I refuse to go as far as to say the addition of Andre Miller makes the Washington Wizards contenders in the Eastern Conference. However, I will say that his presence will give the Wizards a necessary edge to clinch a fourth or fifth seed in the East.
The Wizards acquired Miller in a three-team deal with the Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers hours before the 2014 NBA trade deadline. Washington sent power forward Jan Vesely to Denver and point guard Eric Maynor to Philadelphia. The 76ers also received two draft picks in the trade.
There are many fans who are disappointed in the acquisition of Miller. At first glance, I can’t say I blame them. With that being said, the 37-year-old is loaded with veteran experience. More importantly, he knows how to run an up-tempo offense better than any of the backups who were on the roster prior to the deal going down. He will provide quality depth behind point guard John Wall , which is necessary if the Wizards are serious about making some noise in the playoffs.
Fans in Washington should be ecstatic about the trade. The organization got rid of two incredibly unproductive players for someone who is going to make a big difference in the locker room and on the court. Sure, Miller had some issues with the Nuggets this season, but that doesn’t mean those same issues will carry over to the Wizards. Miller wanted out of Denver so that he could help a contender compete, which is exactly what he’s going to get in Washington.
At this point, it’s important that the younger players on the roster absorb his experience like a sponge. It could be the difference between an exit in the first round and being the Cinderella story Wizards fans deserve.