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Blake leaving Nuggets, has deal with Portland
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Steve Blake is heading to Portland, meaning he won't have to travel far to join his new team.

The free-agent point guard said today he has agreed to a three-year deal with the Trail Blazers. Though a Florida native, Blake and his family make their offseason home in Portland.

Blake averaged 8.3 points and 6.6 assists in 49 games with the Nuggets last season. He was willing to return to Denver but opted for Portland as the Nuggets were on the verge of finalizing a contract with guard Chucky Atkins.

"That's OK, if that's the direction they want to go," Blake said in a brief phone interview. "I just decided to go back to Portland."

Blake, 27, made $1.33 million last season and was seeking a starting salary close to the NBA's $5.35 million midlevel exception.

In addition to having a home in Portland, Blake is familiar with the local NBA franchise. He averaged 8.2 points and 4.5 assists for the Blazers in 2005-06.

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