Blazers expected to sign Randolph

The Blazers are expected to sign forward Shavlik Randolph to a non-guaranteed contract, a source informed The Columbian.

Randolph is expected to arrive in Portland on Wednesday and could be ready to play in tonight’s 7 p.m. game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Rose Garden.

If Randolph is signed, it would mark his second run with the Blazers. The 6-foot-10, 236-pound Randolph played in 10 games for Portland in 2008-09, averaging 1.8 and 1.8 rebounds. And while his numbers do not stand out, the former Duke University player quickly became a fan favorite due to his unique personality.

Randolph has played on three teams during his five-year NBA career. He saw action in two games for the Miami Heat this season, averaging 1.0 points and 3.5 rebounds. He was waived by the team Dec. 14.

Randolph is expected to fill the roster spot left void by the waiving of forward Anthony Tolliver, who was released by the team Tuesday. In turn, Randolph will hold down the position reserved for the Blazers’ hardship exemption, which the NBA granted the team Dec. 17 after guard Rudy Fernandez was sidelined with back surgery.

If signed, Randolph should provide Portland (20-13) with depth at the center position, which has been a severe weak point following season-ending injuries to centers Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla.

In the interim, forwards Juwan Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Jeff Pendergraph have filled in. But Aldridge holds down the team’s starting forward position, while Howard is an undersized 16-year veteran and Pendergraph is a rookie who missed the first 29 games of the season due to hip surgery.

In a sign of just how thin Portland’s interior has been, the Blazers gave up 60 points in the paint to the Philadelphia 76ers during a 104-93 defeat Monday at the Rose Garden.

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