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Trail Blazers sign international star Rudy Fernandez

Spanish guard acquired by Portland in a 2007 Draft Day trade


The Portland Trail Blazers reached an agreement to sign Spanish guard Rudy Fernandez, it was announced today by general manager Kevin Pritchard.

“I am so excited about joining the Trail Blazers and the NBA,” said Fernandez. “The whole staff did a tremendous job making me feel like a very important team member to them and made me forget about the economic issues because of the rookie scale.

“My dream has been to play in the NBA and Portland is giving me this opportunity. I was amazed about everything that Mr. Allen, Kevin Pritchard, Coach McMillan and the rest of the guys did to show me how much they wanted me. Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, I can't wait to play with them. We will do nice things!”

Fernandez, 23, spent the past seven seasons playing for DKV Joventut Badalona in the Spanish ACB League, and is a regular member of the Spanish National Team.

“We are thrilled to finally have Rudy Fernandez in a Trail Blazers jersey,” said Pritchard. “Rudy is a tremendously talented player who has achieved great things in Spain and Europe. His work ethic and character will fit well with the culture we’ve created here, and we’re very excited to get him on the floor after the Olympics.”

Portland acquired Fernandez in a 2007 Draft Day trade with Phoenix that was finalized July 11, 2007. The Trail Blazers received the draft rights to Fernandez (selected by the Suns with the 24th overall pick) and James Jones in exchange for cash considerations.

The 6-6 guard is coming off his best professional season to date in 2007-08, when he averaged 21.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.2 steals and shot 41.0% from 3-point range in 30 league games. DKV Joventut Badalona won both the ULEB Cup and The Copa del Rey this season, with Fernandez taking home MVP honors in both competitions.

A longtime member of the Spanish National Team, Fernandez played a key role for his country in the 2004 Olympic Games (7th place), 2006 FIBA World Championships (Gold Medal) and 2007 FIBA European Basketball Championships (Silver Medal). He is scheduled to play in the 2008 Olympic Games this summer.

With the move to Portland, Fernandez will become the eighth Spaniard to play in the NBA and the third for the Trail Blazers, joining Fernando Martin (1986-87) and Sergio Rodriguez (2006-present).
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