Player Review 2017: C.J. Miles
Years pro: 12
Status: Has one year remaining on his contract, at his option.
Key stats: Started 29 of the 76 games he played, averaging 10.8 points in 23.4 minutes per game. Shot career-high 41.3 percent from 3-point range.
C.J. Miles is a basketball chameleon, and that's been a good thing for the Pacers. Whether that's a good thing for the future of his NBA career remains to be seen. He can opt out of his contract this summer, foregoing the final year of the deal he signed three years ago, and become a free agent.
Miles has done whatever asked of him with the Pacers, blending into every situation. He's played three positions, and done it as a starter and reserve.
He's a metronome, too. He plays the same no matter how and when he's asked to play. In 29 games as a starter, he averaged 10.9 points while shooting .435 from the field and .413 from the 3-point line, along with 3.0 rebounds and 0.6 assists. As a reserve, he averaged 10.6 points while shooting .434 from the field and .413 from the 3-point line, along with 3.0 rebounds and 0.6 assists. The difference in scoring average can be attributed to the fact he averaged four more minutes of playing time as a starter.
Gallery: Miles' 2016-17 Season in Photos »
Of selfish concern to the media, Miles also is the Pacers' most consistent interview, a willing and polite talker after practice and games, win or lose, and with something to say.
Miles' primary value last season was as a 3-pointer shooter. The Pacers gave up 140 more 3-pointers than they hit, a difference of 520 points that was difficult to make up for a team that also was outscored by 90 points at the foul line. He did his part, though, hitting a career-high 169 3-pointers while making a career-high 41.3 percent of his attempts. He and Paul George (195) teamed to make more 3-pointers than any pair of teammates in franchise history.
Miles also hit 43 percent of his field goal attempts, his best mark since joining the Pacers, and 90 percent of his foul shots, easily his career-best and up from 75 percent the previous season. That was the one category in which playing at home seemed to make a bit of difference to him. He hit all 21 free throws at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and 87.5 percent on the road.
2016-17 Player Reviews: More Reviews, Highlights, and Photos »
Miles opened the season well, averaging 14.1 points on 50 percent shooting – 48 percent from the 3-point line – over the first 12 games. Then he sprained his left knee in the 13th game against Phoenix, and took a while to regain form. He still had his moments, though. He scored 20 points in 20 minutes off the bench against Denver, 23 in home games against Cleveland and Milwaukee, and 27 off the bench in the double overtime loss at Cleveland in April.
His postseason will be most remembered for the potential winning shot he missed at the end of Game 1. He averaged 7.3 points in the four games, hitting 31 percent of his 3-pointers.
Miles might be back next season to play out his contract, but could also test free agency. He's 30 years old and should have some good seasons left. And there's always a market for a consistent chameleon who can be spotted behind the 3-point line.
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