What is it with the Celtics and guys named Miller? In the 2007-08 season when the Celtics were putting together their team in the off season they tried to coax Reggie Miller out of retirement. Reggie considered it and even spent a few weeks working out but decided it just wasn't worth it and he didn't have what it took to compete for 82 games again.
This season, word is that the top free agent target is another guy named Miller. They are hoping to sign Chicago Bulls free agent Brad Miller to fill one of the gaps left by Perk's injury and Sheed's retirement. It's hard to believe that the Celtics could target the one guy that would make the Celtics even older and less liked than they were with Sheed, but I think they managed it. Miller is an instigator and the kind of player you hate on the other team but would love on your team.
This past season, Miller averaged 8.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.4 blocks while playing 23.8 minutes per game. These were his lowest averages since the '99-00 season when he averaged just 17.5 minutes per game. His decrease in minutes could account for the decrease in his per game stats. He turned 34 years old in April so isn't a long term option at center. He also made 12 million dollars last year in the final year of his contract with the Bulls. He may be looking for a longer contract or more money than the Celtics can offer unless the allure of playing with KG and the possibility of a ring is enough to make him take part or all of the MLE or a vet minimum contract. Or, they could just promise that they will keep Rondo away from him if he signs. That may just work.
In case you forgot about Miller's body of work, here is some video of him and some interesting commentary from the announcers.
And here he is doing work against the Celtics...
Now on to the second Miller that the Celtics are said to be targeting this off season. The Herald has mentioned that the Celtics are considering the Wizards free agent Mike Miller. Miller has a good relationship with Doc and maybe this is a ploy to make staying with the Celtics sweeter for Doc, who is still deciding on his own future. Miller may have the most ridiculous hairstyle in the NBA when he pulls it back with the headband but he can shoot and would be a nice addition to the team.
Miller averaged 10.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists in 33 minutes per game this past season. What stands out more was that he shot 50% from the field, 38% from beyond the arc and 82% from the line. Doc staying would definitely be a draw for signing this Miller. He made $9,780,937 in the 2010 season so the Celtics would have to talk him into a much lower salary as well. They may try to split the MLE between the two Millers. The only other option would be to give the whole MLE to one and try to fill the other spots using vet minimum contracts. Either way, they probably will be offered more elsewhere from one of the many teams with a lot of cash to spend. Five teams cleared space for LeBron and only one team can get him. The rest will go after the top free agents but once they are off the table, I can see teams overpaying to get the second tier of players like these two.
Here is a video of Miller shooting at practice. No doubt at all that he can shoot.
And some video of in-game action.
Neither player will get the kind of money they got last season since they were both younger when they signed those contracts. But, chances are there will be teams out there with cap space who will offer them more than the Celtics can and the Celtics have to be able to convince them that playing for the Celtics or for Doc would be a better situation than they will get elsewhere. The problem with trying to talk guys into a cheaper contract to play with the Celtics is that both Marquis Daniels and Michael Findley did that last season and it didn't work out so well for them. Marquis Daniels took way less than his market value hoping that a year with the Celtics would increase his value for the following season and he ended up sitting on the bench which could only hurt him going into free agency this season. Findley left the Spurs looking for more playing time and he got even less with the Celtics than he did with the Spurs. Free agents may look at those two players and think twice about giving the Celtics a discount to play with them.
Paul Pierce has just one more day do decide on whether to opt out or not. Doc said we'd have his answer by the July 1 start of free agency. And the next two days should give us another 10 rumors from sources who know where LeBron is going to land. Should be an interesting week ahead of us.