The Denver Nuggets announced Tuesday that they had waived veteran forward Mike Miller. The move did not come as a surprise, as Miller, 37, was owed just over $3 million this coming season and took up a roster spot that Denver could better utilize.
Miller joined the Nuggets before the 2015 season and served primarily as a mentor to the team’s crop of young players. He was sometimes Denver’s inbound specialist, for what it’s worth.
The move was one the Nuggets had to make. With an abundance of forwards and guards, Miller’s roster spot was one Denver needed in order to help balance the team.
That said, just because he will not be playing in Nuggets threads this coming season, doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be a part of the franchise.
While he was signed as a player, Millers biggest impact for the Nuggets was off the court.
Also, Miller was the only player on Denver’s roster who had won an NBA title. His proven track record and compatibility with the Nuggets’ youth make him more valuable then he seems.
Win or lose, Miller helped integrate the core values of hard-work basketball, something that is priceless. During games, he was constantly beside coach Malone and other players rooting for his team and was a vocal presence throughout his two seasons.
Although he was just cut, Miller may be looking to continue his playing career.
“I feel great, My body feels good,” Miller told Christopher Dempsey of Altitude Sports. “It’s kind of one of those things that as long as I can keep helping these guys and they still want me around.”
Nobody will fault Miller for his desire to continue playing the game. All the kudos to him for still having the drive to play at the NBA level. But if and when he decides to hang up his shoes, the Nuggets need to be lying in wait because he’s that important to the future of the club.
Miller’s ability to help push the culture forward is essential for Denver. In addition, the Nuggets need to add some on-court experience to their front office or coaching staff, both roles Miller seems to have a future in.
Nothing against Tim Connelly or Michael Malone, but the modern-day NBA is centered around curb appeal. Magic Johnson has taken control of the Los Angeles Lakers, Tom Thibodeau with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Jerry West was just handed the reins to the Los Angeles Clippers. Miller’s relationships with NBA players, mixed with his knowledge of basketball, make him a prime front office candidate for the team.
Miller’s two playing seasons in Denver were critical in moving the Nuggets forward on their path back to relevancy in the NBA.
What’s next in his career is unknown, but what is known is his value to the team over his tenure. That in addition to his prime relations and presence in the NBA makes him a perfect candidate for a future role with the team, whether that be as a coach or an executive.