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OKC Thunder: Thunder targets free agent Mike Miller

Thunder fans might remember Miller for coming off the bench and scoring 23 points in Miami's series-clinching Game 5 victory over OKC in the 2012 NBA Finals despite his aching back. Miller made seven of his eight 3-pointers in the Heat's 15-point victory.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 18, 2013

The Oklahoma City Thunder has targeted free agent forward Mike Miller.

Miller, 33, has played for Miami the past three seasons, but the Heat waived him Tuesday using the league's amnesty provision. After clearing waivers Thursday afternoon, Miller became an unrestricted free agent.

Multiple reports Thursday said Miller is interested only in joining a championship contender, adding that the Thunder is considered to be the front-runner.

A person with knowledge of the situation said Thunder general manager Sam Presti is scheduled to fly to Miami to meet with Miller this week.

Because the Thunder's payroll is pushing up against the $71.7 million tax threshold, Oklahoma City would be able to offer Miller only a minimum contract for roughly $1.4 million. Under normal circumstances, that number might be enough to send the Thunder into tax territory.

But a provision in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement could come into play and save the Thunder some precious cash.

If OKC signed Miller to a one-year contract, the league would reimburse the Thunder approximately $515,000. On a minimum contract, only $884,293 of Miller's deal would then be included in the Thunder's team salary.

That's the same amount guard DeAndre Liggins is owed and could suggest that Liggins, who is not guaranteed his salary if he doesn't make the regular season roster, would be replaced by the veteran Miller.

Center Daniel Orton, who also is on a non-guaranteed contract, could be released as well. Orton is set to earn roughly $916,000 next season.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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