Stage is set for Patty Mills’ NBA return
As it has become widely known, Boomers point guard Patty Mills is between clubs at the moment after a controversial departure from the Xinjiang Flying Tigers.
The dispute has left him unemployed and awaiting a letter of clearance from the CBA that will permit him to sign elsewhere.
Patty has already stated his intent to return to the NBA once allowed, but the question remains, ‘who will take him’? He’s a fan favourite in Portland, where he played prior to his NBL/CBA stint, and he has expressed his desire to return to his old club. But Portland have a full roster that is clogged with point guards, which all but rules them out of signing the young Australian.
There is one team that seems perfectly suited for the services of the speedy Mills. The San Antonio Spurs are in need of a point guard following a hamstring injury to back-up guard T.J. Ford. With Ford out for 4-6 weeks, this leaves rookie Cory Joseph as the Spurs’ only point guard on the roster behind veteran Tony Parker (who is no stranger to injuries himself).
To make matters worse for the seasoned San Antonio team, their star shooting guard Manu Ginobili has been ruled out for a long time with a hand injury. Considering they have the roster room to accommodate for one more player, there doesn’t seem a better fit for Patty.
Though he’s hardly a superstar in the NBA, Mills is still underrated and short of opportunities in the NBA. The one opportunity he did get was Portland’s 2010-11 regular season closer against the Golden State Warriors where he posted 23 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals in 23 minutes and did so without a turnover.
In San Antonio, Patty would be working with Boomers head coach Brett Brown, who is an assistant with the Spurs. The international stage is where Mills has really shown his abilities thus far, being one of Australia’s premier scorers and perhaps their best player behind Andrew Bogut. With Brown’s knowledge of Mills’ potential and his game, bringing him to San Antonio seems a natural fit.
Unfortunately, the Spurs may not even have the chance to sign Patty this season if the CBA refuses to grant his letter of clearance until the NBA season has finished. But presuming Patrick Mills is given the right to sign with a NBA team this season, do you see any better suitor than the Spurs?