Friday, August 6, 2010

Take My Rudy, Please.



It has been known for some time (tracing back to when Matt Moore wrote about the situation for NBC [link: http://bit.ly/8XWn6e] , and possibly earlier than that) that Rudy Fernandez desires a bigger role than what he has been offered with the Portland Trail Blazers. His playing time in his breakout (and record breaking) rookie season was reduced from 25.6 minutes per game to 23.2 minutes per, not a huge drop by any means.

So what's the problem? Kelly Dwyer makes the argument that Rudy is unhappy and misused, possibly because he wants the ball in his hands as a creator off the bench. More directly, Dwyer says that Rudy's game up to this point should be thrown out, so to speak. The idea portrayed is that Rudy has been so misused that there is no reason to not assume he won't perform better in the previously described role of 6th man creator-scorer with another team.    

The teams rumored to be interested in Rudy Fernandez? The Knicks, Bulls and Celtics.

Each of them would be perfectly happy to pick up a cheap (1.24 million this season, then a team option for 2.1 million next season via ShamSports.com), no risk, 6'6 shooting guard that can hit threes and handle the ball. So it's a no-brainer that one of them will go out and get him, right? Nope. Because the Trail Blazers have reportedly beendemanding a first rounder for Rudy, the Celtics went out and got Von Wafer (a guy who after signing overseas last season and later failing a physical that would have allowed him to play for the Rockets, had averages that looked like this: 36.4% from the field, 3.0 points per game, 1.3 rebounds per game with Olympiacos...and it looks like he only played 3 games for them). The Bulls? They went out and signed Keith Bogans for 2 years at around $2.5 million, with the second year only partially guaranteed. The Knicks are apparently refusing to part with a future 1st rounder (why start now?), according to reports.

So is anyone going to take Fernandez and his no-risk deal on? Will he be stuck with the Blazers for another season? No one knows for sure, obviously.

Personally,  my bet is still on the Bulls. They just acquired Bogans, but do they want to play him significant minutes at any position (SG or SF, that is)? Absolutely not. Despite having CJ Watson at the backup PG position, Rudy could still be a primary 6th man creator or secondary ballhandler with the Bulls, which is exactly what the exalted Kelly Dwyer suggests would be his best role. At the same time, despite his poor overall shooting %, he's a good 3-point shooter, which the Bulls certainly wouldn't mind. Sacrificing a late 1st rounder is well worth that, I feel, when they can decline his option if it doesn't work out next season.

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