Thursday afternoon, the Minnesota Timberwolves announced they had waived veteran point guard Andre Miller. The 17-year veteran, who turns 40 on March 19th, averaged 3.4 points and 2.2 assists in 26 games this season. Miller last appeared in the Wolves’ February 10th home win over Toronto; his best game in a Minnesota uniform came during a road victory against the Kings on November 27th, when he scored 12 points and dished out 4 assists in 18 minutes.
The move isn’t much of a surprise; Miller was signed to be a veteran mentor, and by all accounts, he was exactly that for the first two-thirds of the season. But there are 20-plus games left in what could very well be his final NBA campaign, and according to one report, he’d like to catch on with a playoff team to finish it out. Here was Milt Newton’s statement, via the team’s press release:
“Andre was a consummate professional and set a good example for our younger players on what it takes to be a pro in this league. We wish him the best.”
His enthusiasm for the game, even after nearly two decades in the league, was fun to watch. He gave officials grief during the team’s preseason intrasquad scrimmage; he got in the ears of young players on the bench; and he stood and cheered emphatically for his teammates, even in the midst of a long string of DNPs:
On a personal note, I never got to share a pregame meal with Miller, who was notorious for saving his per diem in order to eat the food the team provided in the media area. I consider this one of my life’s greatest failures.
With the buyout of Miller, the Wolves’ roster now stands at 14. How long before it’s 13? Well…
Kevin Martin and the Timberwolves in advanced buyout negotiations to make him free agent by playoff-eligibility deadline, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 26, 2016
ESPN’s Marc Stein (who is about as good as it gets among NBA reporters) expounded on the news here. Martin’s player option for next season (valued at $7.4 million) is surely complicating matters, but the news that the two sides are talking means a buyout is probable. If THAT happens, the Wolves will have two open roster spots.