Green Target: Mike Miller
|AP Photo/Matt York|
The genius of the 2007-08 Celtics was not solely getting Kevin Garnett on board to play with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, but surrounding the new Big Three with talented role players to help shoulder the load. James Posey, Eddie House, PJ Brown, etc. Everyone did their part and the payoff was a championship.
That’s the recipe for success that Danny Ainge and company will be following as they rebuild this squad. In addition to try to pull in a superstar to pair with Rajon Rondo, he’s going to need to find low-cost-high-potential role players to fill out the squad. Mike Miller might fit the bill.
How the Celtics could get him
After being amnestied by the Heat, Mike Miller signed a one-year veteran minimum deal with the Memphis Grizzlies for the 2013-14 season. He played 82 games and shot .48% from the field and .46% from beyond the arc. Not bad for less than $1M a season. He'll probably be looking for a bit more money, but even at $1.2M, Miller would be a valuable pick up.
I can’t imagine the market for Miller is going to be super hot with Carmelo Anthony planning to opt out and the constant threat of the Miami Super Friends deciding to exercise their player options this off season. With Avery Bradley and Jerryd Bayless both on the market (restricted and unrestricted respectively), securing some low cost options for the backcourt has to be part of the plan for Boston. Mike Miller won’t be looked at for starters minutes, but would add veteran leadership on a young team and a deadly shot off the bench.
Pros of getting Mike Miller
- Coming off a strong season in Memphis
- Still effective in the field, from 3 point range, and from the line
- Low cost efficiency player
Cons of getting Mike Miller
- Miller will be 35 this season and playing in his 16th NBA season
- 2013-14 was the first time Miller played in 82 games since his rookie year in 2000-01
- Starting to break down physically
- A short term fix in a season when the team is looking to build for the long term
Once the big pieces are in place, a low cost option like this makes sense for the Celtics. He’ll be adding more than other veterans on the team who are already signed, and he won’t be looked at to do more than needed. Even in the most recent years when the Celtics were THE threat in the eastern conference, they were one always one injury away from being out of contention; In 2009 it was Garnett and in 2010 it was Perkins.
This is a good chance for the Celtics to continue to build around young players and get deep with the bench. A low cost Mike Miller isn’t the main course on the menu this off season, but he could a nice little side dish.
Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor