Portland Trail Blazers forward Victor Claver continues to speak to media in his home country of Spain about departing from the Blazers and re-taking the court elsewhere. We put our crack overseas translation staff on an article from SuperDeporte, published yesterday.
Victor Claver's stay in Portland is but a matter of weeks. The Valencian forward can no longer stand the situation and has ordered his agents to find a way for him out, with the first thought being a trade to an NBA team where he can compete for minutes, something that will be difficult to complete before free agents can be traded after 12/15.
This is the option that they are working on right now for the last year of his contract, although it's tough to find a team for a player that has barely participated in the last two seasons and isn't active in the current roster. Claver has not ruled out returning to Europe.
"I'm always going to try to choose what's best for me. This is my last year and obviously if I don't play I'll have to find a place where I can play and where I can enjoy the game of basketball and doing what I want to do", said Claver to www.csnnw.com. And the situation of Victor Claver is not easy right now. He has been in the active roster only twice in the 17 games played so far by the Portland Trail Blazers, and he is the only player on the team who hasn´t played this season.
"He's a smart player and a great professional .I'd love for him to get a chance on the court, It's just difficult right now." said Terry Stotts last week. "It's really difficult for him to get an opportunity when we have a 15 man roster and everybody is healthy," Stotts insisted, the only coach Claver has had since joining the NBA in 2012. In Claver´s first season Stotts played him 49 games -16 as starter-, when the former player of Valencia Basket averaged 3.8 points and 2.4 rebounds. Some thought his NBA career had an exciting future ahead. However, from there everything changed. Last season Claver just participated in 21 games, most of times in an irrelevant way [Translation Note: meaning he didn´t have enough time or a significant role, or it was garbage time], and this season he has not even stepped on the court in a real game.
"Of course this is not what I want because what I want and what I need is to play. But I'm a professional and I'm going to give my best everyday. Every practice, every game when I come to work out, I'm giving my best and I try to do what the team needs me to do and what I need to do and that's what I am going to do if I play or if I don't." said Claver, well aware of the tough competition on the team with men like Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Thomas Robinson and Dorell Wright, and the important qualitative leap experienced by the Blazers recently. "I understand the situation. Of course I don't like being inactive every game, but I understand the situation and I just keep working for the time when I can have the chance to play" he confessed.
These words have not gone unnoticed for the Blazers, who understand the situation and won´t put obstacles in front of Claver's way out. Another issue is his possible destination. His priority remains to end his contract in an NBA team, but if it is not possible Claver has decided to return to Europe to play and earn minutes with a Euroleague team.
In addition our overseas arm found this video interview with Fran Escudero, the author of the SuperDeporte piece on Claver. Highlights of the interview include:
- Victor likes Portland, his teammates and the Blazers franchise, but he wants to play.
- As it could be expected, his agents are trying to find a way to help him.
- It´s difficult now because it´s too soon for roster changes, with most rosters built recently.
- But it´s a fact that they (his agents) are trying to find a solution and it could happen in two weeks or in two months.
- If it´s not possible to go to another NBA team, there´s the possibility of going to a team that´s playing the Euroleague. Later he says it´s sure he´ll leave this season for Europe if he can´t go to another NBA team offering him a chance to play.
- His priority is to stay in the NBA.
- What´s sure is that he doesn´t want to stay in Portland in this situation (with no opportunities). You never know, perhaps three players get injured and he starts to play and does pretty well, and things change, but reality now it is what it is.
- Claver is not uneasy in Portland. He´s working as much as the first day and as much as anyone, looking for opportunities, but the truth is he´s been more than a year without opportunities coming his way with the same coach since he is in Portland.
- He realizes at 26 years old he can´t spend another season without playing time.
- He is the only Blazer with no playing time at all this season.
- Everybody knows Portland is a team with short rotations.
These reports come on the heels of an ACB article in which Claver's discontent first surfaced.
Claver has played in 70 games, 996 minutes total, in his NBA career, which started in 2012. The 6'9" forward is averaging 2 points, 2 rebounds, and 40% shooting in 14 minutes per game for his career. Portland drafted him with the 22nd selection of the first round in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Thanks as always to amlmart1 for his fine translation work. Thanks also to Blazer's Edge readers Eat Politicians and two4larue for getting the story up in our Fanpost/Fanshot sidebar,