From Jason Quick of The Oregonian the other day:
Team president Larry Miller said the Blazers will probably release newly acquired forward Ryan Gomes in order to avoid taking on the remaining three seasons of his contract.
The team has until Tuesday to make a decision, but Miller said he has already told Gomes’ agent not to fly him to Portland.
On one hand, you can understand the Blazers wanting to save some money this season — about $3 million will be saved the next season alone — when they have possible contracts for Greg Oden, Nic Batum and Jerryd Bayless coming up. Sometimes, no matter how much money you have to spend, you still have to manage the luxury tax to avoid long-term financial trouble.
On the other hand, Gomes’ non-guaranteed contract is one of the most valuable trade assets in the league over the next few days, as he can save teams money on the 2009-10 season. For teams over the luxury tax, that means saving a total of $6 million. For teams that need cap space for the huge free agency run, that is a significant chunk of valuable change. Of course, it helps to have a General Manager to explore the market for such an asset, but even with Kevin Pritchard gone, there’s no reason to waive Gomes until the June 30 deadline, as you never know how desperate certain teams will get.
What this does make you wonder is how much authority Chad Buchanan and Mike Born, currently at the helm of basketball ops while the team looks for a new GM, have in discussions about roster moves. If the team had a GM right now, wouldn’t the team at least allow him to make some calls around the league before deciding on Gomes? With the best trade market in years about to open up on July 1, the team better find a GM, and fast.
But Gomes hasn’t been waived yet, and it’s possible the team is doing just what I mentioned — wait until the last minute and explore your options.