John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Blazers guard Nolan Smith says he sees free agency as an opportunity for "great things" to happen while some early trade talk has surfaced.
Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports that Nolan Smith is keeping his head up, but the Portland Trail Blazers' reserve point guard calls his current situation "frustrating". Smith is looking forward to the opportunities presented by the summer free agency period.
"I think teams know [what I can do]," he said. "I think there's players in this league that have been buried on the bench, as people would say. And there's a lot of people that know what I can do. I've shown in spurts what I can do. It will be seen and I think when the time comes, whether it's here this summer when I'm a free agent and I'm working on staying on this team or getting on another team, whatever it may be, people know [my game]."
He's not sure what his future holds in Portland, but before his time ends here, he would like to show this city what he can offer. On the other hand, he's realistic and knows he probably won't be able to prove his worth until he's on another team.
"Change is good for everybody," Smith said. "Change is good for everybody," he repeated. "I love Portland and if I'm here, I'll be happy to be here. But at the same time, everybody knows that when change comes, there's a lot of players in this league that when change happened, great things happened and that's what I'm looking at. We'll see what happens."
Sam Amick of USA Today Sports reports change could be coming even more quickly than that.
It wouldn't exactly send ripples through the league, but I've been told that Portland point guard Nolan Smith (taken 21st overall out of Duke in 2011) may very well be moved before the Feb. 21 trade deadline. That is if he ever plays enough to garner interest.
Update: Haynes reports that Smith has fired his agent Joel Bell.
A source close to the situation told CSNNW.com that Bell was pushing to get his client out of Portland this season, but was obviously unsuccessful. Smith acknowledged that Bell did request a trade, but says his inability to get it done wasn't the reason he chose to let go of the only agent he's had as a professional. In fact, Smith says he never requested the trade.
Smith, 24, is Portland's third string point guard and has played just 148 total minutes this season, averaging 2.5 points and 1.2 assists per game. The Blazers elected not to pick up his third year rookie option back in October, making him an unrestricted free agent next summer.
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