Darius Miller

Pelicans Re-Sign Darius Miller To Two-Year Deal

JULY 21: New Orleans has officially re-signed forward Darius Miller to a contract, per a team release.

“He has established himself as a versatile, multi-positional shooting threat & we are elated to be in position to continue to grow with him,” Pelicans executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin said of Miller. “His selfless nature, on and off the floor, makes him an ideal fit for us both in the locker room & in our community.”

JULY 3: The Pelicans will bring back veteran forward Darius Miller, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the two sides have agreed to a two-year contract worth $14.25MM. The second year will be non-guaranteed, Woj adds.

Miller, 29, has spent the last two seasons with the Pelicans after playing for two years in Germany. While his numbers dipped a little last season, he has been reliable outside threat in New Orleans since returning stateside, averaging 8.0 PPG on .417/.388/.826 shooting in 151 total games (24.5 MPG).

Outside of Nikola Mirotic, who was dealt to Milwaukee in a mid-season trade, no Pelican made more three-pointers per game last season than Miller (1.9). He’ll have a little help spacing the floor in 2019/20, as New Orleans reached a deal to sign J.J. Redick earlier this week.

Miller had a modest cap hold of about $2.9MM as a free agent, so the Pelicans will keep that hold on their books while using their cap room to add newcomers like Redick and Derrick Favors. They can then go over the cap to re-sign Miller using his Early Bird rights.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), contracts signed using the Early Bird exception must run for at least two years, which explains the non-guaranteed second year on Miller’s new deal.

Southwest Notes: Valanciunas, Spurs, Doncic, Miller

Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas is done for the season after suffering a grade II right ankle sprain during Sunday’s game against the Clippers, the team announced on Monday. While the veteran big man won’t suit up again, he made a strong first impression in Memphis after coming over in a February trade, averaging 19.9 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.6 BPG in his first 19 games (27.7 MPG) with the team.

Of course, as Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian notes, there’s no guarantee Valanciunas will be back with the Grizzlies next season. He has a player option for 2019/20, which means he could opt out and elect to sign elsewhere. Still, in an examination of the free agent market for centers, Herrington makes the case that that’s an unlikely scenario. A more probable outcome would involve Valanciunas opting into his $17.6MM salary for next season, or reaching a deal on a longer-term extension with Memphis.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • It has been a week and a half since the Spurs were said to be nearing a deal with Donatas Motiejunas, and Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas tweets that visa issues are holding up an agreement (hat tip to Sportando). The Spurs have gotten involved to try to push the process along, per Urbonas. That’s an indication that San Antonio still wants to get Motiejunas on its roster before the end of the regular season.
  • Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and GM R.C. Buford are two of the longest-tenured high-level executives in the NBA, in part due to their strong relationship with team ownership. As Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News details, with a new generation of the Holt family set to succeed their parents Julianna Hawn Holt and Peter M. Holt on the Spurs’ board of managers, Popovich and Buford are expecting a smooth transition. “We have full confidence in them,” Popovich said of siblings Peter J. Holt and Corrina Holt Richter. “They’re really intelligent, hard-working people who understand the organization. They’ve grown up with it.”
  • Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic has missed the team’s last two games with a right leg injury, but head coach Rick Carlisle remains hopeful that Doncic will get back on the court before the end of the season, writes Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News.
  • Pelicans swingman Darius Miller is dealing with a grade 1 left adductor strain, and isn’t a lock to return to the court this season. The team announced last Friday that Miller will be sidelined for a week or two.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southwest Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Southwest Division:

DeAndre Jordan, Mavericks, 30, C (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $24.1MM deal in 2018
Jordan has pretty much done his usual thing in his first season with Dallas, ranking second in the league in rebounding and anchoring the defense. One troubling development is his penchant for turnovers — he’s averaging a career-worst 2.4 per game. The one other surprising development is a plus — the career 45.9% free throw shooter has drained 70.3% of his attempts. The always durable Jordan has also answered the bell every game. Early concerns about about “selfish” play have somewhat dissipated. Dallas may not re-sign him but someone will give him another big contract this summer.

Austin Rivers, Rockets, 26, SG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $1.15MM deal in 2018
The above salary number doesn’t reflect what Rivers is actually making this season, as the Suns bought out his contract after he was traded from the Wizards. He had a $12.6MM salary in the final year of a four-season contract and only gave back $650K. The decision to hook on with the Rockets after he cleared waivers has been good for both parties. With Chris Paul sidelined, Rivers has averaged 12.3 PPG and 3.1 APG in 38.5 MPG in his first eight outings with a championship contender. Still in his prime, Rivers should be able to land a multi-year deal this summer.

Ivan Rabb, Grizzlies, 21, PF (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $2.3MM deal in 2017
An early second-rounder in 2017, Rabb has been a force in a handful of G League games, averaging 23.4 PPG and 10.2 RPG. That hasn’t translated into NBA playing time. He hasn’t played meaningful minutes in 14 games with the Grizzlies. Interior defensive issues and the lack of 3-point shot are the main reason why the athletic big man hasn’t carved out a role. Unless they’re convinced he can improve those areas, the Grizzlies will likely cut ties with him after the season.

Darius Miller, Pelicans, 28, SF (Down) — Signed to a two-year, $4.3MM deal in 2017
Miller receives lots of playing time but his offensive contributions boil down to an occasional 3-point attempt. To be fair, Miller is the No. 5 option when he’s on the floor and he’s an above-average long-range shooter (38.7 percent). His defensive metrics are subpar, which partially explains his paltry 8.42 PER, so the 3-and-D tag doesn’t necessarily fit. Miller’s 3-point shooting could be enough to land him a veteran’s minimum deal or something slightly higher next summer but there’s no big payday ahead.

Quincy Pondexter, Spurs, 30, SF (Down)– Signed to a one-year, $2.16MM deal in 2018
Pondexter remained on the roster past January 10th, fully guaranteeing his salary for this season. Pondexter, whose career has been sidetracked by knee injuries, has been praised as a positive locker room influence but he hasn’t contributed much on the court. He’s appeared in 31 games but averaged just 5.9 MPG with a majority of his playing time coming in blowouts. Pondexter will likely struggle to find another veteran’s minimum deal in the summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Southwest Notes: Miller, Gay, Morey

With a vacancy in their starting lineup, the Pelicans could look to trot out Darius Miller in their first five, Will Guillory of The Times-Picayune writes. Miller was acquired after seasoning his game abroad over the last two seasons.

Miller may be a better bet to replace Solomon Hill than Tony Allen because of the spacing issues that will present themselves with Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday in the backcourt together.

Of course free agent Dante Cunningham could potentially take that spot if he is eventually signed but Guillory notes that there’s no indication that will happen before training camp begins next week.

There’s more from the Southwest:

  • After tearing his Achilles last season, Rudy Gay is betting on himself to salvage his career with the Spurs. The forward signed for $17M over two seasons but could opt out of his 2018/19 commitment to pursue a more lucrative offer if he earns one after this year, Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News writes.
  • The NBA is more about money and winning than it is about loyalty, Dirk Nowitzki says. Dane Carbaugh of NBC Sports recently parsed through comments that the 19-year Mavs veteran made this week.
  • Rockets general manager Daryl Morey may be the NBA’s most outspoken executive, Dan Feldman of NBC Sports writes. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Morey is fined far more often than is reported, not necessarily surprising considering how quick he is to issue provocative statements through the press.

Southwest Notes: Davis, Cousins, Miller, Prince

After the trade that sent DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans last season, New Orleans’ new big man and incumbent big man, Anthony Davis, did not have much time to establish an on-court chemistry. This offseason, however, Davis and Cousins have spent a lot of time working out together in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Jim Eichenhofer of NBA.com writes.

“We’ve just tried to get in as much work as possible this summer,” Davis said to Eichenhofer. “We didn’t have that much time last season to work out with each other, because we didn’t have training camp or (many practices). So we wanted to take advantage of this opportunity, where we had time in the summer in the same city and can get in some work together, because we’ll be playing with each other a lot.”

The Pelicans have been active this offseason, inking Jrue Holiday to a long term extension and adding another backcourt upgrade in the form of veteran point guard Rajon Rondo. Davis also gave his candid thoughts on Cheick Diallo‘s play in the Summer League and his expectations for the 2017/18 season.

Below are additional notes around the Southwest Division:

  • Darius Miller signed a two-year deal with the Pelicans yesterday and it was the opportunity that enticed the 27-year-old forward. Per Scott Kushner of The Advocate (via Twitter), Miller chose the Pelicans over the Magic and Rockets because of the opportunity to “contribute to winning.”
  • The Mavericks may not be in position to contend for a championship but an exciting core with first-round pick Dennis Smith Jr. and a slew of veterans should make the team interesting, Dallas News’ Eddie Sefko writes. With Dirk Nowitzki back in the fold, Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews still in Dallas and a variety of veteran point guards, the Mavericks could surprise many next season, Sefko adds.
  • In a separate post, Sefko answers several questions pertaining to the Mavericks. In regard to Kyrie Irving‘s trade request, the scribe believes the Cavaliers All-Star heading to Dallas is a long shot as the Mavericks likely do not have the assets to swing a deal.
  • In a series of tweets, Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press says former NBA champion Tayshaun Prince is pondering a possible front office or coaching gig with the Grizzilies. However, the 37-year-old — who did not play last season — is also weighing a possible on-court return.

Pelicans Sign Darius Miller

JULY 24, 1:35pm: The Pelicans have officially signed Miller to a two-year deal with a second-year team option, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. David Pick adds (via Twitter) that – contrary to an earlier report – the deal is worth $4.3MM, which suggests New Orleans may have used a portion of its mid-level exception to complete the signing.

JULY 6, 3:19pm: Miller is expected to get a two-year deal worth more than $3MM, per Sportando (Twitter link). Of course, Miller’s minimum salary for 2017/18 is worth over $1.5MM, so this sounds like a minimum contract.

JULY 5, 5:23pm: The Pelicans have agreed to a deal with Darius Miller, according to international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s likely a minimum salary arrangement.

Miller, who won a championship at Kentucky alongside Anthony Davis, was selected in the second round of the 2012 draft by New Orleans. He spent three seasons with the team before being waived.

The small forward signed on with Brose Bamberg part way through the 2014/15 season and remained with German club through the end of last season. He thrived during his European opportunity, earning first-team honors this past season after winning the BBL Finals MVP during the 2016 postseason.

Southeast Notes: Porter, Wall, Magic, Hornets

Re-signing Otto Porter and working out an extension with John Wall are the Wizards‘ top priorities for the offseason, relays Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic. The first order of business involves Porter, who is headed toward free agency after four seasons in Washington. The Wizards have until Friday to submit a qualifying offer of about $7.4MM to make him restricted, which means the franchise could match any offer he receives. Team president Ernie Grunfeld views the 24-year-old as part of the future in Washington. “We’ve said all along that we want to keep our core group of young players together and Otto is an important part of what we’re trying to do,” Grunfeld said. “When free agency starts, we’ll see what we can do and work things out to keep him here.”

After earning third-team All-NBA honors, Wall is eligible for a Designated Player Veteran Exception that would pay him about $167MM over four seasons. Wall is already signed through 2018/19, so the extension would carry him through 2022/23. “At the appropriate time, we will sit down with John. We want John to finish his career here,” Grunfeld said. “He’s a franchise guy.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Poor drafting over the past five years has turned the Magic into a consistently bad franchise, writes Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. There’s no one on the roster who projects as an All-Star, Robbins claims, even though Orlando picked second in 2013, fourth and 12th in 2014 and fifth in 2015. Former GM Rob Hennigan had planned to build through the draft, but the front office didn’t have the eye for talent to make it work.
  • Euroleague star Darius Miller will have an upcoming workout with the Magic, tweets international writer David Pick. Miller formerly played for Brose Bamburg in Germany, and Barcelona is making a strong bid to sign the 27-year-old forward. Miller was drafted by New Orleans with the 46th pick in 2012 and stayed with the team until he was waived in 2014.
  • The Hornets will have to search for bargains in free agency, notes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte is over the cap for next season, but under the luxury tax, and will have its mid-level exception worth about $8.4MM and a bi-annual exception of around $3.3MM to spend. Bonnell suggests Darren Collison, Dante Cunningham, Raymond Felton, Patty Mills and Anthony Tolliver as possible targets.
  • The Hornets received $1.8MM from the Pelicans when they agreed to swap the 31st pick for the 40th on draft day, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

Darius Miller Signs To Play In Germany

Small forward Darius Miller has signed with Brose Baskets Bamberg, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). The third-year pro joins Gal Mekel among the ex-Pelicans signing overseas today. New Orleans drafted Miller 46th overall in 2012 and re-signed him this past summer, but the team waived him in November despite a $400K partial guarantee. Miller’s deal with Bamberg runs until season’s end, according to the team’s statement.

The Clippers appeared to have a 10-day deal in place with the 24-year-old last month, but they signed Dahntay Jones instead. The Clips have a pair of open roster spots, as our roster counts show, and coach/executive Doc Rivers has pointed to the post-deadline buyout period as the time to fill those vacancies, but it appears as though Miller is not an option for the team.

Miller saw fairly significant playing time in 2013/14, averaging 4.4 points in 16.1 minutes per game for New Orleans, but his role shrunk to encompass only 8.7 MPG in five appearances during the early going for the Pelicans this season. He was a solid outside shooter in his final two seasons at Kentucky and as a rookie, but last season his three-point accuracy dipped to 32.5%.

No Deal For Clippers, Darius Miller

WEDNESDAY, 8:32am: The team decided against signing Miller and will instead ink Dahntay Jones instead, Wojnarowski reports.

TUESDAY, 4:56pm: The Clippers will sign Darius Miller to a 10-day contract, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). Los Angeles currently has 14 players on its roster, so no corresponding move will need to be made to accommodate the addition of Miller. Miller had previously appeared in five contests with the Pelicans earlier this season, but was waived back in November.

The Clippers have been mentioned to be interested in signing Nate Robinson, should he reach a buyout with the Celtics in the wake of him being dealt from Denver for Jameer Nelson. This could make Miller’s stay in Los Angeles a brief one, though with the team possibly looking to deal Reggie Bullock and Jordan Farmar, the Clippers’ roster could change markedly over the next few days.

Miller’s career averages are 3.1 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 0.9 assists in a total of 102 NBA appearances. His slash line is .420/.351/.841.

And-Ones: Rookies, Nets, Cavs, Pelicans

The vaunted 2014 draft class hasn’t performed up to par quite yet, notes Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio. K.J. McDaniels of the Sixers is the third-leading rookie scorer, as Amico points out, but he’s averaging only 10.2 points per game and was the 32nd overall pick. There’s plenty of time for others to fulfill their promise, but this year’s crop of first-year players isn’t exactly revolutionizing the game. Here’s more from around the NBA as the league gets set to tip off a four-game night:

  • Nets GM Billy King told reporters that he’s considering “tweaks” to the roster as he works the phones, but he offered only a “we’ll see” when asked whether the team’s core of Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson was still viable. Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game has the details.
  • Pelicans coach Monty Williams felt as though he’d given Darius Miller an opportunity to show what he can do after putting him in the starting lineup last week, but he admits that Patric Young still may have had the potential to help the team, observes Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune. The Pelicans waived both on Sunday.
  • The Cavs have recalled Alex Kirk from the D-League, the team announced. The center had 16 points and six rebounds in 29 minutes for Cleveland’s affiliate Sunday on a one-day assignment.