Blazers Lose the Darius Miles Salary Cap Game

Okay, yet another wrinkle in the Darius Miles telenovela. According to the latest from Adrian W. at Yahoo!, the Blazers tried to grab Miles for themselves before resorting to the now-infamous letter of intimidation. I know from fantasy basketball experience that you can't do this. But in the real world, the rejection of Portland's waivers claim was a little more dramatic, and tricky: ↵
↵⇥So determined to salvage the salary cap space that would come with the foiling of Miles' comeback from a devastating knee injury, Portland president Larry Miller and general manager Kevin Pritchard apparently were willing to stash Miles on the sideline and keep him away from other NBA teams. ↵⇥
↵⇥
↵⇥In denying the Blazers' move to control Miles, NBA front-office sources say that league executives in New York denied the waiver claim because they believed the Blazers were merely trying to circumvent league salary cap rules. ↵
↵All that makes perfect sense to me, but I can see why Portland would be pissed. No matter how much Pritchard may have brought it on himself (or been allowed to by other teams), anyone looking to sign Miles is out primarily to screw Portland ... through manipulation of salary cap rules. That's not the same as "circumventing" them, but in the same way that it would have been against the rules for the Blazers to nab Miles, another team doing so would hardly be pure in its intentions. If Miles really had a place in this league, he wouldn't get cut every third day. ↵
↵
↵Which raises another question that hasn't been discussed much: Why is Miles' injury being described like Shaun Livingston's, when in fact it's the same as Amare Stoudemire's -- or one-half of Kenyon Martin's? That might be where all this bad feelings started here. We shouldn't expect Miles to be broke down and incapable of playing 10 games, unless his conditioning is that awful. If that's the foundation of the Blazers' master plan here, you can understand why there would be a lot of raised hackles right about now.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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