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Blazers waive Jeff Pendergraph, keep Patty Mills on roster

Oct 25, 2010, 6:46 PM EDT

2009 NBA Rookie Portraits

The ying and the yang, the sorrow and joy of the NBA roster cuts….

Just 18 days ago Jeff Pendergraph was a sure thing for the Portland Trail Blazers, a second year center who may not have had a guaranteed deal but a guy the team liked and was getting minutes. With Greg Oden and Joel Pryzbilla out, Pendergraph was not only going to be on the roster, he was going to get burn.

Then Pendergraph went down in a preseason game, tearing his ACL and ending his season.

Today he was cut loose by the Trail Blazers to get their roster down to 15. (As part of his contract, his medical bills during rehabilitation are covered.) It’s a sad story, although Pendergraph likely will be back in someone’s camp next fall.

But it clears the way for Patty Mills to make the roster, and that’s the other side of the coin.

Mills is a player most people remember as that quick little point guard from Australia who led his national team and went to college at St. Mary’s, where he helped that school on to the NCAA Tournament. A guy who was fun and deserved a chance to prove he belonged on the NBA level. He’s the third point guard on a deep NBA team, but now he has a contract and a roster spot. He gets to live the dream.

Ying and yang.

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