Friday, This Great National Nightmare Will End

This Friday, the Utah Jazz will play in Memphis.

When they do, in all likelihood, the Blazers will lose a fat chunk of cap space, and be on the hook for nearly $8 million of luxury tax this season.

That's the night newest Grizzlie Darius Miles will, in all likelihood, play his tenth game of the season, after signing a 10-day contract with the team this weekend.

The implications are varied. For Portland, it will prevent some kinds of deals over the next few weeks or next summer. They were going to be WAY under the cap next summer. Now they will only be somewhat under the cap.

But it will not stop the team from adding a fancy player in the short-term. The Blazers have one of the best expiring contracts in the League -- Raef LaFrentz's big deal comes with an insurance policy that will pay most of what he's owed. They also have all kinds of young, inexpensive, and potentially valuable assets (Travis Outlaw, Martell Webster, Sergio Rodriguez, Channing Frye etc.) that could be in the mix, not to mention all those top-shelf young assets who make up the core.

As a Blazer fan, I'm not at all worried about Portland's front office. They have given us every reason to believe that they'll make the right personnel moves. I am a little worried, however, this will touch off some kind of ugly legal battle that will not make people -- fans included -- feel good about this team.