With the arrival of spring just days away, the Portland Trail Blazers decided to conduct a rather extreme spring-cleaning on Thursday according to the “Oregonian” as the team traded forward Gerald Wallace to the New Jersey Nets, center Marcus Camby to the Houston Rockets and fired head coach Nate McMillan in his seventh season running the team. Assistant coach Kaleb Canales, becomes the interim coach for the balance of the campaign as the franchise has now gone into full-fledged rebuild mode.
Wallace goes to the Nets in an attempt for the team to convince point guard Deron Williams to stay with the club now that Dwight Howard has officially committed to remain with the Magic next season. The forward’s production is off this year as he is averaging just 13.3 points and 6.6 rebounds, however he is a former All-Star who should help New Jersey regain respectability. The Nets send Portland their first round draft pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, as long as it is not one of the top three choices; along with center Mehmet Okur and forward Shawne Williams.
The veteran center Camby has been in this position before in his career, as a team has picked him up for the stretch drive. Houston will send point guard Jonny Flynn and center Hasheem Thabeet to Portland in exchange for Camby.
The 47-year-old McMillan, was in his seventh season as the bench boss for the Blazers; with the team decimated by the loss of Brandon Roy to retirement and Greg Oden to yet another surgery they had a 20-23 record this season. He leaves the team with a mark of 266-269. McMillan is now the fourth NBA head coach that is no longer with team they started the season coaching; as he joins the Kings former coach Paul Westphal, Wizards former bench boss Flip Saunders as well as Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni. Canales will have a tough opponent on his first night as head coach as the Blazers will take on the Chicago Bulls Friday night.