Pelicans’ Darius Miller ruptures Achilles tendon

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The Pelicans seemingly re-signed Darius Miller to a $7.25 million starting salary with $7 million unguaranteed salary the following season for two main reasons:

1. They want his contract to facilitate a trade.

2. They want his outside shooting to help them make the playoffs.

No. 2 is out the window.

Pelicans release:

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that forward Darius Miller underwent successful surgery this morning to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon.

This will likely sideline Miller all season.

The Pelicans are deep and can withstand this injury. But this puts more pressure on 28-year-old rookie Nicolo Melli, who signed from Europe, to serve as the bigger shooting forward. Miller already proved he could fill that role.

New Orleans could still use Miller’s high salary in a trade. But some other teams might have valued his production. That’s obviously off the table now.

Miller’s best bet might be the Pelicans having to guarantee his 2020-21 salary for a trade next summer. Otherwise, he’s likely entering free agency at age 30 coming off a major injury.