December 1, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard (0) controls the ball against the defense of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Blake (5) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers Sign Steve Blake

It looks like Steve Blake, who has played on seven different teams in his 11-year NBA career, is heading back to Rip City.

As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Blake and the Portland Trail Blazers have agreed to a two-year, $4.2 million contract using the bi-annual exception. The deal has a player option for the second year.

Last year, Blake was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Golden State Warriors before the trade deadline and helped provide some stability in the backcourt coming off the bench for the Dubs. He only averaged 4.4 points and 3.6 assists per game during his time in the Bay Area, but his role as the team’s primary ball handler and facilitator off the bench helped turn Golden State’s sorry second unit into one of the league’s most productive.

Blake will most likely serve as the replacement to backup point guard Mo Williams, who was the only contributor coming off the bench for the Blazers last season. Williams averaged 9.7 points and 4.3 assists per game in Rip City last season, but there’s no indication he plans on re-signing with the Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks are one of a few teams reportedly interested in him.

Though he’s probably a bit of a downgrade from Williams, Steve Blake is capable of orchestrating an offense, as he showed in Golden State and Los Angeles, where he averaged 9.5 points and 7.6 assists per game for an injury-decimated team before being traded away midseason. Plus, once you dive deeper into the numbers, you’ll notice that Blake and Williams weren’t too different in their advanced stats:

Rk Player Season MP PER TS% eFG% FTr 3PAr TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg WS WS/48
1 Steve Blake 2013-14 1498 11.0 .508 .489 .122 .595 5.7 28.8 1.8 0.4 21.5 13.8 103 109 1.8 .058
2 Mo Williams 2013-14 1834 11.8 .507 .478 .132 .335 4.5 26.7 1.5 0.4 17.3 20.5 102 110 2.2 .056
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/10/2014.

More good news for Blazers fans already mourning the loss of Mo Williams: Steve Blake is an excellent three-point shooter who will fit in well in Portland. He’s a career 38.8 percent shooter from downtown and it was only a year ago he knocked down 42 percent of his long range attempts with the Lakers. Blake isn’t the sexiest addition in the world, but he’s got a ton of heart, is a good team player and he’s about as good as it’ll get in replacing Williams.

Since joining the league in 2003, Blake has played for the Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors. This will be his third stint in Portland after playing with the team in 2005-06 and then again from 2007-2010.

Tags: NBA NBA Free Agency Portland Trail Blazers Steve Blake

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