The San Antonio Spurs won the NBA Finals with a wide spectrum of qualities from Hall of Famers performing like Hall of Famers, teamwork being played at the highest level, and most of all, great roster depth. The fact that whoever was on the floor delivered and executed the plan is attributed to Gregg Popovich‘s great coaching and to the team’s amazing bench. Analyzing the bench performance, you cannot avoid paying attention to backup point guard Patty Mills, who put up amazing performances and showed great potential.
What does that have to do with the New York Knicks?
Mills is a free agent this summer, and the Knicks desperately need a floor general.
We covered a few possibilities that would mean an immediate upgrade to the orange and blue (Steve Blake, Shaun Livingston and Darren Collison), and we talked about how the Knicks should keep Raymond Felton to provide roster depth as a backup to whomever joins the team, but after the NBA Finals, Mills surfaced as the best player for the Knicks to pursue in free agency.
Having played for Coach Pop, Mills knows everything there is to know about system basketball, something that Knicks president Phil Jackson has said he wants implemented for the team time and time again. Mills is a great team player, having shown in the Finals that he is on the floor to make his team better, not to put big numbers for himself; and most importantly, Mills showed that he is ready for primetime. Playing in New York City demands a lot from the players’ mental focus, and the way he played — efficiently, with clutch performances — proved he is sure to handle the pressure very well. The fact that he is a backup point guard in San Antonio could be the very motivation for him to move from Texas to New York.
If the Knicks decide to use the little amount of money they have available for this summer in pursuing Mills, the fans could sigh in relief that there is finally a competent and efficient team in New York, not only in the front office, but at the point guard position as well. It’s a start!