Grizzlies to Blazers: Bite Me

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2009


With the NBA regular season nearly half over, there have been a plethora of trade rumors involving almost every team in the league. Raymond Felton, Eddy Curry, David Lee, Shawn Marion, and Mike Conley, Jr. are all big names being tossed around in the rumor wire. The media has had a field day with the Stephon Marbury dilemma—whose future with the Knicks is still at question.

However, the NBA is addressing a new controversy—something we have not seen from a professional basketball team.

Last week, the Portland Trailblazers sent an e-mail to the other 29 teams in the league threatening legal action if a team was to sign Darius Miles—who has two years and $18 Million left on his contract with the Blazers. If a team were to sign Miles, Portland would be required to pay the luxury tax.

Following the menacing letter, the Memphis Grizzlies were the first team to test the waters—signing Miles to a 10-day contract. The commissioner’s office has made it known that they will approve the signing. Miles must play in two games before the Trailblazers are presented with the $7.9 million tax. With the additional fee, the Blazers’ will take a hit to their salary cap space—putting a hurt on their off-season plans.

While the media has focused the majority of the attention on the Trailblazers and the NBA, Darius Miles is not making a big fuss about the e-mail.

"I was surprised by it," Miles said of Portland's email. "I didn't really get into it, just let it be. I let my agent, the Players Association, and the NBA take care this. I just stay away from it because I just want to be on a team and be somewhere I can call home."

You’ve got to feel bad for the guy. At this point in his career, after suffering from a significant knee injury, he’s not playing for the money. The Trailblazers are trying their hardest to keep him out of the league. Both parties could have easily resolved this issue with a contract buyout—allowing Miles to play for another team and the Blazers saving some of the money that they will lose from the Grizzlies’ acquisition.

“I want to leave this situation in the past," Miles said. "It was a bad situation for both parties. I learned from my experience there. I'll never get to a point like that with any other organization for the rest of my career. I'll never clash with any GMs or do anything like that.”

While Miles did sign with the Boston Celtics this offseason, their depth made it impossible for them to keep him with the team for the season. Memphis does not have the depth issues that Boston has, which could lead to a longer contract for Miles, depending on his play with the team.

If Miles does not get time in Memphis, it seems improbable that he will earn time with any other team. You could possibly see him exploring professional basketball overseas.

Either way, the guy deserves to play.