This has been one of the dominant themes of this offseason — good shooters have value.
Guys like J.J. Redick and Kyle Korver are getting longer deals (four years) well over the average NBA salary because they are deadeye shooters. Meanwhile, if you dominate the ball and are not an efficient shooter you find the market pretty dry (Brandon Jennings, for example).
Which is why there is a lot of interest in Mike Miller — the guy can shoot. He can barely stay healthy, but when he plays he’s a solid team defender and he can shoot from three.
Miller is a free agent after being amnestied by the Heat. He then threatened back surgery to keep teams from grabbing him off waivers and it worked. He gets to pick where he plays — and a lot of good teams are trying to recruit the three point specialist, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.
Kevin Durant and Marc Gasol trying to recruit you, that has to feel pretty good.
I get why Memphis was in the mix. It was evident in the playoffs they need shooting to space the floor to take the next step, but for most of the offseason they have sat on their hands while other teams in the West (Clippers, Rockets) got a lot better. Miller is exactly what they need.
You can also see why Houston and OKC want in — again, shooting has real value. Those teams have guys who can create shots what they need are guys who can space the floor and make the defense pay for collapsing on Durant or James Harden.
Miller can do that. When he’s healthy. And because of that he’s got options.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.