|Blazers send off Randolph for Channing Frye and Steve Francis|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 28 June 2007 20:18|
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -The Portland Trail Blazers traded forward Zach Randolph to the New York Knicks for Channing Frye and Steve Francis on Thursday night.|
The Blazers also sent Dan Dickau and Fred Jones to New York as part of the deal.
Randolph was Portland's top scorer and rebounder last season, averaging 23.6 points and 10.1 rebounds in 68 games. He had hand surgery late in the season and missed the team's final 10 games.
The 25-year-old Randolph scored 40 or more points three times this season. He scored 30 or more points 15 times and had 36 double-doubles.
``We felt like with Zach, he's a heck of a player. He's probably going to be an All-Star in the East. But with (Greg) Oden and LaMarcus (Aldridge) and Channing Frye we have a group of young guys we can build around. ... We felt we were going in a different direction,'' Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said.
The Blazers took Greg Oden with the first pick in the draft on Thursday.
``We really felt we had to give those two guys (Oden and Aldridge) a chance to develop,'' Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. ``And the only way to do that is to get out and play.''
Frye, the eighth pick in the 2005 draft, was a first-team All-Rookie selection, but tailed off last season. He averaged only 9.5 points while frequently settling for outside shots instead of using his 6-foot-11 body in the post.
Knicks coach and president of basketball operations Isiah Thomas had refused to include Frye in potential trade packages the first year, but his contract and age made him one of the Knicks' best assets to include in any deal.
``We talked to him,'' McMillan said, ``and he is thrilled to death to be playing with these guys.''
Francis averaged 11.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 44 games with the Knicks.
Francis was acquired just before the trade deadline in 2006 with the idea that he would play alongside Stephon Marbury in the backcourt. But Francis never seemed comfortable under Larry Brown or Isiah Thomas, and left the team last season to rehab an injured knee in Houston, sparking speculation that the Knicks were trying to reach a buyout.
Randolph was the 19th overall pick in the 2000 draft out of Michigan State. In the 2003-04 season, he was named the NBA's Most Improved Player.
Dickau, a fan favorite from nearby Vancouver, Wash., averaged 3.3 points and 1.4 assists in 50 games last season. It was his second tour with the Blazers.
Jones, who grew up in Portland and played for Oregon, averaged 4.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists in 18.7 minutes in 24 games after he was acquired at the trade deadline from Chicago.
The Trail Blazers traded the draft rights to forward Demetris Nichols, selected with the No. 53 pick, to the Knicks in exchange for a second-round draft pick next year.
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