If a team were to sign the free-agent forward "for the purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers' salary cap and tax positions," the Blazers might pursue litigation, team president Larry Miller stated in an e-mail obtained by SI.com and Yahoo! Sports late Thursday night.
"Please be aware that if a team engages in such conduct, the Portland Trail Blazers will take all necessary steps to safeguard its rights, including, without limitation, litigation," Miller wrote, according to the memo.
If Miles plays two more games, then his Blazers contract, worth $18 million total for this season and next, would count against the Trail Blazers' salary cap and force the team to pay the NBA's luxury tax. The contract had been removed from salary cap and tax considerations when the Blazers deemed Miles medically unable to play and released him.
The full text of the e-mail, according to the SI.com and Yahoo! Sports accounts, reads:
" 'Team Presidents and General Managers,
'The Portland Trail Blazers are aware that certain teams may be contemplating signing Darius Miles to a contract for the purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers Salary Cap and tax positions. Such conduct from a team would violate its fiduciary duty as an NBA joint venturer. In addition, persons or entities involved in such conduct may be individually liable to the Portland Trail Blazers for tortuously interfering with the Portland Trail Blazers' contract rights and perspective economic opportunities.
'Please be aware that if a team engages in such conduct, the Portland Trail Blazers will take all necessary steps to safeguard its rights, including, without limitation, litigation.' "
Teams had believed the collective bargaining agreement said Miles must play 10 regular-season or postseason games in a season for the $18 million to count against the Blazers. But the league office confirmed to Yahoo! Sports the six preseason games Miles played for the Boston Celtics count toward the 10.
Before the Memphis Grizzlies waived him on Tuesday night to avoid guaranteeing his contract for the rest of the season, Miles played two regular-season games, pushing his total games played to eight.