MIAMI —With just about every Miami Heat acquisition this summer, another recruiting story seems to emerge.
Dwyane Wade helped lure LeBron James and Chris Bosh. James played a big role in talking Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Mike Miller into coming to Miami.
And now, Miller is taking a turn.
Only days after signing with Miami, Miller is talking to close pal Jason Williams about reuniting with the team. Williams started at point guard for the Heat during Miami’s championship season in 2006.
“I’d love to have him," said Miller, who spoke to Williams on Sunday. “Obviously, it has to work out on both sides. J-Will would have to want to come back and Miami would have to be good with that. I just talked to him more as a friend, just to see how he’s doing and what he’s thinking about doing. I’m just excited for him. He had an unbelievable year last year and we’ll see what happens in the future here."
It might be a long shot, getting Williams back to Miami.
Fortunately for the Heat, Miller didn’t need much convincing.
He agreed to a deal with Miami shortly after James said he was coming to join Wade and Bosh. Like at least four other players—James, Wade, Bosh and Udonis Haslem—Miller took significantly less money from Heat owner Micky Arison than he could have made elsewhere in order to be part of the rebuilt Miami roster.
Miller took a five-year deal worth around $25 million. So far this summer, Miami has closed roughly $400 million worth of deals, and done so at what might be considered around the league as bargain prices.
“In order for it to happen, it took a lot of moving parts to come together," Miller said. “For one, (Heat president) Pat Riley had to do an amazing job to clear cap space, and then Mr. Arison had to go out and spend every dollar he could possibly spend to get everybody and then guys had to take less. So it was a commitment all around the board."
Miller isn’t sure if he’ll start for Miami this coming season, nor has he been told exactly what role he’ll have on the rebuilt Heat roster.
He just knows he should be open—a lot.
The NBA’s second-best shooter from 3-point range last season came to the Heat in large part because of the opportunities he could get playing alongside Wade and James. Knowing they’ll be double-covered much of the time, someone should usually be open, and that somebody could very well be him.
“There should be a lot of looks," Miller said. “There’s no question about it."
Miller has started at least 47 games in nine of his first 10 NBA seasons, with the lone exception when he came off the bench 65 times for Memphis in 2005-06. He was a runaway winner of the NBA’s sixth man award that season, easily outdistancing Speedy Claxton and Jerry Stackhouse.
Being the top reserve might be his starting point in Miami. Miller plays shooting guard and small forward primarily, spots also held by Wade and James.
“We can chalk those guys in as the starters," Miller said. “I think it’ll probably be a role that I play and I have no problem with that. I’m just here to help win games and if that’s one of the ways that we can do it, then that’s what I’ll do."
Coming to Miami also made sense to Miller in one other way. He gets to pair with Haslem again.
They were teammates on the Florida team that lost the 2000 NCAA title game. And Miller and Haslem have talked for years about the chance to be teammates one more time.
“Unfinished business," Miller said.
They’ll have a chance at a bigger prize together with the Heat. - RCJ, GMANews.TV