The Portland Trail Blazers strengthened their backcourt with the signing of Steve Blake on Thursday on a two-year, $4.2 million deal with a player option for the second season, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
Steve Blake’s deal with Portland is a two-year, $4.2 million deal with a player option for year two, league source says.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 10, 2014
After spending the previous three years with the Lakers, the 34-year-0ld was dealt at the trade deadline last season to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore. Prior to the move, Blake was having a productive season in an expanded role as he was averaging 9.5 points and career-highs in assists (7.6) and minutes (33.0).
The trade of Blake had upset his teammate Kobe Bryant, who had a close relationship with the 11-year veteran that was exemplified by him giving “Vino Blanco” as a combination between his two self-proclaimed nicknames in “Vino” and “Black Mamba” due to his the intensity on the court.
With Golden State, Blake played 28 games with the team averaging 4.4 points and 3.6 assists in 21.7 minutes per game. In the playoffs in the first round against the Los Angeles Clippers his production was limited as he averaged 1.8 points and 0.3 assists in 7.5 minutes in the six games played.
This will mark his third stint with the Trail Blazers, a franchise where he had some of his most productive seasons as a player including career-bests in starts (78) in the 2007-08 season and points per game (11.0) the following year. Blake will fill the spot left vacant by Mo Williams as the backup point guard to Damian Lillard. He will be able to provide the team with leadership and tutelage to the younger guards such as Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
Blake will also be joining his former teammate in Chris Kaman, who signed a two-year, $9.8 million deal with the team last week. As for the Lakers, this is their third former player from last season to leave elsewhere in free agency with Kaman to Portland, and Jordan Farmar now a member of the Los Angeles Clippers under a two-year, $4.2 million.
Los Angeles was said to have interest in the veteran guard, but will have to look at other options at the position to pair alongside Steve Nash and possibly Kendall Marshall if they pick up his team option for this upcoming season.
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