Mike Miller Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation Surrounding Free-Agent Forward

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2014

AP Images

Updates from Tuesday, July 15

ESPN's Chris Broussard indicates Mike Miller will join LeBron James in Cleveland:

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the news:

Wojnarowski previously reported Miller was torn in his decision:

Updates from Monday, July 14

Two more teams have jumped into the battle to sign Mike Miller according to ESPN's Marc Stein:

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports previously reported on Miller's free agency:

Updates from Sunday, July 13

Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported on Cleveland's offer to Mike Miller:

Goodman reports on the team that is still the leader in the clubhouse to land Miller:

What will ultimately sway Miller? Sam Amico of FOX Sports provides the biggest factor: 

Updates from Saturday, July 12

ESPN's Brian Windhorst has an update on Miller's status with the Cavaliers:

Updates from Friday, July 11

Sam Amico of Fox Sports reports Mike Miller may be joining LeBron James in Cleveland in the near future:

Miller posted a farewell to Memphis on his Instagram:

letitflymm13: Just informed the Grizz are going in another direction. I completely understand, but wanted to thank you so much for everything. Awesome city. Awesome fans. Thank you for the opportunity. I will always love Memphis #letitfly

ESPN's Brian Windhorst has the latest on where Miller may be headed:

ESPN's Marc Stein has more:


Updates from Wednesday, July 9

Fox Sports' Sam Amico reports on a new team showing interest in Mike Miller:

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that LeBron James recently reached out to Miller, a fellow free agent:

A Western Conference team is also working hard to land Miller, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard:


Original Text

We've learned time and again that a healthy Mike Miller is a dangerous commodity in May and June. Where the veteran forward is launching his above-the-break threes come next postseason still remains to be seen.

John Martin of ESPN 92.9 FM reported that Miller has been in Denver since Sunday, where he and Nuggets brass are expected to at least go through initial negotiations. Martin did not note how serious the interest was between the two sides, though Miller's willingness to make visits is telling in regard to his status in Memphis.

Heading into the offseason, most expected Miller's return to the Grizzlies to be a foregone conclusion. He chose to return to the city where he spent the longest chunk of his NBA career last summer after the Miami Heat used their amnesty provision to release him. The line of logic went that if Miller spurned multiple championship contenders for Memphis last season, then he'd do it again as he heads into the twilight of his career.

Miller, 34, enjoyed a renaissance season in 2013-14. Playing in 82 games for the first time since his rookie season, he averaged 7.1 points per game on 45.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Expected to be a bit player on the Grizzlies bench, Miller instead became an integral cog for the spacing-deficient roster. He also showed up big once again in the postseason, pouring in a 21-point effort in a Game 5 win in Memphis' first-round series against Oklahoma City.

Although the Grizzlies were undoubtedly pleased with Miller's unexpected play, it may also expedite his departure. Martin's report says Memphis' initial offer was between $2.4 million and $2.9 million per season. Given the precedent set by high-salaried contracts being given to shooters this summer, Miller and his representatives saw the offer as being well below market value.

A source told CBS Sports' Gary Parrish that other teams have reached out, offering more guaranteed money and a longer deal. 

"He really wants to stay in Memphis, if everything is equal," the source said. "But, right now, everything isn't equal. It's not really close. So we'll see."

Considering his age and injury history, it's difficult to find fault in Miller wanting to squeeze every dollar out of the free-agent process. His back problems in Miami were so debilitating, they nearly ended his career. Part of the reason the Heat felt comfortable waiving the final two seasons of Miller's contract is because he was so intermittently available.

Last season in Memphis was far more likely to be an anomaly than the rule going forward. Players don't typically get healthier as they age. Their bodies wear, and the years of mileage start to take a toll. With back injuries especially, there is rarely a perfect cure. As Miller noted to Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling in March, he's tried nearly every possible remedy at his disposal.

May 1, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Mike Miller (13) reacts during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum.  The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Memphis Grizz

In that sense, any team that signs Miller is taking a risk. If he's unwilling to sign in the range Memphis is offering, then odds are negotiations begin at or right near the mid-level exception. Adding $4-5 million to the payroll for a sharpshooter like Miller is a bargain on this market if he stays on the court. In the event injuries crop up, though, Miller's deal could become constricting for teams near the tax line that need production.

Blaming Miller for taking meetings and chasing money isn't fair. This will be the last big payday of his career and may even be his last contract, period, depending on the length. Whatever team does wind up inking the deal better carefully weigh the risk versus the reward.


Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.