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News » Portland Trail Blazers Notes, Quotes 2008-06-30

Portland Trail Blazers Notes, Quotes 2008-06-30

Portland Trail Blazers Notes, Quotes 2008-06-30
--The Blazers' biggest deal by far was the one involving Ike Diogu and Jerryd Bayless, which won't be completed until July 9. NBA salaries turn over on July 1, and there is a moratorium on trades for the next week after that. Because of that, Blazers executives were prohibited from talking about it.

--The Blazers had rated Jerryd Bayless, a 6-3, 200-pound freshman shooting guard for Arizona last season, as the fourth-best player in the draft. Many mock drafts had Bayless going to Seattle with the fourth pick.

"We heard yesterday (Bayless was) sliding," Pritchard, speaking in code, said on draft day. "That really excited us. If you'd asked us a week ago, we wouldn't have thought it would move this way."

Indiana took Bayless for Portland with the 11th pick. The Blazers chose Brandon Rush at No. 13, then packaged him with Jack and McRoberts in a deal with the Pacers for Diogu and Bayless.

The 6-3, 200-pound Bayless -- whom the Blazers project as a combo guard who can play in the backcourt with Brandon Roy, Steve Blake or Rudy Fernandez -- averaged a team-high 19.7 points for Arizona last season, shooting .458 from the field, .407 from 3-point range and .839 from the foul line.

The 6-8, 255-pound Diogu, a former Pac-10 player of the year with Arizona State, began his NBA career with Golden State. The three-year veteran played in only 30 games in an injury-plagued 2007-08 season for the Pacers, averaging 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 10.3 minutes. But Diogu, 24, gives Portland another post presence, and he can score. His career average of 6.5 points comes in only 13 minutes a game, meaning he averages a point every two minutes. If the roster remains unchanged, he'll battle Channing Frye for minutes behind LaMarcus Aldridge at power forward.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I officially can't say anything. This is the hardest press conference I've ever had to do in my life." -- Kevin Pritchard, prohibited by NBA rules to comment on the trade that will bring Jerryd Bayless and Ike Diogu to the Blazers. The deal won't be completed until July 9 because of salary-cap restrictions.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: June 30, 2008


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