If Andre Miller isn’t returning to the Nuggets, they might as well trade him.
Miller, sent away from the team after feuding with Denver coach Brian Shaw, definitely wants a trade and a chance to play somewhere. The Nuggets should resist any inclination to be petty, and they should accommodate him.
There are a number of teams seeking backup point guards, so there is a market for Miller. At this point, Denver should take whatever it can get before the trade deadline and move on.
One of the interested teams: The Minnesota Timberwolves, according to Marc Stein of ESPN:
Word is Minnesota wants to know it can shed the contract of guard J.J. Barea — who has one season left on his contract after this one at $4.5 million — before consenting to trade for Miller.
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A simple Miller-for-Barea trade might work for both teams.
Barea would give the Nuggets point guard they desperately need while Lawson is out, and he could back up Lawson later. Though Barea has a fully guaranteed salary of $4,519,500 next season – more than Miller’s $2 million guaranteed ($4,625,000 if not waived) – the Nuggets aren’t slated to have cap room anyway.
The Timberwolves could use an upgrade at backup point guard. They have a +5.7 net rating with Ricky Rubio and –4.6 net rating with Barea. Some of the disparity is due to Rubio playing more with the team’s better players, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Even when each play with Minnesota’s other starters – Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic – the difference is stark.
Rubio with other four starters:
- Offensive rating: 110.7
- Defensive rating: 102.9
- Net rating: +7.7
Barea with other four starters:
- Offensive rating: 101.4
- Defensive rating: 105.4
- Net rating: –4.0
Miller, even at 37, is probably a little better than Barea – though there’s risk, given Miller has sat out so long. At least Minnesota would have insurance in Alexey Shved, who can play point guard.
Have the Timberwolves add their second-round pick, and call this trade good.