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NBA free agency: Grading Cavs' deal for Mike Miller, more smaller moves

NBA free agency: Grading Cavs' deal for Mike Miller, more smaller moves Photo:

Evaluating some of the smaller free-agent moves over the last few days:

Mike Miller has agreed to a two-year, $5.5 million deal with the Cavaliers (via ESPN.com). After also weighing opportunities in Denver, Houston and Dallas, Miller made a smart bet and went to the only team that employs LeBron James. The former Heat teammates fit together splendidly. Not only are James and Miller close, but Miller's elite three-point shooting (46 percent for the Grizzlies last season) also makes him a perfect James complement -- as does his general offensive awareness and willingness to make the extra pass. To round out his appeal, Miller, 34, is a much-needed veteran on a young team, he accepted a well-below-market contract (which includes a player option in the second season), and he's coming off his healthiest season in years. Grade: B+

Mario Chalmers has agreed to a two-year, $8.3 million deal with the Heat (via ESPN.com). Much of the hand-wringing over Chalmers is deserved. He will commit maddening turnovers and endure horrific cold spells, as he showed during a terrible NBA Finals performance that got him benched. Still, Chalmers is worth having around. He counterbalances those struggles with aggressive defense, spot-shooting accuracy and surprising pick-and-roll play, a combination that makes him a helpful player on balance. If any coach is prepared to survive the bad to benefit from Chalmers' best, it would be Erik Spoelstra -- the 28-year-old point guard's only coach as a pro. Grade: C+

Kris Humphries has agreed to a three-year, $13 million deal with the Wizards (via Yahoo Sports). A nice get for a team without many options. After landing Paul Pierce with the mid-level exception and allowing Trevor Booker (who could have been brought back using Bird rights) to sign with Utah, Washington needed a reliable backup big man. Humphries, a Boston free agent, seemed to be out of the Wizards' price range. But Washington, in a sign-and-trade deal with the Celtics, is set to absorb Humphries into a trade exception acquired from Houston in the sign-and-trade deal for Trevor Ariza. The 29-year-old Humphries gets an unfair rap, but he has consistently piled up rebounds and eked out points regardless of role. He'll do the same in Washington for a perfectly acceptable price. Grade: B

Kirk Hinrich has agreed to a two-year, $5.6 million deal with the Bulls (via Turner Sports). This will be Hinrich's 10th season with the Bulls, spread over two stints. These more recent years in Chicago have not gone as well as the earlier ones, though. Hinrich used to be a wonderfully solid player, equipped to defend multiple positions and contribute offensively as a flexible supporting part. Those days are behind him, as the best that can be generally said of Hinrich, 33, is that he competes. His defense is still viable, if not as good, on those grounds, but he's matched his career low with a 46.1 effective field goal percentage in each of the last two seasons. It's worth wondering what Hinrich offers the Bulls that another guard in this price range could not. Grade: C

Caron Butler has agreed to a two-year, $9 million deal with the Pistons (via ESPN.com). Detroit has prioritized wing upgrades, but Butler's rich contract follows that of Jodie Meeks (three years, $19 million) in terms of financial overstatement. Butler remains a solid three-point shooter, having made 39 percent in back-to-back seasons. In both cases, though, Butler was given plenty of time to launch while benefiting from the playmaking and defensive attention drawn by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City and Chris Paul with the Clippers. Perhaps Butler, 34, will still help the Pistons' spacing, but clean looks will be harder to come by and he won't have his worst qualities (such as deteriorated defense) masked so fully. Grade: D

D.J. Augustin has agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal with the Pistons (via Yahoo Sports). Detroit's summer of spacing continues. Augustin is coming off his best season, a rejuvenating campaign with the Bulls in which the 26-year-old point guard averaged 13.1 points and 4.4 assists after being waived by Toronto. Still, Augustin is not a player who can be invested in lightly; his size is a problem on defense and in handling defensive pressure. He's also shown that without the right fit even the most valuable dimensions of his game can be quashed. Whether Detroit qualifies as a good match remains to be seen. Regardless, this is not an unreasonable sum to offer Augustin after his fine season in Chicago. Grade: C 

Trevor Booker has agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal with the Jazz (via Yahoo Sports). Booker, 26, is good enough to register consistent minutes and productive enough to validate them. There is some value to that competency, for which the Jazz – a team light on dependable veterans – will pay $5 million a year (assuming the second season is fully guaranteed). In a league where cap room tends to go used in some form or another, there's little harm in signing Booker to a short-term deal (almost wholly unguaranteed in its second season) to support young big men Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Rudy GobertGrade: C+

Jason Smith has agreed to a one-year, $3.3 million deal with the Knicks (via his agent). Given the dearth of Knicks bigs deserving of confidence, a move for a viable rotation power forward or center was wise. Smith, when healthy, qualifies. He's defined by his mid-range shooting, which is fair given that he's both quite accurate (45 percent on such shots) and prolific (74 percent of his total attempts) from that zone. But Smith is also a serviceable defensive player. Before having season-ending surgery in February to repair cartilage in his right knee, the former Pelican was sufficiently mobile and physical for a supporting role. That joint utility works out nicely for the Knicks, as does a one-year deal that preserves financial flexibility. Grade: C+

Troy Daniels has agreed to a two-year, $2 million deal with the Rockets (via Houston Chronicle). I'm mildly surprised there wasn't more of a market for Daniels, given how shooters are being compensated this summer. Instead, Daniels will re-sign on a guaranteed, two-year deal for the minimum (or near enough, depending on how rounded the reported $2 million figure turns out to be). That's a smart play by Houston for a guard who shot 12-of-25 (48 percent) from three-point range in limited minutes with the Rockets last season and 40 percent in a much higher-usage role in the D-League. Grade: B-

Joey Dorsey (2 years, $2 million) and Jeff Adrien (one year, minimum) have agreed to deals with Rockets (via Houston Chronicle). Dorsey is a nightmare to box out or back down, a brick wall in sneakers. That frame makes Dorsey -- who has been playing in Europe since 2011 after NBA stints with Houston, Sacramento and Toronto -- better suited for certain matchups than power forwards Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas and gives him a chance to earn minutes behind center Dwight Howard after Omer Asik's departure. The undersized Adrien is a monster rebounder and a decent, physical defender. He's otherwise limited, but the Rockets could use another rebounder in Asik's absence. Grades: C

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