The pros and cons of the Andre Miller trade


The good news: the Wizards got an upgrade for minimal cost. The bad news: this trade would not have been necessary with better decision-making in the past.

My thoughts on the Andre Miller trade are scattered, so let's go through them in bullet-point form:


-The Wizards definitely upgraded: I was never a huge fan of needing to get a backup point guard, but I think there's a difference between getting Andre Miller and some barely-viable guy like Beno Udrih or Jimmer Fredette. Miller was still playing well when he was on the court in Denver this year and provides the kind of playmaking and on-court IQ that no other option can. In many ways, he's ideal to anchor a second unit because he sees creases in the defense that most guys don't. You can play him with four non-scorers and he'll still find a way to get it done.

Obviously, he's getting older, he's really slow on defense and he hasn't played in quite a while. But he's also the kind of guy that finds ways to run an effective offense no matter what his conditioning may be.

-They didn't give up much: The only real asset dealt away was a 2015 second-round pick from the Pelicans that's completely unprotected, but New Orleans is a team on the rise, so that probably won't be the dreaded high second-rounder. Second-rounders are increasing in value, sure, but I was worried the Wizards would deal their own pick this year or Glen Rice Jr. That didn't happen, and the Wizards still have their second-round picks this year and next. This isn't like dealing a first-round pick for Marcin Gortat when teams are hoarding those like South African diamonds.

-They got an extra roster spot: This will be useful down the road. The Wizards can now kick tires on veteran buyout guys and D-League call-ups, and I would expect them to look around. There's also plenty of wiggle room under the luxury tax to pursue different options.


-Ernie Grunfeld is cleaning up another of his mistakes: We're so used to the routine by now that there's really not much to say. Eric Maynor was supposed to be the solution that Miller was traded to be; seven months after signing him, it costs a draft pick to get him off the cap. And don't even get me started on Vesely and the 2011 draft.

-Miller is prickly: We shouldn't expect to see the malcontent that Miller was in his final days in Denver, because he'll be playing and won't have a personality conflict with his coach. That said, Miller is used to playing quite a bit -- if not starter's minutes, then the kind of super-sub time that involved him finishing games even when he didn't start. While he may have been the most useful of all the backup point guard options on the market, he's also the most high-maintenance. Will he be OK playing 15-20 minutes a night? Too much more and I think his limitations show.

-Is Miller in game shape? Game shape is relative to him, as he's famous for not working out much over summers, then coming in and playing just fine anyway. Still, he hasn't been in an NBA game since December 30, so there's going to be an adjustment. (For what it's worth, Grunfeld said he's lost 10-12 pounds, but that's still not "game shape").


Overall, I'd give this a B or so. It'll work and not much was surrendered, but it's hard to get too excited about it. Hopefully Miller has something left and can stabilize the bench as intended.

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