Trade Rumor: Andre Miller, the Magic, and the Hawks

More draft day trade madness, this one involving the DraftExpress rumor that Andre Miller and the 21st pick may be heading to Orlando in a deal that sends Jameer Nelson out to Portland.

The first question most have asked is "why would Orlando do that?" 

Some have speculated that the Magic would get Miller and then release him, based on the clause in his contract that allows the contract to be fully unguaranteed if released before June 29th.

But that doesn't pass the common sense test, since the Magic are already way over the cap and Miller's 7M, while being a nice savings, is hardly the direction the Magic want to go, especially as it pertains to Objective #1, which is keeping Dwight Howard. Dumping salary and not having anything to show for Jameer Nelson other than a draft pick, is not a favored means of achieving that goal.

So why make a deal?

7M dollars of costs saved would help a team looking to shed salary a team like say, the Hawks, as rumored.

The Magic could be obtaining Miller in order to send him to Atlanta in a trade package, who could immediately release Miller and save a lot of money, something that is at a premium to the Hawks, who currently carry over 66 million dollars in salary next season. Being able to obliterate a good part of 12M dollars of that in one trade is something that might appeal to financially strapped ownership.

Of course, they wouldn't be looking to unload 12M and their 25 year old, highly productive power forward if they had simply abstained from last season's (and the season before) free agency foibles, but they didn't and here they are.

What about Orlando?

Well, if a deal involving Miller and maybe that #21 pick meant that they would get Howard chum Josh Smith to Orlando, well then, that does go a long way to priority #1 (get Howard committed and signed in Orlando) and might even improve their team a little. 

Hey, and if Atlanta cuts Miller loose to save some cash, why couldn't Orlando bring him back after the waiting period is over?

It's not great news for Hawks fans---the idea of keeping Joe Johnson for 5 more seasons, Marvin Williams, what ends up being Kirk Hinrich and the 21st pick in this draft doesn't seem like a good ending to the Josh Smith story, but it may just be the way it is again for ardent Bird Watchers.

As @TooSmoove5 said himself to @SekouSmithNBA today on Twitter when asked if he'll still be a Hawk at the end of tonight:

@SekouSmithNBA Lol I guess we both will have to see haha    

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