Patty Mills Signs With Heat

MARCH 6: The Heat have officially signed Mills and waived Smith, the team announced today in a press release.

MARCH 5: Free agent point guard Patty Mills plans to sign with the Heat, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). It will be a rest-of-season deal, adds Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link).

A 15-year NBA veteran, Mills was traded three times during the 2023 offseason, from the Nets to the Rockets to the Thunder to the Hawks. Atlanta envisioned him as a player who could provide reliable veteran depth behind Trae Young and Dejounte Murray in the backcourt, but Mills didn’t end up playing much for his new club, averaging 2.7 points and 1.1 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game across 19 appearances.

The Hawks opted to waive Mills last Thursday in order to open up a spot on the roster to promote two-way player Trent Forrest. The 35-year-old cleared waivers over the weekend and didn’t immediately catch on with a new team, but has reached an agreement a few days later with a veteran Heat club that appears playoff-bound.

Although Mills’ production has dropped off in the past couple years, his NBA résumé includes 95 postseason contests and a championship (in 2014 with San Antonio). He’s also not far removed from being a productive regular contributor — he averaged 11.4 PPG with a .400 3PT% across 81 games for the Nets in 2021/22.

Mills will join a Heat backcourt that has been impacted by injuries over the course of the season but features several intriguing options when everyone’s healthy, including Tyler Herro, Terry Rozier, Josh Richardson, and Delon Wright. The move will provide some insurance in the event that Richardson’s absence due to a shoulder injury extends into the spring, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

According to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link), guard Dru Smith, who is out for the season due to a torn ACL, will be waived to make room on the 15-man roster for Mills.

Mills will earn $18,370 per day on his prorated minimum-salary deal with the Heat. His exact salary will depend on when he officially signs, but if the deal were to be finalized before the end of the day on Tuesday, he’d make $753,186 and Miami would take on a cap hit of $475,908.

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