Andre Miller and the Denver Nuggets infamously parted ways earlier this season after Miller lashed out at rookie coach Brian Shaw for his stylings with the inside-out Nuggets. The spectacle resulted in a suspension, and eventual banishment – a banishment so severe that Miller stopped working out with teammates, while the Nuggets refused to reach out to the journeyman guard even after Nate Robinson and Ty Lawson went down with injuries both severe and nagging.
On Thursday, as the NBA’s trade deadline approached, the Nuggets got rid of their disgruntled former star. According to Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears and Adrian Wojnarowski, Denver will send Miller to the Washington Wizards for former lottery washout Jan Vesely. The Wizards will also send struggling guard Eric Maynor to Philadelphia in a three-team deal, and both Washington and Denver will send a second round pick Philly’s way for absorbing the last year of Maynor’s contract in 2014-15.
Philadelphia comes out the clear winner here, as even two second-rounders seems like the best haul in the long run. Vesely has showed very few signs that he is an NBA-caliber forward since Ernie Grunfeld brought him to Washington in 2011 with the sixth pick in the draft. He’s made more than half his shots since entering the league, but he’s not much of a rebounder despite significant athleticism, and he’s missed 22 of 30 free throw attempts this year. Bad news for a guy whose pell-mell style would tend to lead to plenty of trips to the line.
Vesely is not yet 24, and his contract expires in July as Washington declined to pick up their fourth-year option on the forward. There is a chance he could turn things around, and Denver basically added a former lottery pick for a guy that refused to play for them, but expecting much from Jan is a bit of a stretch unless things completely turn around.
Miller was reported to have been working out at night at the Nuggets’ practice facility, away from coaches and teammates, but it remains to be seen what shape the 2001-02 NBA assists leader will be in once he shows up to Washington. Andre turns 38 in March, and though he’s never relied on athleticism to work his magic, his conditioning has to be a huge concern. Still, as a backup for All-Star John Wall, working with a contract that can be bought out for $2 million next year, he’s worth a shot. Even if that buyout money cuts into Washington’s potential 2014 cap space.
Eric Maynor, sadly, never recovered from an ACL tear suffered during the 2011-12 lockout year. He’s made less than 30 percent of his shots this season, and will be looking for one last attempt to get it together in Philadelphia. Because he holds a player option for over $2.1 million next season, an option that Maynor will no doubt pick up, Philadelphia will be compensated with yet more second round picks for their investment.
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