19 February 2010
And here you thought the Portland Trail Blazers were done making moves.
As it stands the Blazers are currently playing with 14 players available, and with the recent departure of Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw to the lowly Los Angeles Clippers for a defensive Marcus Camby, Portland remains a player away from full roster capacity.
They now have until March 1 to get their 15th man.
The belief is with Blake gone and little trust in rookie Patty Mills when it comes to postseason time, Portland would choose to sign another point guard or guard – perhaps one with playoff experience.
Yet before we get into who may be on that shortlist or readily available players, here are the specifics:
The said player has to be on the roster by the March 1 deadline to be on Portland’s playoff roster. The Blazers can add a minimum player at anytime through the end of the season, but that player would not be playoff eligible.
Now that the NBA trade deadline has come and gone, no player who is on an NBA roster can be on another NBA teams playoff roster after March 1.
This basically leaves Portland with two options: sign a player from the D-League or a free agent through April 15 (date for rosters set for the 2010 NBA Playoffs) to be eligible for the postseason.
Essentially, the Blazers would be “renting” a player through the playoffs for the veteran’s minimum ($800,000 – which would be prorated at $300,000). The other option is to go the D-League route and sign a guy to 10-day contract. Likely, Portland would then sign that player to a second 10-day contract before signing them for the rest of the season for the veteran’s minimum.
As is the case every year after the deadline, a number of players are being waived around the league or are trying to be bought out of their contracts so they can be on the other teams roster by March 1 so they at least have a shot at a roster bound for the postseason.
The one name that made the rounds today in this case was Washington Wizards point guard Mike James.
As of Thursday night, James has been granted an indefinite leave by the Wiz in anticipation of a buyout. Washington had hopes of including James’ $6.6 million expiring contract in a possible trade, but one never materialized.
Word has it Cleveland, Miami and Charlotte are all interested in the now in-season free agent. There is no confirmation that Portland is interested in James at this point. His name just happens to be at the top of the point guard list as it stands.
While a list of possible D-League prospects is being compiled and will be coming in a future post, other available NBA guards/point guards range from Shaun Livingston, Brevin Knight, Mike Wilks, Jason Hart, Jacque Vaughn, Rashad McCants, Morris Almond and former Blazers Antonio Daniels and Von Wafer.
It’s only a matter of days before the Blazers round out their 15-man roster.
And the search is already underway.
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