The Portland Trail Blazers do not have a general manager. But don't worry! This compressed, possibly insane free agent and trade period won't matter too much in the years to come!
Here's a look at the Blazers' salary cap levels over the past six seasons.
Blazers' owner Paul Allen has been a consistent spender, going over the luxury tax line for teams that haven't been elite contenders. (The Blazers haven't won a playoff series in the Brandon Roy/LaMarcus Aldridge era.) Whether that continues remains to be seen, as Roy's injury issues could lead to a quick retooling of the club.
Heading into free agency, the Blazers have a cap figure of $70 million with the leaguewide team salary cap set at $58 million and the luxury tax line at $70 million. Unless there's a major move with the amnesty clause (hint hint) or a trade, Portland will be restricted to about 80 percent of the value of the mid-level exception ... and that's before counting Greg Oden, a restricted free agent.
The Blazers' free agents are:
- Greg Oden (restricted)
- Patrick Mills (restricted)
Mills signed in China, which means that he won't be drawing offer sheets during the free agency period. Oden, on the other hand, will. While he's not expected to be back on the court until January at the earliest, he's still Greg Oden. If the Blazers don't lock him up before he tests the market, some team could give Portland to think about by extending a hopeful offer sheet for the former No. 1 pick.
The biggest rumor facing Portland is, of course, Brandon Roy and the amnesty clause. Reports suggest that the decision to waive Roy under amnesty has already been made; if that does come to pass, the Blazers still wouldn't create enough room to be a player in free agency without getting involved in the sign-and-trade market. As the Blazers do need another big man to help Aldridge and Marcus Camby, just having breathing space under the tax line could be incentive enough. But given that amnesty could be used on Roy next year if the Blazers wait, it wouldn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to release the two-time All-Star without seeing how a summer of rest treated his knees.
For more on Portland's future, visit SB Nation's Blazer's Edge.