As the San Antonio Spurs completed their destruction of the Miami Heat on Sunday night to win the 2014 NBA Championship, they received several contributions from their bench players. One of the biggest contributors was backup point guard Patty Mills.
Mills caught fire in the second half. Each time Miami looked like it may start to come back in the game, Mills would hit another dagger three-pointer. He finished with 17 points and five of eight shooting from three-point land. This was his second consecutive double figure game as he scored 14 points in Game Four.
This performance also comes as he’s just about to hit free agency.
Expect many teams to consider adding Mills. In his fifth season in the NBA, Mills finally became a key contributor on what turned out to be the league’s best team. For the season, he averaged 10.2 points per contest while shooting 46.4% from the field and 42.5% from three-point range.
When the postseason hit, Mills struggled a bit as he averaged just 6.9 points in 15.1 minutes of action during the entire playoffs. His performances became severely inconsistent but coach Gregg Popovich continued to use him in relief of Tony Parker. His persistence paid big dividends as Mills scored in double figures in back-to-back games to close out the Finals.
Mills is certainly a type of player that the Brooklyn Nets could use. He plays hard on both ends and can spread the floor with his shooting. Coach Jason Kidd would be able to use him in relief of either Shaun Livingston or Deron Williams, should both be on the Nets roster come the beginning of next season.
The Nets greatest success came when they decided to use a small-ball style of offense. The idea of the offense was basically to spread the floor and exploit any mismatches. With his shooting ability, Mills would fit right into the Nets offense.
These last two years, Mills earned a total of $2.22 million dollars. He will absolutely see a significant increase in pay this offseason.
It’s highly probable that Mills will simply decide to re-sign with the Spurs this offseason. After all, he’s found what could be the best spot for him as he is a key member of a championship team.
But what if they don’t offer him the money that he is looking for?
Brooklyn has several free agents of their own that they will look to take care of first. Re-signing Livingston is among their biggest priorities.
The Nets will potentially offer Livingston their full mini mid-level exception which comes out to about $3 million dollars a year. The team has zero cap flexibility as it currently has the highest payroll in the league. Should the Nets still have their mini mid-level exception and an opening for the backup point guard position, the team should give Mills a call.
It’s not too likely to happen, but Mills would be a good fit for the team.