to get traded so I could be on another team with more playing time."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Rudy, we get it. You want a trade. You’re unhappy with the Portland Trail Blazers.

For now, heed the words of the immortal Snoop and Nate Dogg and ‘lay low’.

No more quotes in random Euro’ publications. No more discussing your options publicly. And no more early morning leads in hoopshype rumors section.

All of this makes it impossible for the Blazers to accommodate your trade demand. Teams will, of course, low-ball the Blazers, offering nothing near equal value because you want out and have forced their hand.

So you’re only shooting yourself in the foot by piping up every week to the domestic and international press.

Finally, your regular trade demands aren’t a good look. The world is in a recession, which means there’s little sympathy for diva athletes who regularly complain about shot attempts and the ‘financial sacrifices’ of crossing the Atlantic to make a few less million plying their trade.

You have an agent. Use it. You signed a contract. Honour it.

Eventually, a solution will be found. Until then, act like a professional.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe news in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Aug , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

‘The Decision Part Deux’, featuring Anthony Tolliver as LeBron James

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: When reading today's NBA news, you surely thought who is Anthony Tolliver? And why should I care if he's now with the Minnesota Timberwolves?

Well, you're not alone.

Yesterday, Tolliver signed with the lowly Wolves. It wasn't where he signed, but how he signed that made news. He announced his contract in a spoof to LeBron James, creating a short video called The Decision Part Deux.

Somehow, the news he was taking his talent 'north' didn't result in Warrior fans burning his jersey, his former owner pulling a Dan Gilbert and publishing a nasty letter on the club's website, or Jesse Jackson making comparisions that sparked a national outcry.

Nevertheless, The Decision Part Deux is still amusing. Watch the video and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

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Monday , Aug , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Greg Oden should be ready for training camp

Trail Blazers center Greg Oden is "positive" that he'll be with the team in training camp this fall. Oden has been working out with Portland strength and conditioning coach Bobby Medina in Indiana recently.

He has lost considerable weight while going through daily five-hour drills.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Eventually, Greg Oden has to catch a break.
The former first overall pick has spent his first three NBA seasons on the injured list, getting compared to hard luck Portland Trail Blazer Sam Bowie.
Credit Oden for working hard, remaining focused, and staying positive. Perhaps he never becomes a top five center; however, if healthy, he could easily average a double-double and anchor a defense.
Hopefully, this happens in 2011 for Oden.
--Oly Sandor.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Jul , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Should Chicago roll the dice on Rudy?

From what I've heard it's in Portland's hands now for what they want. I've heard the Bulls have a pretty good shot, but nothing matters until it's done. Let's not overstate Fernandez, who always has sounded better than he has performed. But he'd be an excellent addition, and as I wrote Monday the No. 1 guy I'd still pursue.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They're already contenders, so why risk it?

The Chicago Bulls have had a terrific summer, signing Ronnie Brewer, Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, Kurt Thomas, and CJ Watson. The six-time world champions already had Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah, and Derrick Rose.  

These new additions plus the old nucleus should position the club to compete in the Eastern Conference. Adding the wrong piece - like a talented but temperamental perimeter player - could be disastrous, though.

Why roll the dice on Rudy Fernandez, who performed and pouted through two up-and-down seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers?

Fernandez, a star in Europe, couldn't handle sitting behind All-Star Brandon Roy. It didn't matter that he was a key reserve on a promising squad. And it didn't matter that he was in a terrific market, either.

There wasn't enough shine in Portland, which led to Fernandez recently taking his trade requests public, something European publications had hinted at for months.

Chicago must tread carefully with Fernandez. The Spanish swing's athleticism and shooting could fit; however, he may struggle as a blending piece behind Boozer and Rose.

Unfortunately, they may not have a choice. The Eastern Conference is in arms-race mode, with the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and Orlando Magic outdoing each other with signings and trades.

To keep pace in the Eastern Conference, to have any chance of advancing to the NBA Finals, Chicago will have to take the risk and acquire Fernandez.

He better make it worth their while.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Jul , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: New Orleans looking to trade frustrated Chris Paul?

Hornets point guard Chris Paul could become the NBA's biggest storyline once this summer's big free agents sign contracts.

Paul has said that he loves New Orleans, but he wants to see the team start to make improvements to their roster. He's impatient about contending for a title right now.

"(Paul's frustration) is very real, very real," a source close to Paul told FanHouse. "He doesn't see them putting a (championship-caliber) team together."

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This isn't ending well.
Chris Paul may love the city of New Orleans, but he has no love for the Hornets. After all, his employers won't/can't spend on supporting pieces, and fired friend and mentor Coach Byron Scott -without consulting him.
New Orleans can do little. They have always been a small, economically challenged city.
Huricane Katrina, the recession, and Gulf Coast oil spill was particularly difficult, limiting the few disposable dollars fans and companies had to pay for tickets and luxury boxes. The team can not generate enough revenue to add big-ticket talent.
Of course, this means little to Paul, an Alpha Male who wants to compete for an NBA Title.
The franchise face - who is pulling in a maximum contract - is expendable, especially with second year table-setter Darren Collison waiting in the wings.
Various teams in the Eastern Conference have already called the Hornets about CP3. And Portland and New Orleans almost completed a deal for the tiny table-setter last week.
Yes, Paul`s frustration is `very real`. And so are the chances he`ll soon be traded.
-- Oly Sandor.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.   
Show some appreciation for Rasheed Wallace!
Tuesday , Jun , 29 , 2010 J.N.

Show some appreciation for Rasheed Wallace!

“Both teams played hard.” That’s the meme that Raw Sheed created that stuck through the minds of basketball junkies who needed laughs. It’s not quite the classic “Practice?” from Allen Iverson, but Rasheed was the master of basketball memes. He also brought the “Ball Don’t Lie” meme, too. When he has two memorable phrases dedicated to him, Rasheed Wallace transcended into immortality. Then again, Wallace has brought more entertainment than many NBA players through the years. He was almost like Terrell Owens and John McEnroe combined with a bald spot on the top of his head.

Read More
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Saturday , Jun , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Memo to Danny Ferry: pass on the Portland Trail Blazers

Former Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry has emerged as one of the first front-office targets of the Trail Blazers after they abruptly fired Kevin Pritchard on draft night, according to sources with knowledge of Portland's thinking.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Danny, don't do it! Don't take the Portland Trail Blazers' front office job.

I know you're on the rebound after parting with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I know you're anxious to re-establish yourself as an NBA executive. And I know you're confident -even for a Duke guy.

We get it.

But notice the warning signs. They're redder than David Hasselholff's nose after a night on the town. And they're scarier than 'Hoff's' music videos.

For instance, executive Tom Penn was mysteriously fired by the Blazers. The club justified the move by leaking unsubstantiated rumors of Penn being involved in a human resources dispute.

More recently, GM Kevin Pritchard was fired moments before the NBA draft, but asked to participate in the war room.

Penn and Pritchard are highly respected by their peers around the league; however, they were treated with no respect.


Danny, this could be you if you take the Blazers job. Owner Paul Allen is a Microsoft tyrant who will make your former boss, Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert, look tame.

Allen will scheme behind your back, too. He'll interfere. He'll meddle. And he'll interview candidates for your position while you're on the payroll. After all, Allen allegedly talked to Oklahoma City executive Sam Presti about replacing Pritchard -even though Pritchard was still on the job.

Danny, I know it's hard, but pass on Portland. Forget Brandon Roy. Forget LaMarcus Aldridge. And forget one of the NBA's most loyal fan bases.

None of that will matter when dealing with Allen. His true colors have been revealed these last few weeks.

Got thoughts?  

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Friday , Jun , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

You’re fired Kevin Pritchard, but can you stay for the NBA draft?

Firing Kevin Pritchard an hour before the NBA draft, the Trail Blazers revealed themselves as extremely dysfunctional. Pritchard was told he was fired, but was asked to stay in the "war room" and participate in the draft. Then, after his dismissal was reported, the Blazers media relations department refused to confirm the firing or answer questions about it. Also, the organization heard the Blazer radio broadcast team discussing Pritchard's firing in the opening 30 minutes of their broadcast and ordered them to stop discussing the matter. Paranoia ran wild again. People feared for their jobs. It was like old times on Thursday. Distraction followed by avoidance wrapped in absurdity. And the common denominator ends up being owner Paul Allen.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Right now, Portland fans may be thinking The Jail Blazers weren't that bad.

Who fires their general manager minutes before the NBA draft, but asks him to stay and work the war room? And these shenanigans came days after the team mysteriously let go of highly respected cap expert Tom Penn.

Now owner Paul Allen always has the right to make changes; however, no decent executive will take the Blazers gig if they have to deal with a Microsoft tyrant.

Remember those rumors about Oklahoma City prodigy Sam Presti having an interview with Allen? Well, forget it. After this debacle he'll certainly stay with the Thunder. For good. 

Fair or not, Penn and Pritchard may not have been the front office duo to take Portland to the ranks of championship contender. This is a judgment call, though.

What isn't a judgment call: employees are deserving of greater respect. For instance, the New York Knicks gave Isiah Thomas a better send off than Pritchard -despite 'Zeke' ruining one of the NBA's classic franchise.

After dealing with arrests, dog fighting, and assaults, the Blazers had turned the corner with a young, good-guy nucleus of Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge.

All these efforts may be stunted by an overzealous owner in Allen. As usual, it's the NBA's most loyal fans who'll suffer.

Got thoughts?

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Thursday , Jun , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rudy Fernandez: ‘New York, that’s where I want to go’

Rudy Fernandez was telling teammates last season, " New York, that's where I want to go."

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Spaniard won't end up in The Big Apple -even if he has a New York state of mind.

Two points on Rudy Fernandez and his current team, the Portland Trail Blazers. First, the energetic swing and coach Nate McMillan don't trust each other. And second, their relationship will be tough to repair.

However, the New York Knicks have little to offer Portland when compared to other teams. For instance, the Toronto Raptors are reportedly offering their lottery pick for Fernandez.

And the Vulcan group - the holding company that own, control, and, at times, micromanage the Trail Blazers - never give away assets without getting back something close to equal value.

So Fernandez shouldn't hold his breath about the NYC. It's unlikely he'll be donning a Knicks uniform anytime soon.

Got thoughts? Get at us in the comment box.          


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Tuesday , Jun , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Portland trading for Cleveland’s Mo Williams?

Portland is showing strong interest in Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mo WIlliams. The Blazers have been making calls to check on him.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Perhaps, Williams would fit in 'Rip CIty'.

After all, Cleveland's current table-setter is able to play both on-and-off the ball. He can handle the rock, run the offense, and use his jumpshot to prevent defenses from double-teaming stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy.

Williams is also easy company. Teammates and coaches enjoy being around him, and he'd likely gel with an already close Blazer squad.

Of course, it's never that easy.

Williams is a sub par defender, who has a reputation for going MIA in the playoffs. He also two years and a player's option left on his contract for a total of $27 million. Worst of all, his presence might upset temperamental veteran Andre Miller.

Why are the Blazers really interested in Williams?

Executive Kevin Pritchard is on shaky ground and needs some headlines to solidify his standing with the organization. Remember, last year, Pritchard was willing to overpay free agents like David Lee, Lamar Odom, and Hedo Turkoglu -even though these forwards wouldn't have helped much.

This isn't the way to run a professional sports team, but issues have existed in the front office for some time.

For instance, Tom Penn, the Vice President of Basketball Operations, was mysteriously fired in June for reasons that remain unknown. And there are has always been rumors that Pritchard and Coach Nate McMillan don't get along.  

Maybe Portland acquires Williams. Maybe Portland goes in a different direction. One thing is certain: changes will take place in the Northwest.

Got thoughts on this?              


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Tuesday , Jun , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Sam Presti leaving OKC for Portland?

Sam Presti, who yesterday celebrated a third anniversary as Sonic/Thunder GM, making him a rising free agent according to my records, claims he's perfectly happy in Oklahoma. However, a Northwest source claims he interviewed in Seattle (home of Portland owner Paul Allen) for the Blazers' job. Oh, that's right, the job's taken. Kevin Pritchard owns one year on his contract but he and everyone else (I do believe the Post had it months ago,) believe he'll be fired immediately after the draft.


HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Where there's a little smoke, there's bound to be a ‘blazing’ fire, right?

Well, change will surely be burning through the Portland Trail Blazers' front office. Here's what we know:

1) GM Kevin Pritchard has been on the hot seat for months. He allegedly doesn't gel with longtime coach Nate McMillan. And there's a feeling he lacks the experience to turn the Blazers into a contender. 

2) Pritchard is heading into the final year of his deal. An extension does not seem to be forthcoming and owner Paul Allen probably doesn’t want a lame-duck executive.

3) As the New York Post is reporting, Pritchard’s dismissal is probably imminent.

4) Oklahoma City Thunder executive Sam Presti is highly sought after.

5) When asked if he had interest in the Blazers’ gig, the former San Antonio Spurs whiz kid shot down this rumor.  

6) Presti has assembled the NBA’s best young team in Oklahoma City, so it’s unlikely he’d bolt with Kevin Durant and company heading into their prime.

7) Allen, the man behind Microsoft, has far greater resources than Clay Bennett and the small market Thunder.

Conclusion: Allen is looking to stabilize Portland’s front office, especially with news of another scandal in his organization. He wants Presti. And he’s phoned friends around the league for information about the Thunder’s architect.

It seems Presti is content in Oklahoma City, though. He has full control of basketball operations. He clicks with owner Clay Bennett. And his organization is poised to benefit from him drafting wisely.

There is one wildcard: money. Allen has too much of it, while Bennett and his partners were hit by the economic downturn. Still, Presti - unless he receives a massive offer he can't refuse - isn’t heading anywhere.   

Is Presti leaving Oklahoma City for Portland? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.

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Saturday , Jun , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Coaching Carousel: Monty Williams to New Orleans; Tom Thibodeau to Chicago or New Jersey

The New Orleans Hornet quickly reached an agreement Friday night with Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams to be their next head coach after Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau withdrew from consideration earlier in the day, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that Williams' deal will be made official no later than Saturday after Thibodeau, who was offered New Orleans' job last week, informed the Hornets that he plans to pursue opportunities with the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets.


HoopsVibe's Quick Call: New Orleans got their man off the NBA coaching carousel. Well, sort of.

Once it became clear Boston Celtics defensive guru Tom Thibodeau had little interest in the Hornets gig, the club went all out for Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams.

Williams is a fine choice. He's young, personable, hardworking and smart.

This, however, may not be enough to resurrect a Hornets squad that fell behind in the competitive Western Conference last year and lacks the financial resources to catch up through upgrading their talent.

Meanwhile, Thibodeau is a lock for a head coaching gig, either with the Chicago Bulls or New Jersey Nets. Of course, he'd also get serious consideration with Boston -if Doc Rivers retires at season's end. 

Got thoughts on the coaching carousel?