Celtics Targeting Brad Miller
- Updated: June 28, 2010
Some free agency news, courtesy of Adrian Wojnarowski:
Miller and guard Ray Allen(notes) are expected to be the Celtics’ two top priorities in summer free agency following the retirement of Rasheed Wallace(notes) and a knee injury to Kendrick Perkins(notes).
The Celtics have their mid-level exception available to sign Miller, 34, who has the versatility to play the power forward and center spots for them. Several contenders are expected to pursue him, but sources say that the chance to play for the defending Eastern Conference champions has significant appeal to Miller.
This might be an indication (along with Ray Allen being the other priority this offseason) that the Celtics are looking to forgo a rebuilding effort and make one final push (or perhaps simply another) for their 18th championship next season.
The Celtics certainly won’t be getting any younger if they sign Miller,as he turned 34 last April. He did play in all 82 games for the Chicago Bulls last season, but his production was far below that of previous seasons. His scoring average of 8.8 points per game was his lowest since he averaged 9.0 points per game for the Sacramento Kings back in the 2006-2007 season. His 4.9 rebounds per game average was his lowest since his rookie season back in ’98-’99 when he averaged just 3.1 boards per game. His assist average last season (1.9) was also his lowest since the 2001-2002 season (1.8). His field goal percentage last season (43 percent) was also the lowest of his career. However, all of these drops in statistical averages could be related to Miller averaging just 23.8 minutes per game last season, which was his lowest average since the 1999-2000 season.
Miller’s also had some history with some of the Celtics who currently grace the roster. He and Rajon Rondo had that little spat back in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals back in the 2009 playoffs, when Rondo fouled him in the final seconds on a drive to the hoop. He also was nearly ejected in the fourth quarter of Game 4 of that same series when, after taking a hard foul from Glen Davis, he threw that makeshift headbutt at Davis and missed horribly (but Davis sold it nicely).
However, I can’t imagine either of these incidents being an issue if Miller does indeed sign with Boston.