Andre Miller was just recently acquired by the Washington Wizards as a part of a three-team deal. The Wizards traded away their backup point guard Eric Maynor and a 2015 second-round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, and also forward Jan Vesely to the Denver Nuggets, in exchange for Miller and a 2014 second-round pick.
Apart from his in-game performance, Miller will also bring his 14 years of experience to Washington, and that might be even more helpful for this young Wizards group. More specifically, Miller could be the mentor of John Wall, who is clearly showing for yet another season that he has the potential to be one of the elite point guards in the league.
Andre Miller is a proven veteran point guard, and is well respected around the league. He has played for five different teams in the NBA, and he managed to make his impact felt on all of them. At the age of 37, Miller is not exactly an explosive point guard who can light up the floor with his pace. In fact, he never was the athletic, forceful point guard that John Wall is. Nonetheless, he has managed to establish himself as one of the best point guards in the league thanks to his terrific court vision, his high basketball IQ and his ability to pass the ball.
Working together with John Wall, Andre Miller will be like a second father to the young point guard. Wall is just 23 years old and although he is very skillful, he still hasn’t managed to apply discipline to his game. Over his three-year career in the league, he has proven that he has tons of talent. In fact, he is one of the most explosive players in the NBA and he has tremendous athletic abilities. He is a deadly scorer and can finish in a variety of ways close to the basket, through traffic and while being off balance.
An aspect of the game Wall currently lacks is the actual playmaker role. Even though his 8.2 assist per game ratio for his career shows that he is a decent passer who can set up his teammates, he never really was the type of player who plays within the team’s offensive system with patience. On the contrary, Wall mostly utilizes pick and rolls to quickly attack the basket, while using his speed and quickness. Of course, Wall needs to work on his shot too, as his three-pointer has not been falling. He is shooting just 28.6 percent from beyond the arc for his career.
That’s exactly where Andre Miller comes in. In fact, Miller’s acquisition might have more to do with mentoring John Wall, than him actually contributing on the floor. Although Miller never really was a good shooter, so he won’t be able to mentor Wall on improving his shot, he can assist him find other aspects of his game. Miller has always been terrific on opening the court, finding his teammates in their comfort zones and playing with patience and discipline.
He can also be an off-court mentor for John Wall. As the 23-year old superstar Wall has had some bad experiences in his personal life, ones that distracted him from being fully productive on the court, Miller could be the guy who can be a mature friend and provide advice on how Wall can handle his personal life. John Wall has already lost his father, and his mother was experiencing some serious health issues. Inevitably, Wall was affected by those evolutions in his personal life and it was Emeka Okafor that provided stability to the youngster. With Okafor now gone, Andre Miller could fill that role.
The Washington Wizards gave John Wall a five-year contract extension this summer, worth $80 million. Apparently, they were willing to make a huge investment, as they believe in him. The team believes that Wall can be the franchise leader, and by bringing Andre Miller in, they now have decided to help their leader become even better for the long-term.
Andre Miller’s time with the Denver Nuggets was obviously over. His disagreements with the newly hired Head Coach Brian Shaw were a formidable obstacle for the two sides. Miller was held out of action and the Nuggets had made it clear that they would be actively shopping him by the trade deadline. Miller’s comments about Brian Shaw were nothing but honest on the one hand, but on the other hand they didn’t leave any other option to the team rather than to part ways with him. Of course, Andre Miller has been nothing but professional through his 14-year tenure in the NBA. Maybe he was disappointed with the situation in Denver, or maybe he just wanted out. The fact is that he now is a member of the Washington Wizards and both sides can be happy with the deal that went down.
The Nuggets got rid of a player they wanted out for months now. The exchange they got was not as high as they initially expected. Lots of rumors prior to the trade deadline had several quality players linked with the Andre Miller trade. At the end though, and as the trade window was closing, the Nuggets had to take the best deal that was on the table.
Of course, we can expect Miller to actively contribute for the Wizards. During the 2012-2013 season, when he was an active member of the Denver Nuggets, he played 82 games and he averaged 9.6 points, 5.9 assists and shot 47.9 perecent from the floor. If he can get his production to similar levels, he will be a great backup for John Wall. That’s because Eric Maynor’s performance has been lethargic up to now for the Wizards. Washington didn’t have a reliable backup point guard, one who could stand firm behind Wall.
In general, Andre Miller’s acquisition is an excellent one for the Wizards. They landed a proven veteran point guard and a mentor for John Wall, while at the same time not having to give away any valuable pieces of their team.