Sacramento Kings Add Veteran Andre Miller


With the NBA trade deadline passing, the Sacramento Kings remained fairly quiet on the market, despite rumors they were pushing hard for Phoenix Suns’ point guard Goran Dragic. When Dragic expressed no interest in signing a long-term deal with the team after the season, the Kings’ backed off, and opted for a smarter deal.

The Kings decided to swap backup point guards with the Washington Wizards. In exchange for Kings’ guard Ramon Sessions, the Wizards sent Andre Miller to his seventh career team.

Miller, the 38-year-old in his 16th NBA season, is playing a career-low in minutes, as he averages just 12.4 per game this season. His 3.6 points per game, and 2.8 assists per game, are also the lowest totals of his career. On the other hand, he’s also shooting 54.2% from the field, which is a career-best.  If his numbers were extrapolated to 36 minutes per game, he would average about 10.4 points and 8.2 assists, which would be solid totals.

With Darren Collison suffering from a strained hip flexor, Miller may be playing more than 12.4 minutes, at least at the beginning of his tenure in Sacramento. The injury is not thought to be serious, but it unknown how long Collison will miss time, and if he’ll play the full slate of minutes when he returns.

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Miller won’t bring a ton of offense to the team, but he will bring more experience than anyone else currently on the roster. He will also be reunited with his former Denver Nuggets’ head coach, George Karl. Miller was the starting point guard under coach Karl from 2004, Karl’s first season with Denver, until late-2006, when he was traded as part of the Allen Iverson deal. He played in 185 games during the stint, starting all of them.

Miller returned to the high altitudes of Denver in 2011, while Karl was still the team’s man in charge. He was mostly the team’s backup ball-handler, and was traded once again in 2014 to Washington. By the time Miller was dealt for the second time, Karl had already been relieved of his coaching duties.

With his past experience under coach Karl, Miller will be able to help familiarize the Kings’ roster with their new system. While his stint may be short, his knowledge will be invaluable, as he will act like a coach on the floor. He can teach Collison how to run the offense, which will speed up the transition process.

Sessions, in his eighth season in the NBA and first in Sacramento, will take Miller’s job as the backup to All-Star point guard John Wall.

He played 83 regular season games in 2013-2014, split between the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks. After a deadline deal to Milwaukee, he played in 28 games, and averaged career-highs with 32.5 minutes and 15.8 points.

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This year has been a drastic turnaround from that partial season with the Bucks. Sessions’ minutes are down to 17.8 per game, and his points sit at 5.4. His shooting is also at a career-worst, as he is shooting 34.4% from the field. His three-point shooting percentage is at 21.4%, and while it’s not the worst of his career, it is lower than the 30.4% he averages.

Miller isn’t going to turn around this Sacramento team, but he can have a hand in furthering the development under the new head coach. Miller’s experience will be his most valuable asset.

Next: Kings' First-Half Recap