Miller and McMillan Clash in Practice
As Jason Quick of the Oregonian reported, McMillan told the media afterward that the exchange was directed at the entire team and not just Miller. GM Kevin Pritchard followed up on that, suggesting the media was making too much of it.
If this were an isolated incident, Pritchard would be correct. But, unfortunately for the Blazers in what was an already rocky season, it is not.
Miller has clashed with the team all season since signing his deal over the summer. He's expressed unhappiness with coming off the bench, hasn't seemed to fit in with the rest of the Portland core and hasn't lived up to expectations for veteran leadership at the point guard position, all of which has contributed to Steve Blake, against all odds, keeping his starting spot.
With the trade deadline approaching and the Blazers in desperate need of frontcourt help after season-ending injuries to both Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla, it won't be a surprise if this rocky marriage is headed for an abrupt end.
As an example of the gap between the two, in the Blazers loss to the Grizzlies Tuesday night, Jerryd Bayless missed his first of two free throws with the Blazers down two. According to Quick, Miller told Bayless to make the second free throw with 4.3 seconds left, which was contrary to what Brandon Roy and the coaching staff told Bayless.
A trade isn't guaranteed, particularly since the Blazers can't acquire a big-name center with Oden and Przybilla still central components to the team's long-term plans. But with an unstable environment on a team that's trying to hold it together, you have to imagine the Blazers will consider making a deal as the trade deadline approaches.