Przybilla back in Portland

Free agent center, Rose Garden fan favorite, to sign

By Matt Calkins, Columbian Sports Reporter

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Expect a Rose Garden eruption soon.

Multiple sources are reporting that free-agent center Joel Przybilla will sign with the Trail Blazers. Marc Spears of Yahoo sports broke the news.

The 32-year-old, who has spent nearly six of his 11 NBA seasons with Portland, was traded by the Blazers to Charlotte as part of a multi-player deal that brought Gerald Wallace to the Rose City.

Holding career averages of 4.0 points and 6.3 rebounds, the 7-foot-1 Przybilla would likely back up Marcus Camby at the five position.

Przybilla’s hard-nosed style made him a fan favorite during his time in Portland, although he didn’t get to enjoy the adulation much over the past couple years. A ruptured patellar tendon limited the University of Minnesota product to 30 games in the 2009-2010 season, and 31 games as a Blazer last year.

Tuesday, the Oregonian reported that Portland remained a potential candidate for Przybilla’s services, despite previous reports that he had narrowed his choices down to Chicago and Miami. The Oregonian also reported that Przybilla wouldn’t likely sign until Sunday, after passing a physical.

Currently, the Blazers have 15 players under contract, which would mean they would have to waive one to accommodate Przybilla. Most likely, that player would be Greg Oden, whose most recent microfracture surgery rendered him done for the season.

Blazers acting general manager, Chad Buchanan, said he not comment on the potential deal.

Matt Calkins can be contacted at 360-735-4528 or matt.calkins@columbian.com