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Report: Blazers likely to let Eric Maynor become an unrestricted free agent

Mar 24, 2013, 7:00 PM EDT

Eric Maynor, Wesley Matthews, Damian Lillard, J.J. Hickson

Damian Lillard already had locked up Rookie of the Year honors with his stellar play the first half of the season, and that was long before a deadline deal got him some backcourt help in the form of Eric Maynor, who the team acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Since Maynor’s arrival, Lillard’s numbers have been on the rise, and his play has been even more impressive.

Lillard has seen solid increases in scoring, field goal percentage, and three-point shooting percentage, all because of Maynor’s presence which frees up Lillard from some of the ball-handling responsibilities, and forces the defense to play him straight up instead of constantly trapping him on the perimeter.

It would seem as though Maynor is an excellent fit with Lillard,  and the Blazers could make Maynor a qualifying offer this summer in order to retain a right to match any offer he might receive in restricted free agency.

But that isn’t likely to happen, given the relatively small amount of cap space the Blazers have to spend this summer.

From Joe Freeman of The Oregonian:

Maynor’s qualifying offer is $3.4 million, with a hefty $5.85 million cap hold that would eat a substantial amount of the Blazers’ offseason spending money.

Early reviews suggest that the Blazers and Maynor are a good match. But it seems unlikely the team would mortgage so much of its offseason spending power on a backup point guard. It seems more likely the Blazers will allow Maynor to become an unrestricted free agent and pursue him with the rest of the NBA. It’s the same move the Blazers made last offseason with JJ Hickson and he ended up returning.

Just because it worked with Hickson doesn’t mean it would be the same for the team’s negotiations with Maynor.

However, the situation Maynor has found himself in might be a better match for him than it would be elsewhere — as long as the dollar amount of a new contract in Portland would be similar to the offer he might receive from others.

  1. adnan604 - Mar 24, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    this dude actually came in and been stealing a few minutes from Lillard….. can’t believe Thunder let him go, especially given their problems at backup point guard…. I mean Fisher…. you bring back FISHER and let Maynor walk…. well all the praise given to Thunder GM is in my opinion way too much credit….

    He brings in Perkins screwing them over financially to the point where they can’t go after Harden, and maybe they could have even kept Jeff Green…. now he got rid of Maynor…..
    What a team that could have been, Russ, KD, Harden, Green, Ibaka, Maynor, etc….

    • sylpkt - Mar 25, 2013 at 1:01 AM

      Yeah, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      Fisher doesn’t play PG for the Thunder. Reggie Jackson (who beat out and outplayed Maynor) is the backup PG, Fisher gets minutes at the 2, but always with either Westbrook or Jackson on the floor and he doesn’t handle the ball, he mostly stands in the corner on O.

      They got a trade exception for Maynor which will allow them additional flexability until the trade deadline a year from now, so essentially they got a small asset for a player they wouldn’t resign and wasn’t playing because he wasn’t good (healthy?) enough to solidify the backup job.

      Perkins is overpaid for his role, but his role in this league is what most often gets overpaid anyway. He is an excellent defender on post players and that’s needed in the West (Duncan, Howard, Gasol & Randolph) and on this team. He was a huge liabilty against the Heat in the finals, but I put that on Brooks for playing him so much.

      Perkin’s contract in no way inabled the Thunder from resigning Harden. He could and still might be amnestied. Presti is the playing chess while the rest of the league is playing checkers. Harden wanted max money and he obviously deserved max money and you can’t have 3 max guys and another near max guy on the same roster in the new CBA that kicks in next year.

      Jeff Green is the definition of average. Nice guy, good team guy, but he’s a tweener that can’t shoot and isn’t a great rebounder.

      Pretty sure the Thunder will continue to develop young cheap talent (Reggie, Lamb, PJ3, Toronto’s 1st roudner) and rotate them w/ some veteran role players around Durant, Westbrook & Ibaka. They’ll be fine.

      Maybe you should stick to watching Sportscenter, you obviously don’t watch the Thunder play.

      • borderline1988 - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM

        Presti is doing a great job but at least 80% of it is luck. They drafted the 2nd best player in the league out of sheer luck (where would this team be if they had been at the #1 draft position that year?).

        Even though Durant was great, the team still sucked just long enough for them to get 2 more top-5 picks, both of whom turned into all-stars. Right there is 80% of the team’s blueprint.

        He’s playing chess but he was handed a winning board to start. It’s not like if you put Presti on Charlotte for 10 years, they’d automatically be a championship contender

      • jolink653 - Mar 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        So how is it Charlotte routinely gets lottery picks and still can’t win? They have the ability to get that kind of talent, but always make the wrong move and wind up with a terrible team

        To say what Presti has done with this team is mostly luck is really unfair…He made the right calls on all 3 of their lottery picks, made a lot of savvy moves to keep this team up at the top of the Western Conference, and also put them in a position to be very successful long term with the acquisition of Lamb (who I think will be really good), the additional two first round picks to give them a total of three in the upcoming draft, and the financial flexibility to make moves if they need to

        There’s a reason certain teams never get better, and it all starts in the front office…Some of it is luck, but most of it is hard work and the ability to recognize talent and fit that talent together to form the team

      • adnan604 - Mar 25, 2013 at 3:04 PM

        lol, hold up…. “I” don’t know what I’m talkin about ?? I hit teh nerve of a Presti fan, you’re definitely ridin for him…..

        Thunder official statements when they signed Perk, was along the lines of “We need a big body to compete with the frontcourts of the Western conference” their statement when they signed Fish last year “We need a veteran backup PG to give solid minutes behind Russ”

        If you look at the financials you would see if Presti didn’t go for Perkins they would have barely had enough for Harden, this was even mentioned numerous times… obviously Harden would have not gotten close to what Houston gave him, but it would have been enough to keep him in a Thunder uniform.
        As far as Fish playing a 2…. if that’s the case, then why is it every time I turn on a Thunder game, instead of “stayin in the corner and spot up shootin” like he’s supposed to be doing, he’s always trying to dribble and create….. if that’s not a PG style play then what is…..

        ALSO on my last note…… get out right now….. right right now calling Jeff Green the definition of Average, you blew absolutely any credibility in the argument when you said that……

        Let me introduce you to Jeff Green that your bum buddy Sam Presti never knew….. this season for the Celts, coming off the bench (nevermind he’s clearly the best player on the Celtics this year) off the bench with under 30 mins a game, he’s puttin up roughly 15ppg, 5rbs, a block and a steal, and those points are off 50%+ FG’s, so it’s efficient…..

        And what does he do when he’s put in the starting lineup and gets heavy minutes…… well over 20ppg+ 5+ rbs, block/steal, and his shooting percentages are through the roof, hovering around 60%……
        last week he had a 43 point game against LeBron and Miami…..
        definition of average according to you ? you gon sit here defend a GM who’s clearly made mistakes and call Jeff Green an average player…. dude, he wasn’t an average player when he was on the Thunder, let alone now on the Celts… please stop dlck riding for Presti

      • sylpkt - Mar 25, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        Jeff Green’s PER for 12/13 = 14.21 (38th @ PF, 26th @ SF)
        10/11 = 12.92
        09/10 = 13.82
        08/09 = 13.99

        League Average PER for 12/13 = 15.00

        Wins Added: 2.5 (25th @ PF, 28th @ SF)
        Shooting %: 45.7%
        True Shooting %: 55.5% (17th @ PF & 22nd @ SF)

        He’s had a few good games lately, but he did that with the Thunder too. He’s inconsistant and not a game changer. He is athletic and good perimeter defender, that being said, he might be the best player on the Celtics this year, an average team in a weak eastern conference.

        Enough about Green, WTF are you watching where Fisher is the backup PG? He’s definitely off the ball on O, he’s guarding the shooting guards on D. Jackson is handling the ball if Westbrook is on the bench & sometimes Durant initiates the O.

    • jolink653 - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      Yeah, because Fisher is the back up to Westbrook….Never mind Reggie Jackson

      They weren’t signing Harden and committing their entire payroll to 4 players and it was more important to sign Ibaka than it was to sign Harden…They flipped Harden and got a lot of promising pieces back, including the two first rounders, Jeremy Lamb (who should develop into a really good player) and Kevin Martin, who can replace some of Harden’s scoring…Notice how the Thunder haven’t missed a beat without Harden and have left themselves some flexibility in payroll…They’ll most likely amnesty Perk when he is no longer helpful, but for now he’s a defensive presence underneath the basket even if his offense is limited…At the rate Toronto is going, Presti may have put himself in play to draft a good center with that pick, so Perkins is most likely on the way out

      Maynor was coming off a torn ACL and was blocking the development of Jackson anyway, and Jeff Green was expendable once they developed enough scoring…And with that team you mentioned (Russ, KD, Harden, Green, Ibaka, Maynor, etc….), can’t help but notice that there’s no viable center on that team…Serge isn’t a full-time 5, and where are you starting Green? Couldn’t put him at the 3 or 4 with KD and Ibaka there, so you’d have him coming off the bench, and they would have lost him for nothing in free agency if that was the case…The Thunder needed a center, got one in Perk, and he’s been solid defensively and good enough to hold things down until another center gets drafted

    • sylpkt - Mar 25, 2013 at 4:41 PM

      …and more about Fisher signing and the statement from LAST YEAR about him being signed to be a backup PG, that was LAST year, AFTER Maynor went down w/ an ACL and Jackson was a rookie.

      Perkins deal had nothing to do w/ Harden, Perkins has 2 years left on his deal after this one at 9m & 9.5m, he could have be amnestied. Theres just no way to have 3 max guys (he absolutely wanted the max and nothing lower) and have another near max guy with the new CBA. Under the OLD CBA, Harden would still be on the Thunder, but not only is it insanely expenisive to be in the Tax multiple years, but you don’t have near the roster flexiblity that you used to.

      Again, stick to sportcenter, you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about

  2. hahapapa - Mar 25, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Jazzman?

  3. uptjeff - Mar 25, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Maynor is not bad at all. I remember when he dominated in college a few years ago.

  4. adnan604 - Mar 25, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    sylpkt don’t know why I cant click reply directly to your post…. but you’re 0 for 2 now…..

    I’ve learned never to argue with a dude who brigns up a PER as a measure of a player….. ridicilous….. even John Hollinger himself the man who created the PER has admitted numerous times that the system has as many negatives as it does positives…. you have to be very specific when using the system and can never base the full measure of a player simply based off the PER numbers…..

    like I said, you lost all credibility when you called Jeff Green an “average” player…… end of story

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