NBA Roundtable

Mike Miller Signs With Miami

In Free Agency on July 9, 2010 at 12:59 am

Waiting for confirmation — update: confirmed

It appears that Mike Miller has signed a five year $30 million deal with the Miami Heat.

Note: There was some talk of the three stars taking a 5% pay cut (below the max contract starting point) each to make this move possible.

RealGM reports

Mike Miller will be signing with the Heat, according to an interview The Daily Republic in South Dakota conducted with the free agent’s father.

Miller reportedly had an offer when free agency began from the Lakers, but it had an expiration attached.

That would be a huge coup for Miami. Give them a real sixth man and a deadly lineup with Miller replacing Chalmers with Wade or LeBron shifting to the point. A matchup nightmare.


Incredible signing for Miami.

  • Mike Miller is a very effective sixth man.
  • Miller is an excellent complementary scorer + excellent shooter who is hugely efficient + an excellent rebounder + a very good passer … but a poor overall defender.
  • Miller at 6-8 can play both wing positions at a high level and do a serviceable job as a four in a small ball lineup if needed (although LeBron should really take those duties and let Miller stay on the wing in those situations)
    • Miller creates great lineup flexibility — scroll below for more on this
  • Miller allows Miami to keep two major offensive threats on the floor at all times on the wing with himself, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James taking up almost all of the available wing minutes.
  • Excellent value for money too



  • C – Joel Anthony
  • PF – Chris Bosh
  • SF – LeBron James
  • SG – Dwyane Wade
  • PG – Mario Chalmers
  • 6th Man – Mike Miller

Three Best Lineups

Big Lineup

  • PG – Dwyane Wade
  • SG – LeBron James
  • SF – Mike Miller
  • PF – Chris Bosh
  • C – Joel Anthony

Small Lineup #1

  • G – Mario Chalmers
  • G – Dwyane Wade
  • F – Mike Miller
  • F – LeBron James
  • C – Chris Bosh

Small Lineup #2

  • G – Dwyane Wade
  • G/F – A minimum contract signing like Raja Bell
  • F – Mike Miller
  • F – LeBron James
  • C – Chris Bosh


Those three lineups in combination with Miami’s starting lineup give the Heat four hugely effective lineups that they can turn to at any time.

The ability to go to any of those highly effective lineups and either create or eliminate matchup advantages against opponents is extremely valuable. That lineup flexibility is a huge plus in Miami’s favour.

  1. You forgot Miami’s second round picks which I’m sure they’ll use to fill the roster.

    Jarvis Varnado’s is a great shot-blocker and handled himself well banging with DeMarcus Cousins. He’ll be useful off the bench. I forgot who else they got.

  2. Hey quickdarshan,

    I am not expecting either of the second round picks to crack Miami’s rotation next season.

    The other second round pick was Da’Sean Butler.

    I thought that he had the better chance of making their rotation than Varnando. A 6-7 wing from West Virginia with good scoring skills.

    However, with LeBron James and Mike Miller joining Dwyane Wade on the wings … Minutes are going to be hard to come by. Miami are likely to sign another veteran wing as well (maybe two) who will also be ahead of Butler in the rotation.


    I don’t watch much college basketball. What do you think of Varnando’s game?

    I thought he sounded a lot like Stephane Lasme after reading some of the reports on sites like draftexpress.

    Do you think he’s good enough to be a rotation player for a contender as a rookie?

  3. The Miller signing is confirmed? I can’t find confirmation on the web, although my search was quick. That’s a crazy good signing for them — a guy who can be very efficient and effective without needing the basketball or lots of shots. Brilliant.

  4. Hey brgulker,

    Hmm, I thought it was … but maybe it isn’t.

    It was on the ticker for ESPN or NBATV (I forget which one) last night + reported on KSFY (?) and later on RealGM.

    That was enough for me but there is a surprising lack of news about it today.

    Update: Yahoo Sports has the story too. It is confirmed. Oh wait, it’s in their rumours section. Not confirmed yet but very likely to be true.

    Update: Yeah, the Miami Sun-Sentinel is reporting the signing — article one + article two — so now we have confirmation.

  5. re: Miami’s 2nd Round Picks

    IMO, it would be a mistake in judgment to think that Dexter Pittman [C] is incapable of having a very successful career in the NBA.

  6. Update

    Sam Amick says that the deal is worth around $25 million rather than $30 million.

    A league source tells FanHouse that Mike Miller’s likely Miami deal would be in the five-year, $25 million range.

  7. Dave…I have a few questions.

    1) Do you think if Bosh and Wade or Lebron had signed with Chicago they would have had a better chance of a dynasty?

    Starting line-up with Bosh and Lebron:

    C – Noah
    PF – Bosh
    SF – Lebron
    SG – ?
    PG – Rose

    Bench: Deng,Gibson,Johnson

    Starting line-up with Wade and Bosh:

    C – Noah
    PF – Bosh
    SF – Deng
    SG – Wade
    PG – Rose

    Bench: Gibson, Johnson

    2) How well do you think the Heat will do against the length of the Lakers? With Bosh being an average defender and Joel Anthony a decent defender, I see them getting destroyed in the paint. Artest will have to guard Lebron…a tough task for anyone, Kobe will have to guard Wade, but he has shown he is up to the task.

    3) What about the Heat’s glaring weakness at PG and the rest of the bench?

    Offensively, they are going to be a powerhouse although I think Bosh’s numbers will decline. He’s not going to get nearly as many touches and he won’t be able be the ball-stopper he was with the Raps. I’m really curious to see how they incorporate him into the offense other than the high-screen and roll.

    Over-all they have poor defense at the point guard, PF and center positions. I’m not convinced that they can beat the Lakers or even the Celtics.

  8. Correction: high-pick and pop instead of high-screen and roll.

  9. Hey Dane,

    Miami’s Defense

    I think the Heat have the capacity to be a top five defensive team next season.

    I expect Chris Bosh to improve substantially on the defensive end now that he (1) has less offensive responsibilities which will give him more energy to use defensively (2) will be surrounded by more defensively capable teammates + playing for a team with a defensive mentality. I think those two factors will lead to a large improvement defensively for Bosh.

    Chris Bosh will be a very good defender (7 to 7.5 out of 10) by the end of the regular season, if not sooner, for Miami.

    Mario Chalmers struggled last season but as a rookie he was a capable player and a good defender. He should be able to get back to that next season while playing in a role more suited to his skill-set, as a complementary piece playing off of Wade-Bron-Bosh.

    Joel Anthony is a solid defender too. Anthony’s only real value as a basketball player to be honest.

    Then there’s Wade and LeBron who are two All-League defensive caliber players. Great quickness and athleticism. Very active in team defense as well as lockdown one-on-one defenders. LeBron James is also one of the most vocal defensive leaders in the league which will help the Heat tremendously.

    So based on the talents of their starting five — and since they don’t have a bench in place yet — I think Miami has the capacity to be a top five defensive team. A team based on quickness defensively. Two big men who are extremely good in transition, pick and rolls and make intelligent defensive rotations. Wings with great defensive tolls and a solid all-round defensive PG.

    Obviously, that could fall back a bit once the supporting cast is in place if they fail to find adequate defenders … but Miami should still have enough defensive chops in their starting lineup to be a very good defensive team.

    Miami’s Supporting Cast

    I like Mario Chalmers as their starting point guard. Since the day he was drafted I have compared to him to a Derek Fisher. I think he can become that type of role player and finishing piece to this lineup.

    I’m not a fan of Joel Anthony’s ordinarily but in this specific situation I like him as a 20 minute a night starting center. He is a good defender but a very poor rebounder and mediocre garbage man offensively … but on a Miami starting lineup that is loaded with offensive potential and has several good rebounders, he should be able to concentrate on what he does best and make a positive contribution to the team.

    Mike Miller will be a tremendous sixth man and contribute a great deal. Both in terms of individual play + lineup flexibility.

    Miami should be able to find enough serviceable minimum contract players to make the rest work.

    It would be a huge bonus if the Heat could get Udonis Haslem to come back as their lead backup big man. That would give them excellent depth with Haslem and Miller as their sixth + seventh men. With Haslem playing ahead of Joel Anthony in fourth quarters and Bosh switching to center.

    Bosh’s Numbers

    I am hoping that the trio take on similar roles to the ones they had for Team USA. With Wade the leading scorer, Bosh the defensive anchor and leading rebounder, and LeBron in the do-it-all role.

    I would expect Bosh’s scoring to fall back to the high teens to low twenties. Say 18-21ppg. He will be even more efficient than in the past … more so with his touches and time spent on the ball than scoring efficiency stats like true shooting percentage.

    As for his offense, Miami will use Bosh in the same way any other team will … just with less clearouts than before … Bosh will get a large chunk of his offense off of garbage baskets, transition opportunities, pick and rolls/pops + Miami will also use his extremely effective face up game from 14-18 feet where Bosh will be asked to drive and finish, drive and draw a foul, or take and make the midrange J.

    The only difference will be the percentage of his hustle baskets relative to the number isolation opportunities will shift. To accommodate the scoring talents of Wade and LeBron. Bosh will get more easy hoops than ever before and be asked to do less by himself but he will still be asked to do some on his own.

    Chicago vs Miami

    I prefer the trio of Wade, LeBron and Bosh over the foursome of one of Wade/LeBron + Bosh, Noah and Rose.

    The only advantage Chicago would offer over Miami is the youth of Rose and Noah. A larger window for a player like LeBron to work with.

    At either destination they would have won multiple championships and become a dynasty.

    I cannot be overstated how dangerous a team can be when they have two of the top five players in the NBA. An individual player can have such a huge impact on a game in the NBA (since it’s 5 on 5 versus 11 on 11 or other larger team vs team sports). It’s just a huge advantage to have to players of that ilk. And then Bosh on top of that, plus a supporting cast to follow. Miami is going to be lethal.

    Miami will break the 70 win barrier in future seasons once they have gotten the opportunity to build a better supporting cast. Likely in 2012 or 2013.

    LA vs Miami

    I think Miami will beat the Lakers.

    LA’s offense has become too rigid. Too focused on either post scoring or isolations for Bryant. They don’t get enough offense from other avenues like transition opportunities + cutters + dribble penetration + perimeter shooters. That makes LA vulnerable.

    I would expect Miami to be able to offer up a similar defensive tactic as the one’s they used against LA this season + as Oklahoma used against them in the playoffs.

    Both teams relied on their perimeter player’s size + athleticism + quickness to provide active help defense. To show aggressive help on the post players, creating havoc, and forcing mistakes and turnovers. Sure, LA’s big men still held an advantage but it limited their advantage enough to give them a good chance at winning the game.

    The difference between Miami and Oklahoma is that Miami’s offense won’t let them down. The Heat have enough guns to win the series from that point on.

    So, right now, I am liking Miami to win a potential Finals matchup against LA.

    Note: Any team with a strong post defense + a top wing defender can make LA into a bottom ten offensive team due to their offense’s lack of versatility. Look for Portland to do just that this season.

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