Blazers considering sending Mills back to D-League; hopeful for Fernandez’s return

PORTLAND — The Trail Blazers are considering sending rookie guard Patty Mills back to the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede, Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said Monday.

If Mills is demoted, the main reasons would be the return of guard Steve Blake and the fact that the Blazers want Mills to stay active and continue his on-the-court training, rather than just sit on the bench during NBA games.

Mills has been on Portland’s roster for four contests, but has only recorded five minutes of action. He took three shots, missing each attempt, in a road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 4.

Mills was called up by the Blazers on Jan. 3 to fill in for Blake, who missed four games while recovering from pneumonia.

However, Blake returned to the court and recorded seven scoreless minutes during the Blazers’ 106-94 defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday at the Rose Garden.

Blake said Saturday he has been cleared for full action by the team, and his minutes should increase in future games.

Mills averaged 30 points and shot 11 of 14 behind the 3-point line in two victories for the Stampede before being called up by the Blazers.

“He looked good when he was down there,” Pritchard said.

The 6-foot, 185-pound rookie guard out of St. Mary’s missed all of training camp and the first two months of the season while recovering from foot surgery.

In other news, Pritchard said the Blazers are hopeful that guard Rudy Fernandez will be activated for Friday’s home game against the Orlando Magic.

Fernandez has been out since Dec. 8 due to back surgery.

He is averaging 8.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 20 games this season.

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