The quality of this year’s crop of free agent point guards took a hit when it was announced that Patty Mills would have surgery to repair a rotator cuff issue and miss up to seven months of action. This unfortunate injury depleted his value on the open market and made it a foregone that he’d re-sign with the San Antonio Spurs. According reports, Mills has done just that.
Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express News first reported the deal.
— Buck Harvey (@Buck_SA) July 2, 2014
Marc Stein of ESPN provided the details on Mills’ new contract.
Deal for Spurs' Patty Mills, I'm told, is in $12 million range over three years. One of my heroes @Buck_SA first reported the agreement
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 2, 2014
It was always unlikely that Mills would leave San Antonio. The NBA Finals hero was instrumental to the Spurs’ crowning success in 2013-2014 as a spark-plug off the bench, and the team had $10 million of cap room to play with before free agency began. Though Mills’ injury is an unfortunate turn of events for San Antonio in the short-term, the Spurs certainly saved some money by capitalizing on his decreased market value.
Getting a player of Mills’ caliber that still has room to improve for $4 million per year is a home run for San Antonio, and affords RC Buford and Gregg Popovich additional salary cap breathing room it was assumed they wouldn’t have. The Spurs still have Boris Diaw’s free agency to contend with and remain interested in Pau Gasol.
Will re-signing Mills on a discount help in the Spurs’ pursuit of the Spaniard? Reading between the lines of recent report by Stein, an extra million or two annually could ultimately sway Gasol San Antonio’s direction.
Pau Gasol Addendum No. 2: Hearing Pau, as with OKC, indeed giving legit consideration to San Antonio if he looks at places where $ is scarce
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 3, 2014
Either way, Mills and San Antonio have made the best of an unenviable situation. It wasn’t long ago that the Australian sensation was a fringe NBA player. Now, Mills will get to continue his career on a reasonable salary with the team that helped him make it.
Is Mills a bargain at $4 million per year?
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