Joe Freeman of The Oregonian writes about the arrival and future of Portland Trail Blazers guard Eric Maynor as he prepares to make his first return to Oklahoma City after the Thunder traded him at the deadline.
"I think it's still a work in progress," [Blazers coach Terry] Stotts said. "I'm getting more comfortable with how I can help him from an offensive standpoint. He's getting more comfortable with our defensive system. He's still understanding the dynamics of our team."
Maynor's qualifying offer is $3.4 million, with a hefty $5.85 million cap hold that would eat a substantial amount of the Blazers' offseason spending money.
Early reviews suggest that the Blazers and Maynor are a good match. But it seems unlikely the team would mortgage so much of their offseason spending power on a backup point guard. It seems more likely the Blazers will allow Maynor to become an unrestricted free agent and pursue him with the rest of the NBA. It's the same move the Blazers did last offseason with JJ Hickson and he ended up returning.
A few weeks back, Maynor said it would be "great" if he received the qualifying offer.
"That would be great for me," he said. "There's a bunch of cool dudes that work hard and want to get better. I'm used to that and those are the type of guys I want to be around. This is the type of team that I want to be on."
That was not a deal done in a vacuum just to get us over the next 25 games. Eric is being evaluated just like everybody else on the roster. What was intriguing about Eric is that he was a restricted free agent and we do have the ability to keep him long-term. He's represented by an agent who we have a good relationship with, who also represents Jared Jeffries and J.J. Hickson and had Jamal Crawford. For me in Los Angeles, he represented Kenyon Martin and Chauncey Billups. We're going to work together with Andy [Miller] to make sure that this is the right spot for Eric and he works into our roster composition and our culture going forward.
Maynor is averaging 7.1 points, 3.6 assists, 1.7 turnovers and shooting 43.8 percent with the Blazers.
His upcoming free agency continues to play out as expected. Holdover notes from earlier posts...
- If the Blazers tender Maynor a qualifying offer, he would become a restricted free agent, giving Portland the ability to match any outside offer. If not, he would become an unrestricted free agent.
- Last year, the Blazers did not extend a qualifying offer to forward/center J.J. Hickson but later re-signed him to a one-year contract.
- Stotts defended Maynor's defense after a win over the Detroit Pistons despite some ugly early numbers.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter