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McMillan replaced, Wallace and Camby traded

'Had to face reality' - Paul Allen
by: L.E. BASKOW Nate McMillan's 6-plus-season run as Trail Blazers coach has come to an end. The team replaced him Thursday with assistant coach Kaleb Canales, who will serve as head coach on an interim basis.

Kaleb Canales is the Trail Blazers' new, interim coach.

The team has fired Nate McMillan after six-plus seasons at the helm.

"Clearly the season to this point has not gone the way we had hoped it would and after talking with Nate we decided it was best to part ways," Blazer President Larry Miller said in a team statement. "I want to personally acknowledge and thank Nate for his many contributions to this franchise and wish him nothing but the best for the future."

Blazer owner Paul Allen tweeted this: "Some tough trades today and let Nate go but had to face reality of how the season was going. Now (the Blazers) focusing on future. ... I want to thank Nate for his years of service to the team and Portland and its fans."

Canales, who was born in 1978, has been one of five official assistant coaches. He was promoted to that position in Sept. 2009, after joining the team as a video intern in 2004 and serving for three years as video coordinator.

Canales, a native of Laredo, Texas, was an assistant coach at University of Texas-Arlington in 2003-04 and assistant coach of the boys basketball team at United High School in Laredo the previous season.

McMillan's job had seemed in jeopardy in recent weeks, as the Blazers slipped to 12th in the Western Conference. They are 3-7 in their last 10 games, including Wednesday's 121-79 loss at New York, and 20-23 overall with 23 games remaining in the lockout-shortened season.

McMillan entered this season with an overall record of 246-246 with the Blazers, and his teams were 6-12 in the playoffs, losing in the first round in each of the past three seasons after failing to make the postseason the previous three years.

Big trades reported same day

The floundering Trail Blazers also traded forward Gerald Wallace and center Marcus Camby before Thursday's NBA deadline.

The Blazers acquired center Mehmet Okur, forward Shawne Williams and a first-round draft pick that cannot be in the top three this year as they sent Wallace to the New Jersey Nets.

Camby was dealt to the Houston Rockets for center Hasheem Thabeet, guard Jonny Flynn and a second-round draft pick.

To make room for the additional players, the Blazers waived center Greg Oden and forward Chris Johnson.

The oft-injured Oden has been sidelined with injuries since early in the 2009-10 season.

Johnson had played in 20 games for Portland this season. He was averaging 4.7 minutes, 1.6 points and 0.9 rebounds per game.

The 6-0 Flynn has started 89 of his 145 games since coming to the league from Syracuse. This will be his third team in three seasons. This season, he has averaged 13.5 points and 4.4 assists in 28.9 minutes. He is shooting .417 from the field and .358 on 3-pointers.

Thabett, 7-3, also is headed for his third team in three years. The former UConn standout has played in five games this season, starting none, and is averaging 1.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in 4.6 minutes.

The 6-11 Okur, 29, is in his 10th NBA season and has a contract that expires at the end of this season.

Williams, 6-9 and age 26, is in his fifth year in the NBA.

Okur has played in 17 games this season, averaging 7.6 points and 4.8 rebounds in 26.7 minutes.

Williams has logged 25 games, getting 4.5 points and 2.7 rebounds in 20.6 minutes.

Okur is shooting .374 from the field, Williams .286.

Wallace, 29, is averaging 13.3 points and 6.6 rebounds this season, and has been much more effective at home than on the road.

Camby, 37, has averaged 22.4 minutes and notched 3.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He is in his 16th NBA season.