Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls are continuing their weeks-long pursuit of Fernandez, and do
have a first round pick to offer. The Bulls were rumored to be offering
James Johnson and a pick back in August, but nothing ever came of that
deal. Johnson, a second-year pro out of Wake Forest, would add
additional depth at the four spot for Portland. The Blazers, you'll
recall, signed restricted free agent Paul Millsap to an offer sheet last
summer, only to see it matched by the Utah Jazz. The Blazers added Jeff
Pendergraph last season, but would like to have another young prospect
at the four behind starter LaMarcus Aldridge.
The closer we get to training camp the less likely it seems that
Fernandez will be in a Blazers uniform when he returns from playing
overseas. Chicago looks like the early favorite, but the Blazers will
likely wait until the last minute to make sure no other suitors step
into the conversation.
James Johnson and a 1st makes a lot of sense for the Bulls, does it make sense for Portland? I think it does. It gives them a pick and a prospect, and if they don't like Johnson, then they can just take the pick because we have cap room.
My guess, like always, is that the Blazers are holding out for the Charlotte 1st while the Bulls are only offering their first. I wouldn't trade the Charlotte 1st for Rudy either, not unless we have our own lotto protection on it.
Still, the Bulls haven't signed a 13th man, so it makes a good deal of sense that they are holding out working for a trade with their cap room that allows them to make an additional signing. While this rumor has popped up and down repeatedly, it makes a bit more sense now.
New York doesn't have the pick to trade, Boston just signed Delonte West which likely ends their pursuit. I'm not sure what other teams have really expressed interest.