Mike Miller signed with Cleveland for last season following LeBron James north from Miami. That season didn’t work out the way Miller wanted. Off the court, he was an important part of the locker room chemistry, but on the court he fell out of favor early with the Cavs coaching staff and averaged 2.1 points per game during the season. In the Finals, it took a lot of injuries for David Blatt to call Miller’s number, and even then it was in small doses.
Sunday the Cavaliers traded Miller to Portland. However, the Trail Blazers are expected to buy Miller out; they are a rebuilding team who made that trade to get the picks, not an aging veteran.
Once that buyout happens, where might Miller the free agent land? Marc Stein of ESPN had some potential early answers.
The Thunder? Interesting, in that Miller played for new OKC coach Billy Donovan in college and the two are still close to this day. Miller and Kevin Durant are tight.
But here’s the problem: The Thunder already have a roster of 14 guaranteed contracts and have yet to sign first-round pick Josh Huestis. That’s 15, the max allowed. The Thunder don’t have space for him. Memphis is at 15 as well. Someone (not me) must have pointed this out to Stein.
He wants to be on a contender, and he wants to play. The most likely way that happens is Miller starts the season on the NBA sidelines, but when injuries flare up on a team his phone rings.
What he can bring that team at this point on the court is up for debate. But the timing of this move likely leaves him standing and without a chair when the music stops and the season tips off.