The last two items on Celtics president Danny Ainge's check list are a big man and a shooter, and while the free agent market for marksmen is slim, the buzz coming out of Portland according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian is that Boston is one of the teams interested in making a trade for Rudy Fernandez.
Stuck behind Brandon Roy in a crowded Blazers backcourt, Fernandez has wanted out of Portland for a while and the Blazers are looking to make his wish come true. The aim would be to ship the 25-year-old Spaniard to a team in the Eastern Conference, with Boston, New York and Chicago being the frontrunners.
At $1.25 million, Fernandez would come at a bargain next season. After averaging 10.5 points and shooting 40 percent from the 3-point line two years ago as a rookie, Fernandez's minutes and games dropped, and with the Blazers adding Wesley Matthews, the writing for next season was on the wall.
At the urging of Rudy Fernandez and his agent, the Trail Blazers have engaged in accelerated trade discussions to deal the disgruntled, once-popular shooting guard to one of three Eastern Conference teams.
Boston, Chicago and New York are all in the running to land the 6-foot-6 Spaniard, who set an NBA rookie record two seasons ago by making 159 three-pointers.
Fernandez, 25, is unhappy in Portland because of limited playing time behind All-Star Brandon Roy and because of the playing style of coach Nate McMillan, who primarily used Fernandez as an outside shooter, not the playmaker Fernandez believes he can be in the NBA.
Fernandez has two years remaining on his contract, which will pay him $1.25 million next season. The Blazers acquired Fernandez, along with James Jones, from Phoenix for cash considerations on draft night 2007. Fernandez signed with Portland in July 2008, ending his seven-year career in the Spanish ACB League.