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It does not sound like Andre Miller will return to the Nuggets

May 13, 2012, 4:03 PM EDT

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five Getty Images

Andre Miller was traded on draft night last year to Denver, and from the start it was an odd fit. Miller had signed with Portland as a free agent and wanted to be considered a top tier player. He had struggled with Nate McMillan and despite his chemistry with LaMarcus Aldridge, was moved for what was thought to be an upgrade in Raymond Felton. (Whoops.) In Denver, he played brilliantly along with Ty Lawson, but he had issues with coming off the bench. It’s one of those “I’m fine with it, but I’m not fine with it” kind of deals.

After Denver was eliminated Saturday night, Miller spoke about his decision as a free agent this summer. And it doesn’t sound like he’s headed back to the Mile High City.

“I’ll keep my options open,” Miller said. “At this point in my career, if I’m going to be a backup, I’m going to be a backup on a championship-caliber team. Obviously, this team is a good team thats going to get to the playoffs, but the thing is if they are committed to getting to that next level to compete for that championship.”

“I want to be on a team that’s going to compete for a championship, and not use youth as a crutch or inexperience as a crutch,” Miller said.

“This team does have guys that can compete and can get out of the first round. It’s just whether I can swallow my pride and deal with being a backup point guard. I have no problem with it, but at the same time I definitely still see myself as a starter in this league. Like I said, you have to swallow your pride sometimes. These young guys are coming in and theyre working for it. So, thats just part of the business that Im learning.”

via Nuggets Andre Miller says he will keep options open – The Denver Post.

If I’m interpreting, that’s not exactly screaming with confidence for his team. That’s a veteran player who knows that the Nuggets aren’t ready to make the leap and will be looking to chase a ring. So the usual suspects, Boston, Miami, the Lakers, Spurs, etc. will be on the list. Miller knows that the Nuggets aren’t ready. If they were to pay him top dollar and let him start, then sure. But they’ve got Ty Lawson. It doesn’t seem likely that they’ll give Miller that. That doesn’t mean Miller won’t return. He felt he was a top flight free agent when he signed with Portland and that process was considerably more complicated. If no one else lodges a serious offer, he could come back.

Miller does bring a lot of value, though. A tenacious defender who can hit open shots and throw the lob, he’s rife with that experience teams crave. It’ll be interesting to see who decides they need him and what teams are worth him sacrificing his pride in starting.

  1. raidmagic - May 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Orlando could use you

    • chilomane - May 13, 2012 at 10:36 PM

      He said championship caliber!

      • 00maltliquor - May 14, 2012 at 12:45 AM

        HAAA! Zing!

  2. stoudemelo - May 13, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    If the Lakers are smart they let Sessions walk and pick up Miller

    • dal24la - May 13, 2012 at 5:05 PM

      I agree, I think Miller would be a good fit at the right price. Although I would not mind keeping Sessions off the bench for the right price (doubtful).

  3. Mr. Wright 212 - May 13, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Knicks or his hometown Lakers.

    • knightrider1755 - May 13, 2012 at 9:24 PM

      Not the Knicks because he wants to play on a championship caliber team. Something the Knicks are definitely NOT.

    • chilomane - May 13, 2012 at 10:37 PM

      Yeah and he didn’t get along with melo while in denvee the first time

  4. rajbais - May 13, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    That’s the shame!!! He is one of the most unheralded and unappreciated point guards over last 10-12 years!!!

    • caeser12 - May 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM

      I concur. Andre Miller is this generations Rod Strickland.

  5. jgillmeister - May 13, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Don’t forget the Bulls. With DRose out, the Bulls could use a starter for the early part of the season and someone who can give quality backup minutes when Rose comes back. He’ll probably be limited in terms of playing time when he does come back. Looks like a good fit to me.

    • knicksukcats - May 13, 2012 at 10:44 PM

      Well with his ability to score and defend, I would rather him play along side Rose than Hamilton who is too up and down. Plus you could even let him run the point for a little while and Rose be the SG. If he and Lawson can be on the court at the same time then he and Rose would be even better.

  6. edwardsro - May 13, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Lakers should pick him up

  7. hoopshort - May 13, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Needs to get comfortable with coming off the bench, could be a valuable asset to a championship contender. He’s 36 and came in (draft) with dwindling participating class, like Lamar Odom,Baron Davis,Jason Terry, Richard Hamilton, Marion etc., but i feel he’s still got positive contributions to the right team, lakers, sixers, even okc. Bunch of teams could use him off the bench if Andre is game for it.

  8. andyprough - May 13, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Well, Mr. Miller, your Nuggets just took the championship-caliber Lakers to the brink of elimination, and your roster is filled with young post players who are only going to get better.

    I don’t know how much more any other team is going to be able to guarantee you a shot at a championship run. If your Nuggets can get some home-court advantage for the playoffs next year in that mile-high altitude, you’ll have a great chance at a deep run. I think you’ve got a huge home-court advantage there – opposing players look like they are pretty gassed after a few hard minutes on the floor.

    Do what the Lakers and Spurs have done for the past 14 years – work hard in the offseason, work hard in practice everyday, and then take the regular season games more seriously and get yourself a good playoff seeding. Then you won’t be griping about 1st round exits quite so often come playoff time.

    • passerby23 - May 14, 2012 at 1:21 AM

      Lakers are no longer championship-caliber and that will be proven against the Thunder next. They needed a lights-out game from Steve Blake to oust a feisty (not championship-caliber) Nuggets team.

      He would’ve been great on the Celtics this year, but it looks like their last run this year. If they intend on bringing everyone back, it’s going to be too much payroll to sign Miller.

      Bulls and Heat are good destinations, but he’s going to have to take a pay cut to do it.

      • andyprough - May 14, 2012 at 9:58 AM

        Lakers have 3 stars who can create their own shot in clutch time – that’s all you need to be championship caliber in the NBA. However, the Thunder and Spurs can match them shot-for-shot this year, and their benches are both much better than the Lakers, so I don’t expect to see Kobe-and-crew make it much farther.

      • passerby23 - May 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM

        Actually, it takes more than 3 stars to create their own shot in crunch time to win a championship. It takes great defense, which the Lakers do not show consistently. For the most part, they are a mediocre defensive team. It takes mental toughness, which the Lakers have not shown the last two years (outside Kobe). It takes consistent execution. Bynum and Gasol show up every second game. And it also helps having a strong bench, which the Lakers do not.

        The Lakers have three good players, two of whom disappear from time to time. This isn’t the Lakers of old and there are better teams now.

  9. dysraw1 - May 14, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Andre Miller is proven, he is no doubt a take charge type so is Steve Nash. but i want younger pgs than these guys theres an abundance of young guards availiable every year, and even though Steve Nash would be a devine teacher for J Lin. i am more inclined to think like Wil Bynum, Eric Bledsoe these types.

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