Memphis Grizzlies announce deal with guard Mike Miller

BY CLAY BAILEY, The Associated Press Published: July 30, 2013
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Miller had several teams interested in his 3-point shooting as a possible missing link for a long playoff run. It didn't take him long to figure out where he wanted to be: Memphis.

The sharp-shooting Miller said Tuesday that the Grizzlies are “right there” when it comes to winning a championship with what he calls the NBA's two best big men in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, an underrated point guard in Mike Conley and a lockdown defender in Tony Allen.

So one of Miller's first calls after the Miami Heat decided to amnesty him was to the Grizzlies' chief executive officer Jason Levien. Miller said the two had same idea, “It was a perfect fit and how can we make this work to get back here.”

The two got it done. The Grizzlies announced Tuesday morning that they had signed the best 3-point shooter in franchise history as part of their efforts to improve a team coming off its first Western Conference final.

Memphis did not disclose details of the contract.

Miller was introduced at a midday news conference at the FedExForum, where Miller drew applause from backers as he walked out with new head coach Dave Joerger and a standing ovation after the event.

“We are extraordinarily pleased to welcome Mike Miller back to Memphis,” Levien said in a statement announcing the signing. “Mike is a special figure in our community both on and off the court. Mike is an elite 3-point shooter, as Grizzlies fans know firsthand, and we expect his shooting, play-making, hustle and leadership to be a key component in our team competing with the best in the NBA next season.”

Miller still holds eight franchise records with the Grizzlies, including 3-point shooting percentage and the most 3s made and attempted. He spent parts of six seasons with the Grizzlies from 2003 through 2008. He helped the Heat win the past two NBA titles, and has shot 41 percent from 3-point range in his 13 NBA seasons.

He will collect more than $12 million in salary from the Heat over the next two seasons.

For Miller, money was a consideration along with the opportunity to return to a familiar place with the added bonus of trying put the Grizzlies into the NBA Finals.

“We missed y'all,” Miller told fans at the news conference. “I am so happy to be back. Ten years ago, when I came here, me and my family fell in love with this community and these people. … You guys made the decision real easy to come back here.”

In his previous tenure with the Grizzlies, Miller averaged 14.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists. He shot 47.7 percent from the field, including 41.5 percent from outside the arc.