The Trail Blazers acquired what should prove to be a solid backup point guard Thursday before the NBA trading deadline, acquiring Eric Maynor from Oklahoma City. And nobody has pointed out the need for someone to fill that role as often as I have, so I'm happy about the move.
To make room for Maynor, Portland waived point guard Ronnie Price, which was a mild surprise. Price has not played consistently well as the backup to Damian Lillard but neither has Nolan Smith. Price was brought in partially because he was close to Lillard and was thought to be a mentor for the rookie and I thought that might buy him the rest of the season here. The Blazers could have waived Nolan Smith, who also has been ineffective as the backup point guard, or Eilliott Williams, a shooting guard who is out for the season due to injury.
But Price is the player who is gone. Maynor is a restricted free agent, so Portland can take him for a little test run for the remainder of the season and make a decision this summer about bringing him back to Portland in the future.
I like the addition of Maynor, who seems to be a reliable player who takes care of the ball and knows how to get a team into its offense. But I thought it was time to give up on the Nolan Smith Experience. Just me, but I'd rather have Price, a wise and grounded veteran, sitting there on my bench, than Smith. But let's face it, we're now talking about the backup to the backup point guard -- and it's not going to matter much in what's left of this season.