Ten Things to Like About…CJ Miles

September 26th, 2012 by Kevin Hetrick

This week, newest Cavalier C.J. Miles steps to the line.  Regardless of what anyone thinks of the recent additions; Miles and Waiters trump Christian Eyenga, Mychel Thompson, or 36-year-old Anthony Parker every day.  For a quick debriefing on why:

For all the under-18 readers, seek parental permission before googling "C.J. Miles Images" (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

  1. Old Man Parker never dunked like this.
  2. Sorry about opening wounds from the 26 game losing streak two years ago, but the dunker is now our guy, while the posterized victim…JJ Hickson.
  3. In searching youtube, apparently a female internet sensation named CJ Miles exists.  I mean, that’s cool, right?
  4. Basketball player C.J. Miles signed a 2 year, $4.5 million deal.  Averaging ten points per game for the last four seasons, he fits the Chris Grant mold of “improvement now, cap flexibility later”.
  5. As part of a high-school-to-pro class, Miles brings 7-years of veteran experience along with his youthful 25 years.  Playing in 23 postseason games, he can help guide the youngsters while also growing with them.
  6. For the last two years, his efforts at small forward exceed his work at the two.  Given that the Cavs drafted Dion Waiters, and still suit-up stalwart Boobie Gibson; Miles stands to see time at the three. Last year, his PER at SF stood at 13.9 compared to 15.5 for his opponent.  In 2010 – 2011, 15.2 versus 14.3 far surpassed the 12.7 and 18, respectively, posted at shooting guard.
  7. Once upon a time, Sam Presti offered Miles a 4 year, $15 million offer, thanks to a third season featuring 39% drilled from deep, and a keen resemblance to a burgeoning young playmaker.  Sam Presti is a very smart guy, so this must be a positive.  I suppose the possibility also exists that he perfectly calculated the maximum amount his divisional rival would match on a restricted free agent, thereby tying up his opponent’s cap space on an overpaid player (darn you, Sam Presti, and your potential for clever trickery).
  8. Miles peaked around age 20 – 21, with 56% true shooting and a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio as a starter on a 48 win team.  Hopefully new scenery and reconnecting with an elite point guard helps kick-start his early career progression.
  9. Last season, he ranked 27th of 116 swingmen in steals per minute, following a 28th-place finish in 2010 – 2011.  Combined with Alonzo Gee (14th most steals last year of swingmen) and Dion Waiters (13th best steal percentage in NCAA last year), Cleveland employs a bevy of ball-hawking wings.  If the team wants to run, proper personnel is in place to initiate the break.
  10. He protects the ball well, too, ranking 19th and 20th for turnover rate of the same group of wings over the last two seasons.

Over the last five years, Miles performed the impressive feat of transitioning from a low-volume, high efficiency starter on a playoff team to a high-volume, low efficiency  back-up on lesser squads.  He does not rebound particularly adeptly.  Worst case scenario; at least the void left by Antawn Jamison will not go unfilled.

Undoubtedly though, Miles provides an upgrade over the Joey Graham and Mychel Thompson free agent bounties of recent off-seasons.  At a minimum, he offers someone to get up shots, from a bench unit occasionally struggling with that.  Best case, his new teammates put the wind back in his sails, and he frequently makes shots.  Like the hopefully blooming big man rotation, the possibility exists for a legitimate NBA wing rotation in Cleveland.  October 30th can’t get here soon enough.

(Note: I joined the twitter.  Find me twittering @hetrick46.)