The Blazers have a lot going on this week. They’ll be settling in to a new, post-draft roster, making contract decisions about Greg Oden, Patty Mills, and others, and dealing with the possibility of a league-wide “lockout,” essentially a labor strike, which will take place on Thursday at midnight unless players and team owners reach an agreement.
The basic issue with the lockout is money. Owners of NBA teams want to reduce the 57 percent cut that players take from “basketball-related income.” Owners also want more flexible contracts and a hard salary cap for players. There’s already a salary cap but it can be modified under certain circumstances. Not surprisingly, players are resisting these proposals. If a lockout goes through it could prevent the NBA season from starting on time.
In other news, the team has until Thursday to make offers to Oden and Mills. Without contracts, both will become restricted free agents on July 1, which means that the Blazers would be able to match competing offers from other teams. Oden’s situation hits particularly close to home for many Portlanders; he came to Portland amid much fanfare as a number one draft pick in 2007.
Are you hopeful or pessimistic about the Trail Blazers’ upcoming season? What do you think should be done with Greg Oden?