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Thursday, February 22, 2007
Trail Blazers trade Dixon to Raptors for Jones

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers traded guard Juan Dixon to the Toronto Raptors on Thursday for guard Fred Jones and future considerations.

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Jones, who went to the University of Oregon and lives in Portland during the offseason, is averaging 7.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 39 games. He has made nine starts.

"It's always fun to add such a talented player with such strong local connections to our roster," said Trail Blazers President and general manager Steve Patterson. "Fred is a versatile athlete with high character and a great track record of community involvement, and we think he fits perfectly into the culture we've been cultivating here in Portland."

Jones agreed not to exercise the player option year of his contract, meaning his current deal will expire at the end of the 2007-08 season.

"From seeing the team, knowing some of the players and knowing the direction they're headed, I was more than happy to be a part of it," Jones said in a conference call with reporters.

The 6-foot-2 Jones was the 14th overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Pacers. He signed with the Raptors as a free agent last season but hadn't been receiving much playing time.

"He started off doing very well for us. Ultimately, he kind of found himself out of the rotation," Toronto general manager Bryan Colangelo said. "You hate to see people not thriving in situations. We've settled on that rotation. Fred coming off this most recent injury, it just appeared he probably was not going to have that role that we talked about.

"So you look for viable solutions. This is a tremendous situation for Freddy to be able to go back to his hometown."

Dixon was taken by the Washington Wizards with the 17th overall pick in the 2002 draft out of Maryland. He signed with the Blazers as a free agent in August 2005.

The 6-foot-3 Dixon has averaged 8.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He has made one start.

"We want to wish Juan the best and we're looking forward to watching him help Toronto in the playoffs," Patterson said in a statement. "Juan is a skilled shooter and always willing to put in the time on the floor and in the weight room to make his game even better and we appreciate the work ethic he helped instill in our younger players."

For his career, Jones has played in 284 games with 28 starts, averaging 7.7 points, 2.1 assists and 2.2 rebounds. He recently missed nine games with a dislocated middle finger in his right hand.

He went to Barlow High in Gresham, Ore., and was named the Class 4A Player of the year twice.