Lots of talk lately about the Kings jumping into the free agent class a year early if they can unload Miller, Thomas, Salmons, etc for expirings. While much of the chatter has focused on guys like Boozer, Marion, Sheed, and Odom, I think one guy has been overlooked. Andre Miller.
The league has evolved over the past few years to the point where, in my opinion anyways, point guard is the most important position on the floor. That’s not to say a rebounding big who can score isn’t huge but as we’ve seen with the Beno Udrih Experience, if you don’t have a lead guard who can get you into your offense, find easy shots for teammates, play defense, and finish in the lane…you’re going to be in trouble. The simple truth in my head: point guards dominate today’s game and the Kings get dominated at that spot every single night.
So why not sign Andre Miller? He’s shown he can lead a young team to the playoffs. He can score but his first instinct is to pass (wouldn’t that be refreshing for a point guard in Sac). He can defend…sort of. He won’t put one of the promised youngsters (JT/Hawes) on the bench like Boozer would. But the most important factor to me…he will make Martin and the young guys better. When a scorer like Martin comes off a screen, a split second is the difference between gaining a half-step or having a hand in his face. Same thing goes for a guy like JT in the post or Spence off a high pick and roll. So having a point guard who can deliver the ball to the right spot at the right time is critical. Andre Miller is that guy. Beno Udrih and Bobby Brown are not.
I realize Miller will be 32 this off-season, which is a little old for today’s game. And that Beno is signed for four more years. And that none of this will happen if the Kings can’t dump salary. But, I’m personally of the opinion that the Kings aren’t that far off. I think they have the solution at the 2, 4, and 5….they need time but I think the answers are there. And I think if there is one person on the market that can make those pieces better, it’s Miller. Look at it this way, if you’re young at every other position, you need a veteran somewhere. And Miller is the perfect veteran for this team. He’s the perfect point guard for this team.
I still think the Kings draft a point guard in the first round next year and they’d remain one BIG piece away from contending. But having Miller around to groom Rubio, Jennings, or Holiday might not be a bad thing. And maybe the Kings even get a hometown discount (3 years/24M?) since Miller lives in EDH. Issue then, of course, is what to do with Beno and I don’t think anyone knows the answer to that. Maybe the Reno D-League team is looking for someone to fall down five times a game?