Is Dallas native C.J. Miles still on Mavs' radar?

July, 16, 2012
7/16/12
1:26
PM CT
Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle and free agent C.J. Miles enjoyed sushi together in Manhattan on the first night of free agency. Carlisle, of course, was up there to meet with Deron Williams the next day.

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Miles news since has been scarce as the former Dallas Skyline High School star remains an unrestricted free agent and no doubt still envisions playing for his hometown team. He's never been shy about talking up such a homecoming.

So the question is: Do the Mavs have real interest in bringing Miles home? That the 25-year-old, 6-foot-6 shooting guard plays the position Dallas most needs to reinforce only ramps up the intrigue.

Dallas has around $4 million in cap space, which could be right in Miles' wheelhouse considering he never earned more than $3.7 million in seven seasons with the Jazz. The Mavs, as we are aware, are keenly focused on limiting contracts to one year -- perhaps two if the price is right -- to keep maximum cap space available for next summer.

This, too, might work for Miles. We've seen contract lengths shortened under the new CBA, and Miles at this point might not be offered more than two years anywhere else. And anywhere else isn't home.

What the Mavs actually sorely lack at shooting guard is not necessarily bodies, but a bona fide dead-eye shooter, and that could be the biggest knock against seriously pursuing Miles.

A career 32.9 percent shooter from downtown, Miles isn't exactly a sharpshooter in the vein of Jason Terry or Ray Allen, and shooters with significantly higher career 3-point percentages are still out there, such as Randy Foye, Leandro Barbosa, Courtney Lee and Marco Belinelli.

However, Dallas might also be taking a deeper look at Miles' overall value to decide if he's the right fit. For instance, two seasons ago when he averaged a career-high 25.2 minutes a game, he put up 12.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists. His per-36 minute stats, meaning when his minutes are extrapolated to that of a typical starter, his numbers come up pretty rosy at 16.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season, and 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 2010-11.

His production has increased with consistently increased playing time. When looking at his splits, Miles started 19 games in 2010-11 and averaged 31.8 minutes and 15.7 points. In 12 games that season in which he played between 30 and 39 minutes, Miles averaged 19.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.7 points. Last season he played just three games between 30 and 39 minutes.

In playoff series against Denver and the Lakers in 2010, Miles averaged 33.7 minutes, 14.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 points.

However, as intriguing as those stats might be, the one number that remains mostly constant regardless of playing time is his low shooting percentage.

For a team that desperately needs a marksman, that fact might be tough to reconcile.

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