Oct 13, 2013, 6:30 PM EDT
Andre Miller is entering his 15th NBA season, and he’s always been considered one of the highest-IQ players at his position. His “old man game” is fun to watch in an entirely different way than say, Nuggets starting point guard Ty Lawson, given Miller’s style that has him using his brain far more often than his athleticism to make plays.
Miller appeared in all 82 regular season games last season, and averaged 26.2 minutes per contest. He feels like he could contribute much more than that if called upon, and at age 37, believes he could be playing for three more seasons.
“I could still play 35 minutes,” Miller said. “Coming back here, I was slowed down (last year). I was doing well in Portland, playing 33, 34 minutes a game, and the situation was, I was traded back here and basically told I would be a backup. I still feel I can play a high amount of minutes, but teams have what they are doing, and I have to fall in line.” …
His preparation in the summer was simple. He rested. He’s aiming to play until he’s 40 — and that requires two more seasons beyond this one.
To do that, he’ll have to show the new coaching staff he has the staying power. Teammates believe he can do it.
“He has youthful legs,” guard Ty Lawson said. “You can see when people are getting old. With Dre, you can’t see that.”
Denver’s previous head coach, George Karl, was one of Miller’s biggest fans, and Karl knew just how valuable it was to have someone like Miller out on the floor for as many minutes as made sense. But with Brian Shaw now coaching, Miller’s role in Denver will be a bit less clear, and may very well diminish.
Miller’s contract is only guaranteed through this season, with the Nuggets having the option to retain him for an additional year beyond that. Depending on the direction the franchise takes, Miller could very well still be playing when he’s 40 — but in all likelihood, he’ll have to convince another team that he still has something left to contribute by the time he reaches that age.