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Pistons: Need for Steve Blake drove Van Gundy to trade Quincy Miller

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Keith Langlois, the Pistons' in-house beat writer, asked why Detroit traded Quincy Miller to the Nets, said Stan Van Gundy felt the need for a back-up point guard outweighed any improvement in Miller's game.  Moreover, Langlois said that as a power forward, Miller would have had a difficult time making the final roster.

The Pistons traded Miller, a 6'10" forward, to the Nets for veteran PG Steve Blake two weeks ago. Initial reports suggested that the Nets would simply waive the 22-year-old ahead of a guarantee due on July 15. But the guarantee was so small --$50,000-- the team apparently decided to bring him into camp. Miller had starred in the D-League last year and  showed signs of being able to play small forward as well.

"Pretty sure it had everything to do with [Miller's] contract and the need Stan Van Gundy saw at point guard, given the uncertainty over Brandon Jennings’ status. If Jennings isn’t ready to go at the start of the season, then the Pistons would have been putting a lot on the shoulders of Spencer Dinwiddie to play major minutes as the backup point guard.

"The Nets had a spare point guard, veteran Steve Blake, and the Pistons had something the Nets coveted – a non-guaranteed contract, Miller’s ... When the Pistons traded for Ersan Ilyasova on top of Anthony Tolliver, I’m not sure Miller offered enough diversity at the position to make it worthwhile to save a roster spot for him at that point."

Just before the Draft, Langlois had written that Miller could be seen as a first-round equivalent and that he had worked particularly hard in the summer, which had gained Van Gundy's notice.  But as he prepared for the Pistons summer league team, Miller took an errant elbow to the face, suffering fractures to his nose and right eye orbital floor.  That ruled him out of the summer league and he was traded a week later.