Western Notes: Martin, Howard, Green

The Trail Blazers didn’t want to part with any of their young core of players at this year’s trade deadline, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian writes. “We went into the trade deadline trying to be opportunistic,” Portland president of basketball operations Neil Olshey told Freeman. “We wanted to gather assets. Clearly this group is really overachieving. There’s a lot of young guys that have a future and we wanted to make sure we were giving them the chance to win. We didn’t want to touch the core group of guys that have exceeded expectations. [Coach] Terry [Stotts] is comfortable with those guys, they’re doing what we need them to do on the court. But we need things in the future to continue to build the roster and that’s what we did today.

There is a chance that the team will re-sign Tim Frazier, who was waived earlier today, Freeman adds. “Tim was a casualty. He’s been great for us,” Olshey said. “He’s great in the locker room, he’s close with our guys. We told him, ‘Look, if we don’t have an opportunity to add another player at your position, we would look at bringing you back if you clear waivers.’ I can’t speak to that right now. But at the time he was the most viable candidate to be waived to create the roster spot for Anderson Varejao.” Varejao was subsequently waived by Portland.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Timberwolves GM Milt Newton said the team hasn’t discussed a potential buyout arrangement with shooting guard Kevin Martin but added that it’s a conversation that will probably come up in the near future, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune relays (on Twitter). Martin, who possesses a player option worth nearly $7.378MM for next season, was reportedly a trade deadline target of the Knicks, but the teams didn’t strike a deal. The 33-year-old has appeared in 35 games for Minnesota this season and is averaging 11.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 22.6 minutes per night.
  • The Grizzlies‘ players have let team management know that they don’t want newly acquired swingman Lance Stephenson waived, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweets.
  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey noted that the team never came close to trading center Dwight Howard, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle relays (Twitter links). “It was going to have to take something significant to make us look at anything and even then we probably wouldn’t have,” Morey said. “Part of my job is I have to explore everything. We believe in James [Harden] and Dwight together.
  • Numerous teams were interested in Howard, but any deal was contingent on the big man agreeing to opt in next season, something Howard wasn’t keen on, relays Marc Stein of ESPN.com. “Not surprisingly, as the deadline approached, several teams called stating they had worked out the trade parameters with Houston for a Dwight deal but were not prepared to give up their assets unless Dwight agreed to opt into the last year of his contract and forgo free agency. Dwight declined,” Dan Fegan, Howard’s agent, said.
  • Point guard Erick Green has officially rejoined the Reno Bighorns following the expiration of his second 10-day pact with the Jazz, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor relays (via Twitter). Reno is the D-League affiliate of the Kings.
  • The Jazz have assigned big man Tibor Pleiss to the Idaho Stampede, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be Pleiss’ fourth stint in the D-League on the season.
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