Who says you can't go home again...and potentially again after that?
Mike Miller, the three-point shooting specialist wing who has spent all or part of seven seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, may once again come back to the Mid-South according to multiple reports. Miller, who was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Portland Trail Blazers last night along with Brendan Haywood's massive waive-able contract and a couple of future second-round picks, is expected to be a free agent sooner rather than later. Some of the potential suitors for his services? According to ESPN's Marc Stein...
Seeing as how Memphis was Miller's last stop before joining LeBron James in Cleveland and Oklahoma City was interested in Miller two years ago when Miller first returned to the Grizzlies, those two suitors are not overly surprising. Miller also played for Billy Donovan, the new Head Coach in OKC, in college, so there is a connection there. Dallas also makes sense in theory, considering they are a team who could use a veteran to mentor the likes of Justin Anderson.
All three of these teams are at or near the max-roster amount already heading in to training camp in the Fall, however, and there would be serious maneuvering that would have to be done for Miller to join a roster. In Memphis' case, there is already a log-jam on the wing that just got even more crowded with the arrival of Matt Barnes to the Grizzlies. Last season's arrival of Vince Carter, an elder statesman who can shoot the three and create off the dribble and pick and roll (in theory), makes the potential addition of Mike Miller even more confounding potentially from a Memphis perspective.
It is an interesting conundrum; the Grizzlies could always use more shooting, and Miller has that skill in spades. However, his defense is a huge liability at this stage in his career and he is a one-trick pony at this stage of his career. His veteran leadership is valuable, especially on a young team, and he was a key locker room cog off the court for Cleveland reportedly last season. But that isn't needed here in Memphis, who boasts a veteran-laden roster (potentially to their detriment when it comes to Jordan Adams' development) and would likely have to lose a young player to add Miller.
Miller still has value as an off the court leader. On the court? His 2.1 points per game and 32.7% three-point shooting last season for the Cavaliers in 52 regular season games (on 13.5 minutes per game) doesn't set the world on fire. Miller may have to wait until the season starts and rosters are trimmed down to find a proper landing spot, as ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin stated in the article linked above. Whether or not that will be Memphis remains to be seen.
Stick with Grizzly Bear Blues for updates as this story develops and the off-season continues to grind along.