NBA Trade Speculation: Miami Heat Must Not Trade Mike Miller

Colin W.Contributor IIIFebruary 8, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 21: Mike Miller #13 of the Miami Heat shoots over Jrue Holiday #11 of the Philadelphia 76ers during a game  at American Airlines Arena on January 21, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

It’s no surprise that the star-studded Miami Heat are playing terrific basketball this year.

They have won their eight of their last 10 games and currently sit at 19-6, good for second in the Eastern Conference.

While most of the credit must be attributed to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, sharpshooter Mike Miller is one of the reasons why the Heat has played so well thus far.

There have been numerous trade rumors dating back to last year regarding the former Rookie of the Year. However, I think that Miller’s play is a key factor in whether Miami win a championship this season and that trading him would be a big mistake.

First of all, Miller is shooting lights-out this year. In the 13 games that he has played, he is shooting at better than 55 percent from the field and a staggering 52 percent from deep.

Although the Heat do not shoot many threes, they are among the league leaders in three-point percentage. Miller is a big reason why.

In a truncated season, roster depth is a huge factor. This is one of the reasons why deep teams like Philadelphia, Indiana and Denver are all playing phenomenally well.

Dwyane Wade has missed a total of nine games this year due to injury, and I have serious doubts regarding his health. Miller provides the depth Miami desperately need as well as giving them more options on the offensive end.

In a game against the San Antonio Spurs, Miller hit six three-pointers in six attempts, scoring 18 points off of the bench in just 15 minutes of action. The Heat outscored the Spurs 39-12 in the third quarter and won the game by 22 points.

This is exactly what I am talking about. Opposing teams are so concerned about Miami’s Big Three, but shooters like Mike Miller simply add another dimension to this Heat team. He just makes them a little bit more dangerous.

He has also been more than useful coming off of screens and hitting the occasional mid-range jumper.

Miller has the luxury of playing with two great penetrators in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Because they draw so much attention in the lane, this leaves Miller open on the perimeter. Shooters are a huge factor in any championship team, because they stretch the floor and can punish teams that leave them open.

Want some more evidence? In the 13 games that Miller has played, the Heat are 11-2. Without him, they are 8-4. I’m not saying that he is solely responsible for Miami’s success, but I do think that this demonstrates what type of impact he can have.

Superstars win championships, but no one wins alone. Role players are essential to any successful team and, as Mike Miller proved against the Spurs, they can often be the deciding factor in a big game. Trading him would be a foolish move by Pat Riley and the Miami Heat.