Being a Fantasy Trailblazer

Marcus Camby will solidify a position weakened by season-ending injuries for Portland.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Starting any Portland Trailblazer in your lineup these days means checking the injury/transaction reports on a daily basis. At least life in the great northwest isn't dull.

On Tuesday, Portland completed a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers that sent guard Steve Blake and forward Travis Outlaw in exchange for center Marcus Camby.

Camby is a defensive stalwart, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2006, and a force on the glass. His acquisition by the Trailblazers will solidify a position weakened by season-ending injuries to Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla.

In their place, Portland had been forced to start 37-year-old Juwan Howard. Howard, who should have been relegated to a 10-minute role player at this point in his career, was playing close to 30 minutes a night and although he gave the effort, was not able to control the paint.

In Camby, Portland has a center who can pull down 10+ rebounds a night and make opponents fearful of shooting down low. The former star at UMass has averaged more than 10 boards-a-game in nine of the last 10 seasons and was averaging 12.1 rpg for the Clippers this season.

That's the good news.

The bad news is for LaMarcus Aldridge owners who should see his rebounding total drop significantly. He was averaging 8.3 rpg including 18 times cracking into double digits off the glass, but with Camby controlling the center position Aldridge should settle in at about six rebounds-a-night.

And more bad news.

Portland saw the return to the floor last night of star shooting guard Brandon Roy. Unfortunately, 15 minutes later he was back on the bench complaining of pain in the same hamstring that forced him to sit for three weeks. It's possible that we won't see him for the rest of the regular season.

With Roy back on the sidelines and Blake shipped to Los Angeles, the guard position will have to be manned by point guard Andre Miller and shooting guards Rudy Fernandez and Jerryd Bayless.

It looks like Fernandez (23% ownership) will get the most playing time and could have some fantasy value, particularly if you are in need of three-point shooting. It should also provide small forward/guard Martell Webster (owned in 50% of all leagues) the opportunity to shoot more. Webster averaged 9.9 ppg before Roy's injury and has averaged 13.5 ppg since. He had 28 points last night in 34 minutes of action.

Here's the bottom line. Camby will continue to do what he did in Los Angeles - rebound and block shots. Aldridge will continue to score. but his rebounding might take a slight hit. Miller, Fernandez and Webster could all have solid fantasy value over Portland's 26 remaining regular season games given Roy's injury, but you will have to continue to check the TSN injury page for the latest updates on his hamstring.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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