Good morning! Yesterday evening, the rumbles about the Minnesota Timberwolves looking to sign a veteran point guard went from background noise to a full-on geologic event, as the signing of super-veteran Andre Miller was confirmed by all the usual league suspects.
Agent Andy Miller tells The Associated Press that Andre Miller has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Timberwolves
— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) July 29, 2015
First thing's first: yes, the Wolves did the impossible: they signed one of the two remaining active NBA players OLDER than Kevin Garnett. It's too late to make a move for Tim Duncan, so they can't get both of them.
Miller was drafted eighth overall by the Cavs in 1999 (check the sweet old Cavs uniforms on his basketball-reference page). He will be joining his eighth team, following stints of various time with Cleveland, Denver, Philadelphia, Portland, Washington, Sacramento and the Los Angeles Clippers.
His relationship with the Wolves stems from working with current Timberwolves assistant coach Ryan Saunders when the two were with the Wizards. The signing had been rumored as one of the main possibilities when Flip Saunders mentioned a couple of weeks ago that he was looking to add a veteran point guard.
Eric broke the signing down in a bit more detail here yesterday evening. I solicited a few reactions from across the internet to the signing.
@ProfCedar Best alley-oop thrower of all time, meet two of the most high-flying wings in the league.— Adam Mares (@Adam_Mares) July 29, 2015
Adam Mares of Denver Stiffs brings up the highlight potential of Miller running with LaVine and Wiggins. My guess at this point is that Miller and LaVine would be the first pair off the bench, and would likely spend a lot of time playing together. Here's a video of Miller throwing all kinds of lobs. (also, go read Adam's awesome piece on Nikola Jokic from yesterday).
Many of the young Wolves know how to get to the rim, so this combination could indeed be fun.
@ProfCedar old man game. Great for bigs who run abd athletic finishers. One of the last post-up PGs. Low effort defender/everything else— Charlie Yao (@skitalicious) July 30, 2015
Charlie Yao of Roundball Mining Company brings up one of the main concerns. Miller's never had a stellar reputation as a defender, and after how putrid the Wolves were on that end of the floor last season, it doesn't feel like a good idea to bring in another minus defender.
However, in more amusing terms, should Flip choose to play a backcourt of Miller and Kevin Martin, he of the long-discussed old man game, would it be the most old man game backcourt of all time? Discuss.
@ProfCedar Andre and KG would become my two favorite NBA "mentors" ever. Can you imagine that locker room if rookies gave a lazy effort?— Adam Mares (@Adam_Mares) July 29, 2015
Nate Timmons (also of Denver Stiffs) and Mares both also shared thoughts on Miller's potential locker room impact. Having another hardworking, well-respected veteran around the Wolves' multitudes of youth seems like it could have many benefits both on and off the court, and I've already seen many thoughts around about the things Tyus Jones could and should learn from being around Miller.
My take on the move doesn't even center around Miller himself. He's a great player, and will hopefully be a great mentor to the young Wolves for the season. Agreeing to come to this roster for the veteran minimum, to a team that will probably not be very good, for likely your last season in the league, is impressive.
However, I've been riding the Lorenzo Brown bandwagon for a very long time, and I do not think Brown should be out of the fifteen rosters slots the Wolves have moving into the regular season, which now seems like a sad probability.
Brown, in my opinion, was the Wolves' most consistent player this summer in Las Vegas. He was comfortable on the court, made smart choices both passing and scoring, and remained a tenacious defender. He has a partially guaranteed contract for the season, but now is very much on the bubble. KSTP's Darren Wolfson had this on Brown's contract yesterday, in regards to the guaranteed money:
@ProfCedar Tiny bit already has. Decent spike coming fast.— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) July 29, 2015
I would expect Brown to at least be at training camp with the Wolves this year, but if they choose to waive him in the next couple of weeks to avoid paying his guarantee, who knows. The question now almost becomes is Brown worth more to the team than new acquisition Damjan Rudez, who would be almost as cheap to waive? I know which side of the fence I'm on there.
News, Notes, Things
- I may forget about this by next week, but I am starting today with recommended people to follow on Twitter if you're curious about the greater world of the NBA. The three gentlemen I quoted above are all excellent writers and lovely people, and the Nuggets will be fun to keep tabs on this year as a young divisional rival. So if you have the curiosity: Adam Mares (@Adam_Mares), Charlie Yao (@skitalicious) and Nate Timmons (@NateTimmonsCO).
- The NBA's first game in Africa (featuring one Gorgui Dieng) is on Saturday, August 1 at 8:00am CT. The NBA, as you might expect, has a lot of coverage of the game on their site, and this article on Raptors GM Masai Ujiri's roots is an excellent read. The game will be televised on ESPN.
- Also an excellent read is this piece on Summer League's similarity to the basketball version of the journey of a traveling musician by the stellar Bram Kincheloe of Golden State of Mind.
- The Lynx grabbed another win last night over the Los Angeles Sparks in Sylvia Fowles' Minnesota debut. John has your recap here.
- Our next division preview will be up later today. Get excited for that. I won't spoil anything though.
- Lastly, music. Let Snarky Puppy enter your life. Happy Thursday, y'all.