However............As for Miles' tenure in Cleveland, it's not that Darius was a bad guy -- the team even kind of laughed off him sleeping through practice earlier this week. Last year, though, was a waste for him. He was shocked when the Clippers traded him, and he clearly was out of sorts not playing with best friend Quentin Richardson. But while Darius is a good athlete, he didn't mature into the type of basketball player Silas wants on his team. At times, the fourth-year player could be dominating. He'd run the court, throw down monster slams. He'd come from nowhere to get huge blocks on defense that would throw the crowd into a frenzy.
But he lacked elsewhere in terms of his basketball skills. He wasn't able to develop his jump shot; his free-throw shooting was horrendous; his overall defensive skills were lacking; and his ballhandling ability was such that an experiment last year at point guard was a disaster (as much John Lucas' fault for trying such a dumb idea as Miles' for not being able to execute it).
Meanwhile..........Darius worked hard for Silas this year. He practiced with the new coach over the summer trying unsuccessfully to develop a dependable jump shot. He was a good citizen when benched for four games. For the most part, he played hard. But Darius is one player who, by coming into the league straight from high school, never had the chance to develop his proper skills as a basketball player. And it became apparent as this season played out that he just wasn't going to fit with what Silas wanted to do with the Cavs. While Miles -- LeBron's best friend on the team -- was shocked when traded from the Clippers, he wasn't surprised this time. He had been rumored to be on the block for several weeks, and seemed to take the move in stride.
To be expected...........In Portland, the Blazers will be looking for Miles to play small forward, where they already have Ruben Patterson and Rasheed Wallace. Coach Maurice Cheeks also said he may try Darius some at backup point guard, a plan that should be pointed out to him was tried and failed in Cleveland. They also look at Miles as an athletic player of "unrealized potential" who still may have a high ceiling in the NBA, and one more likely to feel at home back in the more up-tempo style of play in the Western Conference. If the new Blazer fails in what amounts to a half-year audition, the team will have lost little, as Miles is not under contract after this year.
Just as the Cavs have been reshaping their roster, so too are the Blazers trying to sport a new look. The team made a 25-point pledge to the fans that included the following criteria they would be looking for in making deals: the team would be fiscally responsible; players brought in would be of strong character; and yet the Blazers would not sacrifice talent.
From their perspective, McInnis was a serviceable player at best who had become a malcontent in recent weeks when he lost minutes after Derek Anderson returned from an injury. He follows Bonzi Wells, the player sent packing after publicly clashing with Cheeks on several occasions.
.....Blazers GM John Nash also has made no bones that he will be on the phone talking up deals right up to the Feb. 19 deadline. Of course, moving Rasheed Wallace remains the ultimate goal for Nash. If he can do that, then the Cavs won't be the only team in the deal with a totally new look from the start of the season.