I’m pretty sure that my pick for #10 on the all time Nuggets list will be hotly contested but I will try and make my case for my 10th greatest Nugget of all time…….Andre Miller. The main reason I chose Miller for number 10 is he was part of the 2003 team that began the resurgence of Nuggets basketball after the drafting of Carmelo Anthoney. He also had 2 very successful stints in Nuggets colors and as you will see below, he made his mark on the Nuggets all time stat list as well.
Miller was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 8th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Entry Draft after a stellar career at the University of Utah. He was on the Utah team in 1999 that made the NCAA Title game against the Kentucky Wildcats before losing 78-69. In his 3 seasons with the Cavs he was chosen for the NBA All-Rookie first team, averaged 14.5 points, 8.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers along with former Nugget Bryant Stith during the summer of 2002 for Darius Miles and Harold Jamison. Miller only spent one full season with the Clippers before becoming a Free Agent after the 2003 season. The Nuggets signed him as a Free Agent in the Summer of 2003 after they had already selected Anthoney with the 3rd pick in the draft and traded for Marcus Camby in the Antonio McDyess trade with the Knicks. This was the core of the team that brought the Nuggets back from the depths of NBA irrelevance to a playoff team in their very first season in powder blue. Miller played all 82 games in 4 of his 7 seasons in Denver including the 2003-2004 season which saw the Nuggets rise from the ashes of a 17-65 season in 2002-2003 to 43-39 and their first playoff birth since 1994-1995.
Miller shows up on the Nuggets all time list in a couple of areas.
He is 3rd all time is total assists behind only Fat Lever and Alex English with 2,978
6th in turnovers with 1,143
7th in assists per game with 6.7
4th in most seasons playing every one of the Nuggets games with 4
Miller would play for the Nuggets until 2006 when he was a part of the trade that brought Allan Iverson to Denver and the team made the playoffs in each of his 4 seasons here. He would return to the Nuggets in 2011 in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers that sent Raymond Felton west. He would stay in Denver until the spring of 2014 when he was traded to the Washington Wizards for Jan Vessely after a long feud with Nuggets coach Brian Shaw. Although his final exit from Denver was fueled with animosity I still find that Andre Miller was a very important part of the re-birth of the Nuggets franchise in the early 2000′s.
For his Nuggets career Miller averaged 12.0 points, 6.7 assists, 1.3 steals and shot 80% from the free throw line. My most vivid memories of Andre Miller include the “YMCA” moves that he would make in the low block when guarded by a smaller player and he was also the best point guard I had ever seen in delivering the Alley-oop lob pass. The 2003-2007 Nuggets teams were the best in the league at executing the alley-oop due to Miller’s uncanny accuracy from as far away as the other free throw line. The Nuggets of that era were “Lob-City” before Blake Griffin was even in College.
So there you have it… Argue if you will but my pick for the 10th greatest Denver Nugget of all time…..Andre Lloyd Miller! I would love to see your reaction to this pick in the comments section below or you could hit us up on Twitter @Nugg_Love.