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Marcus Camby in talks to stay in Portland

If you watched last night when the Trail Blazers upset the Suns, then you know how important Marcus Camby is to Portland. He limited what Amare Stoudemire could do (he still got 18 and 8, because nobody shuts him down, but he wasn’t efficient at it). STAT’s game is about being aggressive and drawing fouls while scoring, but he only got to the line three times. Camby was smart and won that matchup.

You can see why the Blazers want to keep him. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein Camby has already opened conversations to stay in Portland.

Sources said Monday that the two sides had already been negotiating toward a new deal that would keep Camby off the free-agent market this summer. One source said a deal, if completed, would likely span two years in excess of $20 million.

Camby comes with some risk as a free agent, primarily that he is 35 this season. While big men can generally play longer and are more effective at older ages than guards, nobody sane is going to offer him more than two years. And $10 million would be a hard sum to turn down (if that number is accurate), it would be a $2.4 million raise over this season.

If he goes the free agent route, there will be other suitors for Camby. The Knicks have already hinted at interest. There would be others.

But if he likes budding young team and likes the area, he may not see a better offer than this. And he certainly makes Portland a lot better on the court.