Alabama freshman wing Brandon Miller is the top college player on many NBA teams’ draft boards and is expected to go in the top five in the NBA Draft next June.
According to the Tuscaloosa Police Department, Miller brought now-former teammate Darius Miles a gun that was given to Michael “Buzz” Davis and used in the murder of Jamea Jonae Harris near campus in January. Miller’s attorney says the young star “never touched the gun, was not involved in its exchange to Mr. Davis in any way, and never knew that illegal activity involving the gun would occur.” Miller has not been charged with a crime and is being treated as a witness, not a suspect, by police.
Does any of that impact Miller’s NBA Draft stock?
Or at least not yet as teams want to see how the legal situation plays out and if there are any new revelations, according to multiple league sources who spoke to NBC Sports. If nothing changes with the police investigation into the shooting, nothing will change with Miller’s draft status. As noted above, Miller has not been charged with any crime and is not being treated as a suspect in the case. Alabama coach Nate Oats has not suspended Miller, who has played in both games since the news of his involvement became public.
However, several sources said this felt like “a yellow light” for teams who end up in his draft range after the lottery. Taking a player fifth in the NBA Draft means a more than $30 million commitment to that player over four years on their rookie contract (and teams hope that relationship goes on much longer), and before a franchise invests that much money they do an extensive background check on every player, including who they associate with. That investigation will be even more intense and thorough in Miller’s case.
Miller is 6’9″ and can play either forward spot. He is averaging 19.5 points and eight rebounds a game, and is one of the best shooters in college hoops, hitting 43.1% from three. Because of his size he can get his shot off over the top of most defenders. His ball handling and playmaking have improved, although they have a ways to go yet. He’s a little raw, but considered one of the higher-floor picks at the top of the draft.
This situation ultimately will have little to no impact on Miller’s draft status. Or — if new information comes to light — a dramatic impact, but not likely anything in between, several sources said. Miller is either going to stay the first (or one of the first) college player taken in this June’s NBA Draft or he is going to plummet way down the board because the situation changed, but he’s not going to just slip 10 spots.