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Evening Draft Chatter: Rudy,Trading Up, CP3 Shoots Down Blazers, Seraphin

The earlier FanShot was getting unwieldy.  So here's a new post that will update as the night goes on.

David Aldridge reports...

The most serious suitors at the moment are the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets, with Toronto offering its first-round pick, the 13th pick overall, as part of a package.    

Chicago and Washington have also expressed interest in Fernandez, 25, who was acquired from Phoenix in 2007 on Draft night and signed with Portland the following summer. The Bulls would like to move their first-round pick, 17th overall, for Fernandez. The Wizards offered guard Nick Young for Fernandez but were turned down.

Earlier reports that the Knicks were serious contenders for Fernandez were overblown.

That makes three separate reports coming out regarding Rudy Fernandez within the past hour.   For my (harsh) thoughts on Nick Young, read this post from March.

Brian T. Smith with a non-update from Rudy Fernandez's side.

Source close to Fernandez said there is no certainty right now which team the guard will play for after draft day.

Update (8:51PM):

Smith now writes...

The lone Blazer player who appears to be absolutely safe and secure: three-time All-Star guard Brandon Roy.

It's a strange time to take a "everyone is available" stance, given that we're less than 24 hours from the start of the draft and only one Blazer's name has come up in rumors with any regularity.

Brian Berger of Sports Business Radio tweets that he believes the Blazers might be targeting Eric Bledsoe at the #13 pick if they trade up.

My top five potential targets if the Blazers trade up to the 10-15 range (depending on availability): 1. Paul George 2. Xavier Henry 3. Cole Aldrich 4. Luke Babbitt 5. Patrick Patterson

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News tweets...

The word on Rudy is that if the Blazers don't get what they want, Paul Allen would rather have him rot on the bench then give him away

Update (10:26PM):

Adrian Wojnarowski writes that Chris Paul was presented with the idea of a trade to Portland and wasn't feeling it. He also levels some pretty heavy accusations against Portland's organization.

When the possibility of the Portland Trail Blazers making a bid on Paul was brought to him, a source said, Paul's reaction was simple: Why would I want to go there if they have to trade LaMarcus Aldridge or Brandon Roy to get me? I'd want to play with those players.

That's the problem with trying to trade Paul. For one of the best point guards in the NBA, the Hornets would want no less than a young All-Star caliber player, a starter and draft picks. Only then, what kind of gutted core would await Paul with his new team?

Portland has bordered on tampering with Paul for two years now, and it's never been much of a secret within the Hornets' organization that the Blazers have gone to great lengths to make Paul aware of how badly they want him. It didn't go unnoticed when Blazers president Larry Miller - a former Nike executive who had dealings with Paul - cozied up to the Hornets star on New Orleans' trips to the Rose Garden. It is what it is, but most agree the Blazers have been merciless in trying to get into Paul's ear - and those around him - to convince him to create a stir and force his way out.

Update (11:27 PM): 

NBA passes along a link to the French newspaper Le Figaro, which reports that draft prospect Kevin Seraphin, who participated in the Nike Hoop Summit here in Portland, has a $750,000 buyout to come to the NBA and that the forward has drawn interest from the Portland Trail Blazers.

Using google translator I came up with this awesome paragraph describing the Blazers' interest.

But [the buyout amount] does not seem to cool the U.S. scouts. Including those in Portland ... The majority of predictions have a promising way for Oregon. The Blazers have indeed been well advised to select Nicolas Batum, via a trade, two years ago at the same time. They would therefore like to repeat the experience and boost their French colony with Cholet.     

That doesn't seem to include any new information regarding the Blazers' interest in Seraphin but rather ties it to the team's previous track record drafting Nicolas Batum.  

Seraphin is a beast. The Blazers could do a lot worse than "boosting their French colony" tomorrow.

Update (11:52PM): 

This isn't really breaking news but it's still fun to read. In an interview with Raptors HQ, Jonathan Givony of Draft Express says Portland is operating with a "blank check book" and making life difficult for teams like the Toronto Raptors.

RHQ: Going back to the Raptors, have you heard any updates on the team trying to grab a second pick?

Jonathan Givony: I don't think it's a secret that they're very active right now in talking to teams in that 21 to 30 range. They're willing to put some money on the table which is a good sign for Raptors fans, that ownership is going to make a financial commitment to make the team better, and that's a huge thing. When you're competing with the Portland's and the Houston's of the world with ownership groups with blank check books, I think that's a big thing, e specially in this draft as we already discussed.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter