Last week John Hollinger wrote:
The trade deadline was Thursday, but there's another deadline coming up that fans should be aware of -- the March 1 waiver deadline. Any player waived by that date can sign with another team and still be eligible for the playoffs, making it an important day for contending teams looking to ink a veteran on the cheap.
Then he named some possible waivers or buyouts including Joe Smith & Mikki Moore.
I mention this only because Hollinger references this in today's comment about the Blazers:
Cleveland and Portland surprised us with their inactivity at the trade deadline, opting to hang on to the expiring deals of Wally Szczerbiak and Raef LaFrentz, respectively. But file this one away for future use -- each team still has its full midlevel exception available. That means the Cavs and Blazers can outbid any other team for free-agent talent waived between now and March 1, a group I outlined in Thursday's Per Diem. [First link]
While each team would have to pay luxury tax on the contract, effectively costing it double, it's peanuts compared to what it would have cost to trade its large expiring contract for a big-money player whose deal didn't expire until 2010 or later.
As a result, expect those two teams to be in the driver's seat for whatever talent comes available in the next nine days.
I just thought I'd throw this to the frenzied fans who were disappointed by "no trade" and let them see that all is not lost. No, not a star, but maybe a veteran for Nate?