Wolves agree to terms with veteran guard Miller
MINNEAPOLIS — The Professor will be holding office hours in Minnesota next season.
Andre Miller agreed to terms with the Timberwolves on a one-year deal on Wednesday, his agent Andy Miller told The Associated Press.
Adding the 39-year-old Miller gives the young Wolves a quality, veteran point guard to join a rotation featuring starter Ricky Rubio and rookie backup Tyus Jones. Miller visited the Wolves on Wednesday, met with coach Flip Saunders, GM Milt Newton and several team officials and toured the team’s new practice facility. Hours later, he agreed to terms on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum.
"He’s very excited about the opportunity," Andy Miller said. "He was sold on the direction of the team and the veteran leadership he could provide to a promising young roster. He felt it was a good fit for him."
Andre Miller will be playing his 17th season in the league. He has averaged 12.8 points and 6.7 assists for his career with seven different teams and has long been respected in the league for his intelligence and anticipation, two qualities that earned him "The Professor" moniker. Miller is also one of the game’s great lob passers, and will have athletic young players like Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad and Karl-Anthony Towns on the receiving end in Minnesota.
"He likes to throw the ball up at the rim and they have a lot of guys who can go get it," Andy Miller said. "It will be an easy transition for him to a very athletic team."
Andre Miller also has a familiarity with assistant coach Ryan Saunders, Flip’s son, from their days together in Washington. Andy Miller said the two have kept in touch over the years and the mutual respect helped his client become comfortable right away upon his visit to Minneapolis.
He will team up with 39-year-old Kevin Garnett to give the Timberwolves a pair of trusted veterans to provide leadership and mentoring to an impressionable young team. After adding Towns with the No. 1 overall pick and Jones with the 24th pick in the first round of last month’s draft, Flip Saunders set his sights on adding some more veterans to help balance the roster, educate the youngsters and be available late in games to help close them out.
Miller is used to that kind of a role, having filled it capably with both Washington and Sacramento last season and also serving as a tutor for Ty Lawson in Denver before that.
Miller averaged just over 20 minutes per game for the Kings over the last 30 games of last season when he was reunited with former Nuggets coach George Karl. He may not have the juice to be a starter any longer, but he remains a formidable presence for a point guard in the post and in transition when the young Wolves can run to the rim for lobs.
Though Rubio is entering his fifth season in the league, he is coming off of ankle surgery and injuries have short-circuited two of his first four years. And Jones is a 19-year-old fresh off helping Duke to the national championship, so there is plenty of opportunity for Miller to come in and make an impact both on the court and in the locker room.