Wizards

Wizards

The news that C.J. Miles had surgery on Thursday to repair a stress fracture in his left foot was surprising, but perhaps it shouldn't have been. After all, the Wizards traded Dwight Howard for him and Howard missed the final five months of last season after having serious back surgery. Getting a healthy Miles for Howard seemed too good to be true, and evidently, it was.

Miles, 32, will now deal with another setback as he aims to reinstall his career following a down year in which he shot 36 percent from the field and missed 29 games due to injury. It was his foot that ended his season last year and clearly, it is still an issue.

The Wizards say Miles will be re-evaluated in six weeks. That would be around the first week of September, leaving about three more weeks until training camp. The season is still over two-and-a-half months away. He has time to get healthy and not miss any games.

Still, it is an obstacle in the way of Miles, who is entering his 15th NBA season. What he produced last year in his time split with the Raptors and Grizzlies wasn't up to his standards. He wants to get back to being the version of himself who was a key bench player on a playoff team just one season ago.

"Last year I just felt like I never really got in a groove after the work I put in to really help my team," he told NBC Sports Washington. "It just didn't fit. It's not personal, it was new coach and a trade happened. It's the league, stuff happens."

 

Miles has a few reasons to believe Washington could be a good fit. He is a wise, hard-working veteran who is willing to impart lessons on younger players. The Wizards have told him that's what they want him to do.

The Wizards also entered this offseason with a need for three-point shooting and Miles can help with that. In the six years before last season, Miles shot 37.5 percent from three on 5.6 attempts per game.

Miles also likes playing in Washington. He happens to have had some of his biggest games against the Wizards over the years. Back in 2015, when he was with the Pacers, he made eight threes in a game. And in the 2018 playoffs while with the Raptors, he made eight total threes in a pair of consecutive playoff games.

As soon as he got traded to Washington, Wizards fans began reminding him about it.

"I've gotten some tweets and DMs, yeah," he said. "It's one of those places. It's weird. The longer you play and you see that sign of consistency in certain places, I think any time I was coming here and I was struggling a little bit, I felt like I was coming out of it that night.

"It's just one of those gyms that I just felt good in it. There's something about the rims, they get big in there. Maybe it's the backdrop, the lighting, I don't know. I always enjoy playing in this arena. I always have a lot of friends and family here, too, so I think subconsciously you always want to play well in front of your family and friends, so that helps."

Miles says he would often have 15 or 20 friends and family members in the crowd for road games in D.C. He also has one of his best NBA friends in the locker room.

Miles and Wizards center Ian Mahinmi remain very close after their days as teammates with the Pacers. They live in the same neighborhood in the offseason in Texas and their families get along well.

"We're excited. Our families are excited. He has a young daughter and mine is almost two. Our wives are excited," Miles said. "When it happened, he called me on the phone screaming in his French accent. I didn't understand what he was saying."

Miles seems determined to have a comeback year with the Wizards. The road to getting there has now been delayed at least six weeks.

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