Veteran center Joel Przybilla, who was shut out of the abbreviated free agent market in December, re-signed Monday with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Przybilla spent six-plus seasons with the Trail Blazers until being traded to Charlotte with other goodies at last year’s deadline for Gerald Wallace. He gives Portland depth at center, where the club is a tad long in the tooth.
Portland’s starting center is 37-year-old Marcus Camby. His backup is 39-year-old power forward Kurt Thomas. At 32, Przybilla is a comparative spring chicken. His presence will allow Thomas to spell All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge at power forward.
“We’ve been actively trying to get Joel to return to Portland for some time now and we’re thrilled with his decision to come back to the Trail Blazers family,” Blazers acting GM Chad Buchanan said in a statement. “Joel is a hard worker, a great teammate and a player that does the little things to help you win, all qualities that will help us down the stretch run.”
The Atlanta Hawks expressed some interest in Przybilla when Al Horford went down but ultimately signed Erick Dampier.
Przybilla averaged 4.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.54 blocks and 22.4 minutes in 395 games for the Blazers. Before joining Portland, he spent three seasons with Milwaukee.
To make room for Przybills, the Blazers waived second-year guard Armon Johnson, who had played just five minutes this season.