Apparently, all these teams have been asleep for two years. That much money for this Mike Miller?
Miller was once great. He's one of the sharpest shooters in NBA history, ranking 17th all-time in three-point field goal percentage (40.5 percent). For the first eight seasons of his NBA career, he was a great scorer, able to fill the bucket from range consistently. If you had a guard taking 10 or 15 shots a night, you wanted it to be someone as deadly efficient as Miller.
But that was, essentially, Miller's only elite skill. He was an average rebounder, an efforted but often overmatched defender and an only slightly effective passer. He shot, and well, and that's all you really wanted.
Everything changed when Miller was traded to Minnesota in 2008. He went from a deadly gunner to a ... wannabe Scottie Pippen? A performance artist protesting the commodization of his pure stroke? I just don't know. A year ago, upon Miller's trade to the Wizards, I wrote about how in Minnesota Miller had abandoned his existence as a scorer (going from 12 shots per 36 minutes to just eight) in order to boost his peripheral statistics, namely assists and rebounds. This was documented in the following graphic.
How did things go in Washington? Miller proceeded down the path of the perplexing, basically matching his Wolves output and continuing to disown his former NBA identity as a brilliant scorer. All this for a team which, for much of the season, lacked effective arsenal in the backcourt.
Why anyone would think Miller is still that which the name Mike Miller once represented is beyond me. Plenty of free agents can do what the new Miller does -- rebound, spread the ball, be a roleplayer in every sense of the word -- and for a lot cheaper than what Miller is purportedly commanding. For two full seasons, Miller has played this way, despite the circumstances begging him to be his old self.
What exactly do these suitors expect to be getting for their investment in the 30-year-old version of Miller? If it's the fire-starting gunner from the Gasol-Battier Grizzlies teams, the bidders are barking up the wrong tree.