A few weeks before the NBA Draft, the Pistons official website wrote about how if Detroit had a second first round pick, say in the 20's, "the ideal candidate for a team looking for help on either side of Andre Drummond would be an athletic project who could play either forward spot. A 3-point shooter with plus length and the ability to guard both small forwards and power forwards."
That player, the Pistons site argued, was already on the roster, Quincy Miller. A month later, Miller was sent to Brooklyn for Steve Blake. The initial thinking was that the Nets would simply waive the 6'10" forward --he was non-guaranteed through this Wednesday, but that made no sense.
True, Miller would have saved the now cost-conscious Nets the first tranche of his guarantee, a $50,000 payment due on Wednesday. but the cost/benefit analysis was simple. He wouldn't be owed another dime until the first regular season game in November. Why not keep him? This isn't 2013 when a $50,000 guarantee would cost the team four times that much, after taxes. Besides, the Pistons thought the 22-year-old was a first round equivalent and we all know much the cupboard-is-bare Nets love that kind of player. But camp is one thing, the roster is another.
So on Wednesday, the Nets decided to keep Miller. Is he any good? He's not bad, but he has yet to prove he's NBA-ready. Miller declared for the draft three years ago and was taken at No. 38 by the Nuggets, who kept him mostly in the D-League. His second year, he started 16 games and played in 52 total. His numbers were modest, 4.9 points and 2.8 boards in 15 minutes but he was only 20 at the time.
Problem was he didn't make out of training camp the next season and was picked up by firs the Kings and then the Pistons, both of whom assigned him to their D-League team. He played only 10 NBA games, averaging 2.9 points and 2.0 points in mostly blowouts. Still, the Pistons thought enough of him to sign him to that two-year barely guaranteed deal. Driving that decision, no doubt, was his D-League experience last season. In 17 games, he averaged 23.6 points and 5.8 rebounds, shooting 35.7 percent from three. He had some monster games like the 35-point, 9-block, 8-rebound game in the D-League Showcase, 25 points in his D-League debut. The 35-point effort was particularly impressive.
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Ryan Blake, the NBA's director of scouting, offered his assessment of Miller, calling his height (6'10"), wingspan (7'2") and skills a big plus, but his consistency a big minus.
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In talking with the Pistons site in June, Miller said he had hoped to improve his chances by putting on weight --17 pounds-- and talking regularly this summer to Stan Van Gundy, who's both the Pistons GM and coach ... and who later traded him. Miller hasn't commented since the trade, but a day before it, he tweeted this out...
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">All Glory to God <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/thankyou?src=hash">#thankyou</a></p>— Quincy Miller (@qmillertime) <a href="https://twitter.com/qmillertime/status/619569083487526912">July 10, 2015</a></blockquote>
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That could be about anything, but we prefer to think it's about his new opportunity (challenge?) in Brooklyn.