As the Portland Trail Blazers wait until July 11 to match Nicolas Batum’s 4-year, $45 million offer from the Minnesota Timberwolves, they continue to consider their options at swing guard and may finally dip into their “draft and stash” pot to get what they need.
On Friday, Blazers draftee Victor Claver moved a step closer to joining Portland when it was announced he and Valencia Basket of Spain’s ACB League have agreed on a separation.
According to a press release from Valencia, the 6-foot-9 Claver is “free to continue his career” and he has “certainly left an indelible mark in club history”.
There was no mention of the proposed $600,000 buyout from the team.
The Blazers have also not made a public comment as of yet.
The 23-year old Claver is now expected to join the Blazers and provide depth both at small forward and guard.
Developing overseas since Portland selected him 22nd overall in the 2009 NBA Draft, Claver’s debut with the Blazers has been in the works for the last year as his name has been constantly mentioned alongside Joel Freeland, another draftee the team is waiting on to see if the power forward/center is also Portland bound.
The NBA lockout certainly caused a delay in Claver’s arrival in Portland.
Had the work stoppage not occurred, there’s a good chance Portland would have come to terms with him much earlier, but having him in place for the 2012-13 season is an upgrade to the roster.
Claver can create his own shot, can stretch the floor, get out on the break and also shoot from beyond the arc.
The red flag: injuries. Claver broke a bone in his foot and missed roughly two months this past season, but Portland maintains he’s back to game shape and Claver will help the Spanish National Team compete for the gold at the 2012 London Olympics, as they are pegged as one of the favorites.
Now it appears Claver, with his release from Valencia, is also pegged as an official member of the Blazers for the upcoming season.