The Mike Miller free agency has been bit weird.
At first it was assumed that Mike Miller would return to the Memphis Grizzlies as both parties expressed mutual interest. But after his expected price drove up, Miller looked elsewhere, gaining big interest from the Denver Nuggets as the other teams who vied for Miller’s services (Memphis, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City), weren’t in position to pay Miller nearly the full mid-level exception.
LeBron James’ free agency shifted the direction of Miller’s free agency as the free agent small forward made it known that his decision wouldn’t come until James’. If James returned to Miami, Miller would look elsewhere as amnesty rules made it impossible for Mike to return to Miami until the summer of 2015. But if James chose Cleveland, Miller would contemplate joining back up with his former teammate.
LeBron went back to Cleveland and the Cavs became the frontrunners in the Mike Miller race. Now Gary Parrish of CBS Sports says the two-time NBA champion will make a excision between Cleveland and Denver.
Mike Miller will be picking between Denver and Cleveland, a source told @CBSSports. Decision expected soon.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) July 14, 2014
Miller is facing a decision that many NBA players are stricken with: contention or money.
In Cleveland, the opportunity to compete for a championship is alive in well as they’ve added James to the fold, but lacks the money to offer Miller the full mid-level exception. In Denver, the opposite is the case: they’ve the money to offer Miller the full $5.305 million, but are far from contention in the Western Conference.
We’ll see which factor (winning or money) matters most to Mike Miller when he makes his decision.