It has been announced that the Blazers have reached a buyout agreement with small forward Mike Miller. The sharpshooter was sent alongside Brendan Haywood and two second round picks in what appeared to be a salary dump trade for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Miller is now a free agent, and the Hawks could be a great fit for the 35-year old.
The team has non-guaranteed agreements in place with multiple wing players, but Jason Richardson was considered the favorite for a roster spot until announcing his retirement last week. Terran Petteway, Dequan Jones and Lamar Patterson will now compete for that roster spot, but Miller could emerge as a more intriguing option for the team.
Miller’s body has taken some wear and tear, and his defensive ability may scare the team away. However, Miller is one of the best 3-point specialists in the league, and has the ability to come off the bench and shoot the long ball and help create scoring opportunities for Coach Bud. On this roster, Miller could be kept fresh as the team will not need him on the floor every night. Many felt that Cavs coach David Blatt did not properly utilize the two-time champion, and that could be a large part in why he shot just 33% from beyond the arc last season. The scoring possibilities for the second unit could be endless with Miller on the floor considering the ball movement Coach Bud creates. Having Korver and Miller on the floor at the same time could drive opposing defenses crazy and could give the Hawks the type of spacing coaches dream of.
Miller is just a year removed from shooting 46% from beyond the arc and playing in all 82 games for the Memphis Grizzlies. David Joerger runs his team very similarly to the Hawks and Miller shined in his system in his second stint with the team. This was after he played a role in helping the Miami Heat win two championships alongside Lebron James.
That may be the most intriguing reason to sign Miller, his link to one of the greatest players to ever play, and Atlanta’s biggest obstacle: King James himself. He rejoined James last season when he signed with the Cavs, and knows what is going on inside their locker room. Miller may have to play Benedict Arnold to have another shot at a ring. There is a lot to be said of a player who knows what it takes to win a championship, even as a role player. Though there are rumors of the Nuggets having interest, Miller likely wants to play for a contender, and the Hawks are just that. If there is mutual interest, Atlanta should be the team to give the former Sixth Man of the Year a shot at cracking their roster.