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Free Agent CJ Miles Leaning Toward Lakers

CJ Miles, a left-handed veteran  who can score in bunches at times, remains without a team. But not for long. The former Utah Jazz shooting guard has generated interest from many teams — including Utah, which would not like to see him depart. But the Salt Lake Tribune reported that Miles could decide in the next few days on the Los Angeles Lakers.

The newspaper reported that Miles has met with representatives of the Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks. Still, playing backup to Kobe Bryant and competing being a part of a championship-caliber team could appeal to Miles more.

Not good for Utah is that Miles is an unrestricted free agent, meaning that if he signs somewhere else, the Jazz would not receive anything in return.  The 6-foot-6, 222-pound Miles could make a decision this week. If he signs with the Lakers, the source said, it’ll likely be a one- or two-year deal via Los Angeles’ mini mid-level exception. Miles, 25, has already met with Dallas and Cleveland since free agency started July 1.

It makes sense that the Lakers would covet the 25-year-old Miles. The Lakers are thin at shooting guard behind Bryant. They have second-year player Andrew Goudelock and Christain Evenga — no disrespect, but they do not elicit a lot of excitement.

Miles is effective enough to give Bryant extended breathers, which would be beneficial to the Lakers come the playoffs. Also, Miles is an above-average, tough perimeter defender that could play some small forward in a pinch, too.

The problem for the Lakers: Miles, who averaged 9.8 points on 38 per cent shooting last year, could be seeking more than what the Lakers can offer.  A mini mid-level is only about $3 million a year. And while Miles’ stock has dropped some over the past season, playing so-so on a bad team, he is young and and probably wants a longer deal.

What the Lakers have going for them is that they are the Lakers. That lure could be irresistible for Miles.

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