07.29.06

Zeke Finds A Forward…Who Might Never Turn Up

Posted in Basketball at 11:58 am by

From the New York Times’ Howard Beck.

The Knicks signed the defensive-minded forward Jared Jeffries to an offer sheet yesterday, although it is possible he will never pull on a Knicks jersey.

Jeffries, who has played his entire four-year career in Washington, is a restricted free agent. Under N.B.A. rules, the Wizards have seven days to match the Knicks™ offer. (That window will not begin until Monday, when the Knicks are expected to file the paperwork with the league.)

It is believed the Knicks gave Jeffries the maximum terms allowed using the midlevel salary-cap exception ” about $30 million over five years. His starting salary would be $5.215 million.

The Wizards seem likely to match the offer. All of the Wizards™ key officials ” the owner, Abe Pollin; the president, Ernie Grunfeld; and Coach Eddie Jordan ” have said they want to keep Jeffries.

The Oregonian’s John Canzano details just how invisible the market has become for Darius Miles’ services.

On Thursday, an NBA GM told me the Blazers chances of trading Darius Miles before the season are “impossible.” Then, he said, “unless… the team was willing to part with either Brandon Roy or LaMarcus Aldridge as part of the deal.”

Take a minute with that one. Kick it around. Then, let it settle in the part of your brain that remembers how volatile, apathetic, disinterested and destructive Miles can be to a team.

There is no clean, easy way out of this for the team that gave him that awful six-year, $48 million free-agent contract two summers ago. If the Blazers trade Miles now, they will have to give up a promising young player to do so. If they keep Miles around, they put him in the center of a young, impressionable bunch.
You can cut Miles, and keep the prospects. Insiders will tell you that the franchise isn’t a fan of doing that because money is guaranteed and it sets a bad precedent. But I think letting Miles walk isn’t the worst idea around.

Miles by himself is unpalatable, but an NBA team would be willing to swallow him in order to get a sexy asset. If the Blazers had better veterans to use as carrots, they wouldn™t be here. Apparently, dangling Juan Dixon isn™t getting it done.

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