Why the Wolves NEED TO KEEP Mike Miller

Patience is a Virtue...

First and foremost let me just say that this cry to NOT trade Mike Miller has absolutely nothing to do with me assuming he's going to "come around" as a player (apologies to MAYNHOLUP). Frankly I hate this awful impression of Grant Hill (post-ankle surgeries), and I'd like nothing more than to be rid of him. But if the Wolves are going to make a splash and acquire a player to put us over the top, we will need to keep Mike Miller's salary on our payroll.

Please read this interesting bit of news from John Hollinger's weekend notebook...

Finally, let me share a juicy tip from a league source on the state of the salary cap. Basically, the situation will be worse than many people expect, and the luxury-tax level next season will be set even lower than what several teams are currently planning for. The implications will be huge as we head into next season.

Here's the more interesting part of what I was told: Next season's luxury tax might just be the tip of the iceberg. The salary cap (and thus the tax level) could drop massively in 2010; my source used the term "bloodbath."

This would have huge effects on the pursuit of big-game free agents, of course, but also on the luxury-tax level for that season … which could push many more teams over the line and lead to fire-sale-type trades.


The potential "bloodbath" will not occur until next summer at the earliest. During the summer is when people renew their season tickets, so shortly after that is when we can assume teams will receive their first indications of how much the League's revenue could decrease. At that point, if you're a team that is floundering around or below 500, and you're above the Luxury Tax threshold, what incentive do you have to not cut salary? Teams even have the ultimate excuse "We're trying to get our hands on Lebron"! 

Enter Mike Miller's contract...

As tempting as it may be to try to move under the cap in order to sign Ariza or Marvin Williams (i.e. trading Mike Miller for expiring contracts). I just don't feel like Ariza or Williams would be enough to compete with the Portland, Lakers, and even the Thunder's of the world (we're thinking long term). If the Wolves are going to make the Championship-Level Step, they need to acquire another All-Star caliber player. I believe they can ONLY make a championship level move by holding onto Mike Miller's contract, and then trading him during the 2009-10 season (with help from Cardinal and Craig Smith) for an all-star caliber swing or point.

Here are some borderline all-stars on mediocre teams that could be purged for salary cap reasons during the next year. These players have contracts over 10 million that last beyond 2010, but would not be considered Franchise Cornerstones...

Chris Kaman, Baron Davis, Zach Randolph, Josh Smith, Gerald Wallace, Emeka Okafor, Luol Deng, Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Monta Ellis, Mike Dunleavy, Richard Jefferson, Vince Carter, Tyson Chandler, Andre Igodala, Elton Brand, Sammy Goaltend (plus Speights or Thadeus), Kevin Martin, Jose Calderon, Andrei Kirilenko, Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison.

MANY of these guys will be up for sale in the next year. The ONLY chance the Wolves have at any of them is if we have a large expiring contract on our books....MIKE MILLER

So please Kevin Mc...erm...Jim Stack, don't trade Mike Miller...YET!



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