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NBA executives expect Nuggets to buy out Andre Miller if they don’t trade him

Feb 20, 2014, 12:13 PM EST

San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

Andre Miller hasn’t returned to the Nuggets since his falling out with Brian Shaw, and it’s pretty clear Denver wants to trade the point guard.

But that won’t be easy.

Miller turns 38 next month, and he’s owed $1,647,059 the rest of this season and $2 million next season (if waived. If you want to keep him for next year, you must pay him $4,625,000.) Potential trade partners will look at those numbers and not only be wary of giving Denver an asset, but they might want to unload their own unfavorable contract on the Nuggets.

That’s why many NBA front-office members see Miller headed toward a buyout.

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If Miller becomes  a free agent, he’ll draw heavy interest. At a minimum contract – which would cost his team $291,297 for the rest of the season – he’s a bargain.

But for teams who wouldn’t top Miller’s preferred destinations, a trade is the only chance to get him. That’s the main reason a trade market for him exists.

Often, in cases like this, the player and his current team have already negotiated a buyout in case he’s not traded. That way, if the deadline passes without a deal, everyone can move on quickly.

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