Though Rudy Fernandez was not dealt on NBA Draft Day and appears to be staying put with his team, it may be that his days with the Portland Trail Blazers are numbered: He has reportedly “fallen out of favor with coach [Nate] McMillan,” Wesley Matthews has joined the Blazers, and Fernandez is now “officially” getting shopped around.
So what’s next for Rudy? Nobody knows and everybody’s waiting.
The chief suitor for Fernandez’ talents would appear to be FC Barcelona. Not only are the Blaugrana apparently waiting to decide on contracts for Gianluca Basile and/or Roger Grimau in the hopes Fernandez might be freed up.
And according to Spanish-language website Sport.es, that’s exactly where Fernandez wants to go: “Rudy and his representatives have commented that his desire is to play on the Blaugrana – next to his friend Ricky Rubio – and that would be his first choice should he decide to leave the NBA.”
(“Rudy ya ha comentado a sus representantes que su deseo es jugar en el equipo blaugrana – al lado de su amigo Ricky Rubio – y ésa sería su primera opción en caso de que decidiera abandonar la NBA.”)
But for now, time is all on the side of Portland. Whereas Trail Blazers management has months before they have to make decisions in trimming the extended roster, Barcelona and most Euroleague teams would like to finalize rosters as soon as possible – particularly Barça, which already has nearly all its spaces solidified very early on.
Other teams showing interest in Fernandez include Olympiacos, Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow and possibly Panathinaikos in the wake of Vassilis Spanoulis’ departure. In the NBA, the Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics have been reported as interested in Fernandez, the latter probably even more so since Leandro Barbosa is now presumably off the market.