Houston Rockets sign center Brad Miller: 3yrs, $15million

Most interesting is that like the Lowry and Scola deals, the final year is partially guaranteed, adding more proof to the theory of manufactured assets.

Update at 3:46PM

I was shocked by the figure.  I did not expect Miller to command more than $3million annually.  With that said, the annual figure is of very little consequence to anyone not named Les.  It doesn’t hinder flexibility in the least bit – if you’re over (the tax), you’re over, and the amount by which you are is irrelevant.  Remember: it’s length of contract that holds the real significance.

Miller is 34 and still has two years of good basketball left in him if playing limited minutes.  If $5million is what it took to fill an area of need, so be it.  Again, the Rockets were already in excess of the luxury tax.  Once you’re at that point, anything past that is only Les’ concern.

What’s most interesting to me is the possibility that this may signal the team’s mindset.  After they struck out on Bosh, I thought the team would play it safe and keep costs down.  Instead, Les has given the green light for an all-out spending spree making me wonder whether there’s confidence in the potential for another move.  Unless Morey and company just views this team’s chances more optimistically than I do, I don’t think they would have spent so greatly if maintaining the rest of the roster at status quo.

Update 3:46PM: An emailer writes:

but the amount affects them because they would have had cap space next season.

This is true.  Before the Lowry and Scola deals, the team stood to have only $25million guaranteed on the books next summer.  However, I never thought going that route was ever the plan.  Carmelo wasn’t going to come, and while it’s true that having any room is helpful in facilitating sign&trades, I don’t think the hope for that chance was ever deemed worth the sacrifice of assets it would take in the present.  It would have been a nice escape route had Yao been deemed irreparable, but they’d be giving up prematurely on this season.

The Brad Miller move signals that the club is going “all-in.”  Considering Morey’s comments that the team was not yet capable to contend, and the fact that Brad Miller costs double of what he signed for (due to the tax), you almost have to wonder if another larger deal is in the works.  I just don’t know how else Morey could have gotten Les to sign off on such spending.  More as it comes.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of Red94.net.

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Roxfan
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Roxfan

Partial guaranteed contract > expiring contract > etc…

I've been hearing that there's a lo of talks going on with Philly for Iggy.
Iggy + Smith for Ariza + Hill + Jeffries (and possibly an incentive like $ or pick)

That would make our roster a true contending team imo.

Yao/Miller/Hayes
Scola/Andersen/Patpat
Iggy/Battier/
Martin/Budinger/Taylor
Brooks/Lowry

m_cable
Guest
m_cable

The partially guaranteed deals are notable. Consider that the rockets will have a partially guaranteed ending deal in each of the next four years:

David Andersen 2011
Cap Value: 2.685 million
Guaranteed value: 185K

Brad Miller 2012
Cap Value: 5 million
Guaranteed value: 1 million

Kyle Lowry 2013
Cap Value: 6.25 million
Guaranteed value: 1 million

Luis Scola 2014
Cap Value: 11 million
Guaranteed value: TBD based on games played and rockets wins

That'll give Morey a lot of options to work with in the coming years.

Keith
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Keith

Ya i have also been hearing that but who knows how much it is true. It seems to be coming from realgm with somebody claiming to have an inside scoop on Phili's front office.

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

Always great to see old familiar names for the first time. Thanks for reading.

RFWC
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RFWC

Rocket fans have to like what Morey and Alexander are doing. They are loading up a roster with players focused on winning. That means doing the little things. So much easier to cheer for than say a team with spoiled brats focused on points/top dog/money/endorsements. Roster is taking shape. There may be a big deal coming down the pipe, but this is a very competitive team. With Scola you know he's going to give 110% because he is exactly where he wants to be. Lowery's gotta be happy because he's been give starter money, even though he doesn't start. Looks… Read more »

Sean
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Sean

Rahat, First of all let me say I respect your work and think your very intelligent. Anyways I feel like you overanalyze things brother. The lowry, scola, and miller signings tell me everything I need to know. Morey struck out on Bosh who was probably the only player realistically speaking that he knew he had a chance at of all the big time free agents. Since we didnt get him priority number 2 is to lock up our players who are valuable to this team that dont have huge trade value. ie scola and lowry. Morey knows he still has… Read more »

ohdubbz
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ohdubbz

Any opinions on Miller's addition as a player?

From what I've seen with him in Chicago he looks really slow and clumsy and can't really defend (this being the case for most of his career though). Is his familiarity w/ Adelman's system and KMart really going to be a significant factor?

Also, any word on how Yao has been recuperating/rehabbing? I've been researching bionic implants for his legs, we're still a bit away from that unfortunately.

And lastly, any substance in Iggy talk?

Keith
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Keith

all i have been hearing is that he has developed a nice Post 1 on 1 D. Im sure its not like Chucks but he is legit 7ft. If Morey is throwing 5 mil at this guy and has been targeting him since the beginning, im sure he can play some defense.

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

On Iguodala: We can discuss it here in the comments. I don't want to make mention of the rumor that's making the rounds right now because in the posts itself for fear of it getting cited somewhere – I don't want to legitimize it as I don't know anything more than you guys on this and we don't know how reliable the source is. It would make sense though, from all angles. First, the Rockets were interested last year at the deadline before talks fell apart. Usually a characteristic of most Morey deals – prior talks. (How amazing would it… Read more »

Rocket Fan in Santa Barbara
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Rocket Fan in Santa Barbara

Either by design or necessity, the Rockets ' strategy seems to be to go with a a very deep roster that is going RA lots of flexibility in dealing with match-ups against any one team. One way of thinking about this is that the value of each individual player increases b/c they play the most minutes against the most favorable match-ups. It is the exact opposite of what Miami did. A big upside is that the Rockets are somewhat less vulnerable to injuries and they also have readily available assets in case an opportunity arises to get a big star… Read more »

Keith
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Keith

On the dreamshake everybody seems to be agreeing that its a legitimate source so i guess we will just wait and see. The deal is Ariza, Jefferies, and Hill for Iggy and Smith.

Anthony
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Anthony

I think Iguodala's defensive reputation is overblown. It was very good his first couple of seasons when he was a role player behind Iverson and Webber and had a small offensive load. But like Richard Jefferson, another Arizona alum, his defense has slipped as he's taken on a more prominent offensive role. All the tools are still there, the length, quickness and strength but guys get past him far too easily. His defense was below-average last year. Still, all the tools are still there so it's possible that he could get his defense back to its former level on a… Read more »

Randy
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Randy

Hi rahat,

your previous claim of Kyle Lowry's yearly 5.75 mil per year seems to contradict with official NBA reports, which states the value of the contract at 5 years for 23.5 million…
is there some rules i'm missing here?

please enlighten, how does “matching a contract” work?

rahat_huq
Guest
rahat_huq

I got the 5.75 figure from Larry Coon, but he tweeted that under the assumption that the deal was $24million. Either way, the figure isn't yearly…there's 10.5% annual raises.

As far as matching contracts, teams have the right to match any offer given to their “restricted” free agents and are given 7 days to do it. This is contrast to “unrestricted” free agents, like Bosh/Wade/James etc. who are free to do whatever they want. Hope that clears it up.

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

Thanks – was not aware of that. Would you consider him atleast better defensively than Ariza?

rahat_huq
Guest
rahat_huq

Thanks – was not aware of that. Would you consider him atleast better defensively than Ariza?

Easy
Guest
Easy

On Iggy versus Ariza: It seems apparent that Iggy is a better basketball player than Ariza. He is more skilled, has shown competence though not excellence as a true wing scorer, can defend and has a better understanding of the game. This would clearly be an upgrade at the wing position over Ariza and for that matter an aging Battier. As mentioned during the first iteration of this potential trade, the contract of Iggy and Dalembert or Brand made the move untenable. Now, with Philly committing to Evan Turner (Bad choice – should have taken Cousins) this rumor returns.

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

I completely had forgotten that Dalembert was part of the first iteration. Considering that Morey had been willing to even take on Dalembert to get Iggy, with that no longer a requirement, that would make this pretty realistic from the Rockets' side – they'd be all over it I think.

You have to wonder if there would be the same motivation for Philly though to just move Iggy on his own without being able to unload another big salary. Though Ariza and Hill are some pretty nice young pieces.

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

I don't know if its so much a strategy as it is a contingency. As we saw with the Bosh pursuit, they prefer a true star but just have not been able to find one.

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

Yea, it's stickied so we'll see. Seems realistic enough based on the logic of it.

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

I don't really have many opinions on Miller other than what others have already said as I have not watched him much since he left Sacto. His numbers have really slipped so we'll see what he can bring. At the least, it's a skilled big body.

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

Completely agree with you on the Knicks.

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

This is definitely a team loaded with high character guys from top to bottom.

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

partial guaranteed > TPE > expiring

Keith
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Keith

His numbers aren't great but do you think its because of being asked to do to much in Phili's offense?

Patrick Lee
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Patrick Lee

if we assume that they are trying to build the “all ft shooting” team, he fits in pretty well. 5.2 FTA at 73.3%. #7 most FTA among all shooting guards, #28 most overall. if he slotted in as a SF, he would have been #8 overall. that'd give us #3 SG (martin), #8 SF (igoudala), and #17 PF (scola). and if yao were playing, using his career FTA (6.2) he would have been tied for #2 among Cs. plus lowry was #13 at PG, even at only 24.3 mpg. if he were starting and got 36 mpg, he'd be at… Read more »

Blake
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Blake

Queen City Hoop's counterpart ratings seem to show that Ariza is a better defender than Iguodala, at least according to PER.

Ariza and Iguodala's stats at Queen City Hoops. Click on opponent to see counterpart stats.

Blake
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Blake

I don't feel that cap room would be a problem if we thought we 'd be in the running for a prime free agent. Some of our contracts may not be so attractive, but we have plenty of attractive assets this season in our expirings and young talent. These could be attached to contracts like Scola's to move players to make cap room. Whether that's a Morey-type move, I can't say.

P.S. Iguodala's WP48 last season was over .200 🙂

fentropy
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fentropy

This posted via comments the article on espn. I found it interesting to say the least. Kinda makes me excited. 1. For those of you who are focusing on $15 Million its over 3 years with the last year partially guaranteed. Exactly what I thought the Bulls should offer him. Is he worth $5 mil/year? Well, yes given the state of the NBA labor agreement. The Rockets basically gave him their mid-level exception.2. Brad Miller is the PERFECT backup center for a contending team. He's a veteran presence, great passer, can hit the outside jump shot, great in the locker… Read more »

Ed Guapo
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Ed Guapo

Great news. I think he'll fit in great with the offense and will provide valuable minutes thus keeping Yao fresher. Les knows he's spending top dollar for the team this year, he knows more about his finaces than we do. Going all in this year to win it is what I like to see in the front office. He'll make his money back and then some if we get into the playoffs.

Charlie Boy
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Charlie Boy

liked the last format better rahat, seems like the posts jump back and forth and im looking at when they were posted, 20 hours ago, then back to 14 hours ago, then 20 again. the last format worked well IMO, but then what do i know. brad miller will help the team immensly, and not in the boxscore. he will provide a veteran locker room guy that we havent had since Deke. Miller is a bulldog out there and he doesnt mind getting down and dirty and will fit right in with the likes of ariza,luis,kyle,shane and chuck, all willing… Read more »

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

hmm…I think what's happening for you is that by default, its set to show the top rated comments at the top (when someone clicks 'like' on a comment, that improves the rating). If you click on 'sort by newest first' you can see the latest ones at the top. let me know if that doesn't help and i'll change the settings.

I'm liking this alot better because it allows us to reply to people directly, allowing for more tangents without a total disruption of the flow. I don't know though – what do the rest of you think?

Anthony
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Anthony

I'd say Ariza's slightly better because while they're about equal individually, Ariza's a more active and dangerous team defender. Iguodala's unquestionably the better overall player but I guess that's pretty much a given. I think Iguodala's peak is as a no.3 player on a championship team, maybe. I'm not sure he's a talented enough scorer and shooter to be that high. I think of him as potentially an ultra valuable facilitator-defender, a Battier who can also dribble, create his own shot on occasion and make plays for others. How valuable would Battier be if he could do those things? On… Read more »

Sir_Thursday
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Sir_Thursday

Yeah, I prefer this system – means you don't need to start all your posts with @rahat or some such.

ST

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

What I like about it is that it allows people to discuss whatever they want within the comments without me having to create a separate post for each news topic that comes up regarding the team. I like having this serve as more of an editorial blog where I pick whatever I want to write about without having to worry about making mention of all the news – but I also don't like limiting discussion.

Just trying to see how I want to do things before next season starts.

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

From what I've seen of him, I do not agree with the Ron Harper comparison because I never saw him as being a facilitator. I don't feel he can even create for others. I would characterize him in the same mold as a, in terms of skillset, Maggette or Gay – someone who can create for HIMSELF but not anyone else. (Of course he's much better defensively than those guys and plays harder.)

rahat_huq
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rahat_huq

I couldn't get it to work. What do you use for quantifying defense? All I have is Drtg and the stuff on basketballvalue.

Anthony
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Anthony

Being lumped in with Maggette and Gay, two of the most selfish and poor passing perimeter players in the game, is very unfair to Iguodala. Since his first two seasons as he's become more central to Philly's offense, he's averaged 5.7, 4.8, 5.3 and 5.8 assists the past four seasons. Those are outstanding numbers from a SG/SF. He averaged more assists than Brooks last year. Maggette's career high is 3.4 and he's been below three every year but two. Gay's career high is a measly 2 and he's been in the ones three of his four seasons. Iguodala's Magic Johnson… Read more »

Gray Jay
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Gray Jay

Rahat, Which big salaries are you thinking the 76ers would want to unload as well? The only multi-year deals left on their roster are: Brand (3 yr/~16 this year), Williams (3 yr/5 this year), and Nocioni (2 yr/~7 this year). Williams looks promising at PG, and the 76ers have Holiday already as their heir apparent, but what do you do with Lowry then? You'd need a third team to take on Brand's contract, and Nocioni can't be traded with anyone else until the middle of August. Another SF that hasn't been mentioned as a target, yet looks good according to… Read more »

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