In the midst of surely his most frustrating off-season ever, Rudy Fernandez has proclaimed … he’s taking a break.
“After an irregular World Championship in which we couldn’t reach our goal, winning a medal, and were we weren’t able to play at our level, now we have to look ahead and think about the future. The project of Spanish basketball continues and now we have to think about getting back to play at our best level in the European championships in 2011 in Lithuania with the 2012 London Olympics on the horizon. Personally, I’ve tried to focus on the tournament and not think much about my professional situation, and I’ve tried to fight till the end.
“Now, it’s time to rest a little before going back to work.”
Except that there’s no way it’ll be as simple as that – the getting back to work bit, BiE means. Fernandez has been well vocal about his desire to get the hell outta Portland before the 2010-11 NBA season tips off, from demanding a trade to announcing that what he’d really like is to play “on the Blaugrana – next to his friend Ricky Rubio…”
However, in three months, nothing further has happened. A three-way trade involving the reportedly still interested New York Knicks was shot down earlier this month and, though Blazers general manager Rich Cho claims that “he continues to have daily dialogue with NBA teams about ways to improve the Blazers’ roster and Fernandez’ name ‘always comes up,’” Cho is currently left with little recourse except to hope Rudy shows up to training camp.
In fact, sources aren’t even clear that Cho is in fact making viable offers. Current talk is that Cho and the Blazers want a first-round pick involved in any deal with Fernandez: clearly a reason why Donnie Walsh nixed the earlier trade – in addition to the Blazers’ lack of interest in Tyson Chandler.
Alan Hahn, the Knicks beat writer for Newsday newspaper, tweeted yesterday that he was “Hearing Rudy Fernandez situation is still working itself out. ‘Lots of talk, no movement,’ a source said. NY Knicks still interested.”
However, Hahn himself claimed last week that Cho hadn’t actually made “a single call to Walsh since taking over as Portland’s GM” and that to that point “All of the previous talks regarding Rudy Fernandez took place” during the reign of former GM Kevin “I Took Oden Over Durant” Pritchard.
The main competition at present (unless you count FC Barcelona) for Fernandez’ services is probably the Chicago Bulls – but then they’ll have to wait-and-see on their own big deal before making a play for Fernandez.
Enjoy your break, Señor Fernandez – it may even be longer than you think…