Indiana Pacers Sign-and-Trade C.J. Miles to Toronto for Cory Joseph
Looking to clear salary and find a new starting small forward, the Toronto Raptors accomplished both.
The Toronto Raptors have been busy this summer.
Their two biggest moves were locking in Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka for the next few years, but the salary dump of DeMarre Carroll on the Brooklyn Nets was almost just as important — clearing $30.2 million of guaranteed salary over the next two seasons. Dumping the overpaid Carroll was a huge positive, as the Raptors were approaching the luxury tax.
The loss of Carroll leaves a huge hole at small forward, however. With P.J. Tucker signing with Houston and with the loss of Patrick Patterson to Oklahoma City, Toronto was left short on forward depth.
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To fill that need, the Raptors went after one of the better remaining free agents on the board — C.J. Miles. Still looking to shed salary, the Raptors will send point guard Cory Joseph ($7.63 million in 2017–18; $7.945 player option for 2018–19) back to Indiana in a sign-and-trade deal.
Indiana has had interest in acquiring Joseph since the beginning of free agency.
Miles’s deal with Toronto will be for three years, approximately $25 million with a Year 3 player option.
C.J. Miles 2016–17:
10.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 43.4 field goal percentage, 41.3 three-point percentage
Cory Joseph 2016–17:
9.3 points, 3.3 assists, 45.2 field goal percentage, 35.6 three-point percentage
Next to Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, Miles is almost a perfect fit. He’s traditionally a shooting guard, but according to Basketball-Reference, has played the majority of his minutes at small forward the past two seasons in Indiana.
Miles has largely been a reserve over his career, but has started in 299 games in 12 seasons. He is a solid defender, nothing more and nothing less. His calling card is shooting, which is why it was surprising to see him still available over a week into free agency. Miles is coming off a career-high 41.3 percent from behind the arc on 5.4 attempts. Playing off of DeRozan and Lowry with more minutes, his impact could be even greater.
Like all shooters, Miles goes through his cold stretches. But when he’s on, he’s as unstoppable as anyone.
In Joseph, Indiana gets a solid option at point guard to carry them through the year. After letting Jeff Teague go to greener — and colder — pastures in Minnesota, the team came into free agency in need of a long-term option or stopgap starter for the next year or two. After the signing of Darren Collison and acquisition of Joseph, Indiana has two solid options to choose from for next season.
Joseph will be 26 when the season starts, and he’s a very experienced 26-year-old at that. Winning a title in San Antonio and making deep postseason runs with Toronto, Joseph has played in 71 playoff games. Bringing that experience to the now-young group in Indiana will be beneficial, even if it’s just for one season.
Joseph won’t ever push Indiana to the next level, but he’s a solid player and is better than losing Miles for nothing.
Miles isn’t a no-doubt starter for most playoff teams and is no LeBron stopper, but he’s a great shooter and on a fair deal.