The Oregonian had the initial report this morning that the C’s, as well as Bulls and Knicks were in the running in a deal for swingman Rudy Fernandez. Now we have an updated report from our friend Tom Halzack at CelticsBlog staying that the C’s are in “lead position” in negotiations:
Other teams interested including New York and Chicago, but the Celtics are apparently getting the first shot, thus allowing one to assume they are a preferred destination, either in terms of desirability for Rudy or trading pieces for the Blazers.
CH’s Take: First off, let me just say this is terrific news. Fernandez is far and away the best swingman readily available on the free agent/trade market. I would expect Danny Ainge to be very aggressive here, but make no mistake the C’s will likely have to give up something of value.
Given that Fernandez is under a team-friendly contract, signed for the next three years (including options), I doubt just one late 1st round pick would be enough to get it done. With Fernandez wanting out though, it might be the best Portland can get for him.
Obviously, there’s Sheed’s contract that could be thrown into the mix, but a quick glance of the Blazers roster shows no real dead weight the team might be looking to get rid of in a salary dump, so that option appears unlikely.
The C’s otherwise, have no real assets, besides draft picks they are likely willing to trade. So it’s likely to be a standoff of how many picks is Ainge willing to fork over to suit Portland?
The good news is New York has dealt pretty much all of their 1st round picks away, so they have little to offer, besides someone like Wilson Chandler. The Bulls are in play here as well, are said to have been dangling James Johnson, but Chicago may not be a preferred destination for Rudy, given their glut of newly signed swingmen (Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer).
So here’s my question to you C’s fans. Knowing how big of an upgrade this would be, how much would you be willing to give up? More than 1st round pick? What’s Fernandez worth to you?