Saturday, October 23, 2010
Updated: October 24, 3:08 AM ET
Trail Blazers trade PG Jerryd Bayless
By Marc Stein
The Portland Trail Blazers have found a trade to create some extra roster room, agreeing Saturday to deal guard Jerryd Bayless to the New Orleans Hornets for a conditional future first-round pick.
The Portland Oregonian reported that the 2011 first-round pick that the Blazers will receive from New Orleans is protected 1-to-7 in the 2011 draft and 1-to-8 in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The Blazers will thus take ownership of the pick in the June draft as long as it is No. 8 or lower.
Bayless -- who has struggled for playing time in Portland despite flashes of scoring talent in his first two NBA seasons -- is headed to Chris Paul's squad in the second trade swung for backcourt depth by new Hornets general manager Dell Demps.
New Orleans also acquired Willie Green from the Philadelphia 76ers in September to join Paul and second-year guard Marcus Thornton but are high on Bayless, sources told ESPN.com, because new Hornets coach Monty Williams worked closely with him in Portland.
The Blazers were facing a roster crunch even before ESPN.com reported Friday that they had reached an agreement to sign veteran big man Fabricio Oberto to a one-year deal.
Even after completing this deal Portland will still have 16 players on its roster and must release one more player Monday before opening-night rosters are finalized leaguewide.
The Blazers targeted Oberto to help them cope with the ongoing recoveries of centers Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla from the serious knee injuries they suffered last season.
Marcus Camby is Portland's only healthy true center, forcing Portland to use LaMarcus Aldridge and Dante Cunningham at the position in spots during the exhibition season thanks to a season-ending knee injury suffered by reserve big man Jeff Pendergraph.
Bayless, meanwhile, is expected to add a needed spark to the Hornets' bench and give them more support for Paul, who is also recovering from an injury-riddled season in which he missed 37 games.
The Portland Oregonian reported Friday that Pendergraph will be waived Monday if he hasn't been traded by then, suggesting that Australian guard Patrick Mills -- now that Bayless is being traded -- will survive final cuts.
The Hornets have been looking for an accomplished backup to Paul since August, when they felt they had to sacrifice Darren Collison -- in the wake of Collison's breakout rookie season -- to acquire Trevor Ariza to address New Orleans' lack of athleticism on the wings. Although Green was initially pegged to be Paul's backup, Bayless will almost certainly be handed the role now, especially when his history with Williams is factored in.
Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.