Patrick Mills

Spurs Re-Sign Patty Mills To Four-Year Deal

AUGUST 4: More than a month after agreeing to terms with Mills, the Spurs have made his new deal official, announcing the signing in a press release.Patty Patrick Mills vertical

JUNE 30: The Spurs and point guard Patty Mills have come to terms on a four-year, $50MM deal, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

With the status of Tony Parker in flux following his postseason-ending injury earlier this year, Mills could play a vital role in the future of the Spurs organization, if not as a starter than at least as a key reserve.

In 80 games for the Spurs last year, the backup guard averaged 9.5 points and 3.5 assists per game. Those numbers could easily increase if the veteran plays more than the 21.9 minutes per game he saw in 2016/17.

Last month we wrote that Parker has eyed a possible return date next January, but even if that holds true, Mills will have an opportunity to start for the first half of the 2017/18.

That said, with players like George Hill and Kyle Lowry on the market, Gregg Popovich and company could look to bring another starter on board, bumping Mills back to his reserve role.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Spurs Notes: Free Agents, Simmons, Paul, Lee

The Spurs’ decision on whether to pursue Chris Paul will play a role in which free agents return next season, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. The organization would have to clear a massive amount of cap space to offer Paul a max deal, which would probably mean renouncing Patty Mills and not matching an offer sheet for restricted free agent Jonathon Simmons. In addition, Dewayne Dedmon and David Lee both have player options and might also be renounced if they opt out. If the Spurs are able to sign Paul, they will have to fill out the roster using their mid-level exception and veterans minimum deals.

There’s more news out of San Antonio:

  • If the Spurs want to keep Simmons, they will get some help from an “arcane” rule, McDonald notes in the same story. The Gilbert Arenas provision limits first-year offers to Simmons to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which will be roughly $8.4MM next season. Of course, offer sheets can be heavily backloaded over the final two years, similar to what the Nets did with Tyler Johnson last summer. If the Spurs are operating over the cap, they won’t have the ability to spread the hit evenly over four seasons, so they could be looking at a substantial salary commitment in 2019/20 and 2020/21 for a player who turns 28 in September.
  • To make a realistic run at Paul, the Spurs would have to find a taker for LaMarcus Aldridge, Danny Green or Tony Parker, writes Nick Moyle of The San Antonio Express-News. That means trading them without taking back salary, which will almost certainly require giving up draft picks. Aldridge would probably be the most difficult of the three to move, as he is signed for $21.461MM for next season, along with a $22.347MM player option for 2018/19. Green will make $10MM next year, with a $10MM player option the following season. Parker is entering the final year of his contract at $15.453MM.
  • Lee won’t need surgery for a strained patellar tendon in his left knee, tweets Ramona Shelburne of The injury, which Lee suffered in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals, is expected to heal in about six weeks.

Spurs Notes: Ginobili, Hanga, Gasol, Mills

The end of the Spurs’ playoff run puts Manu Ginobili in a familiar position of deciding whether he wants to return for another season, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. Ginobili, who will turn 40 in July, received two standing ovations late in Monday’s game from Spurs fans, who understood that it may have been his last night in the NBA. After 15 seasons, Ginobili said he will be in no hurry to decide if he wants another one. “I always wanted to let it sink in for three weeks, four weeks, whatever,” Ginobili said. “Then I will sit with my wife and see how it feels.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich recognized the magnitude of the moment, giving Ginobili his first start in three years. Ginobili responded with a 15-point, seven-assist performance that showed he might still have a future in the NBA. “It may or may not be the last game he ever plays in,” Popovich said. “I did not want to miss the opportunity to honor him in front of our home fans.”

There’s more news as the offseason begins in San Antonio:

  • Ginobili is among several veteran free agents on the roster, and the Spurs expect most of them to return next season, McDonald notes in the same story. Patty Mills and Jonathon Simmons will both be free agents this summer, although Simmons will be restricted, and Pau Gasol, David Lee and Dewayne Dedmon all have player options for 2017/18. LaMarcus Aldridge said the team still has unfinished business to address. “To get here with so many new guys and so much new transition going on, it’s not a bad season,” he said. “I don’t think guys are satisfied with it. To get to the conference finals wasn’t our goal.”
  • If Ginobili retires, the Spurs will consider bringing over Adam Hanga to replace him, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. The Hungarian swingman was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Euroleague. San Antonio has owned his rights since drafting him with the 59th choice in 2011.
  • Gasol sounds like his mind is already made up about returning, relays Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Gasol, who turns 37 in July, signed a two-year contract last summer that includes a nearly $16.2MM option for next season. “I look forward to continuing to grow” in San Antonio’s system, he said after Monday’s game.
  • Mills plans to consider his options carefully before free agency starts, tweets Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News. Mills, 28, has spent the past six years in San Antonio and made close to $3.6MM this season.

Spurs Notes: Aldridge, Leonard, Mills

There’s cause for concern in San Antonio these days, Matt Tynan of USA Today writes, citing the Spurs’ recent injury struggles as a major hurdle heading into the playoff gauntlet.

With LaMarcus Aldridge‘s long-term health in doubt now that he’s been diagnosed with heart complications and Kawhi Leonard‘s recent concussion, the Spurs may lack the star power to compete in the West.

Tynan writes that the Spurs did well to claim home-court advantage over the Warriors in their Saturday night contest but even if they hold on to their current seed or better, navigating the postseason without Aldridge and/or Leonard would be difficult.

  • There’s a difference between Aldridge’s heart condition and most other player injuries, head coach Gregg Popovich tells’s Fran Blinebury. “That’s a little scary. But you don’t go there yet,” Popovich said. “He is going to see some people on Monday, and based on what they do and see, we’ll know better what we are really looking at. But we don’t know right now.”
  • Veteran guard Patty Mills has embraced his role as a representative of his Aboriginal Australian culture, Nick Metallinos of ESPN writes.
  • Though he’s found himself firmly established in the conversation, some believe Leonard lacks a good enough narrative to land the MVP award. Marilyn Dubinski of SB Nation’s Pounding The Rock blog sets out to change that.

Spurs Notes: Ginobili, Lee, Mills, Aldridge

While Manu Ginobili is continuing his career with the Spurs this year, several of his longtime teammates are no longer around. Tim Duncan retired this offseason, Boris Diaw was traded to the Jazz, and Matt Bonner has not been re-signed by San Antonio. As Ginobili noted in an article for Argentinian newspaper La Nacion (link via Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype), there has been a real adjustment period for the Spurs this fall without Duncan and others on the team.

“Making it to the locker room and seeing another person in [Duncan’s] place is, without a doubt, odd,” Ginobili said. “It’s been 15 years together; his presence brought a lot of different things. But I insist it’s going to be felt more during the course of the season.

“It also feels strange not having Boris and Matt, who were key too,” Ginobili continued. “Those are big absences. Boris’ is felt on and off the court. Matt’s more off the court because he played less. Those two players made me feel comfortable on a day-to-day basis and everything was enjoyable. I could talk with them about things not related to basketball. I’m going to miss them a lot from a personal standpoint.”

As Ginobili gets accustomed to the new-look Spurs, let’s round up a few other notes from out of San Antonio…

  • Discussing his decision to sign with the Spurs, David Lee called it a “perfect fit,” expressing a desire to win a title in San Antonio, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. “[Gregg Popovich] called me in the middle of the summer and told me they’d love to have me,” Lee said. “We talked a little bit about the role he thought I’d have, and it sounded great.”
  • Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders identifies Patty Mills as one of 20 players entering a contract year who are worth watching in 2016/17. With the salary cap on the rise, Mills may be in line for an eight-figure payday, Greene writes.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs’ big free agent signing in the summer of 2015, is feeling much more comfortable heading into this season, writes Michael C. Wright of As Wright details, Aldridge is much more confident this year, no longer feeling like he has to defer to longtime Spurs like Duncan, Ginobili, and Tony Parker.

Southwest Notes: Williams, Gentile, Mills

Dwight Howard will start against the Pelicans tonight in his first game since January 23rd, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. That’ll be a boost for Houston as it looks to climb from the third seed in the Western Conference. Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Pelicans have decided against signing Elliot Williams for the remainder of the season, tweets John Reid of The Times-Picayune. New Orleans signaled that choice when it signed Toney Douglas to a deal for the balance of 2014/15 on Tuesday, the day after the team’s second 10-day contract with Williams expired.
  • Rockets draft-and-stash prospect Alessandro Gentile doesn’t have an NBA escape clause for 2015 in his contract with Italy’s EA7 Milano, and the deal doesn’t include a buyout provision, either, a source tells HoopsHype. That runs counter to comments EA7 teammate Daniel Hackett made on SkySport television indicating that Gentile has decided to play for the Rockets next season, as Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia notes. Gentile said recently that he’s increasingly intrigued with the NBA and that the Rockets had been in close contact. The small forward is under contract through 2017, as Mark Porcaro shows on our Draft Rights Held Players database.
  • Patty Mills had a shoulder injury that would sideline him for the first two months of the season when the Spurs re-signed him this summer to a three-year, $11MM deal, but Spurs president/coach Gregg Popovich had no reservations about the move. Alexander Wolff of Sports Illustrated has the details in a story that looks at Mills’ heritage and the homage the Spurs have paid to it. “It wasn’t even a question,” Popovich said of the deal. “Obviously he can shoot the basketball and has a lot of energy. But he’s beloved on this team for his enthusiasm, his kindness, his understated gravitas. As long as I’m here, he’s going to be here. Unless we can’t afford him.”
  • The Spurs top ESPN Insider’s Front Office rankings for a second straight year. The synergy between Popovich, GM R.C. Buford and owner Peter Holt, balance between the future and the present, and structuring of player contracts that include salary declines instead of raises help the Spurs stand out, as Chad Ford and Amin Elhassan opine in a separate Insider story.
  • We rounded up the latest on the Mavs earlier today.

Southwest Notes: Mills, Rockets, Pelicans

The Spurs will welcome the injured Patty Mills back to their lineup soon, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). Mills hasn’t played yet this season after having rotator cuff surgery on his right shoulder during the summer. Mills said he has been cleared for full practices, but is not ready for game action. Coach Gregg Popovich will be careful not to rush him back into the lineup. “If he messes up the shoulder again, we lose him for the season,” Popovich said. “He’s too important.” Mills played through pain last season and was a key contributor off the bench in San Antonio’s run to the championship. Despite the long rehab, the Spurs opted to reward the free agent guard with a contract worth approximately $11MM over three years.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Rockets had their eyes on Josh Smith for several years before he was waived by the Pistons, reports Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report. Houston was interested in a sign-and-trade with the Hawks when Smith hit the free agent market in 2013, but wasn’t able to work out a deal. Instead, Smith inked a four-year, $54MM pact with Detroit. Smith cleared waivers Wednesday and has been open about his intention to join the Rockets, but the team must clear a roster spot before a deal can be finalized.
  • Smith confirmed to Michael Lee of The Washington Post that Dwight Howard had a lot to do with his decision to choose Houston. Smith and Howard have been friends since their AAU days, and Howard served as best man at Smith’s wedding. The Rockets’ center made a recruiting pitch to Smith after he was waived. “Dwight the player was big,” an unidentified person close to Smith said. “Dwight the person didn’t hurt, let’s be honest.” 
  • Coach Monty Williams questioned the Pelicans‘ toughness after Tuesday’s loss to the Pacers, writes John Reid of The Times Picayune. “What I didn’t like is we didn’t respond to the physicality,” Williams said. “… We spent too much time worrying about the calls than playing the game.” The Pelicans have been plagued by inconsistent play despite the presence of MVP candidate Anthony Davis and the offseason addition of Omer Asik.

Southwest Notes: Davis, Chandler, Lee, Mills

Trevor Ariza and Tyson Chandler were probably the most significant newcomers to the Southwest Division this past summer, but even devoid of an influx of star talent, every team in the Southwest has a winning record so far. I covered Ariza’s impact earlier today in my look at what the Rockets did over the offseason, and there’s more on Chandler amid the latest from around the division:

  • Anthony Davis is up for a rookie scale extension in the offseason ahead, and he seems comfortable with his surroundings, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports details. “I love it here in New Orleans,” Davis said. “Great city. Great atmosphere. …We’re getting the fans back and New Orleans back buzzing for the Pelicans, a great organization. I love my team here. We’re definitely moving in the right direction. I don’t know what the future holds, but right now I’m definitely loving the team and the organization.”
  • Knicks president Phil Jackson deferred to GM Steve Mills when it came to communicating with Chandler, as the now-Mavs center told reporters on Wednesday, notes Marc Berman of the New York Post“I just don’t think I was in the [Knicks’] future plans to be honest,” Chandler said, according to Ian Begley of (Twitter link).
  • The Celtics sought to clear salary when they traded Courtney Lee to the Grizzlies less than 11 months ago, but his hot three-point shooting is one reason he’s proven well worth his $5.45MM salary this year for Memphis, as Ronald Tillery of The Commericial Appeal examines (subscription only).
  • A clause in the Spurs‘ contract with Patty Mills gives him an extra $333K if he meets conditioning benchmarks throughout the season, according to Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News. The incentive is considered likely to be met, so that $333K is already included in his cap hit of more than $3.842MM, Monroe notes. It’s unclear if the torn right rotator cuff that’s kept Mills out all season so far will keep him from meeting those benchmarks.

Western Notes: Gee, Mills, Nedovic, Ballmer

The players union encourages agents to negotiate contract guarantee dates into non-guaranteed deals for their clients in part to help ward off what happened to Alonzo Gee this summer, writes Grantland’s Zach Lowe. Teams played hot potato with Gee’s contract, which was to remain non-guaranteed until the leaguewide guarantee date in January, and the Kings waived him late last month, in time for him to receive no more than another non-guaranteed pact for the minimum salary with the Nuggets. Gee’s agent Happy Walters didn’t represent the small forward when he signed the contract that teams passed around via trade this summer, and vows to Lowe that he’ll never let a player agree to a non-guaranteed deal without a guarantee date, though it’s unclear what guarantee dates, if any, are involved in Gee’s arrangement with Denver. While we wait to see how that dynamic plays out around the league, and whether Gee can crack the Nuggets opening-night roster, here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Hornets planned to pursue Patrick Mills last summer but backed off when he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff just as free agency was beginning, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. Mills re-signed with the Spurs for three years and $11MM.
  • Agent Misko Raznatovic is skeptical that the Warriors are giving a fair shot to Nemanja Nedovic, the 30th overall pick in 2013, as Raznatovic tells Saša Ozmo of the Serbian website B92 (Ozmo provides an English translation on TwitLonger). I don’t know if he’s going to get a proper chance,” Raznatovic said. “They’re promising he will, but we’ll see, he’s had a lot of injuries. I hope everything is going to be all right.” A decision on Nedovic’s third-year team option is due by October 31st.
  • New Clippers owner Steve Ballmer insists he won’t micromanage coach/executive Doc Rivers as he runs the basketball operations for the team and doesn’t agree with the notion that $2 billion was too much to pay for the team, as Ballmer tells USA Today’s Sam Amick. Ballmer also says to Amick that he intends to own the team “until essentially I die.”

Mavs Re-Sign Devin Harris

JULY 17TH, 6:35pm: The deal is official, the Mavericks announced via a team release.

JULY 5TH, 8:50pm: Dwain Price of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link) is reporting that Harris’ deal is the same as the 3-year, $12MM that Patty Mills received from the Spurs.

2:16pm: A source tells Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (on Twitter) that the deal is actually four years in length and worth $16MM.

1:42pm: Harris’ deal will be worth roughly $9MM over three seasons, hears Tim McMahon of (Twitter link).

1:15pm: The Mavericks and Devin Harris are finalizing a three-year deal, reports Marc Stein of (via Twitter). Re-signing Harris became the team’s top priority after they traded Jose Calderon to the Knicks, Stein mentions.

Harris joined the Mavs on a one-year, minimum salary pact last season and performed well for Dallas coming off the bench. He averaged 7.9 points and 4.5 assists in 20.5 minutes per contest. Although those numbers are a far cry from the figures he was able to put up in his All-Star 2008/09 campaign, he proved himself as a still-capable contributor.

Stein doesn’t mention how much the contract will be worth, but it’s likely more than the minimum Harris agreed to last season. Of course, no deal can become official until July 10, when the league-wide moratorium on signings and trades expires.