On Saturday, the Wizards expect to have Andre Miller in uniform vs. the New Orleans Pelicans at Verizon Center. Miller, who was acquired in a trade Thursday, talked to the president Ernie Grunfeld earlier in the day and had some good news: He's eager to play for a team in playoff contention and he's in top shape.
And just as importantly, despite being suspended by the Denver Nuggets for clashing with coach Brian Shaw, the Wizards did their homework and talked with coaches around the NBA and former teammates, such as Wizards forwards Nene, Al Harrington and Martell Webster and coach Randy Wittman, who gave Miller a thumbs up.
"We did our homework. I think that was an isolated situation. We got to move past that. We've talked to other coaches that he played for and a lot of other players. Everybody speaks very highly about his professionalism and his work ethic," Grunfeld said. "Randy Wittman had him in Cleveland. He was his head coach when Andre first came into the league (1999-2000). I feel that was an isolated incident from all our research."
RELATED: [Wizards: Getting to know Andre Miller]
Miller last played Dec. 30. He has been away from the Nuggets ever since, preparing to be moved by Thursday's deadline. He played with Nene and Harrington in Denver and Webster while with the Portland Trail Blazers.
"He's been working out everyday. He's what you call a baller. He loves to play basketball. … I spoke to him this afternoon. He said he's lost 10 or 12 pounds. He's been doing nothing but working out and getting ready," Grunfeld said. "It's going to take him time to get used to our system and get game shape once again. He's been under a lot of different systems. He's seen a lot of different things. He's got a high basketball IQ so I'm certain he'll pick up things pretty quickly."
Nene, in particular, voiced his support for Miller. "He's very excited about having Andre here. He loves playing for him," Grunfeld said. "(Miller) wanted to go to a team that was in a playoff hunt. ... He saw and up-and-coming team. He thought he could come in to help in our quest to make the playoffs."
The Wizards (26-28) will practice Friday. Whether Miller practices remains to be seen, but Grunfeld said: "We expect to have in uniform Saturday."