Blazers trade away Miller, draft Duke's Smith

PORTLAND — The Portland Trail Blazers acquired guard Raymond Felton from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for veteran guard Andre Miller in a trade Thursday night.

The Blazers traded swingman Rudy Fernandez to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the draft rights to Jordan Hamilton, the 26th overall pick who was in turn included in the deal with Denver.

It was a busy night for the Blazers and Chad Buchanan, Portland's acting general manager after the team dismissed Rich Cho last month.

Buchanan had hinted last week that there was a lot of interest in Miller, who has a non-guaranteed contract that includes a $7.8 million team option by June 30. Miller's agent, Andy Miller, confirmed the draft-night deal.

Felton, who turns 27 on Sunday, has a year remaining on his contract that pays him $7.5 million.

Miller, 35, averaged 12.7 points, 7 assists and 3.7 rebounds last season.

Felton was traded in February from the New York Knicks to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony deal. He averaged 11.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 6.5 assists in 21 games with the Nuggets. Overall for the season he hit career highs with an average of 15.5 points and 8.3 assists.

A person familiar with the deal between the Blazers and Mavericks confirmed it on condition of anonymity because it had not been formally announced.

Fernandez announced it via Twitter: "thanks all blazers fans for ur support this 3 years!! So happy to be in the best team in the nba!!!dallas!!!"

Fernandez, 26, has spent three seasons in Portland, averaging 9.1 points over 24.1 minutes in 218 games.

This past season, he averaged 8.6 points in the regular season but scored only 2.8 per game in a first-round series against the Mavericks. He made only 4 of 18 shots.

Hamilton, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound guard/forward, averaged 18.6 points and 7.7 rebounds over two seasons with the Texas Longhorns.

As part of the deal with Dallas, Portland also acquired the draft rights for 6-foot-6 Tanguy Ngombo, a Congolese forward who has played in Qatar since 2006.

Ngombo was the 57th overall pick.

The Blazers had the 21st and 51st picks in the draft.

At No. 21, Portland selected 6-foot-2 guard Nolan Smith, who averaged 20.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists for Duke last season.

Smith declared himself eligible for last year's draft after Duke won the NCAA title, but ultimately decided to stay with the Blue Devils for his senior year.

He is the son of the late Derek Smith, who played on Louisville's 1980 NCAA championship team before a nine-year NBA career.

With the 51st pick, Portland selected guard Jon Diebler out of Ohio State.

Diebler, at 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds, averaged 12.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists with the Buckeyes last season.

He is the Big Ten's leader for career 3-pointers with 374.

Blazers President Larry Miller, who spoke briefly Thursday night before catching a flight to New York for the NBA labor negotiations, said the Blazers will now turn their attention to hiring a permanent general manager.

The team will also decide what to do about former No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden. The Blazers have until June 30 to make an $8.8 million qualifying offer if they want to try to keep the often-injured Oden, who becomes a restricted free agent.

AP-WF-06-24-11 0509GMT

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