CHICAGO – He was destined to be a unique draft case study no matter what, the way the actual Quincy Miller didn’t look like the expected Quincy Miller while coming off knee surgery and then the way Baylor announced he would return to school for 2012-13 only to have Miller eventually declare for the draft.
But the wide split of opinion on his draft standing have become intriguing even by his standards, never more apparent than during his play in the two days of the pre-draft camp at the University of Illinois-Chicago. One general manager, noting Miller’s noticeable improvement on the road back from the knee injury, said, “If he has his athleticism back, he’s top 10.” Other front offices, though, smacked the Baylor small forward with “Should have stayed in school,” and not just in the way most prospects can use seasoning, a thought seconded by the GM who said, “Some of these kids get bad advice” about coming out.
One veteran executive went so far as to say “I don’t think he’s a first-rounder.” Now that’s a smack. Now that’s a wide split of opinion.
The truth is almost certainly somewhere in the middle – Miller will not go in the top 10 and he will be taken in the first round. He is a 6-foot-10 scorer and passer. He was projected as a possible lottery pick as a 2011-12 freshman at Baylor, even coming off the knee surgery as a high school senior. A team picking in the late-teens or 20s will make the investment on potential, weighed against the lower ceiling of other available names, and hope for the payoff.
“I just need to show them that I’m 100 percent and ready to go,” Miller said. “I think they’ll see once I start working out for a lot of teams. I know I’m 100 percent now.”
He does have a lot to prove as his list of scheduled team workouts, after a previous stop in Boston, continue to Cleveland, Detroit, Denver and Dallas. Miller, saying he returned to play in four months from an injury that should have taken six months to heal, labored so much early in 2011-12 that one scout said he should not have been on the court. Plus, he was on the same front line as Perry Jones III, bound for the lottery, and Quincy Acy, a good bet for the second round on June 28.
Miller could have greatly boosted his 2013 draft stock with a healthy sophomore season as the star at Baylor. Instead, he chose 2012 and the unforgiving proving ground of the pre-draft trail.
“I thought they saw the wrong Quincy,” he said on the path to recovery, for his knee and his draft standing. “But now they can see me.”