What If? – Andre Miller never got traded
This one starts off the beginning times. The Before. The Pre-LeBron James or as we now call it BJ (Before James). In 2001-2002 the Cavaliers had young, rising prospect Andre Miller. A third-year player at this point and a double-double machine with incredible mid-range scoring abilities. He was seen as a future All-Star in waiting and had he played most of his prime in the Eastern Conference, he probably would’ve had three or four All-Star appearances to his name.
Miller was a great point guard and lead a team of offensively inept maroons to put up some decent numbers. Decent considering you were relying on Lamond Murry and Wesley Person as two of your three primary scorers. Alas, however, the team wanted to tank for a potential big get in the 2003 NBA Draft. Apparently, it never occurred to management to just have Miller “hurt” his ankle and sit out half the season.
Because that would’ve been less scummy than tanking on purpose.
Had the team just sat out Miller instead of trading him, then James would’ve come into a situation where Miller was at point guard, James at small forward, Carlos Boozer at power forward and Zydrunas Ilgauskas at center. That’s a foursome that’s good enough to be a playoff team. Maybe not in year one of James’ career, but certainly in year two.
To think the team traded Miller and not Ricky Davis before James arrived is perplexing. Heck, if you surrounded Miller with nobodies you could’ve been just as terrible. No one will really want to argue that keep Miller at the cost of getting James makes sense. Yet, to trade him away for ‘ol ‘Double Fist Tap‘ Darius Miles? What a bunch of morons. That’s akin to Detroit trading away Andre Drummond for nothing this past February.
Jim Paxson was bad at his job.
There’s no doubt that keeping Miller would’be been best for the team, and getting rid of Person, Murray and Davis instead would’ve allowed the Cavs to still be in contention to get James. Especially if Miller kept having “earlobe bruising”, which forced him to miss games.