Free Agency...Mike Miller Update
By Randy Renner
Free agent shooter Mike Miller was a Thunder target last season and is again this season. Last time his choice came down to Oklahoma City and Memphis with the Grizz winning out largely because Miller used to play there back in the day and still maintained a home there.
Now the Thunder and Grizz are battling it out again for the sharpshooter and there are still four, maybe five other teams still in the mix too with the Clippers and Rockets making the strongest moves of those other teams.
Miller has talked with the Thunder and he's spoken with Kevin Durant too. Miller posted a photo of himself and KD talking on his Instagram account. The two are buddies and spoke last season about Miller joining the Thunder.
Just before noon Miller went on a Memphis radio station and said he's finished meeting with teams and plans to make a decision by the weekend, maybe Friday, maybe Saturday and that he's hoping to stay in Memphis.
He also told the "Sports56 WHBQ" Midday Show that he's told teams he wants at least a three year deal and would prefer four. He told the station it's about security for his family and a longer agreement would give him that.
The 6-8 Miller is 34 now and has been in the NBA for 14 seasons so some teams may be a bit squeamish on giving him the long-term deal he wants.
On the other hand Miller was healthy all last season and played in all 82 regular season games for the first time since his rookie season.
He averaged 7.1 points per game (the most since 10.9 in 2009-10) and his 3-point shooting was sharp as ever, 45.9 percent. In fact it was darn near better than ever. His 48.0 percent shooting from beyond the arc in that same 09-10 season is the only time he was more accurate on 3-balls than in this past season.
Miller shot 48.1 percent overall and he hit 82.1 percent of his free throws. Those numbers were also among the best of his career.
So when it comes to filling a need Miller would be as good as it gets from 3-point land, plus he has a long and distinguished career so the veteran leadership would also help fill the void left by Derek Fisher's departure.
But Miller's heart is in Memphis if the Grizzlies give him close to what he wants, especially in the length of the contract, he likely spurns the Thunder again and stays in River City.
In addition to talking to free agents Thunder GM Sam Presti and his staff have also been in contact with Reggie Jackson about extending his contract.
The Thunder are seeing the possible numbers for Jackson go up based on deals other players are getting.
Backup point guard Shaun Livingston has agreed to a three year, $16 million deal go to the Warriors and the Celtics have reached agreement with their own restricted free agent, backup point guard and shooting guard Avery Bradley. He will get a big four year, $32 million contract to stay in bean town.
A year ago Bradley was where Jackson is now and he turned down a four year deal for $24 million to move forward and see what kind of offers he would get.
After he had a "career year" this past season 14.6 points on 43.8 percent shooting (80.4 percent at the stripe) he got his big payday.
This past season with the Thunder Jackson posted career highs across the board, averaging 13.1 points, 4.1 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game. He shot 44.0 percent overall and 33.9 percent from deep.
So Jackson's numbers in his third year are quite comparable to Bradley's in his fourth so you'd think the price for Jackson is getting into that same range also.