** This post will update as new information comes in. **
Kate Fegan of Philly.com reports...
Andre Miller's agent, Andy Miller, has confirmed that within 24 hours Andre Miller will be a Portland Trailblazer.
Miller said the two parties are "finalizing" the deal today and it should become official within 24 hours. His client, who has been the 76ers starting point guard for the last 2 1/2 seasons, will receive a deal that one source said was "an improvement" over the deal the Sixers were offering, which was reportedly in the 1 year/$6 million range.
12:02PM... Chad Ford of ESPN reports...
The Portland Trail Blazers have offered point guard Andre Miller a three-year contract with a team option for a third year, a source close to the process said Friday.
The contract would be worth $21 million, with $14 million guaranteed and $7 million included as a team option, the source said.
12:07PM... Jason Quick of The Oregonian reports...
The Trail Blazers have agreed to sign point guard Andre Miller to a multi-year contract, according to the player's agent.
"We're closing in on a deal, we should have one shortly,'' agent Andy Miller told The Oregonian shortly before noon.
12:10PM... Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus tweets...
Andre Miller is a very good player. Unfortunately, he happens to be all wrong for the Blazers.
12:18PM... Casey Holdahl from Blazers.com tweets...
Direct quote from Kevin Pritchard: "As of now no deal is done."
12:46PM... People keep sending me this video so I'm posting it.
12:53PM... Chad Ford and Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com now write...
Before they committed to Miller, the Blazers made a strong push for Lee, a power forward. On Tuesday night, Blazers coach Nate McMillan and front-office executives Kevin Pritchard and Tom Penn had dinner with Lee in Las Vegas to make their recruiting pitch.
One source said the Blazers offered Lee a variety of options, including an opt-out clause that would have made him an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2011. But the Knicks and Portland could not agree in discussions Thursday on any kind of a sign-and-trade deal, and the Blazers did not want to risk losing Miller over the seven-day waiting period had they chosen to use their cap space to tender an offer sheet to Lee, which New York would have had the right to match.
Lee, attending Team USA's mini-camp in Las Vegas, confirmed the Tuesday night recruiting meeting and said he was intrigued by the possibility of playing for Portland, although he never thought a deal was close.
12:57PM... Jason Quick of The Oregonian writes...
Miller was the Blazers' third choice in the free agent market, and their pursuit intensified in the last 24 to 36 hours, about the same time the Blazers pulled away from talks with New York free agent forward David Lee.
According to Mark Bartelstein, Lee's agent, the forward met with the Blazers this week in Las Vegas, after which talks increased. However, on Thursday evening, the two sides agreed to part ways.
"We agreed it wasn't a perfect fit,'' Bartelstein said. "There was a lot of conversation, a lot of back-and-forth, but there were a lot of issues on both sides.''
Bartelstein said the Blazers explored a sign-and-trade with the Knicks, but New York president Donnie Walsh recoiled at the offers. Meanwhile, Lee's camp had questions about his role on the Blazers, who have a solid front line with LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla.
12:59PM... Marc Spears of Yahoo! writes...
Andre Miller will accept a three-year, $22 million offer to sign with the Portland Trail Blazers, a source close to the free-agent guard said on Friday.
The first two seasons of the contract are guaranteed while the third year is a team option.
Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard cautioned that "nothing is done yet." But a source close to Miller said he has decided to take the offer and will sign with the Blazers.
Miller will give the Trail Blazers a veteran point guard to help steady their young roster.
"He's got great savvy and leadership," Pritchard said from Team USA's practice on Friday. "We like him as a player for sure."
3:14PM... Nice analysis from Kelly Dwyer at Yahoo! He writes...
The Blazers need an upgrade on Steve Blake, and though Miller has the same defensive deficiencies as the incumbent Portland point guard, he contributes at a far greater rate in every area save for outside shooting. And the Blazers, first in offensive efficiency last season, have that area more or less covered.
You only have Miller for two years, at a price just above market average, while your young team moves closer to its prime.
For Miller? He's not going to get another staunch contract like this in his career, even if he shines through all three years. But this is fair. He's made plenty of money, a good rookie deal followed by a big free agent deal with Denver, followed by this. And, to be fair, he coasted at times during his contract year. Teams obviously noticed.
But they also noticed over 16 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds last season. Even if that drops a bit in 2009-10 (coach Nate McMillan likes to slow things down, so even if Miller's per-game averages drop, it doesn't mean he's playing worse), it's still sound production to have.
Fine deal, for both ends.
3:15 PM... Kevin Pelton expands on his earlier tweet...
I'm still of the opinion that the primary priority for Portland should have been improvement at the defensive end, where the Blazers ranked 12th in the league during the regular season. Miller is a slight upgrade over Blake at this end of the floor, but does little to help Portland's problem chasing around the league's jets-especially as he ages. If the Blazers are to improve at the defensive end of the floor, it will probably have to come from within and specifically from Greg Oden in his second year. Glowing reports about Oden's defensive work at this week's USA Basketball mini-camp are encouraging on this front.
Lest we get too pessimistic, it's not like Portland lost anyone to add Miller, should Blake be willing to move into a reserve role. If Miller's lack of shooting becomes a problem at times, Blake will still be there to step into the lineup. From a fiscal perspective, the Miller deal we've seen reported is very reasonable. Because just two years are guaranteed, Miller could become a valuable ending contract as soon as next season. The cost, then, is primarily an alternative one. The Blazers chose Miller over potentially making a deal with a team looking to shed salary. That option was a risky one in that it is impossible to know for sure what players might come available before the cap space would have been lost at next year's trade deadline, but it is possible that Portland ight have found a player who, if less talented than Miller, was a better fit for the team's needs.
-- Ben (email@example.com)