WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The Washington Wizards have rattled off three straight wins since trading for veteran point guard Andre Miller last week.
With wins against the Pelicans, Cavaliers and Magic, the Wizards found a way to pull through Tuesday night against the latter, despite being without starting center Nene, who’s out for an expected six weeks with a sprained MCL.
Miller’s arrival in Washington — by way of Denver, in exchange for Jan Vesely — may not have been as random occurrence as it seemed when news of the trade first broke, however.
The 37-year-old journeyman was drafted by current Wizards head coach Randy Wittman in 1999, then the head coach of Cleveland. Also, he played with Al Harrington in Denver during the 2011-12 season.
Harrington may have had a little something to do with willing Miller to push for a trade to D.C., as he explained to 106.7 The Fan’s Grant and Danny on Wednesday.
“I had text Al Harrington, actually a few weeks before all this stuff had happened,” Miller said. “And he was like, ‘Dre, you should try to get moved here. It’s a good organization.’ And just me having a relationship with the coaching staff – with Randy Wittman being my rookie coach — it was kind of easy to try to make a push to get here.”
Miller said he hadn’t previously known much about the organization, but apparently Harrington’s recommendation was enough.
“I didn’t follow the team too much, because they were on the east coast,” he said. “But just playing against them, there’s a lot of talent – they have guys that want to work hard and get better.”
But the spool unravels further, even still.
Miller had also played with Nene in Denver, most recently in the 2011-12 season, partially, until Nene was dealt to the Wizards. Prior to that though, they were Nuggets teammates from 2003 through partway through the 2006-2007 season.
“He’s a tough guy to please,” Miller said of Nene. “And when he told me how happy he was in this situation, and how he’s enjoying his time here, it made me feel comfortable. Me and Nene obviously have a lot of history.”
If Washington really is clearing cap space to make a run at a big time free agent, it certainly at least appears to be a good omen that current Wizards players are vouching for the organization — you know, the stuff you’ve heard about with other good teams for years.