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User Blog

The Free-Agent Point Guards (informational reference)

This post provides a complete list of all available free-agent point guards sorted into Unrestricted and Restricted categories. Then based on Neil Olshey’s press conference remarks, I have...

Barrett Interviews Neil Olshey (Video 9 minutes)


Mike Barrett has the first interview with Neil Olshey. It's about a 9 minute video. Not much new, but more evidence that he's serious about Kaleb. Apparently he puts no value on coaching experience. If I were Matthews I wouldn't be buying a home in Portland. If I were Batum I'd be buying more umbrella's because he will be here for a while. He's either bluffing to get more for less from trading our draft picks (I hope so), or the odds are considerably higher that the Blazers will keep the draft picks than they were a week ago. I hope he drinks beer with Dragic's agent because unless Houston is willing to deal for Lowry, the PG situation could get dire next year.


Do Bad Teams Make Fewer Lottery Picks?

I hear over and over in these pages that the Blazers should rebuild the “right way”, through the draft like OKC did. It worked for them so it will work for us, right? Well, if you knew that you...


Blazers Current Cap-Space Analysis

Edited on May 30 following the draft lottery to update the previously assumed #7 pick to the #6 pick, a very small ($220K) decrease in our cap space. Here's a look at our current cap space going...


2012 Cap Space

I suspect a lot of us would like to know exactly where we are right now with 2012 cap space. So I'm posting this with the assumption that I probably have some of it wrong, but I hope this is the...


How Many Wins to Make the Playoffs? w/Poll

Nate something interesting (for a change) after the New Orleans win tonight. He said he thought the team needed 38 to 40 wins this season to make the playoffs. Just for fun I looked up a few...


Jason Quick Gets One Right

I have to applaud Jason Quick's latest article: Trail Blazers roster appears headed for overhaul It looks like it was written based on an outline from my comments yesterday. Of course it wasn't,...

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship


LaMarcus, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. [with apology to Casablanca] Get it done Paul Allen ...

New 7'1" Blazer Center Works Out


You can't teach size. It's the Thrilla ...

Przybilla: This Is Why He Came Back

Feb 26 2011 "I still think there might be a chance I can come back,’’ Przybilla said late Friday night at Portland International Airport, where he prepared to board a flight to Charlotte. "It may be next year, but I think there’s more. I don’t think it’s over just yet. I just have that hunch.’’ "Some people close to me took it hard, but man, I’ve been blessed for seven years here,’’ Przybilla said. "Like Noelle, she took it hard, but I told her, we never saw this happening, where we would establish so many memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. When I signed here seven years ago, I had one foot out of the NBA, and I didn’t expect Portland to be like this.’’ This is why he came back.

Must hear interview with Nate


Nate gets agitated and fires back at the press while talking about Batum. "There we go. You guys want to change the point guard, you wanna try and get Nic minutes ... What other way can you use him? ... He's there. So respond to that. Answer that for me." "You're there at the 2 in clutch situations. Make plays. Make plays, you're there in the most crucial part of the game. Make plays."

Stupid Question: Could Mike Rice actually know something this time?


For the last couple of days Mike Rice has been repeating that Oden didn't have a setback, and the initial reports of an additional Oden "problem" were false information. I gave that the "Rice Discount" and ignored it the last couple of days as Rice just being Rice? (Hey I love the guy, but not as a source of information.) Well, he's back at it today on twitter. It doesn't make any sense that Oden and his agent agreed to a smaller one-year deal than the QO unless there was really reason to think that Oden might not return this year (and thus possibly invoke the "can't sign the QO if you know you won't play" CBA rule). Even Nate and Larry Miller have referred to "the setback" as recently as FanFest. But perhaps the setback is just how slowly his rehab is going as opposed to an actual new or related problem (perhaps there is no new ligament problem as initially reported and that is the misinformation Rice keeps referring to). Anyway, for what it's worth here's the funny twitter exchange today: MikeRice6 "@Quanah503: @mikerice6 It's been weirdly silent on Oden and his "setback"."there was no setback. He is still on org schedule. Misinfo MikeRice6 "@DeLaShu: @mikerice6 how come they restructured Oden's contract after they gave him the QO if there was no setback?"business decision MikeRice6 "@DJBReady: @mikerice6 @Quanah503 miss info by the president/GM? really?"give link by gm or pres saying that MikeRice6 "@zers1881: @mikerice6 So u on record that Oden should be back by end of Jan as previously scheduled?"am i a doc now.

Nate to Jamal Crawford: "Let's get both of you in the rafters.'"


Quick's on a roll. First an excellent interview with Brandon, and now a great first article on Jamal. JCrossover @jwquick ---VERY cool article! Thank u!!! Nate is sold on Crawford, and is already campaigning for him to stay long term. "I told him that I'm going to coach him, challenge him, try to make him better," McMillan said. "Because my thing is to help get both he and Roy's jersey into the rafters. That's what I told him: 'Let's get both of you in the rafters.'"

Blazers' $2.3M Bayless Trade Exception Expired


Not a big deal, but when Cho dumped Bayless last year the Blazers received a $2.3M trade exception. It expired yesterday (delayed by the lockout). The Blazers also received New Orleans 2011 first round pick for Bayless, but traded that to Charlotte as part of the Gerald Wallace deal. Anyway, the $2.3M exception expired without the Blazers getting a player for it.

Blazer Media Day on Blazer TV now


Live player interviews, press conference for JC, more.

Brandon Roy: "The hardest thing is to walk away."


Quick has first interview with Brandon Roy: "You can walk away from someone who doesn't love you. And you can walk away from someone you don't love. But when the love is mutual," Roy said. "The hardest thing is to walk away."

Players & NBA Agree on "B" Issues


Not much here but these are things that were negotiated since the "tentative agreement" that ended the lockout. One caught my eye: - A minimum of 16 days off for each player during a season (beginning in 2012-13). I guess these are days the teams aren't allowed to practice and part of the All-star break. I wonder what the previous number of days off were?

NBA Media Day: Where Art Thou?


Ordinarily the big NBA media day is the day prior to starting training camp. All players are required to show up, go through media interviews, pose for a season's worth of team PR pictures, and usually take physicals behind the scenes. One fun part the last two years has been Casey Holdahl doing an online video interview with each player while taking questions from fans. Nate usually has a team dinner to kick off training camp the night of media day too. But I haven't heard anyone mention Media Day this year. If training camp starts on Friday, then it would ordinarily be on Thursday. But since the player's CBA vote doesn't end until 4 pm EST on Thursday, I don't think it can be on Thursday. So will Friday be media day, or will it just be skipped this year? Skipping it seems like a bad idea, and a missed opportunity to get fans acquainted with the new players and get the PR buzz up to speed again. Anyone heard anything?


The Great NBA Amnesty Auction

From the new CBA agreement: A modified waiver process will be utilized for players waived pursuant to the Amnesty rule, under which teams with Room under the Cap can submit competing offers to...

Can The Mighty Quinn Save Christmas?

Come all without, come all within You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn. - Bob Dylan Mark Stein reports that the NY Times says Jeffrey Kessler is out and Jim Quinn is in. This is great news for anyone that still wants to save some season this year. "The Times, meanwhile, reported that Hunter has hired Jim Quinn, formerly the union's chief outside counsel, to replace union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler and help Hunter complete the deal. Kessler has had a combustible relationship with Stern and other owners during the past few months of negotiations; Quinn played a similar closer's role in the 1998-99 lockout and is said to have good relationships with both Hunter and Stern after years of participating in such talks. One source told Broussard that it was Quinn -- a litigation lwyer with a long history of representing player organizations in the NFL, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the NHL in addition to the NBA -- who brought the parties back together Monday. ... The Times reported that the two sides have essentially resumed talks from where they were Nov. 10, working from a league-issued proposal that features a 50-50 split of revenues, shorter contracts and various restrictions on the league's biggest spenders." Ken Berger also reported on Tuesday that Quinn helped broker the deal that ended the 98-99 lockout. (Sean M posted that story in a fanshot earlier this week.) "That person is Jim Quinn, who for nearly 20 years served as lead outside counsel for the National Basketball Players Association and who helped broker the deal that ended the 1998-99 lockout. Quinn's unique perspective as a longtime, formidable and respected adversary of commissioner David Stern covers multiple collective bargaining agreements as well as the landmark antitrust lawsuit spearheaded by Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson in 1976. ... "The most favorable outcome is that they somehow get together quickly and reach an agreement so that they can have a reasonable season," Quinn said. "I hesitate to guess what most likely outcome is." "I think both sides want a settlement," he said. "I just don't know whether they can get one quickly.""

Exploring the Antitrust Implications of a Global Market for Pro Basketball Labor

This recent article from the Rutgers Law Journal is written in plain English and seems to have extraordinary applicability to the player's antitrust lawsuits against the NBA. The gist of the...


The Legal Issues and Process of Decertification - From a Sports Law Professor

Here's a terrific article on Decertification by Michael McCann a sports law professor and the Sports Law Institute director at Vermont Law School. A few of the highlights: 1. "Decertification ......

The Post-Lockout 1999 Season - "It was awful basketball"


This is an interesting look at the 1999 50 game season after that lockout. "Charles Barkley, of course, had the greatest takes on the season: "I can't play three days in a row. I can't have sex three days in a row... Those guys that you normally play 10 or 12 minutes a night are playing 25 minutes a night because there are so many games, and they can't play." Jeff Van Gundy: "Players weren’t in shape. Teams weren’t given ample time to get their teams ready to play at a high level. More injuries were suffered." Jonathan Abrams: "What ensued was some of the worst basketball ever seen in the modern era...Teams averaged just 91.6 points in 1998-99, down 4 points from a season earlier, and the lowest output since the inclusion of the shot clock. Van Gundy’s Knicks made a record-low 19 field goals in a game against Chicago. The Bulls scored 49 points in a game against Miami. The Knicks and Hawks combined for 19 points in a quarter of one game."

Deadline to Extend Batum's Contract Passes


Today was the last day to extend Batum's contract (as we did for Roy and Aldridge, but not Oden). Ordinarily teams must negotiate and sign a new contract with players coming off the 3rd year of their rookie scale contracts by Oct 31 (prior to their 4th season), otherwise the team can no longer extend their contracts during their 4th season. The team would then need to make the player a qualifying offer after their 4th season to make the player a restricted free-agent (which is where we are now with Oden), else the player becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA) after that 4th season. HOWEVER, teams expect to be granted some unspecified window of opportunity to extend players after the lockout ends, as discussed today in this article - From a practical point of view, this means that the Blazers and Batum will probably only have a couple of weeks to negotiate a new contract after the season ends and some extended-deadline occurs. While they are involved in that negotiation the Blazers will also be involved in trying to negotiate a new long term deal with Oden (so that he doesn't take the QO and become an UFA in summer 2012). And while all that is going on, the Blazers need to be in the free agent hunt for big man help using the MLE. All of those "opportunities" will most likely have to be started and finished within a 2-3 week interval, which in theory at least, could start at any time (with a CBA agreement), but most likely (IMO) will start in early January. But hey, who needs a GM? So how much do you think the Blazers will have to pay to extend Batum's contract? Or should they just lowball it and deal with him as a RFA next summer after making him the Qualifying Offer?


Math 101 - 2nd term

The players today offered to settle for 52% of BRI. One percent is worth $40M per year. Therefore, over a 6 year deal, with BRI growing at 4% per year, the players would gain an extra $531M if they...


Math 101 for the Players

On Monday David Stern will announce the cancellation of the first 2 weeks of the regular season. At that moment the Players will have lost more money this season then they would lose this season if...

Owners Latest CBA Proposal & Talks to Resume Friday


Ric Bucher of ESPN is reporting that the Owners have presented some new proposals to the players that would relax their demand on a hard salary cap under certain conditions. Those conditions would include: 1) The Bird exception (which allows teams to go over the cap to resign their own free agents under certain conditions) could only be used on one player per team per season. 2) The mid-level exception would be reduced in $ amount and length in years. 3) The luxury tax would become more severe than the current $1 tax for $1 over the limit. Bucher also reports the owners raised their offer to 48% of BRI (basketball related income) for the players, up from 46% last week. The players currently get 57% of BRI. It is also reported that the owners want to slice all player salaries by 5% this year, 7.5% in 2012-13 and 10% in 2013-14. The sides agreed to meet again on Friday and perhaps through the weekend to try to come to an agreement in time to save a full season of play. ----- Item 1) is the most interesting. Would contract extensions for players coming off the 4th year of their rookie contracts be a separate salary cap exception or not? i.e. could the Blazers extend Batum in October and still use the Bird Exception on someone else (Greg Oden) this year? Presumably matching an RFA offer would be a separate exception, but the Blazers also will want to make a long term offer to Oden under the Bird exception as well. Looking ahead to summer of 2012, the Blazers would have Felton to resign, Oden if he signs the QO, Batum if he is not extended in October, Camby (who will probably be gone by then or would just walk away), and Wallace if he doesn't exercise his player option (he probably will since its $9.5M). So eliminating Camby and Wallace as problems, that still leaves Felton and possibly Batum and Oden to resign. Batum could be resigned by matching a RFA offer (which hopefully doesn't count as a Bird exception) if not extended this year or traded during the season, but Oden and Felton would be Bird Exception candidates unless Oden is signed before then. This proposal has some very interesting complications, which could change the strategy on how to deal with Oden and Batum before the season starts this year (if it does).

Larry Coon: Why the Owners will Win


This is a must read article for those following the lockout. It succinctly sums up everyone's positions and options. It's not as one-sided as the title implies, but certainly the owners have the upper-hand and the motivation to wait for the players to cave. "The bottom line is that the NBA is no longer a league where wealthy owners with plenty of money to spend can use their teams as playthings. Recent purchasers have paid hundreds of millions of dollars, have financed significant portions of their acquisitions, and are operating on much thinner margins. These owners don't want to operate a league that continues to lose significant amounts of money. A compromise deal that does not significantly tilt the players' revenue guarantee in the owners' favor will be unacceptable." I predicted (guessed) there would be a deal in January and a partial season, but Coon is not as optimistic. "Around mid-January it probably will become necessary to cancel the entire season. The sides reached this point in 1999, barely salvaging an abbreviated, 50-game campaign. This time around it is unclear if the two sides will be able to salvage even a partial season."

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