The fine folks at the independent college basketball blog Rush the Court are spending some time analyzing each of the 35 top prospects for June’s NBA draft. They’re starting with a few of the guys who are on the edge of the first round, and that group includes this profile of Darius Miller. They mention improving defensively as one of the keys to Miller having a long career, but believe that he has the tools to make it as an NBA player.
Here’s what they believe translates to the NBA for Miller:
Will Translate to the NBA: There is one constant at every level of basketball: they only roll one ball out there for every game. At the professional level, where only the best of the best remain, you can’t have a team where everybody wants the ball in their hands at all times. Miller has proven that he can be an effective player away from the spotlight. He’s adept at moving without the ball, keeping proper spacing, and has shown an ability to knock down open looks when they arise. While his three-point percentage dropped from the blistering 44.3% he shot as a junior to a merely good 37.6% as a senior, he’s shown NBA range and a willingness to step into the right shot when needed. Throw in the fact that at 6’8” and 235 pounds he’s got the frame to handle the big boys at the next level, and Miller looks the part of an NBA wing.
They also discuss which team would provide the best fit for Miller at the next level, and it’s the place where Eric Bledsoe is already getting s*** right:
Best NBA Fit: We know Miller doesn’t want to wait through 52 picks to hear his name called, but he could fit in well with the Clippers if they pull the trigger on him with the 53rd pick. With Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan spending most of their time in the paint, Miller could be a good release valve for Chris Paul to find when his penetration draws defenders. And with all the current wings on that team (Caron Butler, Bobby Simmons, Ryan Gomes) likely closer to the ends of their careers than the beginning (and certainly closer to the ends of their contracts), there could be an opportunity for minutes there for a youngster.
I agree that one of Miller’s best attributes is his ability to make an impact without demanding the ball, and I think that he’ll stick in the NBA once he gets his shot because of that trait. That’s why he’ll be in great shape to carve out a place for himself if he’s taken by a good team at the end of the first round that’s already established but can find a use for his versatility. He has everything an NBA player needs, and if he ends up in the right situation he can make a long and successful career for himself at the next level.