October 06, 2010
I was the guy who was beating the "trade for Rudy" drum the loudest. Pointing out that, ideally, a middling prospect and a lower-rung first-round pick would get it done, so, kindly get it done. But I was wrong -- way wrong -- about two things.
The first thing? I didn't think the Portland Trail Blazers, with a new general manager in Rich Cho running the show, would hold out for ... well, what are they holding out for? Rudy can be the best backup shooting guard in the NBA, but I'm not entirely convinced he wants anything to do with that. Couple that with his unease with the NBA game, and you have a player for whom you need to get whatever you can get for him -- yesterday.
Secondly? I wrote the post, linked-to above, before this media day showing.
Yikes. Points for speaking your mind, Rudy. Points for telling us that the uniform or role or offense doesn't matter, just as long as it's an NBA uniform/role/offense.
Things have become clearer since late July. For me? Well, I've learned that weddings are expensive and that mine will likely preclude me from ever driving a car I enjoy riding in. And in Rudy Fernandez terms? Try to trade for the guy, sure, because he can play. But don't invest too much.
And today, word hit that the Knicks are really, really interested in investing too much. And that the Trail Blazers and Rich Cho are still cool to everyone's advances.
Meanwhile, Walsh would have a chance to pry Rudy Fernandez away from Portland with a first-round pick. The questions the Knicks had concerning Wilson Chandler's(notes) recovery from offseason surgery are one reason why the club has explored the possibility of acquiring Fernandez, the disgruntled shooting guard who is in camp with the Trail Blazers after threatening to return to Spain.
How well Chandler progresses during the preseason will determine whether the Knicks revisit talks with the Blazers. According to a team source, Walsh tested the waters last month by offering Portland two future second-round picks in addition to one of the two players the Knicks picked in the second round in June -- Andy Rautins(notes) or Landry Fields(notes).
The Blazers rejected the deal and have summarily turned down trade offers from Boston and Chicago as well.
Three second-round picks. Two of your own choosing, and then one of your own choosing that has already been chosen by the Knicks. Sounds like market value for a guy who wants nothing to do with the NBA.
I can understand both sides to an extent. Second-round picks, in the right hands, can really help a team, but Portland is right to hang onto the guy who can actually play right now, however mopish. And the Knicks?
Rudy can play, and you have to at least try to chase him down, but why commit even this much to a player who is just counting the days until his contract expires?
I get that second-round picks don't have the same cachet in this league as lower-rung picks do in the NFL, but while you want to make a splash this year -- Rudy isn't long for this league. And he'll keep the long face, while he's in this league.
And while I respect his game, adding Rudy for picks isn't turning New York around. It won't secure the playoff berth I think they're capable of grabbing. It will help, slightly, but not enough to give up assets for, especially when those assets (Knicks draft picks, at whatever level) are so hard to come by.
Rudy's going to play out the string, his way. There's no real point in making yourself part of that story.