The Portland Trail Blazers signed former 76er and veteran free agent guard Andre Miller to a multi-year contract on Friday. The deal is worth $14 million for the first two years and includes a team option for a third year at $7 million, according to SI.com.
"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 came to Philly in 2006 in the midseason trade that sent Allen Iverson off to the Denver Nuggets. The 33-year-old never missed a game with the Sixers (he's only missed three games in his entire 10-year career). He averaged 16.3 points and 6.5 assists last season. The Sixers went 41-41 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.
"Did I think it was a fair offer?" he asked. "No, I didn't."
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."
"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," said Portland general manager Kevin Pritchard.
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.
Miller joins point guards Steve Blake and Jerryd Bayless for 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.