Here's Chad Ford and John Hollinger of ESPN.com (Insider) summarizing their thoughts on how the NBA's new Collective Bargaining Agreement affects the Portland Trail Blazers.
How it helps: The Blazers receive a get-out-of-jail free card for the unexpectedly disastrous Brandon Roy contract, providing 100 percent cap and tax relief for what looked to be the worst contract this side of Gilbert Arenas.
How it hurts: Paul Allen can't just go buying draft picks all willy-nilly now that there's a $3 million annual maximum that teams can include in trades. Also, it would have helped if they had selected a GM at some point in the half-year between firing their last one and the end of the lockout.
Immediate impact (this season): Buh-bye Brandon, most likely. The Blazers won't be able to use their full midlevel exception, take advantage of sign-and-trades and re-sign Greg Oden unless they cut Roy loose. Plus, they save themselves a luxury-tax hit in the process. All that makes Portland one of the few teams likely to use its amnesty immediately. Note that although the MLE is less than before (a max of four years, $22.5 million), keeping that and the biannual exceptions are big for the Blazers, as they've been one of the league's heaviest users of each.
Long-term impact (future seasons): A more punitive luxury tax and penalties for repeat offenders likely either limits or entirely eliminates the so-called "SPAM" method (Spend Paul Allen's Money) the team used to build rosters in the past. It will take more than brute financial force for Allen to win his long-coveted ring.
- Storyteller laid out the Blazers' cap position entering free agency.
- Here is a list of cap benefits should the Blazers opt to waive Roy via the Amnesty Clause.
- A number of writers believe the Blazers were "losers" of the lockout.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter