Darius Miles Could Really Screw the Blazers
Though the Blazers (or more likely, their insurance company) still have to pay the man, that doom and gloom prognosis allowed the team to shave the remaining $18 million he's due over the next two years off the salary cap. But there's a catch: in order for the Blazers to stay in the clear, Miles can't return to the NBA -- or more specifically, he can't appear in at least 10 games over the next two years.
Trouble is, that's exactly what he's trying to do. The Boston Globe says he had "an impressive workout" with the Celtics, and the East Valley Tribune reports (via Shoals) the Suns have also inquired about his services. If he can convince some team out there to take a chance on him and he sees even spot duty this year, he could end up sabotaging Portland's master plan.
What are the chances he actually has any game left? If you remember, Miles proclaimed himself "90% healthy" last December when he was cleared to resume conditioning drills with his teammates, and it wasn't until problems with his Achilles tendon surfaced that he was officially ruled out last year.
In hindsight, it's possible the Achilles thing was just a minor speed bump, the natural by-product of resuming NBA workouts (and dropping 30 pounds) after two years of relative inactivity. And if that's the case, it's probably just a matter of who Miles ends up with, not if someone will take a shot.
Yes, there are some character issues (he'd have to sit out the first 10 games of the season for violating the league's drug policy), and even though it seems like he's been in the league forever, he's still just 26 years old. Stranger things have happened than a former lottery pick getting a second chance. He'll never be the same player he once was, but if all he costs is the veteran's minimum, it wouldn't cost much to see just how close to being that player he can get.
And if that happens, then things just got a lot more complicated for the Blazers.