Blazers sign free agent G Andre Miller

July 24, 2009 5:25:46 PM PDT
The Portland Trail Blazers signed veteran free agent guard Andre Miller to a three-year contract on Friday. Miller, whose NBA career has spanned 10 seasons with four teams, averaged 16.3 points and 6.5 assists as a starter for the Philadelphia 76ers last season.

"I'm just looking forward to the challenge, you know?" Miller said in a conference call. "I know Portland wants to accomplish a lot of things, and I want to add to that."

Miller joins point guards Steve Blake and Jerryd Bayless with the Blazers, the second-youngest team in the NBA last season. Portland won 54 games and advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

Miller has played an NBA-high 530 straight games. He has missed just three in his career.

The 33-year-old Miller went to the Sixers in 2006 in a midseason trade with the Denver Nuggets that involved Allen Iverson. He did not miss a game for Philadelphia.

"He is one of the league's ironmen who brings a wealth of veteran leadership to our team and is a great fit for our young and improving roster," Portland general manager Kevin Pritchard said in a statement.

Miller was the eighth overall pick in the 1999 draft out of Utah by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Over his career, he has averaged 14.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists in 815 games, 768 starts. He has 174 career double-doubles.

The Sixers went 41-41 last season and were knocked out of the playoffs in six games for the second straight year. The team reportedly offered Miller a one-year deal for about $6 million.

Philadelphia forward Andre Iguodala said he sensed Miller would seek a team on the West Coast because he is from Los Angeles. "Portland's a good team, a young athletic group and he'll fit in perfect with them. He'll thrive in that system without having to do too much. Portland's going to be a much better team," Iguodala said. "I don't think they know what type of guy they got."

Miller's departure means the Sixers will likely turn to fourth-year guard Lou Williams to run the point. They made UCLA's Jrue Holiday their first-round pick and hope he can develop into their point guard of the future. Shooting guard Willie Green is the only other true guard on the roster, leaving the Sixers thin in the backcourt.

The Trail Blazers were $7.7 million under the salary cap after the league set it at $57.7 million for next season. The cap is determined by a percentage of league revenue from the previous season.

Portland had been unsuccessful in the market this summer. First, they went after free agent forward Hedo Turkoglu, who pulled out of talks at the last minute and instead went to the Toronto Raptors.

The Blazers also made a move on Utah forward Paul Millsap, a restricted free agent, but the Jazz matched Portland's offer.

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