Kassandra

Feb 21

Best Wishes to Ronnie Price

By Kassandra Posted in: Blazers, Kings, ronnieprice, Thunder
     
The Blazers have a new backup point guard with the trade today to acquire Eric Maynor from Oklahoma City. The deal is reportedly for a $2.2 million trade exception and the draft rights to European stash away Giorgio Printezis (drafted in 2007, the Thunder will be the fifth NBA team to hold his rights).

Eric is expected to back up Damian Lillard at the point and, perhaps, team with him on the court at times. He comes to the Blazers with a 3-1 career assist-to-turnover ratio and 23 games of playoff experience with the Thunder.

To make room for Maynor on the roster, a player had to be let go. As most know right now, that player is Ronnie Price.

When Ronnie was signed last summer, he was touted as a veteran who could come in and show leadership while mentoring Damian. In fact, it was widely reported that he had already the two had worked out several times together previously. In other words, they already had a professional relationship. It was a perfect fit. 

Blazers fans already know about the success Damian has had during his rookie year. It's spoken nationally about his poise and fearlessness. I can't help wonder what kind of boost he got from Ronnie in those areas. Not to say he didn't have an abundance of that himself, but we can only imagine how his mentor's contributions to his growth and adjustment to the NBA impacted his success. These are some of the intangibles of being a seasoned veteran, a leader and a positive locker room presence about which are so often discussed in league circles. It would not surprise me if it had a good-sized hand in it.

Ronnie Price and the Kings' Marcus Thornton pursue a loose ball.

Ronnie has been bothered by an ankle injury all season long. He's gone through a couple stretches this season where he's missed games, but he's still that veteran in the locker room which is valuable to a young team like the Blazers. He appeared in 39 games, averaging 2.7 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.7 steals in 13,1 minutes per game. He teamed with Nolan Smith to provide backup for Damian and, in my opinion, did some very nice things on the court in his short tenure with the Blazers. Some fans might have liked to have seen a little more consistency but, frankly, that's hard to do when you have such an inconsistent bench rotation as the team has had this season.

Reports were that Ronnie would like to come back and play for some team this season, and certainly would seem to want to play in the NBA beyond that. Why not? As he showed this season, he is steady and has quite a bit left to offer a team.

Faithful fans of the Blazers have a saying: Once a Blazer, always a Blazer. Sure, there may be one or two players we would like to scratch off that list, but by no means is Ronnie one of them. I will fondly remember Ronnie's time with my hometown team.

Thank you Ronnie, and best wishes for the future.

~ KMM

In Kassandra's Words features periodic blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @PDXKass
      

7 Comments

  1. Great read as always!! It's good to see Ronnie and his contribution being acknowledged. In this day and age of player movements it's far too easy to forget the impact a guy like Ronnie can have on a team both on and off the court.

    by MarkJ on 2/21/2013 8:38 PM
  2. I think this piece is dead on. I often wondered how effective Ronnie could have been this season had his ankle been at 100%; however, his mentoring of Lillard is unquestionable in my mind. I remember seeing him interact with Dame in the Orlando game and noticed how respectfully the rookie took in his advice. To me that said a lot because of how that game went for Lillard, but he still gave the vet his time. Sometimes the business side of the game has its downside. I'm excited about Maynor and appreciate all the work Ronnie put in for the organization.

    by BlazerStache on 2/21/2013 9:03 PM
  3. Hey Kassandra:
    Thank you for the blog, you hit my feeling on the matter completely.

    I was afraid the player dropped would be E Williams. and I wanted to have him for at least one year healthy to see what we have been missing.

    I think Eric will work out fine for us as we need more ball handlers to keep opponents D from swarming Lillard and Aldridge while Wesley and Batum is healing.

    by Hg on 2/21/2013 10:15 PM
  4. @MarkJ: i think a lot of people underestimate the impact a veteran like Ronnie can have on a team; especially a team as young as ours. i think Ronnie had that impact with us.

    @Stache: thanks. had Ronnie been at 100 percent, we would have seen even more than we did. let's face it, you don't stay in the league as long as he has without gaining some intelligence and having skills. i have no doubt he will land himself on someone's roster.

    @Hg: i had first heard it might be EWill, but my feeling is that Ronnie probably would not have been on next year's roster, whereas i think EWill's injury status will better determine whether we look to keep him. i am excited to see what Eric can do for us. everything i've heard about him has been positive.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/23/2013 3:58 PM
  5. Great article Kass! I liked Ronnie and wish him well. He was a great mentor to Damian and a good defender. I hope his ankles heal well and he gets a shot somewhere in the league. He was our first bench player to get 12 pts early in the season and he pretty much played hurt since preseason. Some say he'll have a career in coaching one day! He's on my "Once a Blazer always a Blazer list and it's a long list.

    by riverman on 2/23/2013 8:38 PM
  6. In Ronnie's career he's backed up Deron Williams in Utah, Steve Nash in Phoenix and Damian Lillard in Portland....not a bad resume'

    by riverman on 2/23/2013 8:40 PM
  7. @riverman: thanks. i admire Ronnie for playing like he's played this season. i think we were better for having him on the roster. that's a great resume he had by backing up those guys. i don't think he'll have much trouble finding a roster spot somewhere.

    by Kassandra on 2/25/2013 8:24 PM
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