Posted by: Jazzaholic on August 3rd, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Toxic Raja is back at it again.
After feigning a prolonged injury, in the last part of the 2010-11 season, because there was a chance he wouldn’t start, he sat behind the bench. The kids did play well and turned a dismal season into some excitement, despite not making the playoffs.
Then, after a blowup with Coach Ty, he started a couple of games, before the trade deadline, to showcase him for a possible trade. The trade never came. Raja’s contract was too big…TOXIC. “Injury” again sits Toxic Raja for the rest of the season. Even when he declares he’s finally ready to play and dresses, Ty won’t play him. (Good for Ty!)
During the amnesty period the Jazz considered an amnesty for Toxic Raja. Amnesty would have paid him his full salary, minus the amount a team could claim him for off of amnesty waivers, about $1m. However, Raja would have no control over which team under the cap might claim him. A buyout would give Toxic Raja control over where he went and the Jazz would realize a small savings.
The Jazz and Toxic Raja came to a buy out agreement instead of amnesty. Toxic Raja made the announcement, it was a done deal. Now, after the amnesty period is over, Toxic Raja is reneging on his buy out agreement, because no team wants him.
Now, without the small savings the Jazz would have realized with the buyout, they have no reason to buy him out at his full salary. The Jazz are not in the luxury tax and have no chance to go below the cap, so, there’s just no incentive, unless Toxic Raja wants to live up to his agreement and save the Jazz some money and gain his freedom.
The Jazz could be pressed for the 15th roster spot and always buy him out early, but the roster is set and they can wait.
What should the Jazz do?
Here’s my thoughts.
Call Raja’s agent and tell him the agreed buyout is available anytime Raja wants it (prorated for games (not)played), but don’t bother to come to the training facilities, camp or the games. Good luck and good bye! Stay home. Go on vacation.
The Jazz will continue to try to trade Toxic Raja through the trade deadline.
Otherwise, the Jazz will waive Raja on March 1st, when he will be unable to participate in the playoffs for another team. A full year out of (playing in) the NBA will effectively end his career.
What team wouldn’t want a player who feigns injury, because he can’t start, disrespects the coach and organization, plus breaks verbal agreements?
Yup…I can see how his reputation has proceeded him and no team wants him.
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