Just read Tom Ziller's post on AOL's The Fanhouse titled Valley of the Most Likely: Mike Miller's Gonna Get Traded. I'm a big fan of Ziller's work on The Fanhouse, Sactown Royalty and Ballhype, but I believe that he is off-base here. I know a certain poster on the Grizz Message Board that just named Ziller his new idol, so it is all a matter of opinion, I suppose. Here is his reasoning for Miller being traded:
But with a slew of point guards and a nice backup in Tarence Kinsey, Memphis could certainly handle life without [Miller]. Shedding his three remaining years for an expiring contract and some youth could make Memphis serious players in free agency against next summer. Miller's in his prime; the Grizzlies aren't. By the time Memphis gets there, Miller will be done. It makes sense for them to build toward a target... even if it means letting a valuable player go.If this team were three years away from being a playoff team, then I could agree with his assessment. However, I don't think they are that far away from a return to the postseason, so I have some serious concerns about this potential trade.
He's not a star and he makes less than $10 million. But no potential hill-topping player whispered this preseason can offer what he does: Elite shooting. Miller would be a boon to almost any team fighting to join the Holy Troika; you think Kobe Bryant wouldn't love to have a fearless gunner like MiMi behind him? How about Utah, who desperately needs two-guard help (unless Ronnie Brewer is truth... which might be the case)? Cleveland and Miami would each love to add some scoring punch in the backcourt, and Miller returning to Orlando could give Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis just the help they need. Even New Orleans, who has Peja Stojakovic and Morris Peterson on the wing, could benefit from Miller's game.If Mike Miller is such a valuable commodity, then surely the Grizzlies can get more in return for him than an expiring contract and a young player/draft pick. If they are just going to trade him away for cap space, they could very quickly find themselves in the purgatory that the Atlanta Hawks have dwelled in for the past decade. They traded away solid players for a chance at cap space and draft picks...and never made any progress towards a return to the glory days of the 80's. In the process, they have fostered a losing culture that they are just now beginning to pull themselves out of. Memphis cannot afford to go down that road, especially in light of their current attendance problems -- something they have in common with the Hawks. Going younger, younger, younger doesn't solve anything. You have to have veteran leadership to nurture that young talent and guide them; otherwise they have to teach themselves and you wind up with guys who never fulfill their potential.
This team needs stability in order to develop chemistry and regain the winning attitude that carried it to the playoffs three seasons in a row. Trading away a player who is a key cog in their rotation for virtually nothing in return doesn't help to achieve those goals. It isn't like Mike is a 12-year veteran that has toiled for his entire career in the hopes of a title and this is his opportunity to win a ring, so the team "does the right thing" and gives him away for 10 cents on the dollar. If anything, Damon Stoudamire is the most likely Grizzly to be traded this year, given his frank comments to an Arizona reporter/blogger this summer and the fact that the team has two young, talented PG's on the roster in the form of Michael Conley and Kyle Lowry.
Should the Grizzlies explore trade possibilities that can result in the acquisition of a true game changing player? Absolutely. Could Miller be part of that deal? Sure, why not? But to trade him away because he might not be "part of the future" while he is currently in his prime when there are other players that are definitely not part of the Grizzlies plans (Damon, Stro) on the roster would be foolhardy and short-sighted, in my honest opinion. If Miller is to be traded, it should be for tangible talent, not the pipe dreams that cap space and draft picks are made of.