Andre Miller, who was excused from all team activities for four days, won't be part of the Nuggets for long after he returns.
The Nuggets are actively trying to trade Miller, according to a league source. If accomplished, it would be the second time Denver traded him. He was traded in 2006 in a package that brought Allen Iverson to the Nuggets.
Denver's decision comes after it suspended Miller for two games for conduct detrimental to the team following a heated exchange with head coach Brian Shaw. His suspension was later rescinded, according to Dempsey, to ensure Miller would be paid during his time away from the team.
Though some bridges have clearly been burned, Denver's attempt to shop Miller is a shift from its previous stance.
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears previously wrote that the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings were interested in dealing for Miller. But the writers also noted the Nuggets were intent on smoothing things over with their floor general.
Moving Miller shouldn't be a problem, though. He is earning $5 million this season and his $4.6 million salary in 2014-15 is non-guaranteed, per ShamSports.com. Plenty of teams—aside from Golden State and Sacramento—would jump at the opportunity to acquire a savvy playmaker who can double as an undersized 2 in dual-point guard lineups.
At 37, however, it's difficult to predict how much Denver could receive in return for Miller's services—especially now.
After spending the previous two seasons as a key cog in George Karl's offensive machine, Miller's role has been marginalized under Shaw. His career-worst 5.9 points per game are coming on a career-low 19 minutes a contest. His PER (14) is also the lowest it's been through his 14-plus NBA seasons.
Capitalizing off his remaining value demands the Nuggets remain flexible. Not only does Miller's age negatively impact all negotiations, but Denver also isn't exactly in a position of power.
The Nuggets don't have to trade Miller, but teams are aware he's disgruntled enough to mouth off at their coaching staff, negating any leverage Denver once had.
We also must consider the possibility of restricted destinations. Miller might want to play for a contender at this stage of his career. While Denver could send him wherever it pleases, interested teams aren't likely to pony up any assets if there's a chance Miller will remain unhappy.
Regardless of potential obstacles, severing ties is the Nuggets' smartest play. Miller isn't happy, and it shows. He also hasn't played in the last three games. No sense continuing to pay a player that isn't being used.
"It just came to a boiling point," Shaw said following Miller's initial suspension, per the Associated Press (via ESPN). "We made a decision and we're moving forward."
How long it takes for the Nuggets to truly move forward depends on how quickly they're able to trade Miller.
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