Trail Blazers threaten to sue any team that signs Darius Miles

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Trail Blazers threaten to sue any team that signs Darius Miles

 

In case you have not yet read the email sent out by team president Larry Miller:

"The Portland Trail Blazers are aware that certain teams may be contemplating signing Darius Miles to a contract for the purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers Salary Cap and tax positions," Blazers president Larry Miller wrote in the email to representatives of every NBA team. "Such conduct by a team would violate its fiduciary duty as an NBA joint venturer. In addition, persons or entities involved in such conduct may be individually liable to the Portland Trail Blazers for tortuously interfering with the Portland Trail Blazers contract rights and perspective economic opportunities.

"Please be aware that if a team engages in such conduct, the Portland Trail Blazers will take all necessary steps to safeguard its rights, including, without limitation, litigation."

 

This from the NBA Players Association in response:

The NBA Players Association has accused the Portland Trail Blazers of collusion after the franchise threatened possible litigation for any team that tries to sign free-agent forward Darius Miles.
?We are shocked at the brazen attempt by the Portland Trail Blazers to try to prevent Darius Miles from continuing his NBA career,? the union?s executive director, Billy Hunter, said in a statement released early Friday evening. ?Their attempt to intimidate the other 29 NBA teams by threatening frivolous litigation merely for signing this capable NBA veteran is a clear violation of the anti-collusion and other provisions of our Collective Bargaining Agreement. We will vigorously defend Darius? rights.?
The Blazers sent an email to rival team executives late Thursday threatening legal action to any franchise that signs Miles for the ?purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers? salary cap and tax positions.
The email cites Wednesday?s Yahoo! Sports report that if Miles plays in two more games this season, the remaining $18 million on his contract goes back on the Blazers? payroll.
?The Portland Trail Blazers are aware that certain teams may be contemplating signing Darius Miles to a contract for the purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers Salary Cap and tax positions,? Blazers president Larry Miller wrote in the email to representatives of every NBA team. ?Such conduct by a team would violate its fiduciary duty as an NBA joint venturer. In addition, persons or entities involved in such conduct may be individually liable to the Portland Trail Blazers for tortuously interfering with the Portland Trail Blazers contract rights and perspective economic opportunities.
?Please be aware that if a team engages in such conduct, the Portland Trail Blazers will take all necessary steps to safeguard its rights, including, without limitation, litigation.?
An NBA spokesman said the league had no comment on the threat. But the league did notify teams on Friday morning that Miles has cleared waivers and is eligible to be signed to a standard contract.
?Any such contract,? the league wrote in the memo, ?would be approved by the NBA.?
Teams had been under the impression the collective bargaining agreement demanded that Miles play 10 regular-season or postseason games for the $18 million ? which is split evenly between this and next season ? to return to the Blazers? payroll. But the league office confirmed to Yahoo! Sports that the six preseason games that Miles played for the Boston Celtics counts toward the 10. Before the Memphis Grizzlies waived him on Tuesday night to avoid guaranteeing his contract for the rest of the season, Miles played two regular-season games that pushed him to eight total.
?They?re daring someone to sign him now,? said one Western Conference GM who had seen the email from the Blazers.
Any team in the NBA can sign Miles to a 10-day contract, play him twice and punch out one of the summer?s top free-agent destinations. The Blazers are a prime destination for free agents, and the cap space also made them a fierce competitor for sign-and-trade deals. If Miles returns to the salary cap, he also will push Portland into the luxury tax. That means every team under the tax would benefit with about $250,000 of revenue sharing from Portland.
?The point that everybody is missing is that this isn?t about Portland?s salary cap. It?s about whether this guy [Miles] is healthy enough to play or not,? said an Eastern Conference executive. ?He obviously is healthy enough to play. It doesn?t matter how good he plays. He can still play, and they said he couldn?t.
?Portland received benefits when [Miles?] injury was ruled career-ending. If he can play, they don?t deserve to have those benefits.?

  • This reminds me of how I play fantasy football.  I'll often pick up a good player that I likely won't start just to prevent other teams from getting him.  It's called strategy.

  • Hey, I gotta say, this seems like just another BONEHEAD Paul Allen "Brainstorm", forced upon Miller.

    This makes NO BUSINESS SENSE whatsoever by Portland to pull the 'Or-Else' threat - esp. when there is ZERO legal recourse and absolutely nothing to be gained from DRAWING ATTENTION to the precarious spot they find themselves in.

    Now that he's on the Griz, it's somewhat moot - BUT If I'm the GM of any middle of the Pack Western team, and I could obtain a marginal player that could POSSIBLY help me win or even give some insurance - and ALSO severely hamper MY RIVAL from the ability to sign a quality Free Agent - if I wasn't going to do it before....this would MOTIVATE me to go right ahead and DO IT primarily because a rival is TELLING me NOT to or ELSE - with NO AUTHENTIC CONSEQUENCES!

    C'mon!  

    We're BETTER than that, Paul!

    The 09\10 Free Agents are marginal anyway!

  • ESPN.com news services

    Apparently the Memphis Grizzlies have chosen to ignore the Portland Trail Blazers' recent request.

    The Grizzlies have re-signed Darius Miles, who is attempting a comeback from major knee surgery, to a 10-day contract, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported Friday night.

    Miles

    If Miles plays in two more games this season, Portland will be on the hook for $18 million -- the amount remaining on Miles' contract, which would count against Portland's salary cap and could force the team to pay luxury tax.

    Hours before Miles cleared waivers Friday, Portland team president Larry Miller sent an e-mail to the other 29 NBA teams warning of legal action if a team takes Miles simply to adversely impact Portland's salary cap.

    Miles, who was waived by the Grizzlies on Tuesday to avoid guaranteeing his contract for the rest of the season, is expected to be back in Memphis on Saturday.

    The chance of paying the luxury tax led to the Blazers to send the e-mail, threatening legal action if a team signs Miles.

    "Please be aware that if a team engages in such conduct, the Portland Trail Blazers will take all necessary steps to safeguard its rights, including, without limitation, litigation," part of Miller's e-mail reads, according to SI.com and Yahoo Sports!, which obtained it.

    Miller tried explain his action in a conference call Friday.

    "Our purpose here was not in any way to keep Darius from being able to play," Miller said. "If he can come back and help a team to win and play at a level on the court that helps the team, we have no problem with that at all.

    "We were hearing a lot of rumblings and rumors that there were teams out there planning to sign Darius Miles specifically and maliciously to hurt our organization. This was our way of responding to that and letting folks know that we were not going to take it sitting down."

    Later Friday, the NBA players' association said it planned to file a grievance against the Trail Blazers, on Miles' behalf.

    Miles, who was the third overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2000 draft, signed a six-year, $48 million deal with Portland in 2004. The Blazers waived Miles at the end of the 2007-08 season after an independent doctor determined he hadn't recovered from microfracture surgery on his right knee in November 2006.

  • I'm listening to a report right now on "Sporting News Overnight."  The commentator, Jason Goch,  feels that Portland has no legal ground to stand on and especially against the Grizzlies.He feels the Grizzlies aren't trying to sabotage the Blazers.

  • I dont know everthing on this but i did hear that the  Blazers collected alot of money from this being a "career ending injury " ...Hearing  that this is not the case and he can play ... Well isn't that  insurance fraud ! I mean  Cmon

  • Ya Sac, maybe so & maybe a little of both....... but I hope it works.  :)

  • This is bullshit because portland made the claim that his injury was career ending... If that were the case then it would indeed be suspect to sign him at this point... but it's not the case.. Darius can still play.  So if a team were to sign him it would be because he can be a part of their squad, not because they are wanting to screw the blazers.