Hornets Assign Darius Miller to D-League

By:
Published: December 31, 2012
Darius Miller

From the team:

The New Orleans Hornets have assigned forward Darius Miller to the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Hornets Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Dell Demps.

Miller has appeared in 23 games this season for the Hornets, averaging 2.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.

Players sent the D-League are still under their NBA contract, so no team can poach Mr. Miller from the Hornets. Miller still receives his NBA salary, as well.

This move comes 2 days after Eric Gordon’s 2012-2013 debut with the team. This gave the Hornets 14 healthy players. Since only 13 can be on the active list, the Hornets had to place a healthy player on the list for the first time this season. They chose Miller.

Rather than keep Miller around as a practice body, the move to the D-League is likely an attempt to get the second round pick some minutes. The Energy will determine the minutes Miller receives, if any.

Players with 0, 1, or 2 years can be assigned to the D-League at the whims of their NBA team for as long as the team wants. Typical D-League assignments range from a few days to a few weeks.

Miller has 48 hours to report, and is expected to do so. I’m not sure what the consequences for not reporting are, but it could end up with lost salary and suspension or a voided contract. We may find out if Royce White continues to refuse to report.

Also, one could infer from this move that neither Eric Gordon nor Jason Smith has suffered no ill-effects of which the team is aware, otherwise they would be on the inactive list and Miller would be around if needed, as has been the case all season. It may not be true, of course, but it’s a possible sign of good things.

Update:

From Monty Williams:

“We didn’t like him just sitting. I think it’s beneficial for him to go out and play, and get some reps in games. He’s a young player. He’s got some skill for sure. He just wasn’t in the rotation. In the Minnesota game, I just felt like he wasn’t ready to play on a night in and night out basis. Just watching him in that game. That doesn’t mean we don’t watch him making sure his craft is getting better every day. That’s why we sent him to the D-League, so he can play and be in game-time situations.”

15 comments
Durtcizzle
Durtcizzle

Didn't get to watch the Energy game but D-Mill with 17 pts. on 12 shots (3-5 from deep) and 1.4 points per shot. Hope that starts a good trend and he gets his confidence and skill up so we can see him playing in a Hornets Uni again. Go D-Mill!

SP
SP

There's obviously a reason Monty hasn't wanted to play Miller so far this season, and it must have something to do with practice - something very few of us witness. This will be a good chance for him to hopefully get some confidence and more importantly in-game experience. I like the move.

xman20002000
xman20002000

The D League is part of the process.. Henry went down last season but didn't stay long.. Shouldn't he have gone... Rivers.. NO COMMENT..

Steve
Steve

I think the only reason he didn't send Aminu was because that would make him an even tougher sell for a trade than he already is. That being considered this isn't a bad move.

LLHOPS
LLHOPS

I'm not sure Aminu can be sent to the D-league since he's in his 3rd year in the NBA.

Everett
Everett

If you're gonna send players to the D-League, send Aminu. He has a ton of athletic ability, but clearly needs to learn more of the technical aspects of the game and to build his confidence. Miller is a more technically sound player than Aminu; he never got by on his athleticism, he's in the NBA because he's a canny player who knows his role. That being said, maybe sending Darius down is the start of the Hornets moving to a Spurs-style utilization of the D-League (sending guys down whenever they're not getting an opportunity to get run with the first team - Spurs have done that a ton this year). If so, it could be beneficial to the organization in the long run.

Josh
Josh

D-Mill is my favorite small forward on the Hornets (unless you count Gravy). I'm glad he'll at least be able to get minutes with the Iowa Energy and come back and be able to provide some of that energy here.

Bob
Bob

Monty's system is not set up for a small forward to excel. We hide them in the corner and wait on a pass that never comes from Roberts, Vasquez and rivers. Darius can help this organization give him the time and freedom that you have given the others. Jordan you are correct he is the hornets best option.

Jordan J.
Jordan J.

Why aren't we playing this kid more? Are there any better options? Seriously, with our collection of small fowards he couldn't find time for a rookie? He finds time for Austin. I really like Monty, but I've never understood why Darius was always in the doghouse. When he was out there it didn't appear like he was hurting us anymore than Aminu or McGuire.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Players with 0, 1, or 2 completed years in the NBA can be sent to the D-League at the discretion of NBA teams. Players with 3 or more years completed can be sent only if the player and Union agree. Aminu is in the former category. This represents both a change from the prior CBA and from last year.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

I've been going back and forth on which player should be sent. They know how the players are reacting to their minutes. I'm assuming that Aminu is the guy that could be more useful in trade (larger range of accessible salaries), and who will have more of a positive effect more quickly if something `clicks' in the short term. They've got time to deal with Miller, so send him out, let him `rise', then get him back into the oven. Meanwhile, deal with Aminu. Best I can do. Agreed on the goodness of the overall `message' here.

Ron
Ron

Do we know how DM is working in practice? For all we know, he might be the worst SF on the team.

LLHOPS
LLHOPS

That's a scary thought!