Blazers sign Spanish G Fernandez

PORTLAND, OREGON (TICKER) —One year after acquiring his rights, the Portland Trail Blazers have signed Spanish guard Rudy Fernandez, the team announced Tuesday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Blazers held Fernandez’s rights after acquiring him in a 2007 draft day trade with the Phoenix Suns. He spent the past seven seasons with DKV Joventut Badalona of the Spanish ACB League and is a member of the Spanish National Team.

“My dream has been to play in the NBA, and Portland is giving me this opportunity,” Fernandez said. “I was amazed about everything that Mr. (Paul) Allen, (general manager) Kevin Pritchard, coach (Nate) McMillan and the rest of the guys did to show me how much they wanted me.”

The 6-6 guard is coming off the best season of his career, averaging 21.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.2 assists in 30 league games. He also shot 41.0 percent from 3-point range in helping his team win the ULEB Cup, a multi-nation professional basketball competition in Europe.

A long-time member of the national team, the 23-year-old Fernandez led Spain to a gold medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championships and a seventh-place finish at the 2004 Olympics. He will play for Spain again next month at the Beijing Olympics.

“We are thrilled to finally have Rudy Fernandez in a Trail Blazers uniform,” Pritchard said. “Rudy is a tremendously talented player who has achieved great things in Spain and Europe.”

Fernandez is the eighth Spaniard to play in the NBA and the third for the Trail Blazers, joining Fernando Martin (1986-87) and Sergio Rodriguez (2006-present).

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Updated Tuesday, Jul 1, 2008