“That's OK, if that's the direction they want to go," Blake said in a brief phone interview. "I just decided to go back to Portland."
No news yet on the dollars, but I imagine it’s in the $5M - $5.3M per year range.
A couple of things about this. One, the Nuggets had agreed last night to sign PG Chucky Atkins to a contract; so it’s quite possible that Portland reached agreement with Blake yesterday and he had notified the Nuggets that he wouldn’t be back. Two, to me this indicates that Jarrett Jack is almost certainly getting traded. And three, if Portland spent its entire MLE on Blake, that means Ime Udoka is almost a certainty to not be brought back.
Although we can't really evaluate this at face value until we know the contract numbers, I have mixed feelings on this deal. First of all, I'm not convinced that Jarrett Jack is a long-term solution at PG for a playoff-caliber team...but I'm also not quite sure what has changed about Steve Blake since the last time he was here. I think that averaging 6 assists per game while being the only pass-first player playing next to a couple of mad gunners like Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony isn't that impressive. Also, it is surprising that Portland would give Blake a three-year deal since the club seems to be positioning itself to be massively under the salary cap in two years. Finally, a big part of this as well is that we need to find out if there's a subsequent trade involving Jarrett Jack being sent out for a SF. That will be another factor by which to judge this signing...if Jack nets us a good SF, then this has to be considered a win. Knowing KP, I'd be shocked if there wasn't another deal in place because as of right now we have four point guards signed to guaranteed contracts next season: Blake, Jack, Rodriguez, and Taurean Green.
Updated Blazer Depth Chart:
PG: Blake, Jack, Rodriguez, Green
SG: Roy, Webster
SF: Jones, (Outlaw?)
PF: Aldridge, Frye, McRoberts
C: Oden, Pryzbilla, LaFrentz
Inactive list: Miles
Europe: Freeland, Koppenen, Fernandez
Other non-Blazer items floating around the net:
- The "Mike Bibby to Cavs" trade talks are back on, with Drew Gooden as the main return-piece.
- Morris Petersen has agreed to a four-year deal with the New Orleans Hornets.
- Uncle Cliffy, Cliff Robinson, has been released by the Nets.
- Eddy Curry is supposedly annoyed that the Knicks acquired Z-bo.
- Derek Fisher has signed a three-year deal with the Lakers.