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'Shocked' by trade, Camby warms to Blazers

Marc J. Spears
Yahoo Sports

Still stunned to be traded from the Los Angeles Clippers, Marcus Camby(notes) said he's quickly warming to the thought of being in the playoff hunt with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Clippers traded Camby to the Blazers for forward Travis Outlaw(notes), guard Steve Blake(notes) and cash in a deal that was completed Tuesday morning. Camby, however, learned of the potential trade – which was first reported by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski – Monday evening while he was at a sponsors dinner with the Clippers at Ringside steakhouse in Portland.

Camby immediately left the restaurant after receiving the call from his agent, and those close to him said he was upset about the news, primarily because his family had settled comfortably in Los Angeles. Camby, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, had hoped to re-sign with the Clippers.

"I'm still trying to get my thoughts together," Camby said by phone Tuesday afternoon. "It's been only 24 hours. Hearing the news at a dinner that we had, that was real tough knowing in the next 24 hours I wasn't going to be here. It was pretty intense and pretty nerve-wracking all at the same time.

"I had a lot of doubts and I had a lot of issues about what was going to be next for myself."

Meeting with Blazers officials on Tuesday helped allay some of his concerns.

"It seems like a great town and a first-class organization," Camby said. "I already know they have a great fan base here. I'm feeling a whole lot better today than yesterday."

Camby had similar initial concerns when the Denver Nuggets traded him to the Clippers in the summer of 2008, but he grew to like playing and living in Los Angeles, even though the Clippers didn't have much success on the court. This trade "shocked" him, he said, because he had never before been dealt in the middle of the season.

"The weird part was actually being [in Portland]," Camby said. "My first initial thought was, 'I'm here, I just got traded and I only packed for a one-day trip. I don't have no clothes.' Everything was like real crazy and coming at me all at once."

Camby was scheduled to get his physical Tuesday afternoon, but will not play in Tuesday's game between the Clippers and Blazers. He hopes to be on the court Friday when the Blazers play host to the Boston Celtics.

If Camby sees anything positive in the trade, it's that he's going to get to help Portland compete for a spot in the playoffs. The Blazers have weathered season-ending injuries to their top two centers, Greg Oden(notes) and Joel Przybilla(notes), yet began Tuesday holding the eighth and final playoff seed in the Western Conference.

"It's been about two years since I've been in the playoffs," he said. "I'm really excited about it, really excited about my team. I'm being reunited with Andre Miller(notes) again, a great underrated point guard. I'm playing with Juwan Howard(notes), a guy I played with my first year in Denver. Of course, they have two great stars in Brandon Roy(notes) and LaMarcus Aldridge(notes). I look forward to playing with these guys."

Camby said he won't uproot his family because his children are in school. He also becomes a free agent this summer, so there are no guarantees he'll be re-signed, particularly if Oden and Przybilla heal from the injuries.

"That was some of the concerns and questions that I had about me not being a rental player," Camby said. "They expressed that they want me here in the future. That's something I definitely have to take into consideration once free agency hits for myself. But, hopefully, if things work out for me, I can be here an extended period of time."