As I wrote last night, the Portland Trail Blazers need help, and they needed help now. Good news.
Help is arriving at PDX just before midnight tonight. Help's name is Shavlik Randolph, Blazersedge Legend.
In all seriousness, this is the move that made the most sense when the Blazers were first granted their hardship exemption. The most skilled big man on the market once the Miami Heat waived him, Randolph can step in and play immediately and hold his own on both ends. An energy guy who can shoot it, Randolph saw spot minutes for the Blazers last season and previously played for the Philadelphia 76ers.
With that said, using Randolph at the 5 is a stretch, especially defensively. He's best off at the 4, meaning Juwan Howard, Jeff Pendergraph and LaMarcus Aldridge will likely continue to man the middle, pending news of the team's second hardship exemption application.
The big gain from this signing is the potential for keeping some of the miles off of Juwan Howard -- and to a lesser extent LaMarcus Aldridge -- by adding some NBA-ready depth to the frontcourt.
Once Randolph is signed, the roster will stand at 16 players (15 plus one harship exemption).
(3:16PM): Brian T. Smith of The Columbian with the scoop...
BREAKING: Blazers plan to sign Shavlik Randolph on Wednesday. Randolph expected to be in Portland for Clippers game.
Smith's story here.
(3:35PM): Jason Quick of The Oregonian confirms.
Original Post (2:54PM)
Press release from the team...
TRAIL BLAZERS WAIVE ANTHONY TOLLIVER,
ASSIGN PATTY MILLS TO NBA D-LEAGUE'S IDAHO STAMPEDE
PORTLAND, Ore. - In a pair of roster moves, the Portland Trail Blazers waived forward Anthony Tolliver and assigned guard Patty Mills to the NBA Development League's Idaho Stampede, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard.
Tolliver appeared in two games for the Trail Blazers, grabbing a rebound in four minutes. He was called up from the Stampede on Dec. 17 after the NBA awarded Portland a hardship exemption.
Mills, selected by the Trail Blazers with the 55th overall pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft, will join the Stampede on Wednesday. The Australian national fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during an NBA Summer League practice session July 9. He underwent surgery on July 13 and recently completed a successful rehabilitation.
The Trail Blazers' roster now stands at 15.
Tolliver's waiving comes just 12 days after his signing and, while not unanticipated, likely came sooner than he expected. But remember: Tolliver's signing came prior to Joel Przybilla's knee injury so the team's positional needs have changed in the mean time and, in the limited minutes Tolliver played as a Blazer, he didn't exactly look NBA-ready.
Mills' assignment should not come as a surprise as he is completing the rehab on his broken foot and is the team's fourth string point guard. Far more reps in Idaho than in Portland.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter