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McNeal: Miller Must Go

As a huge Brad Miller booster over the years, I first find myself grimacing at comments like these. But it's really really hard to disagree, even as a B-52 fanboy. From The Bee's Marty McNeal:

Having Artest and Bibby on the squad is not the Kings' problem. It's having Brad Miller. It's having to pay Miller $34.1 million in the next few years. It's Miller playing at a ridiculously subpar level over the past few years. Unlike with Artest and Bibby, there probably are few, other than Miller, who truly know if he gives a blip about playing basketball.

It's unrealistic to ask Miller to do things he's incapable of doing. However, it's very fair to ask him to do, at least, the things he did to warrant that $34.1 million.

If the organization doesn't believe he can or is dedicated to doing so, he's the first guy who must go. Where to trade Miller is the obstacle. Yet players who have been deemed untradeable often are dealt, so again, the message might become, "Work it out."

How many games would the Kings have won with even average rebounding and defense from the center position? Miller finished 55th in rebound rate among the 78 NBA centers who played 500 minutes. (For comparison's sake: If Justin Williams would've kept up his pace and played 500 minutes, he would have finished tied for 5th.)

Miller was brought in to be tough inside (which he was in Charlotte, Chicago, and Indiana) and to add to the overall skill level on the frontline. During his first two seasons here (03-04 and 04-05), he excelled at both counts. His third season, he became a finesse player. Now? He's honestly a parody of himself -- the occasional backdoor pass, an infrequent money 18-footer. But it's a joke, a mirage. He can't be that player anymore.

So there are two options: reinvent yourself (unlikely, given Miller's noted disinterest in working out in the summer) or go away. There will be a buyer at some point -- Chris Webber was practically an amputee when he got dealt. But the return package will not be pretty.