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Report: Mike Miller tells friends he’ll likely sign with Thunder

Jul 19, 2013, 10:44 PM EDT

Mike Miller AP

Mike Miller, who just cleared waivers after being amnestied by the Heat, becoming an unrestricted free agent, will have no shortage of contending suitors. Smart front offices – the type of front offices that can build a winning team that would entice Miller – recognize his value as a 3-point shooter, both because long-distance field goals space the floor and offer a 50 percent boost in value over other baskets.

Apparently, Miller is zeroing in on one of those contenders. Ken Berger of CBS Sports:

This would be a huge boon to the Thunder, who traded James Harden for Kevin Martin in order to save money. Then, Martin left for Minnesota as a free agent, because Oklahoma City wasn’t willing to pay the salary necessary to keep him. There was a report Oklahoma City would pursue Dorell Wright, but he signed with the Trail Blazers.

Miller won’t be the premier bench scorer Harden and, to a lesser degree, Martin, were, but the former Heat forward would be a low-cost and viable replacement. A team with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook can always use spot-up 3-point shooters, which is why the Heat wanted Miller to play with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Money led Miami to amnesty Miller, and money led the Thunder to downgrade their bench. But Miller – who will still be paid $12.8 million minus a potential setoff by the Heat – might come at just the right price for Oklahoma City now. Even though the Thunder just received a financial bailout from the rest of the league, their luxury-tax situation remains unchanged, and that doesn’t live room for a high-priced addition.

Before Westbrook got hurt in the playoffs, Oklahoma City played like the NBA’s second-best team throughout the season behind the Heat. The loss of Martin hurts, and other contenders have upgraded, but the Thunder were substantially younger than Miami, so Oklahoma City’s championship window is wide open.

Miller could be the piece – the off-the-bench shooter – who didn’t seem available for the right price a few days ago, but who could make all the difference next June.

  1. dezglobal - Jul 19, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Good for Mike, he deserves to end his career w a contender.

    • adoombray - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:28 AM

      yeah, because his fabulous salary and his last 2 rings have really been a downer for him.

  2. ss3walkman - Jul 19, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Dorell Wright would have been a nice pick up for the Thunder

    • spursareold - Jul 20, 2013 at 12:12 AM

      Yeah, Miller is broken. His spine f’d up.

  3. onlyavoice - Jul 20, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    You Knew He Wasn’t Even Thinking Of The Dysfunctional Lakers.
    You Know He Personally Told The Cavs HELL NO.
    I Wish Him Well

  4. fnc111 - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    I’m gonna blow my load

    • artswarriorpaulminicucci - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      thanks for the warning.

  5. adoombray - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    Despite being rookie of the year, he has never averaged more than 18.5 PPG, is spectacularly overpaid at 5 million per year, and gave the heat 5.6, 6.1 and then 4.8 PPG for his 5 million per year. I really don’t get it. Mike Miller is not a good basketball player. He’s a glorified Derek Fisher, who incidentally shot a better 3pt % with the Mavericks last year. I guess it’s good for the Thunder they don’t have to wheel Fish out anymore, but Miller basically just had a couple of good games when it mattered. If he had any value as a player, the Heat would have kept him, considering that they have to pay him anyway.

    The team sets record breaking profits with their arena and never has to pay any money back to the taxpayers because Arison has a good accountant and a sweetheart deal with Miami-Dade. They can print cash. It’s not about money, it’s about literally being able to replace his production with just about any NBA ready 2/3 swingman, which are a dime a dozen.

    • shanelsweet - Jul 20, 2013 at 8:59 AM

      The fact that you so easily dismiss that “Miller basically just had a couple of good games when it mattered” ruins your argument for me ’cause that doesn’t happen in the NBA playoffs to players who aren’t any good.

    • miamatt - Jul 20, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      I would point out where you are wrong, but that’s sort of a long to post to go sentence by sentence correcting…

  6. 00maltliquor - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    Hope this doesn’t mean Jeremy Lamb is gonna lose minutes.

  7. bellerophon30 - Jul 20, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    For the minimum salary, this is a great get for OKC. If his body holds up even a little, he’ll help them. And even if it doesn’t, he’ll be good in the locker room, especially with the younger players. No risk for anyone involved.

  8. kinggw - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Im just happy that Miller will be taking his talents out of the East. Chicago and Indiana could’ve definitely used him. I believe he would’ve had a bigger impact on those teams than Dunleavy and/or Copeland, respectively.

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