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  • Jan

    Blazers want to sue?

    Filed under: NBA; Tagged as:

    Not sure about this. Just found it very odd story.


    The Portland Trail Blazers sent an email to rival team executives late Thursday threatening possible litigation to any franchise that signs free-agent forward Darius Miles for the “purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers’ salary cap and tax positions.”

    The email cites Wednesday’s Yahoo! Sports report that if Miles plays in two more games this season, the remaining $18 million on his contract goes back on the Blazers’ payroll.

    “The Portland Trail Blazers are aware that certain teams may be contemplating signing Darius Miles to a contract for the purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers Salary Cap and tax positions,” Blazers president Larry Miller wrote in the email to representatives of every NBA team. “Such conduct by a team would violate its fiduciary duty as an NBA joint venturer. In addition, persons or entities involved in such conduct may be individually liable to the Portland Trail Blazers for tortuously interfering with the Portland Trail Blazers contract rights and perspective economic opportunities.

    “Please be aware that if a team engages in such conduct, the Portland Trail Blazers will take all necessary steps to safeguard its rights, including, without limitation, litigation.”

    Teams had been under the impression the collective bargaining agreement demanded that Miles play 10 regular-season or postseason games for the $18 million – which is split evenly between this and next season – to return to the Blazers’ payroll. But the league office confirmed to Yahoo! Sports that the six preseason games that Miles played for the Boston Celtics counts toward the 10. Before the Memphis Grizzlies waived him on Tuesday night to avoid guaranteeing his contract for the rest of the season, Miles played two regular-season games that pushed him to eight total.

    The NBA notified teams on Friday morning that Miles has cleared waivers and is officially a free agent.

    “They’re daring someone to sign him now,” said one Western Conference GM who had seen the email from the Blazers.

    Any team in the NBA can sign Miles to a 10-day contract, play him twice and punch out one of the summer’s top free-agent destinations. The Blazers are a prime destination for free agents, and the cap space also made them a fierce competitor for sign-and-trade deals. If Miles returns to the salary cap, he also will push Portland into the luxury tax. That means every team under the tax would benefit with about $250,000 of revenue sharing from Portland.

    “The point that everybody is missing is that this isn’t about Portland’s salary cap. It’s about whether this guy [Miles] is healthy enough to play or not,” said an Eastern Conference executive. “He obviously is healthy enough to play. It doesn’t matter how good he plays. He can still play, and they said he couldn’t.

    “Portland received benefits when [Miles’] injury was ruled career-ending. If he can play, they don’t deserve to have those benefits.”

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