Blazers: Marcus Camby Trade Official

Following a morning shootaround, the Portland Trail Blazers officially announced that they had traded Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw and cash considerations for Los Angeles Clippers center Marcus Camby.  Camby will wear #21 for the Blazers.

Here's video of Nate McMillan's initial reaction.

Blazers General Manager Kevin Pritchard was present after the shootaround and disputed an earlier Yahoo! Sports report that Camby was upset about the trade.  "That's not the report we've heard talking through his agent," Pritchard told reporters.  "He looks forward to being here and trying to help us win."

Pritchard called Camby a "dynamic defensive player who affects the game on that side of the ball as well as anybody."  Pritchard stated that Camby was unlikely to be available for tonight's game against the Los Angeles Clippers and McMillan would not commit to a starting lineup.  McMillan joked that it felt "weird" to him that two teams would make a trade in the morning and play that same night.  He said he had never been a part of that during his time in the NBA. 

Pritchard told me the Blazers are fully on the hook for the bonus provisions in Camby's contract, which could reach roughly $2 million dollars.  Roughly $1.5 million of those provisions are considered "likely" to be achieved according to ShamSports.comESPN's Marc Stein is also reporting that the Blazers threw in $1.5 million dollars to complete the deal.

Pritchard told reporters that this trade is culmination of months of roster evaluation. "We wanted to take a look at the team, how they were doing. I have to give a lot of credit to LaMarcus, Juwan, Dante and Jeff. They did a great job. This is nothing against them but we felt like we needed one more big to compete with the Western teams." 

Nate McMillan, in particular, had suggested as far back as December that he was hoping the team would add a legit post player.  I asked McMillan after shootaround today whether this move satisfied those feelings. "We knew we needed that [size]. That was something that we were looking at," McMillan said. "When Joel went down you have to make the decision. Do you feel you can go with the team you have? Or do you need to try to add something to that? We felt we needed to add a center. Camby made sense as far as a deal that was out there and we get to add a center to the lineup."  

Asked if Paul Allen's financial contribution of a reported $1.5 million dollars that likely sealed this trade sent a signal about his team this season, McMillan emphatically agreed. "Yes. From the organization it's clear that we want to try to get to the playoffs. We are right there. We are going to do things to try to get ourselves into the playoffs and not take a step back."

Pritchard echoed those thoughts. "I think it would have been challenging [to make the playoffs without making this trade]. I'm not saying we couldn't have done it. I think we were overachieving... I think this [trade] just gives us a better shot."

Click through for the full text of the press release announcing the trade, a few must-read links and the rest of our Marcus Camby Coverage.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

More Takes
  • Basketball Prospectus's Kevin Pelton: "It's hard to think of a much better fit between player and team need than Camby for the Blazers." 
  • ESPN's John Hollinger gives the Blazers a B for the trade while he gives the Clippers a B+ (Insider).
  • Dwight Jaynes approves: Camby solves a real big problem on defense and the boards and if Brandon Roy is healthy, this team can win a series, depending on matchups.
  • Henry Abbott and Kevin Arnovitz, Blazer and Clipper loyalists respectively, go back-and-forth.
  • Joe FreemanBrandon Roy is sad.
  • Eric Pincus: Blake and Outlaw could be dealt again.
  • Coup's analysis at Rip City Project

Marcus Camby Total Coverage

  • For the blow-by-blow from last night and to vote on whether you like the trade, click here.
  • For Dave's analysis, click here.
  • For reaction from around the internet, click here.
  • Full Press Release

    TRAIL BLAZERS ACQUIRE MARCUS CAMBY

    Portland sends Blake, Outlaw and cash considerations to L.A. Clippers

    PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired forward/center Marcus Camby from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for guard Steve Blake, forward Travis Outlaw and cash considerations, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard.

    "We are very excited to bring an experienced big man of Marcus' caliber to the team and we feel he'll help us a great deal down the stretch run," said Pritchard. "He's a fierce competitor and has been one of the league's best defensive players for quite some time.

    "On behalf of the organization, I'd also like to express my deep gratitude to Steve and Travis for their years of contributions both on and off the court. They've both played large parts in the reshaping of this franchise, and we wish them the best of luck in their careers."

    Camby (6-11, 235) is averaging 7.7 points, 12.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.94 blocked shots and 31.3 minutes in 51 games (all starts) for the Clippers this season. His rebound and blocked shot averages rank second and sixth in the NBA, respectively.

    A 14-year NBA veteran, Camby, 35, holds career averages of 10.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.59 blocks with Toronto, New York, Denver and the L.A. Clippers. The 2006-07 NBA Defensive Player of the Year is one of only 11 players in NBA history to record at least 7,000 rebounds and 2,000 blocked shots.

    Camby is a two-time member of the NBA's All-Defensive Team (2006-08) and was twice named to the league's All-Defensive Second Team (2004-06).

    Blake, 29, posted averages of 7.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 51 games (28 starts) with the Trail Blazers this season. He ranks fifth on the team's all-time 3-point ledger (415) in parts of four seasons with Portland (2005-06, 2007-10).

    Outlaw, 25, was selected by the Trail Blazers with the 23rd overall pick in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft and has played his entire career in Portland, averaging 9.6 points and 3.4 rebounds in 377 games (26 starts).

    He averaged 9.9 points and 3.5 rebounds the first 11 games of this season before fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his left foot Nov. 14 at Charlotte, undergoing successful surgery on Nov. 18 to repair the fracture.

    -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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