Hornets Take Darius Miller at #46 in the Draft

The Hornets have taken Darius Miller–the former teammate of Anthony Davis– at number 46 in the draft.

Miller is the 6th Kentucky Wildcat taken in the draft. He’s a very good spot-up shooter with excellent range. There’s little doubt that he’s going to be able to hit the NBA three. He’s also capable of penetrating defenses. He has nice size and athleticism for his position (6-8, 233).

One thing to note is that he’s been a reserve his entire college career. On one hand, that’s not ideal. On the other, he’s comfortable playing the role that he’s going to be striving to fill in the NBA. He’s not a starting caliber player and there aren’t many who think he’ll ever get there, but theres no reason he can’t develop into a nice three-point specialist who excels in a supporting role. The Hornets could use a guy like that, especially after shooting a woeful 33% from behind the arc last year.

He’s a less than stellar defender who struggles to keep his man from penetrating. He’s also not  very good rebounder, despite having such good size for the SF position.

For more insight, here is the Draft Express player profile for Miller.

41 responses to “Hornets Take Darius Miller at #46 in the Draft”

    • He’s a forward. Don’t put too much stock into the pick. There’s a pretty good chance he won’t amount into anything, nonetheless, a very very solid pick at that point in the draft.

      • He was much higher on the boards early this season, but his benching didnt help that. Regardless he played good minutes in a deep rotation. He could be perfect next to EG, and always nice to have UB23 a friend. He also played last yr mainly at the 2 for UK, and Calipari used him to defend the 2,3 and 4 spots. Underatted athlete who could become a decent defender under Monty, best case scenario he is our Batum

  1. I love this pick. I think this guy will play a major role on the team. Always had my eye on him during the college season. Just didnt think we had a chance to get him. He’s a perfect piece to the puzzle. All we need now is a starting center in free agency.

  2. What do all 3 picks in this draft have in common? Winning pedigree. Jesus what a great time to be a Hornets fan. Our front office actually gets it. You win with winners. Not the guys that jump the highest or ran the fastest. The talented guys that want to win the MOST win the titles.

  3. I’m happy with this draft, would have liked Sacre at 46, but didn’t expect Miller to be available… Do you think we sign him, Joe?

    • The front office and Monty said that they plan to have their second round pick play. Lets how he does in summer league. He fills a need and could be the designated three point specialist from the bench. I really like the pick!

    • Wow! 9 dislikes?? Is Henry that beloved? I like him but he’s expiring and his skillset is more or less the same as Miller’s in a slightly smaller body…

      • X-man is not expiring. He is 20 years old. And I don’t think they have the same skill set at all. Granted I didnt watch much of Miller play but from what I heard Miller is more of a shooter and X is more of a slasher. Plus X didn’t look to bad on defense other than losing his man in rotation every now and then but his 1 on 1 D looked pretty solid. But thats just observation

      • Oh you’re right, I thought the option that was picked up was for this year but it’s for next. I still don’t think he’ll get minutes because while he is a good slasher, he didn’t really show the ability to finish and on this team we’ll need good shooters for Gordon, Rivers, and Davis to kick to from the paint. I’d be fine with them as bench wings, but one of them will end up losing minutes

  4. A reserve his whole career? He started 32 games as a sophomore, 37 as a junior and then 11 with the super squad last year when he still averaged 26 minutes a contest. … So he’s got some experence there.

    As a junior, averaged 31.0 minutes per game and was a much better player statisically (10.9 points, 44.3 3P%, 4.6 rebounds) than as a senior (9.9 points, 37.6 3P%, 2.8 rebounds) in about five minutes less per game.

    Good selection who should probably see some minutes this year at the 3.

  5. Big time Kentucky fan. Darius was my favorite player, so a little biased on him, but here’s some insight:

    Only player ever to be named Mr. Kentucky in high school, win a State Championship in Kentucky, and national title for Kentucky. He’s Mr. Commonwealth. He is a true 3 on the offensive end. Can post up smaller defenders, has a good mid-range game and a solid 3-point shooter. Solid ball handler for a 3. Can defer to teammates too much. Many times he had a mismatch on the offensive end due to the other talent on UK but would fail to demand the ball or take advantage of the situation. Very calm demeaner, sometimes frustrating because his offensive game is so well rounded you know he can produce more but, again, defers to teammates. Matched up against Terrence Jones for two years and Kidd-Gilchrist last year every day in practice so he has played against some of the best every day. Great teammate, fulltime starter his Jr year, lost his spot to Kidd-Gilchrist as a Sr but didn’t make any fuss about the situation. Kidd-Gilchrist told coach Cal to start Miller the last couple games of the season due to how great of a teammate Miller was to MKG. Can defend the 2-4 on the defensive end but isn’t a high effort player or overly athletic player so he isn’t the best defender. Very good pick at 46. Not sure what the Hornets SF situation is looking like, but Miller is a lock to make the team IMO and can be a solid role player and good locker room guy. Too much info for you all probably but watched him for 4 years and UK is on TV a lot so it should be fairly accurate in how it translates to the NBA game, and again, he was my favorite player. Good luck Darius.

    • John,

      Love this post, but think Miller is a better defender than you give him credit for. I think he can defend back up SFs in the NBA. I expect him to contribute right away.

      • I hope so. I feel Kidd-Gilchrist and even Doron Lamb defended the other teams best perimeter player which let Miller not have to guard someone as effective. Also, with Davis in the paint, letting your guy drive on you often resulted in a block/altered shot so Miller wasn’t as punished for getting beat. I love his offensive game but think his D will be questionable in the NBA. But you are correct in that he will be playing vs backup SFs so hopefully it will be servicable and better than I expect.

  6. I really loved this pick. The guy can play and knows how to fill a role. He can come off the bench and be a solid defender while giving a little bit to the offensive end. And it doesn’t hurt give Davis one of his UK buddies either!

    Also. I’d really like to see Machado sign a deal as an undrafted FA. I know we might be thinking Rivers at the point, but I’d love to see him be given a cheap deal to test the waters.

  7. Random Questions, best placed here.

    With depth like this:

    PG: Jack, Vasquez, Rivers, (Dyson?)
    SG: Gordon, Rivers, Henry
    SF: Aminu, Miller, Henry, (Thomas!)
    PF: Smith, Davis, Ayon, (Thomas!)
    C: ????, Smith, Ayon

    Where does Belinelli fit in? (And I like Belinelli. I know the coaching staff does, too.)

    Where do we get a C? Kaman is likely way too expensive.

    • Jason Smith is starting over Anthony Davis?

      Darius Miller – the 46th pick this year is already higher in the rotation than Xavier Henry – the 12th pick two years ago who already has a year of the system under his belt?

      • Otherwise, I like belinelli as well, but I don’t see any room for him.

        I’d love to see Javale McGee at center but I don’t know if Denver will let him walk or how much it will take to get him.

        Whatever though, the future is great!

      • Yes, because AD is a 19yo rookie of whom both Monty and Dell have stated multiple times, “No pressure; we’re growing him slowly”, and JSmith is 7 years older with 5 years of NBA experience.

      • Eli and Carpo,

        The presumption is the Hornets bring in a natural C to start. That is why ???? was listed as the starting C. (I think we’d all love McGee at C.)

        Smith’s natural postion is PF, and Ron nailed the reasons why Smith starts over Davis. But you could add in the fact that Davis weighs only 222 lbs and only played one year of college ball. (It looks like Davis will not start in 2012-13 unless there is an injury to at least Smith and Ayon, which is a smart move by the Hornets. They want to bring him along slowly and carefully. They will have a long term approach with Davis.)

        As for Henry, his natural position is SG not SF. He rarely plays at SF, and then only when we want to go small. Henry still has his spot as SG. But at SF it is Miller who is a year older than Henry. And Miller will have an NBA role similar to his college role (6th man on a team with 6 NBA players, 4 1st rounders). Further, this is Henry’s first summer and training camp with the Hornets, just like Miller.

        Belinelli is an unrestricted FA who can shoot the 3 better than most players on the team not named Gordon. He started last year when he is really a 2nd teamer, and he manned up and took a lot of shots because no one else was going to. (Same as Jack.) Belinelli was repeatedly singled out for praise by Monty and Dell, including being mentioned with Smith as a example of the players the Hornets developed that lead to the Hornets getting a such a good reputation in that area that players around the league want to come here. Belinelli also guarded the SF position, Artest, in the Lakers series, and would be a great example of a veteran to show the younger players what a pro really is. The Belinelli decision won’t be easy, which ever way the Hornets go.

      • I think everyone would like to see Bellenelli brought back for the right price, but I think he’s looking for a long term deal (which does not fit into our long term salary cap plans) and secondly, where are his minutes going to come from??? With Jack, Gordon, Rivers, Henry, & Vasquez taking up minutes in the backcourt, where does Bellenelli fit into that?? I think he’s a gone pecan my friend.

    • Actually, I think this is a Dallas pick that Washington got in the Chandler deal.

      How can anything good come from a stinky Dallas pick?


  8. For a site with supposed ‘insiders’ I find it funny that @gerrityjoe tweets out:

    I’ve heard Sacre. Miller is nice. RT @FletcherMackel: good source tells me Darius Miller/SF/Kentucky could be Hornets guy at #46. We’ll see.

    Good call on tha pick seconds before Silver announced the pick.

    I don’t see the point of a Euro player since the team has so few players under contract. I like Miller a lot more.

    • I’d said Sacre way earlier in the night. I heard he they were interested in him and passed on the info about a late 2nd round pick.


      Next time I’ll keep what I hear to myself I guess? Honestly I’m not that embarrassed about being wrong. I said that I’d heard Sacre, which I did. I was never like THEY ARE GOING TO PICK HIM FOR SURE.

      So yeah…

  9. Miller was my guy at he 46th pick. I was telling my sports caster friend at the beginning of the 2nd round. I only wanted two players, either Daris or Kevin Murphy, and low and behold they go off the board back to back. Of course I had to call him back and brag on how I knew who was the best talent left on the board. Belinelli is done, he couldn’t guard a chair. I don’t have much use for Vasquez\. Yhe kid from Long Beach State or Machado, both guys have a good handle. As V often sd on the broadcast, Vasquez couldn’t handle the trap. He never could get the offense in right position because he would always get trap. Especially in the 4th quarter. He was like a QB that was terrified of the pass rush. One thing about playing time, either you show you can play or u get exposed. HE GOT EXPOSED!

  10. Before the draft started, ESPN showed all Kentucky Guys entering the draft. At that moment, I told my wife I wish The Hornets pick Darius Miller at 46! We needed depth at SF. We needed a decent 3-pt shooter from the wing. We got AD23’s big brother from Kentucky. Great pick!

  11. First off, let me start by saying that I’m a huge Kentucky fan. Live right here in Lexington. As far as AD goes, he is not only and amazing player, but also a great kid. About the only knock that all of these “experts” have to say on him is his physical stature, and his offensive rawness. As far as his offensive game goes, he def needs some polishing up, but from the start of our season until march he was remarkably better. Very fast learner, and has tremendous upside! His jump
    Shot is actually pretty good, he has excellent form and it made opposing centers in college step out on him, allowing penetration from our wings. The same goes for his muscle tone, he put on alot of weight from the beginning of last summer till now. He def has a way to go in that regard, but he has room to grow. He is also very tough. Towards the end of the season, opposing teams played very rough with him to get him rattled. Not only did he fight back with his great timing, freakishly long arms, and quick jumping, he did so with out getting upset or talking trash!
    You have to remember. Last summer during the lockout, alot of nba players where working out in Lexington. Demarcus cousins, rajon rondo, almost the whole okc thunder, and many others were working out and playing pick up ball with our team. So he got to bang down low with some serious NBA talent, and rumor has it that the uk team beat the thunder in some pick up games last summer.
    Now on to Darius! John is right about Darius deferring to his teammates. I put this all on coach Billy Gillespie. If you havnt heard of his horrible coaching mishaps on and off the court, a quick google search will enlighten you. He was very verbally abusive to his players, and it you made one mistake you hitting the pine. One thing about Darius that John didnt mention is that Darius has also a sweet midrange game. He has a knack for getting into the lane around the free throw line and either pulling up for a j that he almost never missed, or driving and landing a sweet floater over the taller centers! Not to mention he is also a very high character kid. Would see him at the movies or out on the town, and was always nice and respectable to all the fans. We have a camp out for a glorified first practice of the year call “big blue madness”, and he would be chillin in fans tents hanging out, or playing corn hole. While all of the other players would come bye and hang out for a few hours, he would hang out every day all day.
    He might not be oozing with rediculous athleticism, but then
    Again there is always this!…….

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