Jazz: Miles could have been Thunderstruck

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As he reminded reporters Monday, C.J. Miles never set foot in Oklahoma City this summer, even if he did sign a four-year, $14.8 million offer sheet with the Thunder that the Jazz matched a week later.

So Miles won't be returning to anything tonight when the Jazz visit the Thunder for the first time. His family is expected to make the drive up from Dallas; Miles conceded there likely will be interest in him among Thunder fans.

Whether Miles will return after missing two games with a sprained right ankle won't be decided until tonight, but he was asked Monday how he would have stomached playing for Oklahoma City, which has gone 6-33 with a young roster.

"I think as long as we were getting better and making progress," Miles said, "I think it would be a big gain knowing how young we were and where we'd be in the next year and the year after that."

Miles talked with Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant during the week he spent in limbo this summer. The two shared a Texas Longhorns connection, with Miles and Durant possibly having been teammates had Miles not declared for the NBA Draft out of high school.

The two have remained in touch this season. Miles, meanwhile, has had few thoughts about what could have been in Oklahoma City. He had started every game for the Jazz before suffering the sprained ankle, averaging 9.7 points in 22.9 minutes.

"I was excited to come back. It was a good situation from the get-go," Miles said, adding that he felt he had proven he could play in the rotation on a contender with Utah.

One question remains: Could Miles have worn the Thunder's turquoise road uniforms? "My high school team was a light blue," Miles said. "It wasn't that turquoise, but it was a light blue like that."

Banged and bruised

After having his right knee drained and missing Monday's game, Paul Millsap put his odds at 90 percent of returning tonight. But Millsap did not go through a full practice Tuesday, the team said.

Millsap said his bruised right knee was worse than his hyperextended left knee. "It's something really minor like that hurt worse than something real major," he said, describing his knee as "still sore, real sore."

No practice

Deron Williams missed his third straight practice Tuesday, this time due to a bruised right foot he suffered Monday. Williams stayed home sick from practice Friday and Sunday while battling a sinus infection, which he has started to shake.

"I thought my energy was a lot better," Williams said. "My headaches are gone, my fever is gone, so I feel a lot better. I still got the congestion and stuff like that, but it'll go away."