The conspiracy theories are coming out in force with the Celtics' signing of Darius Miles. Before signing with the Celtics, Miles worked out with the Nets, Celtics, Suns and Mavericks and reports out of the workouts were very positive.
In the midst of the workouts, the Portland Trailblazers organization was doing everything it could to discourage teams from signing him. They released confidential medical information on his knee injury. They engineered a 10 game suspension to start next season for using what has been described as a diet drug. They would have loved for Miles to fail and not return to the NBA because if he plays in just 10 games this season, the Blazers are on the hook for the last two years of his contract at $9 million per year.
When Miles injured his knee, the Blazers petitioned the league for cap relief because at that time, Miles' injury was considered to be career ending. This is a sore spot for the Celtics because when Reggie Lewis died, they also petitioned the league for cap relief and were refused. It doesn't get any more career ending than death, but yet the Celtics were refused any relief after the death of their captain.
Now, with the Blazers trying to keep Miles out of the league, the Boston Celtics have signed Miles to a non-guaranteed contract and there are conspiracy theories surfacing as to ulterior motives that the Celtics might have in signing him.
One article suggests that Danny may have signed Miles as a personal vendetta against the Blazers going back to Danny's playing days with them. After the 1992 season, with his kids settled in school in Portland, Danny Ainge was a free agent but looking forward to finishing his career as a Trail Blazer. Oregon was home to him and grew up a Blazer fan and he wanted to stay there. But, the Blazers didn't make Ainge feel wanted and didn't make him a serious offer and Danny ended up signing with the Suns and finishing his career there. Could he still be holding hard feelings toward the Trailblazer organization?
There is also an article that suggests that Danny is trying to sabotage the Trailblazers' salary cap flexibility by signing Miles. Does Danny really feel that Miles can contribute or is he just trying to stick it to the Blazers and be sure that they don't have any cap flexibility to add to their great young core of players, including Greg Oden that the Celtics should have had a shot at if the lottery didn't shut them out once again.
Other theories being floated: Could Boston be angling for a free agent handled by Miles agent? Could another Western Conference team be encouraging Ainge to make this happen to keep the Blazers down? Certainly at times, Danny has earned a reputation of doing whatever it takes to win both as a player and as a GM. Let's not forget that Antoine Walker called him a snake in the grass and so there could be something to all these snake-like theories that are being floated.
But, how about this one. We know that other players have come back from microfracture surgery, Jason Kidd and Amare Stoudamire come to mind, and have been very effective. Could it be that Danny simply sees a player who has worked very hard to rehab his knee and will be able to contribute to the Celtics this season? The Celtics were looking for a player to fill the void left by James Posey, mostly on the defensive end and if healthy, it seems as though Miles might be able to do just that.
Miles is signed to a non guaranteed, make good contract. It is a low risk move with a potential high reward. If he can't play on a day in day out basis, the Celtics can just move on. But, if he can come anywhere near where he was before the injury, the Celtics will have gotten a steal. The Mavs felt that on a scale of 1-10, Miles was at about an 8 and much better than they expected so it isn't just Danny who is taking a chance out of nowhere. It certainly seems worth taking a chance, with no ulterior motives included. But, if Miles plays in just 10 games and then is cut, maybe we should revisit these theories again.