Mike Miller

Nuggets Waive Mike Miller

The Nuggets have parted ways with Mike Miller, announcing today that the veteran guard has been waived from the roster (Twitter link). Miller’s salary for 2017/18 would reportedly have become fully guaranteed if he remained under contract beyond Wednesday.

Miller, 37, appeared in just 20 games for the Nuggets last year in his second season with the club. The veteran sharpshooter played a career-low 7.6 minutes per game, averaging just 1.4 PPG and 1.9 RPG. During his very limited playing time, Miller still exhibited an ability to shoot from outside, making 40% of his three-pointers (albeit on just 20 attempts).

Miller’s contract with the Nuggets called for him to earn a $3.5MM salary in 2017/18, but that entire figure was non-guaranteed, according to Basketball Insiders. As such, cutting Miller allows Denver to clear that amount from its cap, opening up a little more room.

Assuming Mason Plumlee‘s cap hold stays on the Nuggets’ books and Paul Millsap‘s deal is finalized soon, the team should have about $5.5MM in cap space, plus its $4.3MM room exception. Those figures can’t be combined to use on a single player.

Northwest Notes: Miller, Jokic, Jazz, Brooks

After 17 years in the NBA, Nuggets forward Mike Miller isn’t ready to think about retirement, writes Mick Garry of the Argus [S.D.] Leader. Mitchell returned to his home state Saturday for an annual appearance at a basketball clinic and reflected on what it’s like to play professionally at age 37. “For me, it’s just a lot of fun – I enjoy playing,” Miller said. “I always will. My family still enjoys me playing, which is most important. So we’re going to keep going as long as we can. Every year is a new challenge and I enjoy those challenges. Until I quit, finding something to replace this will be hard.” Miller signed with Denver last summer, but appeared in just 20 games and averaged 7.6 minutes per night. His $3.5MM salary for next season won’t become guaranteed until July 12th.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Miller believes Nikola Jokic‘s breakout season will give free agents a reason to come to Denver. In an interview posted on the Nuggetswebsite, Miller talked about the bright future the 22-year-old has in the league. “I think the good thing that we have right now is Joker is one of those guys that everyone in the league is starting to take heed to and understand who he is,” Miller said. “He’s one of those superstars, I think he’s going to be a superstar. I think you’ll see even more growth at the beginning of this next year, that everyone just wants to play with. He plays that style of basketball. I’ve compared him a lot to Marc and Pau Gasol, I think he’s a lot like that.”
  • The Jazz have 11 players scheduled for workouts today, including UCLA big man T.J. Leaf, who is projected as a late first-rounder, relays Brandon Judd of The Deseret News. Joining Leaf at the second session will be Kentucky’s Dominique Hawkins, Central Michigan’s Marcus Keene, Louisiana Tech’s Erik McCree and Virginia Tech’s Zach LeDay. The first workout will feature Kentucky’s Isaiah Briscoe, Oregon’s Dylan Ennis, South Carolina’s P.J. Dozier, Kansas State’s Wesley Iwundu, Indiana’s Thomas Bryant and North Carolina’s Tony Bradley.
  • Several players with NBA ties were among the 25 participants in Utah’s free agent mini-camp Friday and Saturday. Tyler Hansbrough, Lamar Patterson, Cleanthony Early and R.J. Hunter are the most recognizable names, and the complete list can be found on the Jazz website.
  • Oregon’s Dillon Brooks, who worked out Saturday for the Trail Blazers, told Casey Holdahl of NBA.com that he can see a role for himself with the organization. “I got to watch Portland a lot, you get to see where you’d fit in,” Brooks said. “Especially with Portland, they’ve got two dominant guards and they need help with role players scoring. They get up and down, get into guys, it’s kind of like Oregon. The coach is kind of like [Oregon] Coach [Dana] Altman, they just let their guys play and go out there and try to compete and try to win games.”

Western Notes: Calderon, Miller, Durant

With D’Angelo Russell out of the Lakers‘ lineup due to knee woes, Jose Calderon has assumed the role of starting point guard and has pleased coach Luke Walton with his play, Mark Medina of The Orange County Register writes. “He helps stabilize the first unit that has been a different lineup way too many times this year already,” Walton said. “Just having a veteran that knows how to play and can run an offense and knock down open shots, it’s been nice to have him to lean on when D’Angelo is out.

While he’s happy with his recent bump in playing time, Calderon was content being a mentor to his much younger teammates, Medina adds. “I’m happy with the way things have been going. I’m comfortable out there every day and I’m feeling more comfortable with my teammates. I’m ready for whatever role,” Calderon said. “I’m here to help this team to win. It doesn’t matter what. If I’m on the bench, it’s the bench. If I’m playing five or 30 minutes, I’m good.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Mike Miller, 36, is happy with his role as an older veteran on the Nuggets and says he’s still having too much fun playing to walk away from the game, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel relays. “I think the one thing you’ve got to learn in this league as you get older, is there’s different roles and responsibilities and you’ll be asked to do different things,” Miller said. “For me, I’m just thankful to be in a position to still be playing this game, and still get to practice against these guys every day, still get in the games, still a lot of fun for me.
  • In a piece by Michael Pina of RealGM, the scribe examined what Eric Gordon brings to the Rockets, his value as a player and what he can do to successfully resurrect his career in Houston this season.
  • Warriors offseason signee Kevin Durant is finally getting used to his new home in Golden State, and the forward chatted with Chris Haynes of ESPN.com about a number of the issues and difficulties he faced in relocating from OKC to the West Coast.

Eastern Notes: Nets, Cavaliers, Wizards

Beau Beech’s long-range shooting ability gives him a chance to stick with the Nets, according to an in-depth analysis by NetsDaily.com’s Bryan Fonseca. The 6’9” Beech, who went undrafted out of the University of North Florida, received a partially guaranteed contract from Brooklyn. Beech’s main attribute is his jumper and he’s supremely confident when he sets up beyond the arc, Fonseca’s film study reveals. He should be very effective in transition but doesn’t create his own shot very much, Fonseca continues. If Beech can become a defensive factor, he can play in the league, though he’ll likely spend most of next season in the D League, Fonseca adds.

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • Nets guard Greivis Vasquez has pulled out of the Rio Olympics for medical reasons, NetsDaily.com relayed via Vasquez’s Twitter account. Vasquez underwent ankle surgery over the winter and missed most of the season while on the Bucks’ roster. Vasquez, who was on the Venezuelan team, did not indicate if he would be ready by training camp, NetsDaily adds. Vasquez, who is expected to back up Jeremy Lin, signed a one-year deal with Brooklyn on July 13th.
  • The Cavaliers allowed two trade exceptions to expire, Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net reports. The exceptions were created when they dealt Mike Miller and Brendan Haywood to the Trail Blazers last summer. The exception created by trading Miller was worth $2.8MM, while Haywood’s exception was originally $10.5MM. There was only $2.3MM remaining on Haywood’s exception, as the Cavs used the bulk of it to acquire Channing Frye from the Magic at the trade deadline.
  • The Wizards don’t plan on paying any more players to attend training camp, according to J. Michael of CSNMidatlantic.com. Washington’s front office will only offer non-guaranteed camp deals, Michael continues, because they already have four players on partially-guaranteed contracts to go along with a dozen more on fully guaranteed deals. Jarell Eddie, Danuel House, Sheldon McClellan and Daniel Ochefu are the players with partial guarantees. Center Micheal Eric, who played on the Wizards’ summer league team, is unlikely to attend their camp because he’s looking for guaranteed money, Michael adds.

Contract Details: Gee, Frazier, M. Miller, Canaan

When the Pelicans re-signed Alonzo Gee, it appeared that they gave him a minimum-salary deal, which would have been worth $1,315,448. However, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter), Gee’s one-year deal is actually worth $1.4MM. It’s a curious move for New Orleans, one with no obvious explanation — a minimum-salary pact for Gee would have only cost the Pelicans a cap hit of about $980K, so the $85K pay bump for the veteran forward actually costs the team over $400K.

Gee had previously declined a player option for the 2016/17 season with the Pelicans. If he had exercised that option, he would have earned $1,379,400 for the upcoming year, so perhaps New Orleans agreed to give him a slight raise to allow him to save face on that decision.

Here are several more contract details on recently-signed contracts, via Pincus:

  • The Pelicans used a portion of their room exception to complete Tim Frazier‘s two-year, $4.09MM deal, tweets Pincus. The signing leaves New Orleans with $808K still available on that room exception. Pincus also notes that the Pelicans renounced Frazier’s qualifying offer before re-signing him, technically making him an unrestricted free agent, rather than an RFA.
  • When Terrence Jones agreed to sign with the Pelicans, it was expected to be a minimum-salary deal unless the club could create more cap room to give him some extra money. That didn’t end up happening, so Jones got the minimum, says Pincus (via Twitter).
  • Initially reported to be worth $5MM over two years, Mike Miller‘s two-year pact with the Nuggets is actually for $7MM, according to Pincus (via Twitter). However, the second year is fully non-guaranteed.
  • Brandon Paul received a two-year, minimum-salary contract from the Sixers that includes a $155K guarantee in year one, per Pincus (Twitter links). Philadelphia holds a team option on year two, which will be non-guaranteed even if the team picks up that option.
  • Pincus provides details on a couple more minimum-salary contracts with partial guarantees, reporting (via Twitter) that D.J. Stephens got $35K from the Grizzlies, while Isaiah Canaan will have a $200K guarantee from the Bulls for 2017/18 — Canaan’s 2016/17 salary is fully guaranteed.

Heat Notes: Green, James, Wade, Riley

The addition of James Johnson, Derrick Williams and Wayne Ellington left no room in Miami for Gerald Green, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Green, who agreed to terms with the Celtics this morning, spent one season in Miami and saw his playing time decline steadily as the year wore on. He appeared in 69 games, starting 14, and averaged 8.9 points per night. Green had expressed a desire to return to Miami, Winderman writes, and the Heat could have offered the same $1.4MM deal he received from Boston. Miami made it clear that the 30-year-old swingman wasn’t in its plans by signing Johnson, Williams and Ellington to be part of an already crowded rotation that includes Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Tyler JohnsonAmar’e Stoudemire and Dorell Wright are now the only remaining unsigned free agents from the 2015/16 roster.

There’s more news out of Miami:  

  • As players become more powerful, the idea of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul on the same team becomes more likely, Winderman writes in another piece. During the season, James speculated on the possibility of the four friends someday joining forces.
  • Team president Pat Riley recently offered some insight on teaming up James, Wade and Chris Bosh in 2010, Winderman relates in the same article. All three were slated to get max deals of $16.5MM per season, but they wanted to add Mike Miller and re-sign Udonis Haslem. Eventually, Wade volunteered to take less money, and James and Bosh agreed to sign-and trades. “The interesting part is on July 9th, they all agreed to come in on five-year deals, room only, so I didn’t have to give up any assets,” Riley said. “Then, at the 11th hour, they all wanted the sixth year. You know what that cost me and Andy [Elisburg, the Heat’s general manager]? That cost us four picks. I just said to them, ‘If you want the sixth year because I know you’re going to opt out after the fourth anyhow, but if you want the sixth year, I don’t want any of you to walk into my office and say, ‘Hey, can we get any young guys around here? Can we get some draft picks around here?’ Because they were gone.”
  • Riley’s decision to add more physical players this offseason was likely a matter of taking what was available on the market, rather than a strategy, Winderman writes in a separate piece. Winderman’s comment came in response to a reader’s question on whether acquiring Johnson, Williams, Luke Babbitt and Willie Reed would make the Heat more like the roster Riley had with the Knicks.

Nuggets Re-Sign Mike Miller

JULY 21st: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

JULY 18th: The Nuggets will re-sign Mike Miller to a two-year deal, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). Miller will receive more than $5MM over the length of the deal, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link).

Miller played sparingly for the Nuggets last season, seeing 7.9 minutes per game over 47 contests. He shot just 35.5% from behind the arc, down from his career mark of 40.7%.

The Nuggets entered the day with 17 players under contract, as the team’s depth chart at Roster Resource indicates. Juan Hernangomez and Petr Cornelie are included on that list, although both are expected to play overseas next season. Miller will likely make the team and play sparingly again, while serving as a veteran mentor for the franchise’s young talent.

And-Ones: Spurs, Celtics, Sixers, Pistons, Nuggets

Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili aren’t certain whether they’ll retire, as Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com details, but they’re not the only Spurs liable to hang it up in the wake of the team’s playoff elimination Thursday night. Andre Miller has strongly considered retirement, though he, too, hasn’t made up his mind yet, as he told Marc Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). San Antonio’s contract with the 40-year-old Miller expires at the end of next month while Duncan, also 40, and Ginobili, who turns 39 in July, have player options. David West also has a player option, and though he turns 36 over the offseason, the talk surrounding him isn’t of retirement but of the lack of regrets he has about sacrificing roughly $11MM to sign his two-year minimum-salary contract with San Antonio last summer, as Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio News-Express relays (Twitter links).

“It’s been a great experience,” West said of his season with the Spurs. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

See more from around the NBA:

  • The Celtics, Sixers, Pistons, Nuggets, Pacers and Trail Blazers all benefited this season from set-off rights, reducing their obligations to waived players who had guaranteed salary remaining on their contracts, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders details. Boston saved $620,306 from the money it owed David Lee because he signed a deal with the Mavs that paid more than $845,059, a figure equivalent to the one-year veteran’s minimum salary, Pincus writes. The Sixers saved $227,241 on JaVale McGee the same way. The Nuggets were spared $68,144 on Pablo Prigioni, the Pacers avoided paying $159,900 to Toney Douglas and the Trail Blazers shaved $327,064 from their bill for Mike Miller, according to Pincus. The Pistons saved $341,353 on Josh Smith, though that figure will be spread evenly over each season of the five-year obligation Detroit still has to him because the team used the stretch provision.
  • The Pistons also got cap relief for Aaron Gray, whom they owe $452,049 each season from 2015/16 through 2017/18, Pincus points out. Gray had to retire because of a heart condition, but a team can remove the cap hit for a player who had to retire because of a medical reason one year after his final game. Gray last played in 2014. Detroit still must pay the money to Gray, but it doesn’t count against the team’s cap, Pincus notes.
  • Agent Jason Glushon and the Wasserman agency mutually agreed to part ways, and Glushon will start his own agency, a source told Spears (Twitter link). Glushon has a short list of clients, with none more prominent than Hawks soon-to-be free agent Al Horford, who left Wasserman, Glushon and B.J. Armstrong to sign with Bill Duffy of BDA Sports last fall only to rejoin Wasserman a couple of months later. Jrue Holiday and Norman Powell are other Glushon clients.

Northwest Notes: Miller, Harkless, Wiggins

Nuggets coach Michael Malone gushed about Mike Miller this week, and the team would like to re-sign him when he again becomes a free agent this summer, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Malone is willing to have him back even as an assistant coach, but Miller believes he can continue to play. The 36-year-old who’s in his 16th NBA season isn’t sure whether he’ll re-sign with Denver and said he’d like to play more minutes than the career-low 7.8 he’s seen this season, an unlikely proposition if he returns to the Nuggets, according to Dempsey. Still, Miller said he’s in a “good situation” in Denver and added that he’s learned a lot from Malone. “I just can’t speak enough about his work ethic, his example that he sets every day,” Malone said. “Even [Thursday]. This was practice No. 118. Even [Thursday], three games to go, Mike Miller is in here, working hard, setting the example. I don’t think you can have enough guys like that. The fact that he has two world championships, sixth man of the year, rookie of the year. … I’d love to have Mike back. I think he’s been a tremendous help for me, the staff and all of our players. I hope he’s a Nugget for a while.”

See more from the Northwest Division:

  • An early February injury to Noah Vonleh was the catalyst for the return of Maurice Harkless to the Blazers rotation, and now Harkless is thriving as a starter, notes Jason Quick of Comcast Sportsnet Northwest. It’s fortuitous not just for Portland’s playoff push but for the bank account of the Relativity Sports client who’s eligible for restricted free agency this summer.
  • Timberwolves coach Sam Mitchell acknowledges that he coaches Andrew Wiggins with more subtle instruction because of the 21-year-old’s mellow demeanor, but GM Milt Newton is confident the former No. 1 overall pick will become an elite player based on his performances against superstars, as Rob Mahoney of SI.com chronicles. The extension window for Wiggins opens in 2017, but, as Mahoney notes, it’s unclear whether Mitchell or Newton will still be in their jobs this time next year.
  • The Nuggets will likely look this summer for a stretch four or sizable wing player who can play both forward positions with strong 3-point shooting and defense, but a healthy Wilson Chandler is liable to fit that bill, writes Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Bontemps nonetheless suggests that Chandler also makes for an intriguing trade chip. Chandler is under contract for at least the next two years but missed all of this season because of hip surgery.

Western Notes: Wright, Ellis, Miller

Grizzlies big man Brandan Wright says that he expects to miss six to eight weeks after a knee surgery he’s scheduled to undergo Thursday, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweets. This confirms an earlier report by Chris Vernon of 92.9 FM. Memphis GM Chris Wallace, discussing Wright’s scheduled surgery, said, “There is a need to do the procedure at this time. We tried the rest and rehab route,” Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal relays (Twitter links). Tillery also notes that the team had believed that Wright, prior to his latest diagnosis, was merely suffering from tendinitis and was “soft” for sitting out.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Nuggets swingman Mike Miller had considered retirement after the 2011/12 season, but the veteran says that he feels rejuvenated and may continue his playing career for longer than expected, Chris Tomasson of The Denver Post writes. If my body feels the way it is right now, I want to play a couple of more years for sure, Miller told Tomasson. “I never would have believed [in 2012] that I’d still be playing now,” Miller added.
  • Despite competing with each other for minutes, Suns centers Tyson Chandler and Alex Len work well together, Matt Petersen of NBA.com writes. “Those guys have a great relationship,” GM Ryan McDonough said. “They’re two of the most unselfish guys we have on the team. I’m not really as concerned about that. It’s a nice luxury for us and the coaches that they can go with whoever’s playing better, especially if somebody is either in foul trouble or has an off night.”
  • Mavs power forward Dirk Nowitzki says he wasn’t surprised that Monta Ellis opted out of his deal after last season in order to become an unrestricted free agent, Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star tweets. “I mean, you figure since he had two good years for us and he’s [30 years old] now … you figure he’s going to get out and sign one more deal,” Nowitzki said. “I’m happy for him. He signed a four-year deal, got some good money, obviously. He is on a very good team in Indiana that is playing well, well-coached and well-run. I’m happy for him.