Thursday, January 15

The $9 million question

During Tuesday's Cavs game against Memphis, I first became aware of the situation with former Cavalier Darius Miles, a strange salary cap issue. Miles played in 6 preseason games with Boston and two regular-season tilts with Memphis before they released him. Portland is very interested in the situation because if Miles reaches the 10-game mark (preseason counts), then $9 million of his salary gets tacked onto Portland's salary cap, forcing them to pay luxury tax and damaging their salary cap flexibility.

Knowing this, according to the ESPN article:
Blazers president Larry Miller sent an e-mail Thursday night to the other 29 teams threatening litigation against anyone that signed Miles solely for the purpose of damaging Portland's future cap flexibility...

Apparently the letter was pretty strongly worded, though the NBA will not discipline Miller or the team. I wonder if Miller and the Blazers actually would have a case here? If not, wouldn't you take a flyer on Miles just to stick it to the Blazers? That seriously weakens their ability to compete, not having $9M lying around, and this is a competitive business. One team, preferably a bad one like Memphis, has to take one for the team and drop Portland down a notch, no? It's not good sportsmanship, but it's hard competition. We'll see what happens - Miles scored 13 against the Cavs and seems likely to notch two more games before long.

My favorite quote: "Our purpose here was not in any way to keep Darius from being able to play." Well, of course it was! If he plays, you're out $9 million! I know what he's saying - his goal was simply to prevent teams from signing Miles just to screw the Blazers rather than for legitimate basketball reasons. But it's still ironic for a guy to demand that no one sign a former player and claim that he in no way wanted to stop that player from playing.

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