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Friday, January 9, 2009
League Sends a Message About Darius Miles

The NBA sent an e-mail to NBA teams this morning.

The most obvious information was that as of 10 a.m ET, Darius Miles has cleared waivers and is a free agent.

The less obvious, but most meaningful, part of the message came a sentence or two later:

The NBA has received the email sent last night by Portland to all teams. Under league rules, teams are free to sign Darius Miles to a Uniform Player Contract if they wish to secure his services as a player, and any such contract would be approved by the NBA. 

Normally e-mails about players clearing waivers do not have those last ten words, the part about the NBA's approval. That certainly could be interpreted as a signal from the NBA to teams that if they sign Miles, they will have the League's backing over any Portland objection.

ESPN's Chad Ford has already talked to one general manager, who says he took it that exact way: As sign that the League would be supportive of any team that wants Miles to play for them.

Pure conjecture, but I also wonder if the extraneous "if they wish to secure his services as a player" could be a signal the other way -- indicating that signing Darius Miles to a contract not to play him, but to mess with Portland -- would not be so warmly embraced.