NBA Roundtable

Mike Miller Wants To Play For Contender

In Free Agency on June 26, 2010 at 7:28 am

This report came from a few days ago but I felt it was worth mentioning

The excitement extends to Miller, a 10-year veteran coming off a nightmarish season with the Washington Wizards and looking for yet another fresh start.

The difference is that the 30-year-old Mitchell native – who had earlier stints with Orlando, Memphis and Minnesota – controls his own destiny this time around.

As an unrestricted free agent, Miller can sign with a team that gives him what he wants – and what he wants is to stop losing.

“I’m looking for a winner,” confirms the 6-foot-8 swingman, who averaged 10.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in 54 games last season. “The last couple of years have taken a toll on me, as far as not being in the playoffs and not playing this time of year. So I’m looking to change that. This time, if it doesn’t work out, there’s no one to blame but myself.”

Normally, this is exactly what you would expect to hear from a player of Miller’s ability + age. Especially when that player has played for as many lousy teams as Miller has and is coming off such a dismal season (club wise).

However, in Miller’s case, he didn’t ask for a trade at the trading deadline. He could have pushed, and certainly received, a trade to a title contender in the middle of last season and chose not to do so.

Mike Miller has been one of the more willing veteran players to play on losing teams over the past few seasons. Amidst all the misery of a playing for a lottery team Miller has found some joy in being a veteran leader and trying to turn around those franchises. Miller has also been extremely loyal to organizations that have shown belief and confidence in him.

Obviously, there are right and wrong things to say as a professional … and consequently I am now uncertain how much Miller means what he says.

All things being equal, I expect Miller to play for a contender next season.

If someone, say Washington, offered him $40 million for five years instead of the MLE ($30-33 million) … does Miller stay with the Wizards or go? It’s difficult to tell because of Miller’s past willingness to play for lottery teams.

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