A look at NBA Draft night steal Mike Miles Jr.

As soon as the NBA Draft concluded, Dallas Mavericks signed undrafted TCU guard Mike Miles Jr. to a two-way contract. The team made sure they didn’t let another local TCU product leave the metroplex and contribute to a different team, or they just paid closer attention to their own backyard this time. Either way, the Mavs are getting a steal in Miles Jr. and fans should be excited for what he can bring to the team on a two-way deal.

Over the past three years, Miles Jr. has had quite the career leading TCU. His freshman year he was named to the Big 12 All Freshman team as well as an All Big 12 Honorable Mention. In the summer following his freshman year he played for the United States in the 2021 FIBA Under 19 World Cup. The team won gold and Miles Jr. averaged 9.1 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.3 rebounds. During the 2022 season, his sophomore year, TCU made it to the round of 32 where they fell to the number one seed, Arizona. The following year, for the second consecutive season Miles Jr. was named to the All Big 12 Second Team. That season TCU fell to Gonzaga in the second round of the tournament. In both tournament games, Miles Jr. led the team in scoring with 26 points and 24 points respectively. Below is his average stats for his junior season.

2022 – 2023

Games Played: 27 

Points: 17.9 

Assists: 2.7

Rebounds: 2.7

FG%: 49.7%

Miles Jr. has an elite ability to drive to the basket and score at will. In addition to this, he is creative and skilled at creating space off the dribble, which is part of what made TCU have one of their most successful seasons in the program’s history. More importantly, he has excellent court vision and is an excellent facilitator, as a point guard should be. Defensively, Miles Jr. has quick hands along with a high level awareness of how to create turnovers. He plays help defense well and can surprisingly block shots under the basket when he shifts over in rotation.

One of the main critiques of Miles Jr. is that at times he can play out of control because of how fast he is going. This makes it hard for the team to set up the offense, which also leads to mistakes.  Another improvement point is being able to find the open man when he is double teamed, especially down the stretch. This scenario is going to happen any time you have a star player that is drawing multiple defenders and is the player the team would want to have the ball at the end of the game. Still, it occasionally led to missed opportunities. Miles Jr. plays a physical brand of basketball that is effective, but made him susceptible to injuries during his time at TCU. At the professional level this style of play for a player his size will not be sustainable for the duration of his career. While improvements need to be made to his game, he has successfully made adjustments before.

The G League and time with the Texas Legends will be the perfect place for Miles Jr. to develop further and prove the kind of player he is. The league will allow him to slowly get integrated to the NBA and have the guidance and mentorship he will need to put him in a position to succeed. More specifically it will give him a better idea of what role he will have on an NBA team based on his specific skill set and size. The biggest thing Miles Jr. can and will do based on his career thus far is show his willingness to learn and compete. 

While Miles Jr. may need to make some adjustments to his game, he is already a great addition for the Mavericks. It should be no surprise when he excels in the G League system because he utilizes it correctly. Only time will tell if Miles Jr. can make an impact like fellow TCU product Desmond Bane, but the Mavs should be excited to see what he can bring to the franchise and how high his ceiling truly is. 

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