The Portland Trail Blazers are going to let go of Eric Maynor — a point guard the team acquired midway through last season. Maynor did all the things a backup to the Rookie of the Year was required to do, scoring 6.9 points and dishing out 4 assists per game in 27 outings in Portland, but the powers that be with the Blazers chose before Thursday’s draft not to extend the restricted free agent a qualifying offer.
The decision, GM Neil Olshey said, was based on financial concerns with the summer’s free agent market.
There’s also the matter of who the Blazers drafted that makes it a pretty wise decision. Though it will make it a young position, the drafting of C.J. McCollum to pair with 2013 Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard will present a number of possibilities that are cheaper than hanging onto Maynor.
It’s not easy though to say goodbye to any Blazer who performs the way Maynor did perform in his short stint in Oregon. Portland fans are the best and recognize the hustle players put on the floor and excellence they embody off it more than almost anyone. Maynor especially played well as a member of Portland’s extremely stagnant bench which frequently finished games under double digits in points.
Also in Blazer news this week, All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge reportedly requested to get out of Portland — to either Dallas or Chicago. Jason Quick of the Oregonian said that Aldridge called Portland too small and boring.
The Blazers have started some work on those sorts of deals, what with Aldridge’s contract being up at the end of next year. However, Chicago is unwilling to part with Joakim Noah and that makes any current deal to the Bulls a “non-starter.”
Back in May, Aldridge was tentative to talk about his role in the future, saying that he thought they had a great team and that he looked forward to what their cap room could provide.
But his talk has escalated recently, starting with the week before the draft. His future is now anything but certain and his destined location is probably anywhere but Portland as the ruling factions of the Trail Blazers appear to be trying to get their money‘s worth from the last pieces of the team’s former championship aspiration.