Mike Miles NBA Scouting Report

Guest Writer: Richard Stayman (@MavsDraft)


Mike Miles is one of the most underrated freshman in the entire country. His dynamic scoring ability has put him on the NBA radar much quicker than anticipated upon his arrival at TCU.

Mike Miles, 6’1″ Guard, 195 lbs., TCU

Offensive role: Combo guard, spot up threat

Defensive role: Can guard 1s

NBA projected role: Primary backup guard, rotation player

Swing factor: Jump shot evolving from good to elite


Background

Mike Miles was teammates with Cade Cunningham in AAU out of Lancaster, not far from Cade Cunningham’s hometown of Arlington. Despite not being a top 100 recruit, Miles has taken the Big 12 by storm and made his status as an NBA prospect known.  

Shooting

Mike Miles has outstanding touch on his jumper and can shoot from almost anywhere on the floor. His form is mostly sound, with a solid base, consistent lift, and a clean follow-through. A minor change he can make to improve his shooting would be to adjust his guide hand to be in rhythm with the shooting hand.

His form is likely to remain mostly the same, which will be his calling card in the NBA. He spots up from the logo at times, he moves well off-ball, and doesn’t lose range shooting off the dribble. While Miles’ 46% from 3 is likely unsustainable throughout the entire season, the flash is eye-catching, and should he still hover around 40% from 3, look for him to be in the running to claim the crown of best shooter in the draft. 


Playmaking

Mike Miles is a strong playmaker and shot creator, being able to create for others as easily as he creates for himself. TCU runs a modern offense that surrounds him with shooters and a dominant P&R roll man, which has made displaying Miles’ playmaking come naturally. Miles is patient in the P&R and intelligent about timing and making the defense pay for any defensive miscues, and he already is strong at finding shooters out of the P&R.

As a self-creator in the P&R, Miles uses a quick change of direction to throw defenses off-guard in containing either the drive or the pass. The one constant in Miles’ playmaking for others is that he is generally mistake-free. He takes calculated risks, but rarely makes a boneheaded play. Miles’ basketball IQ is best showcased in his playmaking, with his ability to find open teammates, not forcing issues, and in how he gets to his spots.

As a shot creator, Miles has a variety of off-the-dribble moves from all 3 levels and a tight handle. He’s hard to strip as a ball-handler, which makes his step-backs and moving shots even more difficult to defend. Space creation will be one of Miles’ early calling cards as a scorer; his shooting stroke is effortless from any angle, and he has no problem getting into his shooting motion quickly off of difficult dribble moves.


Defense + Rebounding 

Defense may be the area where Miles is the most limited. Miles has a mild frame, although he has adequate strength, which makes him a liability if switched onto wings. While his IQ helps him as a team defender, he may struggle in 1-on-1 situations defensively in the NBA.

However, Miles rotates well and is a plus off-ball defender. In terms of rebounding, Miles is one of the better guard rebounders in the class thanks to his athleticism and plus ability to read the ball off of misses.

Intangibles

Mike Miles doesn’t take plays off and you won’t see him back down from any player, no matter how much bigger his opponent may be. This plays into Miles’ ability to play help defense at the rim on wings and forwards, combined with his athletic burst. Beyond the motor, Miles generally doesn’t take bad shots or force difficult passes on offense, which may lead scouts to see him as a simple playmaker, but that is not the case.

Miles makes great reads and is intelligent in passing decisions. Defensively, Miles knows where to be, and rarely misses rotations in a defense that heavily relies on man-to-man schemes. Overall intelligence is one of Miles’ greatest strengths as a prospect.

Overall, Miles has been an impressive freshman, and his feel for the game combined with his shooting and vision make him a safe offensive prospect. Look for Miles to be a second round target if he declares in 2021, or he could improve his draft stock by returning for a sophomore season where he repeats his freshman year efficiency.


Best NBA Fits

  • Dallas: Miles fits the Mavericks roster by being the type of player Rick Carlisle has consistently gotten the most of: a high IQ shooter that doesn’t turn the ball over often and makes good reads. Depending on the future of Jalen Brunson, Miles could be a target for Dallas.
  • Memphis: The Grizzlies struggled without Ja Morant, which made the need for a backup PG that can fit any variation of offense a priority this offseason. Additionally, there’s no such thing as too many shooters in the NBA, so Miles would fit well with Ja Morant, even being able to pull off a two-guard lineup.
  • Orlando: The Magic are likely entering a rebuild of some sorts, as they are contending for a top pick. The Magic have not been able to field shooters since the Dwight Howard era, and Miles helps continue solving the shooting woes the Magic have been trying to address over recent years.
  • Brooklyn: Currently holding 3 picks in the 2021 NBA Draft, Brooklyn should not look to sell their picks, but rather try and find cheap options at building their depth. Miles fits perfectly with all three of the Nets’ stars, and would be a great young piece to add to their title-contending core.

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