FanPost

Darius and medical retirement

There's been a lot of talk lately about Darius taking a medical retirement and the team saving money off the cap because of it. So I did a little research and this is what I found.

  1. There is a one year waiting period before anything can be applied for. Though Darius suffered a knee injury in December 2005, the latest knee injury and resulting microfracture surgery were not related to the 2005 injury. The surgery was performed on November 14 2006. It is not clear when the injury was suffered, although the Blazers stated he had not played that season because of it. So it could be as late as the end of October before the waiting period clears.
  2. Both the team and the player must submit paperwork to the league that he is retiring. The league reviews the paperwork and then approves it.
  3. Miles is waived, he comes off the roster, and a roster spot is gained. At this moment the Blazers would still be responsible for paying his whole salary and it would still count against the cap and the luxury tax. They can petition the league for both a permenant medical disability (which removes Darius's salary from the cap), and an injury exception (which would allow them to sign or trade for another player within 30 days for up to half of Darius's salary if they desire).
  4. Since Miles is one of the Blazer's six highest-paid players, his contract is part of a NBA group insurance policy. If the insurance company agrees the retirement is medical, they will pay 60% of the remainder of his salary. The Blazers would pay the rest but it wouldn't count against the cap if the disability status is approved by the league.
I think the biggest stumbling blocks to this whole thing are #2 and #3. Barrett reported before the draft that Darius was working out hard to come back. That doesn't sound like a guy that wants to retire. Or, if Darius wants to retire and the league feels he did not try hard enough to come back, they can deny the disability status. At one time retirement would have been a no-brainer, but Zach and Amare are the latest to have microfracture surgery, and both have come back.

A buyout is problematic. The Francis deal provided future cap relief because we dumped Zach's bigger contract. Buying Darius out gives you no cap relief, it just removes him from the roster.

So either Darius will play for us again, or he will be traded. Take that for what it's worth...

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