Sep 21, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT
After an entire summer of trying anything and everything to force his way out of Portland — with his agent stepping far enough over the line as to be fined by the league — Rudy Fernandez is changing his tone as camp approaches.
“I think if Portland keeps my rights, that means they believe in me. I’m excited to begin the season with them and prove that I have my place on the team and play minutes. The most important thing is to grow as a player and as a person. I’m an NBA player and there’s not many people who can say that.”
Right. We’re all buying that.
If Fernandez is as valuable as Portland GM Rich Cho is making him out to be with trade requests — a mid-level and above first round pick and more — then the Blazers should be better able to use him in their rotation. Wouldn’t you think?
Coach Nate McMillan wants Fernandez in more of a shooters role — 32.2 percent of Fernandez’s attempts last season were catch-and-shoot, another 19.8 percent were coming off screens (according to Synergy Sports). Fernandez shot 38.8 and 34 percent on those respective types of shots.
Fernandez fancies himself a playmaker. Then again, as a pick-and-roll ball handler he shot just 27.5 percent. Really, the only place he performed well is in transition.
If they are going to have to live with one another, McMillan needs to find more creative ways to use Fernandez and his skills. Fernandez needs to knock down shots regardless. This is a marriage that should be able to work.
That or just trade the guy, finally.
- Lakers make it official — finally — and hire Byron Scott as head coach 9
- Derrick Rose: “I’ve become a smarter player, but I’m mad it took me seven years to learn it.” 22
- Shelly Sterling beats Donald Sterling in court, clears sale of Clippers to Steve Ballmer 56
- Report: Timberwolves have talked to Sixers about Thaddeus Young as Kevin Love replacement 25
- All eyes on Derrick Rose as USA Basketball mini-camp begins 22
- Klay Thompson doesn’t anticipate being traded, says he expects to play with Warriors next season 10
- PBT Power Rankings: After summer shakeups, Spurs still team to beat 48
- Report: ‘No chance’ Kevin Love stays with Timberwolves 65