One of the NBA Finals’ brightest stars other than MVP Kawhi Leonard was San Antonio Spurs point guard Patty Mills. If the Chicago Bulls are unable to retain D.J. Augustin, they should target Mills as a backup to Derrick Rose.
Mills was a shooter and a scorer for the Spurs as a solid defender who provided a burst of energy off the bench. He isn’t going to be a prototypical point guard, but on a Bulls team that struggled mightily to score at times, Mills would be a much welcomed addition.
Mills averaged 10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists this season while shooting 46 percent from the field and 43 percent from beyond the arc. What’s even more impressive is he shot 57 percent from three in the Finals. Mills was also the leading scorer in the 2012 Olympics, where he averaged 21.2 points for the Australian national team.
Reminiscent of former Bull Nate Robinson, Mills can score in a hurry. He scored 17 points in 18 minutes in Game 5 of the Finals. Last season after losing Robinson to free agency, the Bulls lacked a player who could create his own shot and score when the team was in a scoring drought. Augustin provided a spark off the bench, but he wasn’t able to do it on a consistent basis and disappeared in the playoffs.
It is unclear if the Bulls will have the funds to obtain Mills, as the team intends to be very active this offseason in pursuit of a marquee free agent such as Carmelo Anthony or acquiring Kevin Love via trade.
Other than Anthony and Love, the Bulls are actively seeking shooters after being in the bottom of the league in three-point shooting. It could be through the draft, free agency or both, but that need will be addressed this summer.
Mills will be a hot commodity when free agency begins July 1. Whether or not he calls Chicago his next home is anybody’s guess.