Mike Miller (Former Player)

And-Ones: Western Playoff Race, Trade Market, 2023 Draft, Miller

The lack of separation in the Western Conference standings has further clouded the trade deadline outlook with the February 9 less than two weeks away, writes John Hollinger of The Athletic.

As Hollinger outlines, it seems safe to assume that the Nuggets and Grizzlies are contenders and the Spurs and Rockets are lottery teams, but beyond that, there has been little clarity through the first 50 or so games — the other 11 teams in the conference all have between 23 and 27 wins.

One reason that most in-season trades don’t happen until the week before the trade deadline, Hollinger observes, is because teams want as much information as possible about where they stand relative to the competition, but there’s not much time left for teams to glean that information. Plus, several Western clubs – including the Pelicans, Timberwolves, and Lakers – haven’t had their stars healthy together for long enough this season to have a good sense of how all their pieces fit together.

As we wait to see how a crowded Western Conference playoff race affects the trade market, let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report takes a closer look at the trade market for big men, considering which players might be available, which teams would have interest, and what it might cost to acquire them.
  • Within the latest edition of HoopsHype’s aggregate 2023 mock draft – which compiles predictions from nine different experts’ mocks – Michael Scotto of HoopsHype passes along some insights from NBA evaluators on several of this year’s top prospects, including one executive who compared Alabama wing Brandon Miller to Paul George. Another executive told Scotto he likes Miller more than Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson due to his shooting ability.
  • Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic spoke to 17-year NBA veteran Mike Miller about his post-retirement transition from player to agent and how he’s been able to build up a strong roster of clients, including No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero. “Other agencies might know a lot about basketball, but to live it and to understand it — and I think at the end of the day, again, nothing against them, but me talking and projecting out a player or comping a player or doing those things as far as what it looks like for a player paints a little bit of a different picture,” Miller said.

And-Ones: China, Cunningham, WNBA, Miller

After a number of setbacks and false starts, the Chinese Basketball Association now intends to resume it season on June 20, the league announced this week. As ESPN’s Kevin Wang details, the CBA’s 20 teams will be divided into two groups and will play in empty arenas in a pair of cities (Qingdao and Dongguan). According to Wang, the plan is for the teams to finish the regular season by July 4.

The Chinese Basketball Association was the first international basketball league to suspend its season due to the coronavirus pandemic, doing so in January. The league had originally hoped to resume play by the start of April, but had to push that target date back multiple times. While it appears that the CBA is now set to move forward with its new June 20 resumption date, it’s not clear whether teams will get back all of their international players that left China during the hiatus, Wang writes.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Following an investigation into bribes accepted by a former coach, the NCAA has levied a series of penalties against the Oklahoma State men’s basketball team, including banning the program from the postseason for the 2020/21 season. That’s a major development, since potential 2021 No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham had committed to the program. As Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Cunningham now reevaluates his options for next season.
  • A series of ESPN panelists predicts which players will win this year’s major awards while also weighing in on which players should win those awards.
  • As Mechelle Voepel of ESPN.com writes, the WNBA is proposing a 22-game regular season for 2020. Games would begin on July 24 and would be played at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, per Voepel. The plan is still tentative and would require players’ approval.
  • Former NBA forward Mike Miller, who has spent the last two years as an assistant coach for the Memphis Tigers, has parted ways with the program, he announced this week (via Twitter).

Pistons Notes: GM Search, Kennard, Bone

The Pistons will focus on external candidates in their search for a new general manager, according to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. The new GM will work alongside senior advisor Ed Stefanski to chart a course for the future of the franchise, while Malik Rose and Pat Garrity will be retained as assistant GMs.

Edwards identifies several potential candidates for the position: Pelicans assistant GM Bryson Graham, former Hawks GM Wes Wilcox, Jazz GM Justin Zanik, Clippers assistant GM Mark Hughes, who was considered for the GM job in Chicago, and Thunder VP of basketball operations Troy Weaver. Edwards also suggests that University of Memphis assistant coach Mike Miller, who had Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem as an agent during his playing career, could be brought in as another assistant GM.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Rod Beard of The Detroit News agrees on Hughes and Weaver and offers a few other candidates who might be in play. Shane Battier grew up in the Detroit area and serves as VP of basketball development and analytics with the Heat, but Beard believes it would be difficult to talk him into leaving Miami. Chauncey Billups is a Pistons hero from his playing days and has been considered for other front office openings. Tayshaun Prince, who teamed with Billups on the 2004 championship team, became VP of basketball operations for the Grizzlies last year. Celtics assistant GM Michael Zarren has spent 14 years with the organization and has turned down other opportunities, but Beard believes the Pistons should contact him.
  • Working Luke Kennard back into the rotation would have been a priority if the season had continued, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Kennard, who had been battling tendinitis in both knees since December, was set to return in the Pistons’ next game when the hiatus was imposed. With Kennard about to enter the final year of his rookie contract, Detroit will have to decide soon whether to make a long-term commitment or try to trade him, and Langlois sees his shooting skills as an important element for a rebuilding team.
  • The Pistons may have other priorities at point guard that will prevent Jordan Bone from earning a roster spot next season, Langlois adds in the same piece. Derrick Rose has another year on his contract, and Langlois expects the team to find a veteran to complement him. Also, there will also be plenty of opportunity to fill the position in a draft that’s heavy on point guards. Bone saw limited time in 10 NBA games as a two-way player this season, but averaged 19.9 points per 36 minutes and shot 38% from 3-point range in the G League.

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.