Blazers involved in three team trade with Denver and Dallas
From the Portland Trail Blazers late tonight after the conclusion of the 2011 NBA Draft:
“PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired guard Raymond Felton from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for guard Andre Miller, while sending Rudy Fernandez and Petteri Koponen’s NBA rights to Dallas as part of a three-team trade. The Trail Blazers selected guard Nolan Smith with the 21st overall pick in the first round, and guard Jon Diebler with the 51st overall pick in the second round.
Portland also acquired the draft rights to Jordan Hamilton (taken 26th overall) and Tanguy Ngombo (taken 57th overall) from Dallas for Fernandez and Koponen. Hamilton’s rights were then sent to Denver as part of the Felton trade and Portland is currently in discussions to trade Ngombo’s rights.
“I want to acknowledge our basketball personnel staff for their hard work and thorough preparation for tonight’s NBA Draft,” said Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen. “I thought it was a very good night for the Portland Trail Blazers and our fans.
“I also want to thank both Andre Miller and Rudy Fernandez for their contributions to the team these past few seasons and wish them all the best for the future.”
Felton, 26, has career averages of 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.46 steals in six seasons with Charlotte, New York and Denver.
The North Carolina product averaged career highs in points (15.5), assists (8.3) and steals (1.67) last season while ranking in the NBA’s top-10 in both assists and steals per game.
“When you get two players who have won national championships at the collegiate level, you know you’re bringing in winners,” said acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. “Both Raymond and Nolan are as competitive as it gets, and we’re excited to call them both Trail Blazers.”
Smith, 22, played four seasons at Duke, where he was a member of the 2010 NCAA Championship team and named consensus First Team All-American, ACC Player of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP as a senior in 2011. He posted a career-high 20.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists his senior 2010-11 season.
Diebler, 23, averaged 10.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists while shooting 41.6 percent (374-for-900) from 3-point range in four seasons at Ohio State. He finished his four-year career as the Big Ten’s all-time leader for career 3-pointers.
“We really value Raymond’s leadership on the court and in the locker room,” said Head Coach Nate McMillan. “Not only can he shoot the ball with range, he has an excellent pick-and-roll game.
“Nolan proved he is a team-first player when he stepped in for Kyrie Irving at Duke this year. We really like his up-tempo style and the way he competes on the defensive end of the floor.”
Miller, 35, averaged 13.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.27 steals in two seasons with the Trail Blazers. Portland signed Miller as a free agent in 2009.
Fernandez, 26, played three seasons in Portland, posting averages of 9.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steal. The Trail Blazers acquired his draft rights from Phoenix in July 2007.
Portland acquired the draft rights to Finnish guard Koponen in a 2007 draft day trade with Philadelphia. He played for Virtus Bologna in Italy’s Serie A League last year.”