Five things to know about Pelicans forward Darius Miller
1) It’s a return engagement to New Orleans for the 27-year-old, who spent two-plus seasons with the Pelicans from 2012-14 (beginning with the final season that the franchise was known as the “Hornets”). Miller played a total of 102 regular season games for New Orleans, including 10 starts, averaging 3.1 points and shooting 35.1 percent from three-point range.
2) Miller adds even more Bluegrass State flavor to the Pelicans’ roster, which now has four University of Kentucky products. Miller joins Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and recently-signed Rajon Rondo as former Wildcats playing together in the Crescent City in 2017-18. Miller and Rondo are also Kentucky natives, with Miller born in Maysville and Rondo hailing from Louisville.
3) Miller did not play in college with Rondo, but was a teammate of Davis during the 2011-12 season, when the Wildcats captured the NCAA championship, beating Kansas in the title game. Miller tallied five points and six rebounds off the bench against the Jayhawks, in a 67-59 victory. He also was a college teammate of Cousins in 2009-10, on a Wildcats squad that reached the Elite Eight before losing to West Virginia. That ’09-10 Kentucky team also featured future NBAers John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Patrick Patterson, DeAndre Liggins, Daniel Orton and Josh Harrellson. When Miller was an NBA rookie, he estimated that there were a total of “14 or 15” of his Kentucky teammates on rosters across the league.
4) The four-year college player spent 2016-17 playing overseas for Brose Bamberg in Germany, averaging 12.2 points per game. His most impressive – and arguably most relevant – statistic in drawing interest from a reported group of multiple NBA teams was his 41.1 percent rate from three-point range.
5) During his first stint with New Orleans, Miller listed Muhammad Ali as his favorite athlete as a youngster. Miller’s explanation: “I like how he carried himself, plus he’s from Kentucky like me.” Ali was a Louisville native.