Lakers Rumors: Quincy Miller's Upside Intriguing Option for Los Angeles

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2014

Denver Nuggets forward Quincy Miller, right, drives past Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Des Moines, Iowa. Golden State won 104-101. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Sometimes teams just have to take chances in the NBA, and the Los Angeles Lakers have a golden opportunity to do just that with a potential diamond in the rough in Quincy Miller

Shams Charania of RealGM noted that Los Angeles is one of the teams that is interested in Miller’s services:

The Lakers are in an ideal position to make some type of move, especially one that doesn’t carry a lot of risk but could turn into something big. They are not going to compete this season for a title or even playoff consideration and need to start looking toward the future and stockpiling young assets.

Miller is not the type of signing that will turn this team from a bottom-feeder into an NBA title contender overnight (those types of moves are hopefully coming down the road for Lakers fans), but his ceiling is rather high for someone Los Angeles could grab for very cheap.

He will only be 22 this season and is finally recovered from a torn ACL that he suffered in high school that plagued his game early in his college and NBA career. We are yet to see what Miller can do at the NBA level when he is fully healthy, and Los Angeles now has that chance.

Miller is such an intriguing option because he was a 5-star stud and the No. 5 overall player in the class of 2011 coming out of high school, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.

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At 6’10” with explosive athleticism and leaping ability, Miller can get out in transition with guards and create opportunities by beating his man down the floor. He can also post up smaller defenders or drive around bigger ones and is a matchup nightmare for opposing coaches. He can handle the ball, rebound and is a solid passer for a forward.

His length and athleticism also help him dart into passing lanes and swat shots on the defensive side.

Simply put, Miller possesses an incredible raw skill set that should be unleashed in the NBA somewhere. 

Miller used that skill set to impress in his one season at Baylor. Here is a look at his college stats, via his Sports-Reference page:

Quincy Miller's College Stats
Per GamePer 40 Minutes
Points10.617.4
Rebounds4.98.1
Assists1.42.3
Steals0.71.1
Blocks0.61.1
Field-Goal Percentage44.744.7
Three-Point Percentage34.834.8
Free-Throw Percentage81.681.6
sports-reference.com

Those per-40 minute numbers jump off the page, but Miller’s college production hasn’t translated to the NBA quite yet.

As a rookie, he only saw the court in seven games, but in his second year, he played 52 times for the Denver Nuggets. He posted nightly averages of 4.9 points and 2.8 rebounds, but that was only in 15.2 minutes a game.

Ben Margot/Associated Press

Again, this move is all about low-risk, high-reward potential, not what Miller has already done at the NBA level. If he produced numbers comparable to his talent level already, he would have a job somewhere and would not be available for a potential bargain deal.

Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw made an incredible comparison when discussing Miller when the Baylor product was still in Denver, via Aaron J. Lopez of Nuggets.com:

I didn’t know much about (Miller) before I got here. I’ve been pleasantly surprised. He is really, really talented. At 6-10, he can handle the ball. When he gets his feet set, he can shoot it well from the outside.

When I got to Indiana, I didn’t know very much about Paul George. Once I got there and I started working with him, I was like, ‘Wow, this guy could really be good if he puts in the work.’ It reminds me of that situation.

That is not to suggest that Miller is the next Paul George by any stretch of the imagination, but these are the opportunities the Lakers should look to jump on early in the season.

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The potential at hitting a home run for pennies on the dollar is just too intriguing to pass up. That’s not even mentioning the fact that the Lakers need healthy bodies from a depth perspective because Julius Randle and Steve Nash are out for the year with injuries. 

If Miller ever does deliver on his vast potential, he can be an NBA superstar. Los Angeles would be wise to make sure that happens when he is wearing purple and gold.

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