I almost feel that if Victor Claver is still a Portland Trail Blazer on opening night this season, someone should be carrying a sign around the Moda Center that reads, "Free Victor Claver."
He's again going to be a player relied upon by Spain's national team this summer in the World Cup and has had his moments as a Trail Blazer. Granted, not many of them and none too recently. In 2012-13 Claver played in 49 games for the Trail Blazers and started 16 of them. He didn't shoot the ball well and never has in Portland. But he proved to be a smart player who moved the ball well and defended decently enough. But last season, he got into just 21 games and did little. In fact, he spent a good part of last year in street clothes and not on the active roster for games.
And many nights when he didn't suit up there were players in uniform who could not have helped the team as much as he could have -- perhaps on a key defensive possession with others in foul trouble. He could be trusted in such situations because of his experience and court sense.
I had the feeling many times the team had just already made its mind up he is not part of the future here and the young players were in line for playing time ahead of him. OK, fair enough, I guess. And I may be all wrong about him as a player. Perhaps he's just not very good.
So why is he still here?
Is he going to be paid $1.33 million during the 2014-15 season NOT to play in games again? I hope not. If a team cannot be found willing to give up a future second-round pick for him, I'd suggest waiving him. Yes, take that salary on your cap but at this point, so what? It will be gone next summer when the space is needed.
And I think by now he's served his time. Paid his dues. I'd like to see him get another chance someplace else or, at worst, go back home to Spain and not waste any more time here.