Andre Miller. Ironman of the NBA. Landed as a free agent last year. We all know his game. Offensively dominates smaller PG's in the post, never really relied on his athleticism. Grant Hill & Antonio McDyess - Before their injuries they were touted as some of the best players in the NBA. Then after a long road of rehab both are still successful playing in the NBA, why ? Because after their athleticism faded & they had to rely on strategy instead - Positioning, changing speeds & ball fakes.. Andre has been good to Portland & he has had some great moments - The 52 against Dallas. The dunk against Denver. He Adjusted throughout the year for the good of our team. Some are saying trade him, I have been asking myself if its needed.
I understand, Dre's game is certainly not a perfect fit next to Roy. Not a great defender, a terrible three point shooter. I was thinking to myself if you had the perfect "Heir to Andre"(HTA from here on out) backing him up, he could learn a lot from Andre. I see myself looking ahead when his contract is up, a new CBA in place. Andre may very well resign with us for showing loyalty & provide a nice spark for the second unit. Think; Roy, Batum, Aldridge, Oden entering their primes. The HTA, having backed up Miller for two-three years(I am not going to leave that out of the realm of possibility it could be Bayless) ready to take over the reigns. Its a beautiful sight. Thats not to say for the right price, Andre would not be available, because he would. However, Miller has a game that appears to be able to stand the test of time & could teach whoever the HTA is quite a lot. If the right offer doesn't come around I would not mind keeping him around.
The HTA - Who are you?
The qualifications are well known. He has to be able to hit his open shots consistently. He has to be a good to great defender, preferably able to defend both guards. The ability to play well without the ball in his hands & finally the age to fit with the core of this team. Now with those qualifications in mind, let me throw out some names - Not all are perfect fits.
Stephen Curry - Led the NBA in 3PT%, works well off the ball, great work ethic, great kid. Average defender
Jrue Holiday - Essentially Philadelphia's PG-Version of Batum. Excellent defender, shooting %'s last year, can defend both guard spots. Gary Payton-Esqe ceiling.
Darren Collison - Great 3PT Shooter, a little small but a scrappy defender, great work ethic.
George Hill - Clearly the better fit on our team over Tony Parker as much as I'd love seeing the "French Connection" in Portland. A good 3PT Shooter, has been studying Tony Parker for two years, decent defender. Had a break out season last year & has a high ceiling.
Aaron Brooks - Would be a tough trade to pull off. A absolute sniper from deep - One of the best in the league & a quick release. He is lightning fast. Below average defender due to his size especially against larger guards.
Mike Conley - Still only 22 years old, Mike Conley has improved every year since he came into the league, keep in mind Aaron Brooks didn't average more then 11 a game in the NBA until he was 25. The same age Brooks was at Oregon scoring 10 a game his junior year, Mr. Conley was scoring 10+ in the NBA. I don't think his potential has been fully realized yet & I fully expect him to have a breakout year. Conley the last two years has shown real dramatic improvement in his 3 Point shot the last two years, averaging around 39%. Has experience playing off the ball from playing alongside OJ Mayo who often takes the ball up & initiates the offense. A good off ball defender, with potential to be great. Sometimes can get bullied by bigger PG's if he doesn't get weakside help.
Jerryd Bayless - Rex is a fiery competitor, excellent at taking it to the rack. Will need to continue develop his 3PT shot & PG skills for him to be a championship level HTA - In my opinion. He reminds me a lot of Vinny Johnson from the Bad Boys Teams & think he could fit that role well.
Who is your HTA?