A Tale of Two Scorers: Vince Carter and Mike Miller
They couldn’t have had both since they play the same position, and it would not have worked out financially either. This left the Grizzlies in the position of deciding where they wanted to put their money. Miller has obviously been with the franchise for a long time, and he’s been a great player both on and off the court. He was especially known for his three point shooting, which many other teams coveted this off-season. This also made it difficult for Memphis to retain him, since he wanted to reunite with his good friend LeBron James in Cleveland. On top of that, he was receiving high offers from teams like the Denver Nuggets, which the Grizzlies were unwilling to match.
The main reason that Memphis was okay with letting Miller go, was because they were in hot pursuit of veteran free agent Vince Carter. Carter has aged incredibly well, leaving him as one of the most potent veteran players in the game today. His days of high flying dunks might be over, but Carter can still score very efficiently and is a great locker room presence. It was fortunate for the Grizzlies as well, because at the time Dallas was tied up with the Chandler Parsons deal, so they were unable to offer Vince a contract. Carter realized that Memphis is a contender, and they also offered him financial stability, so it was ultimately an easy decision. The general consensus of the Carter signing is that it was a steal, and a great pickup for the team.
So that leaves the question–did the Grizzlies make the right call? The answer is yes. It would have been very difficult for Memphis to retain Miller due to his wanting to reunite with LeBron, and there was high interest from other teams as well. The Grizzlies were able to timely step in and steal Carter away from the Mavericks, which ended up being a fantastic deal. Ultimately Miller would have probably cost more, and frankly Carter is more than likely going to have a better season than Miller this year.
Seeing Mike Miller go was hard for Memphis, especially because of how much he’s done for the franchise. It was difficult for him as well, but it was the best thing for both parties at this point in his career. Signing Carter more than made up for it financially, and they ultimately got the better player at this point in their careers. Memphis, especially given the situation, made the right call in signing Vince Carter.