Thunder trade Eric Maynor to Trail Blazers
Eric Maynor had a backup role to four-year veteran Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma before he tore his ACL last January. Coming back from surgery to repair the torn ACL, Eric Maynor lost his backup job to Reggie Jackson and faded into the rotation. In fact, Eric Maynor didn’t play at all during the Oklahoma City Thunder’s last three games. Eric Maynor played just 37 games, while averaging 2.8 points and 2.0 assists in 10.6 minutes this season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired the 2009 first-round pick Eric Maynor in a cap dumping deal by the Utah Jazz at the 2010 trade deadline. Eric Maynor is in the final season of his four-year rookie contract, after which he becomes a restricted free agent this summer.
The move allows the Oklahoma City Thunder to free $2.3 million in player salaries.
The 24-year-old Eric Maynor will quickly join the Portland Trail Blazers backcourt to back-up their rising star Damian Lillard. Eric Maynor is a major upgrade over the rest of the Portland Trail Blazers bench.
“He plays the kind of style we like to play. He’s a great guy to run our second unit while being able to play with our starters. He plays with good pace, good tempo,” said Portland Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey, “he takes care of the basketball, he makes good decisions, and we also think we can experiment a little bit with he and Damian (Lillard) on the floor at the same time.”
But the Portland Trail Blazers already had 15 players on the roster, so they waived Ronnie Price on Thursday to make room for Eric Maynor.
“We just felt like by bringing a point guard like Eric who’s going to play significant minutes, we needed to waive a point guard,” revealed Neil Oshley, “and unfortunately, Ronnie was the likely candidate at this point.”
The 22-year-old Damian Lillard too agreed that Eric Maynor’s three year experience as backup to All-Star Russell Westbrook and his 23 playoff appearances (including 2011 Western Conference Finals) will be highly valued by the team.
"It'll be a lot of help just because he's been there, he's seen it all -- a lot more than I have," said Damian Lillard. "His years in the league, I think he'll be able to teach me a lot."