Jul 2, 2010, 9:37 AM EST
The Lakers just won a title depending on Ron Artest and Sasha Vujacic to be their three point threats. Which is to say, they won despite having no consistent outside threats. They just count on things like Artest getting hot in Game 7.
Mike Miller would change that. That’s why the Lakers are negotiating with him, as has been reported in multiple locations. The Lakers, with the highest payroll in basketball last year and all the key parts back, are way, way over the salary cap. So all they can offer is the mid-level exception (about $5.8 million) or some part of that. The negotiations are about how much. The Lakers would like to save some of that to bring in a point guard, as well.
Which is why the early reports saying the Lakers made a five-year, $30 million deal, seemed high. But reports on ESPN Los Angeles say no offer has been made yet. The Lakers are locked into Ron Artest at the three for the next four years, they are not going to overpay for his backup.
But Miller does bring the outside shooting the Lakers need — he hit 48 percent of his threes last year. He would get a lot of good looks in the triangle, and offense that calls for the three spot to be a spot-up guy. Miller also has a more rounded game, he can put the ball on the floor. He tries to pas a lot, too, maybe too much lately. And his post entry passes need work, which means he’ll fit in just fine with the rest of the Lakers wing men.
Shooters are in demand – Miami and Cleveland have made contact with Miller’s agent, and that is just the two we know of. He will get a good deal and out of Memphis.
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