Blazers will likely sign Diener, Pritchard says

The Portland Trail Blazers are expected to soon sign veteran guard Travis Diener to fill the team’s 15th and final roster spot, general manager Kevin Pritchard said Monday.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Diener was released Monday by Indiana.
However, Portland must first allow Diener to clear waivers before he can be added to the roster.

The former Marquette standout averaged 4.9 points and 2.5 assists while playing for Orlando and Indiana from 2005-10. Plagued by a left-toe injury this season, Diener played just four games for the Pacers, averaging 0.8 points and 1.0 assists.

“Unfortunately, he struggled with injuries while with us and that held him back,” Pacers president Larry Bird said in a press release. “He’s a tough player who I’m sure will contribute somewhere in the NBA.”

While a league source said Diener was one of several players the Blazers were still watching to see if they would clear waivers, Pritchard hinted that Portland has all but made up its mind.

“I think we know who we want,” Pritchard said.

If Diener is signed, he will back up starting point guard Andre Miller and reserve Jerryd Bayless. Diener’s addition, though, would likely result in rookie point guard Patty Mills being sent back to Portland’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede. Mills has already played with the Stampede twice, and NBA teams are only allowed to demote a player three times in one season.

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