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Rudy Fernandez Update

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Fernandez wants a prominent role as much as McGrady does, judging by the 25-year-old’s well-chronicled pining for minutes in Portland. But sources with knowledge of the Bulls’ thinking have maintained for days that they would rather gamble on trying to fit in the Spaniard -- whose 3-point shooting fills what they see as a greater need -- than the two-time scoring champ. In one of its proposals to Portland, sources said, Chicago has offered to absorb Fernandez's modest $1.25 salary for next season with cap space in exchange for a future first-round pick. Sources say Portland, however, has believed that it can do better in a Fernandez deal and is holding out for more, even though New York also balked at the Blazers' demands this week and elected to sign Roger Mason to a bargain one-year deal at the veteran minimum of $1.4 million. It’s widely assumed that the Blazers want Taj Gibson back from the Bulls, but sources say Chicago is not about to include Gibson in Fernandez talks. James Johnson is the best young player Chicago has made available.