No one was happy to hear the news that Blazers forward Fabricio Oberto decided to retire Thursday due to a recurring heart condition. Known wherever he's been as a great teammate, Oberto proved it once again on his way out of Portland.
When a player suffers a season- or career-ending medical condition, he's entitled to receive every dollar he's due. But Oberto, 35, didn't go that route. In fact, after discussing his medical issues with Blazers officials, doctors and his agent, Oberto agreed to sign an addendum to his contract converting it from guaranteed to non-guaranteed.
In fact, he insisted on it, said Oberto's agent, Herb Rudoy.
"He just absolutely was adamant when we talked about it," Rudoy said Thursday night. "He didn’t feel it was correct to be there for a week and get paid for the season."
So the Blazers will put Oberto, a 2007 NBA champion with the Spurs, on waivers Friday and will be able to use most of his $854,389 salary to put towards a big man to replace him -- at least until Greg Oden and/or Joel Pryzbilla return from injuries. It may not seem like a lot by NBA standards, but remember to double it because the Blazers are paying luxury tax. Pretty generous parting gift from a guy who logged a total of 45 minutes over five games with the Blazers.
As CBSSports.com's Ben Golliver confirmed, the Blazers are expected to work out Earl Barron, Dwayne Jones, Sean Marks and Shavlik Randolph. Eric Boateng, the last player cut by the Nuggets, also will be brought in for a workout.
Meanwhile, with the injuries to Oden, Pryzbilla and now Oberto, it appears that former Net Josh Boone made a serious tactical error going to China after failing to attract free-agent interest this past summer. The Blazers tried to get Boone, a 6-10 forward, to sign a non-guaranteed deal in July, but he opted to sign with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls, instead. At this point, he'd be getting 10 minutes a game of NBA run from the injury-ravaged Blazers. Oops.