Darius Miller to Hornets: Scouting Report, Video Highlights and Anaylsis

Ethan GrantAnalyst IJune 28, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 17:  Darius Miller #1 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts in the second half against the Iowa State Cyclones during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KFC YUM! Center on March 17, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Darius Miller was the ultimate glue guy for the Kentucky Wildcats during their championship run. In fact, he now has a chance to be the same type of unselfish, team-oriented player in the NBA.

Buried under the blanket of youth and athleticism that was Kentucky for the past four seasons, Miller was the last of the Billy Gillespie recruits, and integral to John Calipari's first Division I championship at Kentucky.

He outlasted John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Jodie Meeks, Patrick Patterson, Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. Now, he'll be joining them and his five teammates from this year's title squad as they continue to make Kentucky an NBA prospect factory.


What Miller Brings

At 6'7", 230 pounds, Miller is a physical specimen, much like the rest of his Wildcat teammates. He has the size, speed and intangibles to play with anyone on the wing in the NBA, especially on the defensive end, where he will likely be utilized the most during the early stages of his career.

He only shot 47 percent from the field, which isn't great for collegiate standards, but is certainly notable in a reserve capacity. His 37 percent clip from the three-point line was showcased almost every game, especially off of Marquis Teague penetration and Anthony Davis double-teams.

It's hard to tell what his offensive game will look like during his first season, especially as a middle-to-late draft pick. Think Kawhi Leonard with a little bit more athleticism, though Leonard can certainly run with anyone when he wants to. Miller should be able to stretch the floor from three-point land when he is on the court, just like Leonard in San Antonio.

Look for Miller to immediately make an impact on the defensive end and in transition, where he can acclimate himself easier to the offense before expanding his game as his career progresses.


Expert Analysis

According to DraftExpress, Hoops World and College Hoops Update, the two words that describe Miller are unselfish and underrated.  

Scouts see him as the prototypical NBA small forward in today's game, with the ability to knock down threes while playing solid defense on one of the league's hardest positions to defend.

Since he was surrounded by so much talent at Kentucky, flashes of his offensive potential have gone unnoticed. As the fourth or fifth option in Calipari's offense, it's hard to tell what kind of impact he'll have at this point either way.


Rookie Impact

Miller is somewhat of a wild card for both minutes and contribution. He could score 10 points and play solid defense from day one, simply because he's somewhat ahead of the NBA curve as a role player on the country's best team.

He understands winning, how to be a good teammate and has played with so much talent that he'll fit right in from a professional standpoint.

If he gets a chance, there likely won't be a more consistent contributor than Miller, who payed his dues for four years at the nation's premiere one-and-done university. If called upon to pay his dues in the pros, he'll be able to accomplish big things in the same way.


Pick Analysis

At 6'8, 230-pounds, Darius Miller will contribute to the New Orleans Hornets as a threat from behind the arc as well as a scoring presence in the key. Few players in the draft have the athleticism and body control of Miller, who was a standout off the bench presence as both a shooter and penetrator at Kentucky. 

Miller will most likely continue his role of coming off the bench as an energetic contributor on both ends of the court. One thing to keep in mind about this kid — he's a lights out shooter from behind the arc.