UK Basketball: Father says Miller's pre-draft workouts 'going very well'
Former Kentucky guard Darius Miller has had six workouts with NBA teams and has picked an agent, but his father says he still has no real idea where he may go in the NBA draft. (Clay Jackson / June 19, 2012)
He has already worked out for six teams and has several more planned while trying to impress coaches, scouts and front office personnel before the NBA draft later this month.
“He worked out for the Indiana Pacers last week and just goes where teams want him,” Brian Miller said. “There’s no way to go with him because they just fly him out for the day, work him out and then he’s off to somewhere else. He says all the workouts have been going well. He said he’s happy with how they have gone, but we’ll just see what happens.”
The versatile forward who did a little bit of everything at Kentucky is still considered a likely second-round pick by most mock drafts, even though there is chatter about some teams with picks late in the first round being more intrigued by Miller’s teamwork and versatility.
NBADraft.net has Miller, who tweaked a hamstring during a workout in Memphis Monday, going with the 42nd overall pick — the 12th choice in the second round — to Milwaukee. DraftExpress.com has Miller going 36th overall — No. 6 in round two — to Sacramento. Daniel Martin of NBCSports.com has Miller ranked as the sixth-best small forward behind former teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes of North Carolina, Moe Harkless of St. John’s, Jeff Taylor of Vanderbilt and Quincy Miller of Baylor.
Miller, who averaged 9.9 points and 2.8 rebounds per game last season, helped himself at the NBA combine in Chicago. He also now has an agent, Doug Neustadt of The Neustadt Group. That’s the same agent whom Lexington native Shelvin Mack, who played at Butler, has had since he went into the 2011 draft.
“Darius picked him after the season. We prayed over it and put some people out in front of him and allowed him to make the decision,” Brian Miller said. “We think he made a very good decision.”
The former Kentucky star has also been in contact with other Wildcats during the draft workout process. He’s conferred with former teammate Patrick Patterson, who plays for Houston, as well as teammates on last season’s national championship team that are also going through workouts with various teams.
“Nothing has really surprised him, but I don’t think much could with all he has been through,” Brian Miller said. “He loves basketball and knew he had to be ready for anything. He’s been pretty much on top of everything, including not being afraid to get advice from other people. But he’s also been all over the U.S. and the world playing basketball, so there’s not much he is not aware of.”
Actually, he’s not aware of where he might be drafted. Miller’s father says “we don’t have any idea right now and are just like everybody else wondering” where he might be picked.
“We are just waiting to see what will happen,” Brian Miller said. “We just want him to be in a spot where he is wanted and that will allow him to play and his versatility and what he can do.”
The Millers have not made any plans for draft night yet but expect to do something so family and friends can get together and enjoy the special night for the former Mason County star.
“We get asked every day about what is going on,” Brian Miller said. “We get the same questions because people just want to know. Everybody puts opinions out there, but the truth is that right now no one knows what will happen with the draft.
However, Miller’s father was not surprised at the reception his son received from Kentucky fans when he went across the state signing autographs.
“I kind of expected the kind of reception he got from the fans. He’s been good and humble his whole life. He will talk to people and I kind of thought he would be pretty popular all through Kentucky,” Brian Miller said. “He always took care of business the right way and always put the team first. I kind of thought people would let him know they appreciated that.”