It was obvious that LeBron James signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers was going to help them bring over some veterans for less money than they would have accepted elsewhere. Mike Miller, a two-time NBA champion next to LeBron James, decided to tag along for another championship effort.
Miller, who spent last season with the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 7.1 points per game, signed a two-year deal worth $5.5 million over two years, although the second season is a player option. Miller had a bigger offer waiting for him with the Denver Nuggets while both the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets were chasing him, but Miller preferred reuniting with James, his teammate over three seasons with the Miami Heat.
Who knows, maybe the amnestying of Mike Miller last year was part of why the Miami Heat didn’t complete the three-peat and LeBron James leaving. He wasn’t happy with how the owner started making moves for the sake of saving money instead of doing whatever was necessary to build a championship team. Obviously, these things happened before the 2013-2014 NBA season began, but once it was over with that disappointing Finals series, things crept back up and affected the decision James made.
So Miller takes less money than he could have made with the Nuggets or maybe other teams to play next to James. Maybe that’s the returning trend: Star players making max money on their contracts, while the veteran role players that arrive make the sacrifice in terms of their salary. Maybe it makes sense. The guys who actually get the tickets sold and TV contracts signed are the big stars, not the role players.
And James isn’t done recruiting former teammates to the Heat. Ray Allen is still a free agent, and he’s contemplating two decisions: Sticking around for another season or two, obviously with a team that’s going to play for a championship, or retiring from the NBA. James is obviously trying to convince him to stick around for another season and play with him in Cleveland.