Wolves Rumors: Andre Miller a possibility in Minnesota?


You know it’s late July when vague tweet replies are being extrapolated into full-scale rumors, but here we are.

On Wednesday afternoon, a pair of Twin Cities media members gave us something resembling a wink and a nod regarding an apparent Andre Miller sighting in the Minneapolis skyways and Mayo Clinic Square by one @turdbizzles.

Yes, this is what it’s come to, but when a report is nearly corroborated by reporters that for some reason aren’t saying more…well, we have to talk about it.

Edit: Jon Krawczynski is now confirming the report.

After scouring the internet for any additional Wolves-Andre Miller rumors, I came up empty. But let’s run with this one and take a look at the fit in Minnesota, because there are many, many worse options out there for Flip Saunders and the Wolves.

Let’s start with the harsh realities, and there certainly are a few. Miller is 39 years old and will turn 40 before the end of the 2015-16 regular season. He’s also shown clear signs of declining play over the past three seasons, which were split between Denver, Washington, and Sacramento. Miller has never been a three-point shooter, converting just 21.7% of his long-range attempts in his career and shooting only 6.8% of his field goals from beyond the arc, although that number rose to 11.8% over the past four seasons.

On the other hand, he has a career assist rate of 34.8% and knocks down free throws at 80.7%. He has an extremely low usage rate, which would work much better next to Zach LaVine and Shabazz Muhammad than, say, Mo Williams did last year.

Miller is also absurdly durable. Over his 16-year career, Miller has played in 80 or more games 15 times (2013-14 being the exception, when he missed 24 games) and every single game on the schedule ten times.

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The way that Miller plays the game, which is very cerebral and deliberate, could very well have a positive effect on what is otherwise a painfully raw and generally erratic second unit. As of today, the five backups on the depth chart are likely Tyus Jones, LaVine, Muhammad, Adreian Payne, and Gorgui Dieng — one rookie, two second-year player, and two third-year players.

Bringing Miller into the fold would allow Saunders to bring Jones along very slowly, and provide some extra insurance in case Rubio’s surgically-repaired ankle breaks down at any point. It also likely spells the end for Lorenzo Brown, which is too bad. Brown is a capable NBA point guard and could be a reliable backup for many teams.

Through in the fact that Miller is still significantly better than any other Wolves backup point in the past few years, and this feels like a no-brainer from the Wolves’ perspective. LaVine (at point guard), Williams, J.J. Barea, Alexey Shved…you’d have to go back to Luke Ridnour to find the last consistent, solid backup point guard the Wolves have had, and he was forced to start and play shooting guard far more than expected.

The biggest hurdle, of course, is this: would the 39 year-old point guard be interested in signing on with one of the youngest teams in the league to play between a $56 million man in Rubio and a first-round draft pick in Jones? There are likely other opportunities out there, so it isn’t terribly easy to see Miller agreeing to this.

One last thing: don’t overlook the Randy Wittman angle. As terrible as his head coaching stint was in Minnesota (and how mediocre he remains as a coach), Wittman would be more than willing to put a bug in Miller’s ear or put in a good word with Saunders regarding the point guard that he had on his squad for parts of two seasons in Washington.

We’ll have any concrete news that might break here at Dunking With Wolves. Stay tuned.

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