Monday, April 19, 2010
Updated: April 20, 12:22 PM ET
Sources: Blazers hope to sign Camby
By Marc Stein
The Portland Trail Blazers are closing in on securing a contract extension for Marcus Camby, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.
Sources said Monday that the two sides had already been negotiating toward a new deal that would keep Camby off the free-agent market this summer.
One source said that the looming deal is likely to span two years in excess of $20 million.
"Since the day Marcus was traded, the Blazers and Marcus made it clear it was not for an interim engagement,'' Camby's agent, Rick Kaplan, told The Oregonian. "It has been our goal to get something done, and hopefully he will stay in Portland long term.''
Kaplan added that nothing had been finalized, according to the newspaper.
Camby teamed with Andre Miller to spark the Blazers to a 105-100 victory Sunday night over the third-seeded Phoenix Suns.
Portland acquired Camby before the trading deadline from the Los Angeles Clippers after losing centers Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla to season-ending knee injuries.
Although the Blazers remain hopeful that Oden can still have a productive career after missing the bulk of two of his first three NBA seasons, they have been pleased with Camby's immediate impact. According to sources, they're determined to lock him up before has the chance to become a free agent July 1.
One source said Monday that the Blazers have been hopeful of reaching an extension with Camby since acquiring him from the Clippers.
In Sunday's series opener in Phoenix, Camby frustrated All-Star forward Amare Stoudemire, who was one of the league's most feared offensive forces after the All-Star break. Playing on an ankle he rolled in practice just a day earlier, Camby amassed 17 rebounds and three blocked shots, overshadowing two missed free throws and a missed dunk in crunch time.
"He's a long guy and does an excellent job of blocking shots," Suns coach Alvin Gentry after the defeat. "So Amare is going to have to step it up and find a way to score for us, and we've got to get him the ball in a good location."
The Blazers closed the regular season on a 16-3 run in games played by Camby, including wins without leading scorer Brandon Roy over the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder. Only three of those 19 opponents scored 100 points before Portland opened the postseason by holding Phoenix to 41.8 percent shooting from the field and just four fast-break points.
Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.