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Blazers Release G Armon Johnson; Sign C Joel Przybilla

The Portland Trail Blazers announced the release of second-year guard Armon Johnson and the signing of veteran center Joel Przybilla on Monday.

Here's the Johnson press release.

The Portland Trail Blazers have waived guard Armon Johnson, it was announced today by the team.

The Trail Blazers selected Johnson with the 34th overall pick in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft.

Johnson, 23, was taken in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft. The Blazers reportedly paid $2 million to move up from the No. 44 spot to the No. 34 spot to land him. Johnson was a standout performer during the 2010 Summer League. Since then, he's has posted career averages of 2.9 points and 1.2 assists per game while spending most of the 2011-2012 season on the inactive list. Blazers coach Nate McMillan openly questioned his ability to run an offense multiple times this season.

According to a league source, the Blazers "aggressively shopped" Johnson at this year's D-League Showcase, in hopes of receiving a second round pick in return. Their overtures were met with "zero interest."

Here's the Przybilla press release.

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent center Joel Przybilla, it was announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We've been actively trying to get Joel to return to Portland for some time now and we're thrilled with his decision to come back to the Trail Blazers family," said Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. "Joel is a hard worker, a great teammate and a player that does the little things to help you win, all qualities that will help us down the stretch run."

In seven seasons with the Trail Blazers from 2004-11, Przybilla averaged 4.8 points (57.8% FG), 7.3 rebounds, 1.54 blocks and 22.4 minutes in 395 games (273 starts). He ranks fifth on Portland's all-time list with 607 career blocked shots and ranks 13th on the team's all-time rebounding ledger with 2,872 boards.

Przybilla, 32, holds career averages of 4.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.48 blocks and 20.3 minutes in 553 games (377 starts) over 11 seasons with Milwaukee, Atlanta, Portland and Charlotte.

Originally signed by Portland as a free agent in 2004, Przybilla was traded to Charlotte on Feb. 24, 2011, along with Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two conditional first round picks in exchange for Gerald Wallace.

Of course, Johnson's waiving means that Blazers center Greg Oden lives to see another day.

Last week, the Blazers announced that Oden, 24, underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee for the second time. The surgery marked the fifth knee surgery of Oden's tenure in Portland. Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan said last week that releasing Oden was a possibility given the fact that he was facing a one-year rehabilitation timeline, at minimum, and has not played in an NBA game since December 2009.

Oden also underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in early February and had a potentially season-ending blood clot in his left ankle. Shortly after Oden's microfracture surgery, reports surfaced linking the Blazers to Przybilla.

Instead, Oden remains on Portland's 15-man roster, which is full once again with the signing of Przybilla.

Programming Note: The Blazers will have a press conference to re-introduce Przybilla later this morning. Unfortunately, I'm en route to Portland from Orlando and won't be able to attend in person. Links will be posted later.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter