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CLIPPERS

Clippers trade Marcus Camby to Portland

Veteran is dealt to the Trail Blazers in exchange for guard Steve Blake, forward Travis Outlaw and $1.5 million in cash.

February 17, 2010|By Ben Bolch

A day after their coach acknowledged they were out of the playoffs, the Clippers on Tuesday traded veteran Marcus Camby to Portland for guard Steve Blake, forward Travis Outlaw and $1.5 million in cash.

The Clippers were willing to part with one of the NBA's top rebounders and defenders, General Manager Mike Dunleavy said, so they could acquire two younger players while giving more minutes to forwards Craig Smith and DeAndre Jordan.

The Clippers also waived reserve guard Ricky Davis to clear a roster spot. Davis was averaging 4.4 points and 1.6 rebounds.

Blake, 29, and Outlaw, 25, have expiring contracts, but Dunleavy said there is interest in re-signing both players for next season. The Clippers could exceed the salary cap to re-sign either player without having to pay any luxury tax under the so-called Larry Bird exception.

Blake was expected to return to Los Angeles with the Clippers after they played in Portland on Tuesday night. He will undergo a physical exam and could make his Clippers debut Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center.

There is also a chance the Clippers could trade Blake for a draft pick before Thursday's trading deadline. Dunleavy acknowledged his team could make another move in the coming days but would not say who might be involved.

The 6-foot-9 Outlaw has not played since Nov. 14 because of a broken foot, but he has been cleared to practice and could play within a week.

Dunleavy called Outlaw, who was averaging 9.9 points and 3.5 rebounds this season before his injury, "a great athlete who makes big plays on both ends of the floor. It's important to have a mobile power forward to play against these different teams that try to stretch you with three-point shooting."

Blake started 28 of the 51 games he played for Portland this season, averaging 7.6 points and four assists. Dunleavy described the 6-3 Blake as "an accomplished backup point guard who put up solid numbers as a starter."

He had 20 points and 12 assists as a starter Feb. 10 in his final game with Portland.

The Trail Blazers hope Camby can help them make a playoff push while providing an upgrade over the aging Juwan Howard in the frontcourt.

Portland became desperate for help after centers Greg Oden and Joel Pryzbilla were lost for the season because of knee injuries.

Camby, a 14-year veteran, is an elite defender who was averaging 7.7 points, and his 12.1 rebounds per game this season are second in the league. He was also averaging 1.9 blocks. The Trail Blazers will have to pay $2 million in incentives on Camby's contract.

Before the Clippers departed for Portland on Monday, he sounded like someone who would rather stay put than be traded to a playoff contender.

"I know we don't have the best record," Camby said of the Clippers. "I know we're not where we want to be as a team. But my family loves the situation. My wife, my kids love the school system. But you can't control it."

After the trade, Camby said: "I think it's a great situation for myself. It's a first-class organization that really takes care of their own. I hope I can bring my knowledge of the game, and blend in these last 27 games. I'm really excited to be here."

Camby is expected to make his debut with the Trail Blazers on Friday against the Boston Celtics.

The Clippers could try to sign Camby as a free agent this summer. One team official who was not authorized to comment publicly on player movement said there was interest in such a move.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

Times staff writer Kevin Baxter contributed to this report.

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