The Wizards finally have some optimism surrounding the team, after making it to the second round of the playoffs in their first trip to the postseason following a five-year absence.
Washington wants to build on that success by bringing back as many of the key pieces to last year’s team as possible, and even though there could have been a financial savings in buying out Miller’s deal for less than it will be guaranteed for if he stays, keeping a reliable backup for John Wall on the team was more important than achieving a small amount of savings that could have been used to pursue others in free agency.
If the Wizards let Sunday’s deadline pass without requesting waivers, the team will guarantee his contract for $4.6 million next season. A league source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said the Wizards are “leaning in that direction.” …
The Wizards could have bought out Miller for $2 million and had more money under the salary cap as they approach free agency. But with Miller returning, the Wizards would have six players under contract — Wall, Bradley Beal, Nene, Martell Webster and Otto Porter — combining for almost $46 million in salaries.
CSN Washington reports that Miller was informed that he will in fact be retained for next season.
The two players not mentioned there are Trevor Ariza and Marcin Gortat, both of whom were instrumental in helping the Wizards reach last season’s level of success. Both are unrestricted free agents this summer, but that extra $2 million or so that would have been saved by waiving Miller isn’t likely to make a difference in the team’s ability to retain those players if they so choose.
Miller is a crafty veteran who can be temperamental at times, but seems to be happy with his fit in the Washington locker room. His production on the floor has rarely been called into question throughout a career that’s spanned 15 NBA seasons, and if the Wizards retain him as expected, it would appear to be the best possible scenario for both sides.