The Cavaliers added a much-needed shooter and veteran presence Tuesday when they agreed to terms with Mike Miller on a two-year, $5.5 million deal, a league source confirmed. The second year in Miller’s contract is a team option, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because Miller hadn’t yet signed the contract.
Miller passed on more money from the Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets to reunite with LeBron James in Cleveland. He signed for the league’s room exception of $2.7 million, leaving the Cavs with about $1.5 million in cap space before turning to league minimum deals.
His contract length is essentially structured just like James’ deal.
The Cavs still need to add another big man and they’d love to add Ray Allen, another shooter and former teammate of James’ with the Miami Heat. Allen, who turns 39 in a few days, is contemplating retirement. A source close to him said Tuesday there is still no real update on his situation and the Cavs felt like they couldn’t wait around for him any longer, so they moved forward with the 34-year-old Miller, who has battled back problems in his career, but shot 46 percent last season on 3-pointers with the Memphis Grizzlies — the second-best mark of his career and his best in four years.
Miller’s release from the Heat before last season under the league’s amnesty provision upset James, who remarked about the decision more than once last season. It was strictly a financial move for the Heat, since it saved them about $17 million in luxury tax penalties.
The Cavs entered free agency believing they could use Miller’s release from the Heat to aid their case, explaining to James that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert would never allow money to prevent the team from keeping a player who can help them win.
Miller played in all 82 games last season for the first time since his rookie year, averaging 7.1 points for the Grizzlies while playing about 20 minutes a game in a backup role.
He brings a steady veteran hand to a locker room full of youth and he’s another experienced voice who has already won a championship with James.
The Cavs actually pursued Miller last year after the Heat released him, but the interest wasn’t reciprocated. James’ return to Cleveland, of course, changes everything.
Miller has averaged 11.8 points and 4.6 rebounds throughout his 14-year career with the Orlando Magic, Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Washington Wizards and Heat.
Once Miller signs his deal and the Cavs’ rookies sign, the Cavs will have 13 players on the roster.
Former Cavs forward Carlos Boozer was waived by the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday using the amnesty provision. The Cavs have just enough in cap space to bid on him if they choose (he’s not a center, but he’s better than any of the big men left on the open market). They’d need to bid at least $1.448 million for him, the league minimum for 10-year veterans, but there are plenty of teams with cap space around the league who could outbid them.
By Jason Lloyd - Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)
©2014 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
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