LAS VEGAS - The Nuggets have waived Mike Miller, the team announced Tuesday.
Waiving Miller clears his $3.5 million from Denver's books and gives the Nuggets more salary cap flexibility over the rest of the summer. Denver is still hoping to re-sign restricted free agent Mason Plumlee this offseason and getting out from under Miller's contract could clear the way for the Nuggets to sign the center. Miller's contract was set to become guaranteed on Wednesday.
Miller, who averaged 1.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists in only 7.6 minutes per game last season, nonetheless was one of the defining factors in Denver's culture shift, and his impact went far beyond the box score. He was a close friend of Nikola Jokic and coach Michael Malone constantly praised his professionalism.
If Miller isn't with the Nuggets next season he will be missed, but the 37-year-old hasn't ruled out coaching in the future. Miller loves the Nuggets' organization, so there could be a path toward a coaching vacancy down the line. Denver technically has a spot on their coaching staff open for next season after assistant Chris Finch left the organization earlier this summer for New Orleans.
"We got a lot of young talent in Denver, a bright future in Denver, which is exciting," Miller said to Argus Leader in June. "They deserve it. The organization is the best. It was a lot of fun. We almost made the playoffs. Every year is another chapter where you learn something new about yourself and others. I try to just enjoy that."
But Miller also wants to keep playing as long as a team wants him. The former NBA rookie of the year is still a solid three-point shooter and brings a smart, veteran presence to any locker room.
"For me, it’s just a lot of fun. I enjoy playing," Miller said. "I always will. My family still enjoys me playing, which is most important. So we’re going to keep going as long as we can. Every year is a new challenge and I enjoy those challenges. Until I quit, finding something to replace this will be hard.
Regardless of where Miller ends up, whether that's in Denver or elsewhere, he will be remembered fondly for the time he spent in a Nuggets' uniform.