Andre Miller, in his 13th NBA season and second stint with the Denver Nuggets, actually fell off a wee bit production-wise during the 2011-12 run. And, admit it, you didn't really notice. All you saw, whenever you flipped over to a Portland game, was Andre Miller throwing lobs, loping slowly, making sour faces, and generally acting as effective as you've seen Andre Miller always act. You'll get that act for three more years, potentially, because the 36-year old has re-signed with the Nuggets for a term of that length. As first reported by Yahoo! Sports, payroll numbers and the amount of guaranteed years are not yet known.
This might come off as disappointing to some. This isn't a slight on the Nuggets, but a goodly chunk of NBA fans wanted to see Miller go elsewhere — not so much to their favorite team, but to a squad that Miller would presumably push over the top. To the Pacers, to find all those big men an easy look. To the Heat, to make those regular season swoons less nebulous. Back to Philly, where he could help those kids end a game for once. To Chicago, to fill in while Derrick Rose mends. Anywhere but Denver.
We're not Andre Miller, though. And the finances likely had little to do with it, at least until we hear the final numbers. Andre Miller likes the town, the team, and probably his coach. And though he made rumbles earlier in his team's offseason about not wanting to come off the bench while making a reserve's wage, this apparently is what he's going to do. Andre Miller, the player that seems far older than his 36 years, is acting conservative in his "old age." Shocker.
Of course, Andre Miller is also the player that plays far younger than his years. Or, at least, produces at a level younger than his bio indicates. It's true that his turnovers shot up in 2011-12 — his 22 percent turnover rate was easily a career-worst, though with every season recap we put together the lockout-addled nature of 2011-12 has to be considered. Everything else was in line, though. He didn't shoot brilliantly, rarely making three-pointers or getting to the line, but he ran the Nuggets' offense expertly and provided a perfect counterbalance to Ty Lawson's shoot-first instincts. Denver needs Lawson to keep the defense honest and consider his own scoring attempts along with his teammates'. And they need Miller to come in and start finding those teammates. At their best, it's a devastating duo.
Considering the terms we're assuming, this is the right move for either side. Once Denver moves forward in attempting to re-sign Javale McGee, the team's roster will be more or less set. The team is full of those at once cherished and dreaded "assets," and unlikely to be able to make a major move forward in the hopes of grabbing a star of sorts to gather 'round. Though Denver would probably prefer to take the more NBA-typical approach, their reality isn't exactly the nastiest — stay healthy, stay versatile, get to the postseason and see what happens when matchups set in. Especially with coach George Karl thinking on his feet, adapting along the way.
Andre Miller has always demanded that you adapt to him, dangit, and that's unlikely to change any time soon. And though those turnovers shot up last season and he'll turn 37 by the start of next year's postseason, his floor-bound game isn't likely to fall apart early in what figures to be his last NBA contract. More lobs, more glares, more covering for him on defense, and a continuation of that steadying influence.
We're cool with that. Even if Andre Miller doesn't take as kindly to slang words and such.