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NBA Indiana Pacers CJ Miles and Toronto Raptors Cory Joseph

Raptors Trade Cory Joseph For Three-Point Wing C.J. Miles

Raptors president Masai Ujiri continued his efforts to re-balance his roster and find additional three-point shooting today by working out a sign-and-trade with the Indiana Pacers to acquire free agent wing C.J. Miles for backup point guard Cory Joseph.

The 30-year-old Miles is coming off a career three-point shooting year averaging 41.3 percent on 5.4 three-point attempts per game.

The transaction cannot be completed until the trade sending DeMarre Carroll to the Nets is finalized as the Raptors will be hard capped at the luxury tax line plus $6 million ($125 million) for the balance of the 2017-18 season on completion of the sign-and trade.

 

CBS Sports Chris Barnewall reported earlier this year that Miles, a decent defender and dramatically improved three-point shooter, was looking for a bigger payday by becoming a free agent this summer.

Not only will he see a more secure, long-term contract, but if recent history says anything then he’ll likely get paid somewhere in the $10 million per year range.

Indiana struggled to find consistency from most of its role guys, but Miles was one of the few the Pacers found reliable. Miles is a decent defender, but his real value is shooting. He’s seen massive improvements over the last few years, and his 40 percent from 3-point range last season was a career high. There are concerns about Miles being able to repeat that, but he should be a serviceable player for whoever signs him.

Miles averaged 10.7 points and 3 rebounds in 23.4 minutes last season and shot an outstanding 50.8 percent on corner threes. He is expected to become an important veteran addition to head coach Dwane Casey’s rotation as Powell and the rookie OG Anunoby continue to develop.

In Toronto, Ujiri had found himself with three backup point guards all capable of filling the role with the improving play of Fred VanVleet and, especially with the Carroll trade, woefully thin on the wing. Joseph at $7.7 million this year and a player option for $8 million next season had become the most expensive option and was eating into minutes at backup shooting guard that would have more appropriately been going to the cheaper and better defender and shooter Powell.

Joseph was the first player originally from the Toronto area who had a significant role with the Raptors and his positive outgoing personality will be missed. Unfortunately, the 26-year-old’s game didn’t progress over the two years while he was playing in his home town and two other players Ujiri brought in, Delon Wright and VanVleet look like they might be better if given the chance.

NBA Toronto Raptors backup PG stats 2016-17

With the trade Ujiri has answered the question about whether this team would go significantly into luxury tax territory in order to compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers. While his moves this summer have made basketball and financial sense, they have also made it impossible for Toronto to spend further than $6 million above the luxury tax line this year.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.