Raptors sign three-point specialist Miles
TORONTO — The National Basketball Association’s shift toward three-point shooting has a big fan in C.J. Miles.
The Toronto Raptors swingman has developed into one of the league’s elite sharpshooters, and the three-point trend has breathed “new life” into the 30-year-old’s career.
Team president Masai Ujiri officially introduced his newest player, who should be a big offensive boost to a team that struggled in the playoffs against the long bombs of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“We just signed a sniper, so we’re happy,” grinned Ujiri.
The six-foot-six, 225-pound Miles, who reportedly signed a three-year deal worth $25 million US, is coming off a career-best 41.3 per cent shooting from three-point range last season with Indiana. That’s slightly better than team leader Kyle Lowry (41.2), and 12th in the league among players who attempted at least 200 threes last season.
“It’s basically given me greater opportunities to be able to play this game, to be able to hone in on that, and that to be one of the things to make my niche on a team and allow me to be a greater weapon on a team,” said Miles, who went straight from high school to the NBA.”
The Raptors were 14th in the league in three-point percentage, and the weakness was particularly glaring against Cleveland in the post-season. Miles holds career averages of 9.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 715 games through 12 NBA seasons with Indiana, Cleveland and Utah, and is a career 31.6 per cent three-point shooter.
He developed his three-point shot, he said, because of “maturity,” and at the suggestion of former Cleveland coach Mike Brown.
The Raptors also signed Kennedy Meeks on Tuesday. The six-foot-10 forward averaged 11.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 15.5 in four NBA Summer League games with the Raptors. Meeks played four seasons at North Carolina, helping the Tar Heels win the NCAA title this past season.