In a deal that only heightened the Jeremy Lin saga, the Portland Trail Blazers acquired forward Jared Jeffries and center Dan Gadzuric from the New York Knicks in a sign-and-trade deal that gave the Knicks guard Raymond Felton.
After being drafted in the first round by the Charlotte Bobcats, Felton found his way to Portland through a trade with New York. Although he had a few good seasons under his belt, Felton highly under-performed during his lone season with the Blazers. Coming into camp overweight and out-of-shape, Felton never gelled with his teammates nor then head coach Nate McMillan.
And that is essentially how the Blazers ended up with Gadzuric and Jeffries. Although Felton still has promise in him and has vowed to score 50 against Portland (ooo, we’re so scared), Gadzuric and Jeffries give Portland two veterans that should be able to help build and teach their youthful roster.
Let us welcome them both to Rip City.
Jared Jeffries – Forward – 6’11”, 240 lbs – 10 years experience
At times being relied upon in the role of a starter, Jeffries has been more of a fill-in and backup player these past few years. However, don’t expect to see much of Jeffries on the court this year.
With consistent knee problems and being a little unfit to play, Jeffries will most likely assume more of a veteran status coaching role for the younger players. If you don’t agree with me, the Knicks had to actually pay Portland a little over $1 million just to take the veteran forward.
While he will be a good mentor for the young players, don’t expect Jeffries to do much in terms of production on the court for the Blazers this season.
Dan Gadzuric – Center – 6’11”, 240 lbs – 10 years experience
Sorry, I really had to get that out of my system. As much fun as it would be to hear that over and over at the Rose Garden next season, don’t expect Gadzilla to make too many appearances (if any) for the Blazers during their 2012-2013 campaign.
After being picked up towards the end of last season by an ailing Knicks team, Gadzuric seems to be breaking down more than anything.
In fact, Jason Quick, a Blazer reporter for the Oregonian, tweeted this:
“Don’t expect Gadzuric to stick with Portland”
For Portland fans, this shouldn’t be too much of a hit. Sure, he’s a veteran presence in the locker rooms, but in terms of on the court production, he’s not that good at all anymore. In each of his past four seasons he has averaged under 3 points per game while not contributing on the defensive side of the ball as well.
If anything, expect him to maybe show up to one of the summer league games before ultimately being released prior to the start of next season.
If you are wondering why Portland would enter into this deal, it is really on the basis that they have acquired two Greek players as well; both of whom present viable options for the future. It also does not hurt that the Knicks are taking Felton off their back while paying for Jeffries’ salary.
The two Greek players are Kostas Papanikolaou and Georgios Printezis. Though they are talented players, they will remain overseas for the near future before possibly making the transition to the NBA.
One Word on Felton
After a tumultuous season in Portland, Felton is headed back to New York where he has vowed to torch the Blazers next year for 50 points. Sure, he played quite a few minutes for the Blazers this year and contributed 11.4 points per game, but Felton was more of an annoyance and head case than anything while in Portland. As mentioned previously, Felton never meshed with coach McMillan and was prone to attitude problems throughout the year.
If it is not evident from this, Blazers fans should not miss the “services” of Raymond Felton. In fact, they should be fairly happy that he left as he was a festering wound for the Blazers — at best.
Best of luck *cough* not really *cough* in New York, Felton.