It seems not long ago that we were discussing CJ Miles possibly heading to the Oklahoma City Thunder as they gave him an offer sheet for four years and $14.8M. The Jazz elected to match that deal in the summer of 2007 and now we get word that the fourth year of that deal, a team option, has been picked up by the Jazz. And in this day and age, where else do we learn of this but from CJ himself.
There really wasn't any reason for the Jazz not to pick up his option. Despite not having the best year shooting-wise, this per-36 minute stats gave him career-highs in points, blocks, free-throw attempts, and rebounds. He also had a career high in PER. I don't count his rookie year given the small sample size.
And before everything went to hell this season, CJ was part of the best lineups the Jazz had. In fact, it was the best in the entire league for a while. When he started he was able to run with the first team and gave some immediate spark on both ends of the court.
He'll also be crucial in the current rebuilding. He's the right mix of a young player as well as a vet that knows the system and can help transition the team at this point in the rebuilding life cycle. He's gone from student to a mentor role now. And remember, he's still only 24 years old.
Consistency remains one of the criticisms of CJ's. When that subject is brought up, it's normally in reference to his shooting and scoring. It's certainly warranted but it doesn't reflect both ends of the court. Shooters aren't going to shoot 46% every night. They're going to have some 1/7 nights and some 10/12 nights. It's maddening one night and the next joyous the next. Miles also plays an important position when you look at the players in the rest of the league. Wing players are usually the best player on opponents teams. In order to mitigate the damage that they do, you need a competent defender that can help neutralize them. He will help you there.
And of course in the NBA, everything is about money. CJ's $3.7M deal is relatively cheap when compared to other six-year vets in the league with his skill set. And as with all players, the very real possibility that the lockout wipes out part of that in which case his contract becomes that much less.
When you combine skill, his role with the team, and the price of his contract, it's a no-brainer. The Jazz likely couldn't get a similar player at his price on the free-agent market that could come in and contribute like they need CJ to.
Now, hopefully, we get to see him and the other Jazz players play this season.