The deadline for Patty Mills to opt into his player option for 2012/13 has passed, and he will become a free agent, reports Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. The decision comes as no surprise and doesn't necessarily mean Mills won't return to San Antonio. The option was for the minimum salary (about $885K), which the point guard should be able to surpass on the open market.
Because Mills has just three years of NBA experience, he will be a restricted free agent if the Spurs choose to tender him a qualifying offer worth about $1.09MM. In the 16 contests he played for San Antonio this season, Mills was extremely productive, averaging 10.3 points and 2.4 assists in just 16.3 minutes per game. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Spurs extended Mills a qualifying offer and then matched any offer he received from a rival team.