6 NBA Teams That Would Be Best Potential Fits for Andre Miller Trade
Veteran Denver Nuggets point guard Andre Miller is utterly uninterested in returning to the team and wants to be dealt, so it’s time for suitors to swoop in and acquire him via trade prior to the Feb. 20 NBA trade deadline.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears, the Nuggets are attempting to bring Miller back to the playing rotation. However, a source close to the situation said there’s no chance Miller obliges. Per Spears’ article:
“The vibe is delusional,” the source said. “It’s a burned bridge. No reconciliation. He’s waiting by the door with his bag already packed. The relationship is irreparable. Under no circumstances does he want to come back to Denver.”
Miller has been disgruntled dating back to a matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers on Jan. 1.
In the 114-102 loss, the 37-year-old was given a DNP-CD (did not play—coach’s decision) by first-year head coach Brian Shaw. It was the first healthy scratch of Miller’s 15-year NBA career, and snapped a streak of 239 consecutive games played, per Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears.
He hasn’t appeared in a game since.
With Miller’s situation in Denver beyond repair, the Nuggets have essentially been given no choice but to trade the ornery veteran. And although he’s approaching his 38th birthday, a variety of NBA teams could use his services to add backcourt depth.
6. San Antonio Spurs
After making it to the NBA Finals at the end of the 2012-13 season, the San Antonio Spurs are once again one of league’s best regular-season squads with a 38-15 record.
Despite the fact that they’ve racked up more than twice as many wins as losses at the All-Star break, injuries have continued to pile up. Kawhi Leonard broke his hand and backcourt players like Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green have missed time—leading to a second consecutive 10-day contract for Shannon Brown.
Patty Mills has looked phenomenal at times, but the tandem of Cory Joseph and Nando de Colo has been average at best. Also, Marco Belinelli’s production has dipped of late with a larger workload.
Adding a guy like Andre Miller wouldn’t be a huge improvement for the Spurs, but he could certainly help them. He’s a veteran with playoff experience that fits right into the “old guy” vibe San Antonio has been rocking for years.
If nothing else, Miller would add depth on an injury-prone roster that’s poised for another playoff run in 2014.
In theory, San Antonio could send Matt Bonner’s expiring contract in exchange. The Nuggets don’t exactly have much room to negotiate.
5. New York Knicks
Since the New York Knicks have already been attached to trade rumors involving the Denver Nuggets, they may be a possible destination for Andre Miller by default.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Knicks have been trying to trade for Nuggets’ forward Kenneth Faried. The potential deal would include a package of Iman Shumpert and Beno Udrih, but that clearly hasn’t been enough to entice Denver.
As a result, it may be fruitful for the Knicks to take on Miller’s contract to sweeten the pot.
If New York genuinely wants Faried—which appears to be the case—they can take on the $5 million Miller is owed in 2013-14. Also, since the Knicks’ point guard situation is an absolute mess, having a competent veteran presence in the backcourt would be much appreciated for a team looking to sneak into the Eastern Conference playoffs.
With that said, the only logical trade scenario (and by logical, I mean financially feasible) would send Shumpert, Metta World Peace and the expiring contracts of Udrih, Cole Aldrich and Kenyon Martin to the Nuggets in exchange for Miller and Faried.
Would Denver accept that trade offer? Most likely not, but the Knicks don’t have many assets to tinker with in trade scenarios.
Miller would help upgrade New York’s point guard situation, but he’s a long shot to land with the Knicks.
4. Sacramento Kings
Andre Miller’s involvement in Sacramento Kings trade rumors has been all over the map since his falling out with the Nuggets.
According to a January article by Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Kings were “intrigued” by the possibility of adding the veteran point guard.
Per their article, “Sacramento GM Pete D’Alessandro was a longtime executive with the Nuggets and has long been an admirer of Miller’s. The Kings would love to use Miller as a veteran mentor for young point guard Isaiah Thomas, league sources said.”
The Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones, meanwhile, reported that the Kings hadn't made any formal trade offers for Miller's services.
Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler, however, echoed the Yahoo! Sports report by writing in February, “The Kings remain the front-runner for Andre Miller, whenever the Denver Nuggets decide to move him.”
Even with D’Alessandro’s connection to Miller, this move doesn’t make much sense for the Kings.
Yes, having a veteran presence in the locker room to guide both Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins would be a positive, but giving up a young asset (perhaps Jimmer Fredette?) for him is a hefty price to pay for a team with no chance of making the playoffs in 2014.
Additionally, the reason why Miller is on the trade block in the first place is because he blew up at his first-year head coach for benching him—not exactly the type of professionalism teams covet.
Adding Miller as a short-term locker room presence won’t change what the Kings are aiming to do long term. With that said, he’s been connected to the Kings in multiple reports, so it’s hard to rule them out.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves
Much like the Sacramento Kings, the Minnesota Timberwolves are a Western Conference team on the outside looking in at a playoff spot who have been tied to Andre Miller trade rumors.
Per Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 via Twitter:
“League contact today via text: 'Andre will be a Wolf or King by All-Star break.'”
Although that prediction didn’t come to fruition, as NBA All-Star weekend is now in the rear-view mirror, it’s worth noting the T-Wolves as a potential trade suitor for the veteran point guard.
Minnesota has plenty of talent on their roster with Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin, but Ricky Rubio hasn’t progressed as expected and the tandem of J.J. Barea and Alexey Shved has been admittedly subpar.
Due to those shortcomings, it makes sense that the T-Wolves would be interested in a trusty veteran like Miller to take some pressure off Rubio in the playmaking category.
At the very least, Minnesota could put together a package that would save Denver some money moving forward.
2. Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors already made a deal to add backcourt depth by picking up Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks from the Boston Celtics. The second unit still needs help, though, as the Dubs’ bench ranks 29th in the league by scoring 24.1 points per game, according to Hoops Stats.
Stephen Curry’s workload has been off the charts, as he’s averaging 37.7 minutes per game for G-State. Also, because he’s the team’s only reliable ball-handler, he has to orchestrate the offense every time down the court—which has translated to a career-high 4.1 turnovers per game average.
The Warriors are still looking for a guy who can replace veteran guard Jarrett Jack, who signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer. Even though Andre Miller is limited physically as a 37-year-old, he can still bring important facets of the game to the table.
He can handle the ball and orchestrate the offense—which can either provide Curry with much-needed rest prior to a possible playoff run or slide the sharpshooter over to the 2-guard spot. The latter would limit turnovers because Golden State would have two point guards on the floor at the same time.
The Warriors have been connected to the Miller rumors, per Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, so at least we know they’ve had interest since the veteran hit the trade block.
1. Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards’ backup point guard situation is just plain ugly.
They got a young point guard from the Phoenix Suns in the Marcin Gortat trade by way of Kendall Marshall, but for unknown reasons they decided to waive the North Carolina product. He has since shined with the Los Angeles Lakers after getting scooped up as a free agent.
As it stands, Washington is relying on the disappointing duo of Garrett Temple and Eric Maynor. The two have combined to average 4.7 points and three assists per game.
As a result of their lack of production, Grantland's Zach Lowe pointed out the possibility for a Miller swap, citing that Denver GM Tim Connelly used to work for the Wizards.
Adding Andre Miller via trade would help secure the shoddy backup point guard spot behind John Wall—which would also help ensure that Wall doesn’t have to play a whopping 37 minutes per game.
Even as a young player, Wall has a bit of an injury history. Protecting him by adding backcourt depth would be a very smart move for the Wizards moving forward.
Perhaps a package that includes Jan Vesely’s expiring contract, Chris Singleton’s expiring contract and a second-round pick could get the job done.