New­est Griz­zly Miles brings vet­eran savvy

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports - David Cobb Memphis Com­mer­cial Ap­peal USA TO­DAY NET­WORK - TEN­NESSEE

C.J. Miles is now with his fifth team in his 14th sea­son, so the NBA has lit­tle to of­fer that he has not ex­pe­ri­enced.

On Thurs­day, though, he crossed a new item off the list when he was traded to the Griz­zlies as part of the deal that sent Marc Ga­sol to Toronto.

"As long as I’ve been in the league, this is the first time I’ve been traded," Miles said. "My fam­ily was with me, so that made it a lit­tle eas­ier just get­ting ready to tran­si­tion."

The 6-foot-6 wing called the trade ex­pe­ri­ence "a lit­tle crazy" be­fore mak­ing his Griz­zlies de­but in Satur­day night's 99-90 win over the Pel­i­cans at Fedexfo­rum. But the crazy served Miles well. He scored 13 points on 6of-9 shoot­ing in 21 min­utes off the bench, show­ing a glimpse of the of­fen­sive fire­power and vet­eran savvy on which he prides him­self.

“Just be­ing who I am, us­ing my ex­pe­ri­ence with the younger guys in games, talk­ing as much as I can, bring­ing that to the team, out­side shoot­ing and be­ing as help­ful as I can be," Miles said of what he hopes to bring to Memphis. "That’s who I’ve been and what I’m about, just do­ing what­ever my team needs me to do, and that’s what I’m go­ing to con­tinue to do.”

Notable: The 31-year-old jour­ney­man is just two sea­sons re­moved from shoot­ing 41 per­cent from 3-point range for the Pac­ers. That clip was good enough for 12th in the NBA in the 201617 sea­son.

What gen­eral man­ager Chris Wal­lace sees: "C.J. Miles is some­one who has a track record as a scorer and out­side shooter," Wal­lace said. "He’s a vet­eran pres­ence. If you talk to any­body who's been on the teams he’s been with, it’s al­ways great re­ports."

What he's mak­ing: Miles is earn­ing $8.3 mil­lion this sea­son, mak­ing him the sixth-high­est paid Griz­zlies player on the team's re­vamped ros­ter. He has an $8.7 mil­lion player op­tion for next sea­son.

What he thinks of Memphis: “It’s al­ways a team that you come in here and you know it’s go­ing to be a fight," Miles said. "As long as I’ve been in the league, it’s been that way. You come in this build­ing or when they come see you, it’s go­ing to be a fight. It’s go­ing to be a grind, as they like to say. They al­ways play hard, tough-nosed, at­tack the paint. They play un­selfishly, and that’s what we’re go­ing to con­tinue to do now.”

Anal­y­sis: Miles is tak­ing Gar­rett Tem­ple's old locker, and in some ways he is tak­ing Tem­ple's role. Although Miles is not be­gin­ning his time with the Griz­zlies as a starter, he is a re­spected vet­eran much like Tem­ple. Miles is a slight of­fen­sive up­grade over Tem­ple, though he is per­haps a hair slower when it comes to stay­ing in front of ex­plo­sive wings on de­fense. Miles strug­gled to find his out­side shot in Toronto this sea­son (31.4 per­cent on 3-point­ers). This rep­re­sents a fresh start for a player who could be on his way to a 20-year NBA ca­reer.

Fun fact: Miles par­tic­i­pated in the first game the Griz­zlies played af­ter trad­ing Pau Ga­sol in 2008. He scored four points on 2-of-5 shoot­ing as his Jazz team beat the Griz­zlies 110-91 on Feb. 2, 2008, at Fedexfo­rum.

Reach Griz­zlies beat writer David Cobb at [email protected]­mer­cial ap­ or on Twit­ter @David­w­cobb.

New Griz­zlies guard C.J. Miles (6) con­trols the ball be­tween Pel­i­cans guards Jrue Hol­i­day (11) and Ken­rich Wil­liams dur­ing the sec­ond half Satur­day. BRAN­DON DILL/AP

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