Andre Miller was getting too old. He couldn't shoot. He could be counted on to show up to training camp out of shape every season. He was a lousy quote sometimes.

But man, I already miss the guy.

Bet you do too.

This is all that's left to say after watching the Trail Blazers draft, and make a pair of trades on Thursday and declare themselves better because of the NBA draft day moves. Was it just activity for the sake of activity? Or real achievement? We won't know for months, maybe years, with a lockout pending.

But I knew exactly how I felt the instant Miller was shipped out – flat. Mixed with a little hope, too, that the younger point guard he was traded for (Raymond Felton) won't just assume Miller's locker, but also, his attitude.

Portland also selected Duke point guard Nolan Smith and declared that the team's problem at point guard has been addressed. I'm not so sure. Not until I see if the new guys understand what the old guy tried to teach us all.

On paper, the Blazers did good here, right? They got younger. They got more athletic. They got a pick-and-roll point guard and a four-year college guy who played for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. Most of all, they got something of real value for a player with an ending contract.

But it's what they lost that I can't get over just yet.

Professionalism. Leadership. Soul.

Miller is easy to misunderstand. He's not immediately trusting of outsiders. He's fiercely private, and loyal. His game is passive, and precise. I'll be the first to admit I misjudged Miller as aloof the first time I talked with him. Later, I realized he's just shy.

It took me some time to appreciate Miller's game. He plays below the rim. He sees the court so well he makes the game look easy. He does the little things better than any NBA player I've ever watched on a consistent basis, and because of this, the Blazers didn't fall apart around him.