Nuggets join list of suitors for Former Miami Heat forward/guard Mike Miller
Miller has drawn interest from almost every Western Conference contender since being released by the Heat earlier this week, via the amnesty provision. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies initially appeared as the early frontrunners in the pursuit for Miller.
The 33-year-old Miller met with Grizzlies owner Robert Pera and CEO Jason LEvien on Friday. Thunder general manger Sam Presti also held a meeting with Miller earlier this week. According to reports, Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant and Grizzlies All-Star center Marc Gasol are playing a big role in recruiting Miller for their respective teams.
But now, the Nuggets are also getting strong consideration from Miller, with the promise of more playing minutes than his other suitors. The Nuggets lack depth at their wing positions after losing Andre Iguodala and Corey Brewer in free agency. This could be an interesting move for the Nuggets who have also been shoring up on young players to fill the gap up frontcourt until Danilo Gallinari returns from knee injury.
Most of the teams interested in Miller are offering a minimum salary contract. But the real appeal with these suitors, as with the Nuggets, lies in the opportunity of playing a prominent role as a perimeter specialist on a championship contending team.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reported the Rockets made Mike Miller an offer, which he is currently mulling over. Earlier on Wednesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers were reportedly interested in claiming Miller off waivers, under reports started circulating later that night, suggesting that the veteran forward needed back surgery or he might even consider retirement. However, back when the Heat originally did not have a plan to amnesty Mike Miller, team president Pat Riley said that the 13-year pro was healthy.
"Mike is as healthy as he’s ever been, and he’s worked very hard in strengthening his back," Riley told FOX Sports Florida on June 26.
The 6-foot-8, 218-pound Miller played 59 games this past season, his most since the 2008-09 season, while helping the Heat win back-to-back championships. But he was amnestied on Tuesday, becoming a salary-cap causality as the Heat saved over $17 million on luxury-tax payments next season following his release. The Heat still owe Miller $12.8 million in salary over the next two seasons.
Miller averaged just 4.8 points while shooting 42 percent from 3-point range, and posted 2.7 rebounds as well as 1.7 assists per game during the regular season for the Miami Heat. But Miller played a larger role for the Heat in the NBA Finals, shooting 61 percent from 3-point range while starting the last four games.