NBA Roundtable

Blazers Close To Re-Signing Camby

In Free Agency, General NBA on April 20, 2010 at 9:46 pm

ESPN reports

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.

Done Deal

ESPN reporting that a deal has been struck and here are the final figures

According to official salary figures circulated by the league Tuesday after the deal was formally signed and obtained by ESPN.com, Camby’s extension is a two-year deal worth $17.7 million in guaranteed salary. The extension will pay him $8,453,250 in 2010-11 and $9,256,500 in 2011-12.

The deal, though, also features unspecified incentives. Camby’s agent Rick Kaplan told The Oregonian on Tuesday that the contract contains up to $5 million in potential incentive bonuses.

Strange Decision

Portland has an excellent combination at center with Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla. Add in LaMarcus Aldridge and there simply aren’t enough minutes to go around.

Someone has to make way, either Camby or Przybilla and since the Blazers are signing Camby it’s not going to be him.

Camby’s Versatility

Marcus Camby does give the Blazers big man rotation a lot more flexibility up front.

  • Marcus Camby is able to play both big man positions effectively. This allows him to be play alongside Greg Oden which Przybilla is not capable of doing.
  • Marcus Camby can play on the high post offensively. He is a good passer and has a serviceable jump shot. This allows him to provide solid spacing for either Aldridge or Oden down in the paint.
  • Marcus Camby is a lot more quickness than Przybilla and allows the Blazers to play a quick lineup + matchup better against transition teams and teams with perimeter orientated bigs.

It is going to be a lot of fun to watch Camby play alongside Greg Oden defensively. Just the thought of those two roaming around the paint, one on either side of the lane, sealing up holes and making plays defensively. Whew … those two guys are going to be a nightmare to play against.

The downsides

  • Joel Przybilla is a big muscular center who gives Portland a legitimate physical presence down in the paint.
  • Przybilla also does a better job on the backboards and in particular keeping opposing players off the glass.
  • Camby has struggled defensively against both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. These two players play for Portland’s strongest competitor in the West. That hurts Portland matchup wise.
  • Camby has also struggled against Yao Ming — the Rockets are going to Portland’s second or third (Dallas?) biggest rival in the West. Camby does, however, give Portland another guy to throw at Dirk.

Overall — In the general sense, I think Camby adds considerably more than Przybilla largely due to his ability to play both big man positions. I am worried about those specific matchups chiefly against LA and to a lesser extent Houston. Actually, no, I think the combination of Camby + Oden outweighs some of the concerns in individual matchups. Camby is the right choice.

The Contract

Marcus Camby will play a backup big man, role and if Przybilla is traded, Camby will play around 26-30 minutes a night. That will allow him to have enough of an impact to warrant a big contract. If, however, Przybilla isn’t traded and Camby is only playing around 18-22 minutes a night, then Camby will not be able to earn that deal.

Marcus Camby is 36 years old so he was probably only looking at a three to four year deal in free agency and due to the nature of the market he was looking at an MLE contract. So $18-24 million.

The Blazers reportedly are offering $20+ million over two seasons. That is an excellent offer that Camby is highly unlikely to beat elsewhere. He should take the contract.

Keeping Camby + Przybilla

This would be very good for Portland but from a general NBA viewpoint … I hope this doesn’t happen.

Marcus Camby and Joel Przybilla are too good to be playing backup minutes behind two star big men. They deserve to have major roles on good teams. So, I’m hoping Portland does choose to move Przybilla on and give him a chance to play big minutes elsewhere.

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  1. Dave, there’s an assumption you’ve made here that you made in your previous post about Oden and the Blazers, namely, that both Oden and Pryz will recover completely from their injuries.

    I think it’s important to remember that Blazers’ brass knows more than the public does (and certainly more than they release via the press) about the respective health of both players. It could be, for all we know, that either one (or both?) of these guys is not on track to return to what they once were. Honestly, if I’m with the Blazers, I’m worried about Oden regardless of the medical reports after two season-ending injuries in a row.

    I’d also add that a healthy Pryzbilla is a pretty nice trade asset.

  2. Hey brgulker,

    There were some rumblings about Przybilla’s injury possibly being career threatening.

    Also, Przybilla did have a large setback on his rehabilitation a month or so ago. He slipped in the shower and tore apart his knee (patella tendon) all over again. He had to have another surgery. Expected return to the court is sometime between September and November.

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