Chris Broussard had some interesting rumor and/or innuendo on the Andre Milller situation in his free agent buzz column yesterday. After the jump, check out why he believes Andre Miller is as good as gone.
According to Broussard, the Sixers offered Miller a one-year deal for the full MLE ($5.58M) and nothing more. This offer falls far short of the rumored 2 year/$18M offer from the Sixers, and laughably short of the 3 year/$30M offer he and his agent are said to be seeking.
Let's take this rumor at face value for a moment. What does it say about the team's plans? There's no way the Sixers expected him to accept the offer. In fact, making such a low-ball offer, an offer that just about any team in the league could at the very least match, probably insured that he would not be returning. Couple this with the rumored 1-year offer to Mike Bibby and the picture becomes pretty clear to me. For whatever reason, the management of this team is comfortable heading into the season with Lou Williams as the starting point guard, possibly splitting time with Jrue Holiday, depending on Holiday's development.
Three reasons I can see for this course of action, and they aren't mutually exclusive. One, the team invested a lot of money in Lou Williams last season and they believe he's ready to lead the team. Two, Andre Miller's age, defense and lack of three-point range have become three liabilities the team can no longer afford. They want to be younger, faster and more versatile. Three, Money.
Each of those reasons is completely valid. Honestly, I think Miller punched his own ticket out of town by skipping his exit interview after the game 6 loss. Andre played his heart out for this team over the past two-and-a-half seasons. He was a big reason for the turnaround and I can guarantee there will be games this season when his absence will be clearly felt.
Should the Sixers have traded Miller at the deadline last year instead of letting him walk for nothing this Summer? How about the year before? I know plenty of people will say yes, I've said no from the get-go, and I'll continue to say no as long as anyone will listen. The Sixers picked Thad Young, Marreese Speights and Jrue Holiday with middling draft picks in the past three drafts. Each one could've been a high lottery pick. Time will tell how they rate among their draft classes, but I don't see how you can possibly make the case that the Sixers would've done better in the draft had they lost 5-10 more games each season and moved up 3-5 spots. There's simply no evidence to support that.
Over the same three season stretch the Knicks were just an awful team. So awful they wound up with the number 9, 6 and 8 picks. Their haul in the three drafts: Joakim Noah (Bulls actually owned the pick from the Eddy Curry deal), Danilo Gallinari and Jordan Hill. Would the Sixers be in a better position right now with those three players?
The draft is really a secondary concern for me, however. Odds are, DiLeo would've found great value no matter where he was drafting. My main argument for winning as many games as possible the past two seasons can be summed up with one number: 1,205.
That's the number of minutes the young core of Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Lou Williams and Marreese Speights have accumulated in playoff experience over the past two seasons. If you think those 12 games were meaningless, I don't agree. There are lessons you can only learn under the bright lights of the post season. The guys we're counting on to lead this team in their primes are learning those lessons early in their careers. They're facing big situations and learning from them. When it comes time to make a real run, if that time ever comes, you don't want to be in the situation Portland was in this past season. Home court without a real advantage because everyone on your team is a complete newbie to the post season.
Thoughts on the Miller situation, if this rumor is true, in the comments.