I would like to clarify a statement I made in the previous Darius update, previously I stated that any player can only be signed to (2) 10-day contracts before it is required to guarantee that players contract. That is false. A team is only required to sign a player to guaranteed contract for the remainder of the year only if THAT PARTICULAR team has signed a player to (2) 10-day contracts. So in theory, every team in the NBA could sign Darius to (2) 10-day contracts and he could never have a guaranteed contract. This is slightly less appealing then the scenario I previously posted, but I think it is still a long shot.
But to be honest what are we worrying about? Even if Darius goes back on our books, we will still be ok. If you add together the contracts that the Blazers are obligated to pay next season, and we assume the salary cap stays the same (usually goes up every year, but because of the recession it is expected to stay or maybe even lower a little), the Blazers will still be $25 mil under the salary cap.
There are (4) players that the Blazers must make a decision on for next season. They are:
Steve Blake ($4.0 mil)
Travis Outlaw ($3.6 mil)
Channing Frye ($12.9 mil Hold on cap space until we renounce rights to him or he signs with someone else)
Ike Diogu ($12.0 mil Hold on cap space until we renounce rights to him or he signs with someone else)
So as one can logically assume we will keep Blake and Outlaw, bringing our available free agent cash down to 17.40 mil. This is enough to sign a superstar caliber player, but to be honest, there aren’t any out there to be had this offseason. For a good breakdown of the summer 2009 free agents, check out this article by ESPN’s Chad Ford. Tell me there is one guy in there you would want to pay 17.40 mil to next year? I don’t see it.
So let’s assume Miles does come back on our books, that leaves us with 8.40 mil. That is still plenty of money to sign a quality role player. As you will notice with NBA salaries solid, veteran role players are usually in the $5-$10 mil range. So if we wanted to go that route we could.
Another scenario, is the Blazers could broker a trade for a “superstar”. With our combination of young, cheap talent, and $8.40 mil of wiggle room under the cap, pretty much any player in the NBA could fit onto our roster (financially). Granted this is a little more difficult then just signing a free agent out right, but none the less an option to consider.
Last point I would like to make is, when my man crush Pritchard took over and began making these moves, he had a plan. And that plan originally included having Darius on our books this summer. Any of you that have listened and read as much about what Pritchard says, knows that he has been circling this summer on his calendar for years. So there is no way that he is not going to have a plan for every single scenario, not to mention the time in between the end of the season (when he will know about Darius being on our books or not) and the beginning of free agency (early July).
Bottom line is I have complete faith in our management to make the best move possible with the information available. A move that in KP’s words “doesn’t sacrifice that long term for the short term”. I’ll drink to that.