Report: Derek Anderson to Portland

SAN ANTONIO, July 21 -- After failing to agree on a new deal with the San Antonio Spurs, Derek Anderson is apparently headed to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The San Antonio-Express News reported Saturday that the free agent shooting guard has verbally agreed to a six-year, $34 million contract with the Trail Blazers.


According to the newspaper, Anderson became upset that the Spurs gave him a Friday deadline to accept a six-year, incentive-laden contract worth up to $43 million which did not offer the maximum allowable raises each season.

"I'm not going back to San Antonio," Anderson said. "They told me I needed to decide because there were other guys they had to sign if I wasn't coming back. I waited three weeks for them to negotiate with me, then all of a sudden they give me a deadline? That's not right."

Well over the $42.5 million salary cap, the Blazers could only offer their mid-level exception of $4.5 million with 10 percent increases annually over six seasons.

However, if the Blazers can work out a sign-and-trade with San Antonio, then they can secure Anderson to a more lucrative deal.

Sign-and-trade deals give teams more flexibility. In a sign-and-trade, the player re-signs at a higher value with his team, which sends him to his desired team for players and/or draft picks.


The addition of Anderson would be the first major move for the Blazers since Maurice Cheeks was named coach on June 27. With Bonzi Wells, who took over the starting shooting guard position from veteran Steve Smith last season, coming off major knee surgery, Anderson would likely start for Portland.

Anderson, 27, signed as a free agent with the Spurs last summer for the $2.5 million exception and was the team's second-leading scorer, averaging 15.5 points and 4.4 rebounds in 82 games.

However, the 6-5 guard suffered a separated right shoulder when he was fouled by Juwan Howard in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against Dallas and missed six postseason contests. Hampered by the injury, Anderson returned for Game 3 of the Western Conference finals, but did little as the Spurs were swept by the Los Angeles Lakers.

The loss of Anderson, who supplanted David Robinson as the second scoring option after Tim Duncan, would be a major blow for the Spurs, who had a league-best 58-24 record last season.

A 1997 first-round pick of Cleveland, Anderson spent two seasons with the Cavaliers before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.

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