Camby headed to Blazers; Blake, Outlaw to Clippers
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Portland Trail Blazers are picking up needed help on the interior, acquiring Marcus Camby from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for guard Steve Blake and forward Travis Outlaw.
The team announced the trade on Tuesday. ESPN.com and Yahoo! Sports were the first to report the deal, which also includes cash going to the Clippers.
The Blazers are currently in eighth place in the competitive Western Conference despite a litany of injuries. Centers Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla are both out for the season with injuries. All-Star Brandon Roy hasn’t played since Jan. 20 with a hamstring injury.
Camby gives the Blazers instant help in their depleted middle and is a sign that despite their injury problems the Blazers (31-24) want to make a playoff push this season. Along with Oden, Przybilla and Roy, forward Nicolas Batum, guard Rudy Fernandez and Outlaw have all missed significant time with injuries.
In Portland, Camby will team with another veteran in Juwan Howard to solidify the Blazers post. The lanky veteran is a former defensive player of the year and two-time member of the NBA all-defensive team. In 51 games this season with the Clippers, the 14-year veteran is averaging 7.7 points and 12 rebounds per game.
“We are very excited to bring an experienced big man of Marcus’ caliber to the team and we feel he’ll help us a great deal down the stretch run,” Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said. “He’s a fierce competitor and has been one of the league’s best defensive players for quite some time.”
The Blazers were able to part with Blake because of the development of Jerryd Bayless and the presence of Andre Miller. Blake returned to Portland before the 2008-09 season and was a starter for much of last season. He began this season in the Blazers’ starting lineup as well before taking on a reserve role in December. In 51 games, Blake was averaging 7.6 points and 27 minutes per game for the Blazers.
Outlaw has been one of Portland’s key reserves during the Blazers’ turnaround in recent seasons. He was the longest-tenured Blazers player after being drafted in the first-round of the 2003 draft by Portland. This season, Outlaw has been limited to just 11 games after breaking his left foot on Nov. 14 at Charlotte. In those limited opportunities, Outlaw was averaging 9.9 points and 3.5 rebounds.