Stage is set for Patty Mills’ NBA return

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By Reece Jordan, Reece Jordan is a Roar Pro


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    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?

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • January 15th 2012 @ 9:46am
      buck said | January 15th 2012 @ 9:46am | ! Report

      The spurs option sounds good. hope he can get that clearance from China.

      If the NBA does not happen for him this season do you see him going to Europe short term, and would he walk straight in to a Euroleague level team?

    • January 15th 2012 @ 6:39pm
      Swampy said | January 15th 2012 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

      Chicago is an even better fit. Rose needs a backup for about 10 minutes a game – less if things are going well.

      Mills is equal in speed to Rose so it wouldn’t change the look of the team a great deal.

      Mills is also an extremely good team mate and the best towel waver since Jack Haley – something every championship team needs. He is not one to complain about minutes.

      From patty’s perspective it would be much better if he went back to Portland. Sadly they seem to have 10 point guards on their roster already.

      You’d have to wonder exactly how sharp he’d be anyway after a layoff and playing against lessor opposition recently – I wouldn’t be surprised if he missed a gig for this season.

      Anyone heard from JR Smith recently?

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        January 15th 2012 @ 10:14pm
        Reece Jordan said | January 15th 2012 @ 10:14pm | ! Report

        Personally, I think Patty would fit well in many teams in the NBA, with Chicago definitely being close to the top. But the Bulls already have C.J. Watson, with John Lucas as a reserve. But the Rose comparison of play style is pretty interesting and compelling.

        I wouldn’t be surprised at all, the CBA doesn’t really budge on these kinds of things and I doubt they will for Patty. I just pulled up an article from ESPN published on December 21st 2011 about Kenyon Martin’s departure from The Flying Tigers, the same team as Patty is on now, and it stated “Xinjiang is determined to withhold Martin’s FIBA letter of clearance until its season is finished, thus complying with the rules established over the summer by the Chinese Basketball Association.” With all these (rubbish) reports about Patty faking an injury, what hope will he have of being granted clearance?

        Last I heard, J.R. was on rocky, but amicable terms with the Golden Bulls. Early in the year they’d had a spat over a minor knee injury where Smith wanted to see his personal doctor and the team wanted him to see the team doctor or “face the consequences”, but Smith’s personal coach Sam Vincent said the issue had been resolved. He’s playing well for his team and getting a lot of court time over there, so I think he’ll stick it out for the season and look for a nice reward when he comes back in the off-season.

    • January 16th 2012 @ 9:07pm
      Matt said | January 16th 2012 @ 9:07pm | ! Report

      The Thunder just lost backup PG Eric Maynor for the season. Another possible option.

    • January 16th 2012 @ 10:35pm
      Dylan Kernaghan said | January 16th 2012 @ 10:35pm | ! Report

      As you said Reece, the problems are to surreal for us to see patty mills in the NBA this year since the Flying Tigers seem real tight and not thinking of others and themselves. Because i would think due to not fully giving the clearance they would have a player they cant use on a floor so its kinda a double edge sword.
      Anyway if the flying tigers did give clearance you run into your second problem, yes it would be nice to see Patty go back to Portland but they didn’t give him the greatest opportunity while he was there anyway except for the game as you said.
      Yes the spurs would be a nice fit but only till TJ Ford came back and thats only a month to 6 weeks and Ginobili is meant to be much longer after that. So yes it would be great for a month but we all know what pops is like to younger players. He will always trust the vets.
      How about either the Washington Wizards or Sacramento Kings. Both are young teams.
      Washington yes he would be behind John Wall but after him the next true Point Guard is Shelvin Mack the rookie so he would get a chance especially considering how bad that team has been. but the only negative is they would have to waive someone to sign him so thats a long shot.
      Sacramento: we all know Tyreke Evans is not your true point guard, and Isiah Thomas another rookie is the truest point on that (No offence to Jimmer) but Marcus Thornton, Tyreke Evans, And Jimmer Fredette would be better players is someone else running the show and them coming off screens and creating for themselves while not thinking of others. and he would get plenty of opportunity again due to this team also being very inconsistent.

    • February 16th 2012 @ 11:56pm
      Richard Jackson said | February 16th 2012 @ 11:56pm | ! Report

      Whoever advised Patty Mills to go to China needs his head read. Mills in my opinion went there out of pure greed, and has now jepordised his future in the NBA. He is only a true popintb guard by size, not play. He shoots too much and passes too seldom. If he had have stayed with the Melbourne Tigers instead of chasing dollars we wouldn’t be having this conversation. He’d be playing for the Blazers now. Greed will get you every time.

    • February 17th 2012 @ 6:45pm
      Jason Emery said | February 17th 2012 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

      Yep your right, it was a stupid move to chase the dollars in china. Not sure if he’ll ever get back to the nba. Will have to wait till next season and go the summer camp/tryouts if he’s gonna get back there.

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