NBA free-agent watch: Patty Mills

NBA free-agent watch: Patty Mills
June 14, 2014, 9:00 am
Share This Post

It's quite possible that next season the Wizards return with their entire backcourt from the 2013-14 campaign. John Wall and Bradley Beal are no-brainers. Veteran point guard Andre Miller provided wisdom and steady minutes behind Wall. Garrett Temple offers defensive help and Glen Rice Jr., a second-round pick in 2013, remains an intriguing prospect. 

Yet Washington also needs a scoring spark from somewhere off the bench, a player capable of generating his own offense. Perhaps the team decides to buy Miller out of his contract or the 38-year-old retires. Either of those scenarios could lead to the Wizards looking at another point guard threat one year after failing with the signing of Eric Maynor.

Free agent: PG Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs. Unrestricted. 

2013-14 salary: $1.3 million.

Vitals: 6'0", 200 pounds. Turns 26 in August. 

Career averages: 7.1 points, 1.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 45.4% FG, 40.6% 3FG. Last season:10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 46.4% FG, 42.5% 3FG. 

The fit: Anyone watching the NBA playoffs or even just San Antonio's Game 4 rout over Miami in the NBA Finals recognizes the instant offense capability possessed by the point-producing Aussie. Mills dropped 14 points on the Heat in 16 minutes thanks to sinking four 3-pointers. When he's not hitting from long range, Mills uses his quickness to penetrate the lane, where he can flash his playmaking skills as a passer and crafty shot maker. He is also a player teammate Manu Ginobili calls a "pest" for his aggressive nature on the defensive end. Though Mills flashed high-end ability in college at Saint Mary's, it took until this, his fifth NBA season, to become a regular part of a rotation.  Overall, he oozes confidence and is the kind of ready-to-go option all teams needs on the bench. With the Wizards, Mills could play opposite Wall and provide coach Randy Wittman with an intriguing dual point guard backcourt at times.

Chances of becoming a Wizard: Highly unlikely, though not impossible if the Wizards go all in for a new third guard. Miller could no longer be on the roster - and he likely will be. Meanwhile Mills will start, become a third guard or stay as the Spurs backup at point next season. Some team likely makes him an attractive offer involving minutes or money - San Antonio entices him by wanting to keep the band together. In other words, don't count on the Wizards having Australian Heritage Night next season. Perhaps the real point here is that Washington needs another spark plug type, one who could carry the scoring load for a quarter, half or sometimes a game when others have issues. If not Mills, then someone else that can put up points in a hurry.If that player can also be a pest defensively when others have the same scoring idea, all the better.

NBA Free Agent profiles

Guards: D.J. Augustin

Wings: P.J.Tucker

Bigs: Boris Diaw, Pau Gasol