I spoke by phone this afternoon with Darius Miles's agent, Jeff Wechsler, to get his reaction to the letter sent by the Portland Trail Blazers to all 30 NBA teams regarding potential legal action if a team were to sign Darius with the intent of mucking up Portland's salary cap situation.
Wechsler reiterated his earlier statement that "Darius doesn't want to affect Portland or its players" but is simply looking to "continue his basketball career." Wechsler continued, "my job is to get Darius a job" and that he currently was pursuing "multiple options" on behalf of Darius.
Wechsler would not comment regarding which teams specifically were interested or about whether Portland's letter would help or hurt Darius's chances at securing future employment. He also would not comment regarding whether he knew who leaked the letter to the media. The feeling that I came away with was: if 30 GMs received such a letter, it could have been anyone. Wechsler would also not comment publicly on whether letters of this kind are common or not or if they are usually kept behind closed doors.
Asked if he knew that the 6 preseason games that Darius played for the Celtics would count towards the 10 games needed to put Darius's salary back on Portland's cap, Wechsler stated he didn't know until the news became public earlier this week because "the 10 games was never our focus" and that Portland's cap situation was not his concern, getting Darius a contract was.
He also made a point of asking me if I saw Darius play for Memphis. I told him that, unfortunately, I only saw highlights posted on NBA.com. He seemed quite happy with Darius's on-court performance and seemed, at least to me, confident that Darius would see further action this season .
To be continued, obviously.
I will have a long practice write-up this afternoon -- complete with KP's statements on the matter, a clarifying note from Tom Penn regarding Raef LaFrentz's contract, and some pictures of the Blazers who were sporting head bands for the first time all season (in solidarity behind LaMarcus Aldridge, who suffered an ear injury against Detroit and may have to wear one as a protective measure tomorrow night against Golden State).
Check back about 3PM... worst timing ever: I have to run to a doctor's appointment.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)