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Why Andre Miller to the Utah Jazz Needs to Happen

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | After spending the past two seasons in gold and powder blue, Andre Miller may don new colors in 2013-14.

According to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports, the 37-year-old point guard isn't in the long-term plans of the Denver Nuggets and "could be traded this summer."

If that's true, the Utah Jazz have to get involved.

Miller -- a 14-year veteran -- could be a Mr. Feeny-like mentor for rookie floor general Trey Burke.

Yes, the Jazz just signed John Lucas III to fill that role, but let's be honest -- the 5-11 guard is still trying to figure it out himself. Last year, he struggled with his shot (he hit just 38.6 percent of his attempts) and didn't collect many assists (he averaged 1.7 per game).

Miller, on the other hand, would be a master teacher.

He's a career 45.9-percent shooter from the field and almost made half of his shots last season, with a mark of 47.9.

More important, he's an expert at running an offense and getting his teammates involved. In 1,126 games, Miller has collected 7,956 assists (7.1 per outing). During 2012-13, as Ty Lawson's backup, he averaged 8.1 dimes per 36 minutes.

And he knows how to win. On April 20, for instance, Miller scored 28 points, including the game-winning basket, to lead the Nuggets over the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the squads' first-round matchup in the playoffs.

In addition to being a mentor to Burke (and maybe Raul Neto in 2014-15), Miller would also be an instant fan-favorite.

While playing ball at the University of Utah -- which sits just 4.6 miles from EnergySolutions Arena -- he averaged 12.1 points, 5.4 assists, and 4.8 rebounds on 51.3 percent shooting in four seasons.

Plus, he helped the team make the Sweet Sixteen in '96, Elite Eight in '97, national championship in '98, and second round in '99.

Miller began his journey to stardom in the Beehive State. Why not end it there, too?

Denver certainly isn't ideal. Aside from Miller, the Nuggets have four players listed on their roster who can play the point: Ty Lawson, Nate Robinson, Randy Foye and Erick Green. Also, his top supporter, George Karl, is no longer with the team.

The Jazz have room physically (they have just 13 guys) and financially (they're still below the cap) to take on Miller and his two-year, $9.625 million contract.

Question is, what will it cost them?

Better question: Would Miller accept a mentor role on a rebuilding team?

I sure hope so, because like he did 14 years ago, Miller would look awfully good in a Utah jersey.

Even if this one's not red.

Jared Bray, a graduate of Brigham Young University's broadcast journalism program, has followed the Utah Jazz since 2008, when he covered the team as a sports correspondent for KBYU-TV's Daily News at Noon.

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