Mike Miller Rumors
The sportsbooks changed their odds overnight and early Thursday, violently swinging from Smith to Banchero as the favorite to go No. 1 before shifting back to Smith. It seemed inexplicable. Yet, as the draft got closer and closer, he heard more reassurance from his agent, Mike Miller. Be ready, Miller told him. By then, he realized there was a strong chance he could be headed to Orlando.
Darren Heitner: Mike Miller went from being the 5th pick in the 2000 NBA Draft to representing the #1 overall pick in the 2022 Draft. Miller was selected by the Magic, just like his client Paolo Banchero.
Mike Miller was on his couch in his Eads home, just outside of Memphis, when the call came in. It was Mario Banchero, the father of former Duke freshman Paolo Banchero. “We’re coming to LIFT,” he told Miller. Mama, we made it. He didn’t say it out loud, but it was the first thought that came to the former NBA sharpshooter’s mind. LIFT is Let it Fly Team Sports Management, where Miller serves as president. Founded in 2020, it’s his latest venture in the basketball world after having spent 17 years in the NBA as a player, two seasons at the University of Memphis as an assistant coach and one season as the coach at Houston High School.
Banchero already had a relationship with a different agency that handled his NIL deals when he was at Duke, and Miller still won out. “I think it’s about staying in the game, being a part of it, helping these kids navigate the things I’ve been through, whether it’s playing or being in locker rooms or training,” Miller said last month in an exclusive interview. “Understanding their value. I think it’s a lot of those things. There’s a huge bucket of things I can help them with because I’ve seen it all for 17 years.”
Gaining the trust of Hampton, a top-5 player who skipped college and started his pro career playing overseas instead, legitimized the agency at the time and helped make the landing of Banchero possible, Miller said. “It started with R.J.,” Miller said. “For him to believe in us was impressive. He’s really happy. I’ve always believed if you do it right, the clients you have are your best recruiters. This year’s class is awesome. We’re excited about it. I’ve always said, it’s about the journey and about the work. If we can control those things, we’ll always be in the conversation. We can open doors and be in doors, but we have to prove ourselves.”
Miller and partner Daniel Frank are representing several other players, including Wake Forest guard Alondes Williams, Duke forward Wendell Moore and Alabama guard JD Davison. LIFT is owned by Miller, Frank and Donnie McGrath, the former Providence and European basketball player.