The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired guard Raymond Felton from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for guard Andre Miller, while sending Rudy Fernandez and Petteri Koponen’s NBA rights to Dallas as part of a three-team trade. The Trail Blazers selected guard Nolan Smith with the 21st overall pick in the first round, and guard Jon Diebler with the 51st overall pick in the second round.
Portland also acquired the draft rights to Jordan Hamilton (taken 26th overall) and Tanguy Ngombo (taken 57th overall) from Dallas for Fernandez and Koponen. Hamilton’s rights were then sent to Denver as part of the Felton trade and Portland is currently in discussions to trade Ngombo’s rights.
“I want to acknowledge our basketball personnel staff for their hard work and thorough preparation for tonight’s NBA Draft,” said Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen. “I thought it was a very good night for the Portland Trail Blazers and our fans.
“I also want to thank both Andre Miller and Rudy Fernandez for their contributions to the team these past few seasons and wish them all the best for the future.”
Felton, 26, has career averages of 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.46 steals in six seasons with Charlotte, New York and Denver.
The North Carolina product averaged career highs in points (15.5), assists (8.3) and steals (1.67) last season while ranking in the NBA’s top-10 in both assists and steals per game.
“When you get two players who have won national championships at the collegiate level, you know you’re bringing in winners,” said acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. “Both Raymond and Nolan are as competitive as it gets, and we’re excited to call them both Trail Blazers.”
Smith, 22, played four seasons at Duke, where he was a member of the 2010 NCAA Championship team and named consensus First Team All-American, ACC Player of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP as a senior in 2011. He posted a career-high 20.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists his senior 2010-11 season.
Diebler, 23, averaged 10.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists while shooting 41.6 percent (374-for-900) from 3-point range in four seasons at Ohio State. He finished his four-year career as the Big Ten’s all-time leader for career 3-pointers.
“We really value Raymond’s leadership on the court and in the locker room,” said Head Coach Nate McMillan. “Not only can he shoot the ball with range, he has an excellent pick-and-roll game.
“Nolan proved he is a team-first player when he stepped in for Kyrie Irving at Duke this year. We really like his up-tempo style and the way he competes on the defensive end of the floor.”
Miller, 35, averaged 13.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.27 steals in two seasons with the Trail Blazers. Portland signed Miller as a free agent in 2009.
Fernandez (6-6, 185) is a three-year veteran who was drafted by the Phoenix Suns with the 24th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. His draft rights, along with James Jones, were traded to Portland for cash considerations.
The Palma de Mallorca, Spain native has appeared 218 career games (9 starts) with the Trailblazers and holds career averages of 9.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 24.1 minutes per game. As a rookie, Fernandez set an NBA record with 159 three-pointers and competed in the 2009 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest and the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge.
The 26-year-old (4/4/85) shooting guard has seen action in 18 postseason games averaging 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooting .423 from behind-the-arc. Six of those postseason games came against the Mavericks in the opening round of the 2011 Playoffs.
Koponen (6-4, 195) is a native of Helsinki, Finland and was originally the 30th overall selection of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. Portland acquired the rights Koponen from Philadelphia for the 42nd pick, Derrick Byars, and cash considerations.
Koponen spent the 2010-11 season playing for Solar Bologna in Italy. He competed in 33 games and averaged 12.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
“We could not be happier with the additions of Rudy Fernandez and Petteri Koponen,” Mavericks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Nelson said. “Rudy is an athletic, young, exciting player with significant upside. His international and postseason experience will prove to be very valuable. Petteri is a young combo guard who was a first round selection in 2007 and is developing nicely in Europe.”
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