Andre Miller signs with the Blazers

I wrote yesterday that Andre Miller likes to play at a fast pace. That apparently applies to his contract negotiations as well. He has agreed to sign a deal to play in Portland.

Miller’s contract is a three-year deal worth $21 million, with $14 million guaranteed and $7 million included as a third-year team option, sources close to the process said.

Portland made a strong push for the Knicks’ David Lee, but the two teams couldn’t come to terms on a sign-and-trade, and the Blazers didn’t want to sign Lee to an offer sheet and miss out on Miller, since New York would have seven days to match the offer. (I still find it ridiculous that teams get a full week to match an offer for one of their restricted free agents. The players association should negotiate that down to two or three business days in the next collective bargaining agreement. It would spur more offers and more competition, which is good for everyone.)

John Hollinger says that Miller is a questionable fit.

Sure, there are some ways this doesn’t exactly fit. Miller does a lot of damage in the post, and the Blazers already have a couple of players (Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge) occupying those slots fairly regularly. He’s also an up-tempo guard on what was the league’s second-slowest-paced team last season, and his inability to make 3s is an odd fit with the Blazers’ habit of spacing the floor with shooters around Brandon Roy.

He goes on to discuss the Blazers’ other options, or lack thereof, as well as the trickery that teams are using to circumvent the salary cap. It’s an interesting read, but you’ll need to be an Insider to see it.

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Blazers make Andre Miller an offer

Per ESPN…

The Portland Trail Blazers have offered point guard Andre Miller a three-year contract after failing in their efforts to acquire New York Knicks restricted free agent David Lee, sources close to the process said Friday.

Miller’s contract would be worth $21 million, with $14 million guaranteed and $7 million included as a third-year team option, a source said.

So from the team’s perspective, this is actually a two-year deal for a total of $14 million.

On paper, Miller seems to be good fit for a Portland team that is lacking above average play at the point guard position. But the Blazers’ plan has always been to surround Brandon Roy with four shooters, and Miller is most definitely not a shooter. Still, his overall field goal percentage (47%) is good for a guard, and it’s not like he stands out behind the arc jacking threes. (He only takes 0.6 threes per game.)

The other issue is the pace at which Miller thrives — he likes it fast. But the Blazers like to slow the game down, as evidenced by their pace, which is the second-slowest in the league. Are the Blazers planning to speed the tempo up or do they hope to slow Miller down?

Keep in mind that this is only an offer; Miller was looking for a deal averaging $10 million, so he could reject it (though I don’t expect that he will). If the Blazers do manage to sign him, it will probably increase the chances that the Knicks extend an offer to Ramon Sessions, since they were the other team talking to Miller.

Blazers interested in Andre Miller?

After Hedo Turkoglu decided to play for the Raptors and after the Jazz made it clear that they’d match the Blazers’ offer sheet to Paul Millsap, we all wondered what Portland’s Plan C would be. Apparently, it’s Andre Miller.

A deal is not imminent, but there has been progress made toward resolving Miller’s status, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.

The Blazers have been looking to upgrade at point guard but didn’t get very far in talks with Dallas guard Jason Kidd (who re-signed with the Mavericks) or Phoenix’s Steve Nash (who agreed to a two-year, $22 million extension with the Suns on Monday). Portland was not looking hard at Miller because the Blazers thought they needed to add someone to the roster with more perimeter shooting skills than the 33-year-old. But with $7.7 million in cap room and a dwindling number of free agents available, Miller may be Portland’s last best chance to bring in a veteran player that can help its young core.

For now, according to a source, the Blazers do not have any interest in Lakers free agent forward Lamar Odom, whose negotiations with Los Angeles on a new contract have stalled.

I’ve been hearing all summer how Miller is a poor fit for the Blazers given their overall pace (29th in the league) and desire to surround Brandon Roy with as many shooters as possible. (Miller is a career 21% three-point shooter.) So the Blazers’ sudden interest is surprising.

While Odom doesn’t represent the kind of toughness the Blazers want to add to their front line, Portland is uniquely positioned to wrest him away from Los Angeles, which would serve a big blow to the Lakers’ chances of winning another title.

Portland could work with Miami to help the Heat facilitate a trade for Carlos Boozer. Udonis Haslem is a good, hard-nosed player who can shoot the ball, and while he’s not truly starter-caliber, he’d be a nice guy to have on the bench.

Or they could go after Boozer themselves, if they can get the Jazz to answer their calls after trying to steal Millsap away earlier this month.

If the Blazers aren’t worried about having a point guard that can shoot, they should go after Ramon Sessions, who is just as productive as Miller, but 10 years his junior and quite a bit cheaper.

NBA Rumors: Boozer, Sessions, Miller and Jerry Reinsdorf

Carlos Boozer wants to play in Miami.

The two-time NBA All-Star said Monday that he and the Jazz have “mutually agreed” to a trade, and it would be “a beautiful thing” if he wound up reunited with Olympic teammate Dwyane Wade on the Heat.

“We first came here for tax reasons and fell in love with it,” Boozer said, taking a break from his campers. “We love the palm trees, the laid-back attitude, the sun, quality of life. It’s like paradise here, and I would love to be part of the Heat. They’re a very good team, and I’m real close to some of the guys. Dwyane and I started to get close at the Athens Olympics in 2004, and I’d love to play on his team. Plus, I already live here. I’m just waiting to see what happens.”

The Heat have a few trade chips, but when considering Boozer, who is in the final year of his contract, the Jazz aren’t going to want to take only expiring salaries in a trade. They might as well keep him for the year and hope they can make some noise in the playoffs.

Udonis Haslem is a good player, but he’s in the final year of his deal. Would Miami be willing to part with Michael Beasley? Would Jerry Sloan even want him? Miami may need to get a third team involved to facilitate this deal.

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Bibby staying put?

It would seem so…

The Atlanta Journal-Consitution first reported Tuesday that Bibby and the Hawks had a three-year agreement for about $18 million, according to sources.

Falk said Bibby and other free agents have found “the market is extremely conservative this year for free agents, compared to last year.”

“A number of teams had interest in him … but I think Mike was comfortable in the environment” with the Hawks, Falk said.

I’m not sure what Falk is talking about when he says that the market is “extremely conservative” after the Pistons invested $19 million per season in Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva and Toronto is doing everything it can to give Hedo Turkoglu the $10 million per season that he’s asking for. Bibby’s market value is about the mid-level and that’s essentially what he signed for.

It looked like Bibby’s days in Atlanta were numbered when the Hawks traded for Jamal Crawford and drafted Jeff Teague, but Crawford is better off the ball and Teague needs to develop, so it makes sense to keep Bibby around for a couple more years. He played well last season, so hopefully for Hawks fans he can repeat that performance now that he’s not in a contract year.

It will be interesting to see how this contract affects Andre Miller’s negotiations. Miller is two years older and has been asking for a contract starting around $10 million per season, but I don’t think he’s going to get it. I think his floor is around the mid-level.

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