The San Antonio Spurs boast a roster that’s full of names that intimidate much of the rest of the NBA. Legends of the game like Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, one of the best point guards in the game in Tony Parker, and a budding star in Kawhi Leonard are all fearsome to opponents. However, arguably nobody on the roster struck more fear in opponents in the postseason than backup point guard Patty Mills.
Coming off of a career-year and a monster performance on the way to the Spurs’ fifth NBA Championship, it seemed like Mills was due for a relatively big payday—one possibly big enough for the Spurs to let him go. However, when it was announced that Mills needed surgery on a torn rotator cuff, that dream died to a certain degree.
With the price knocked down, the Spurs jumped on the opportunity to re-sign Mills, agreeing to give him a three-year deal reportedly worth around $12 million. San Antonio clearly views the 25-year-old guard as an asset for the future that will help them return to the league’s Promised Land in the coming years and as the landscape in San Antonio likely changes to a certain degree.
The initial reaction of some people is to say that, with Mills likely out until March, the Spurs will need to sign another point guard to help alleviate the burden on Parker. However, Cory Joseph has showed promise recently when given the opportunity but was more or less outshined by Mills in the role. Moreover, a guy like Marco Belinelli could also contribute to the cause. By standing pat at the point guard position, the Spurs should still be just fine.
What’s interesting is the impact that Mills could potentially have when he does return to the Spurs this season. If he does indeed get back on the floor in March, that will put him in the rotation when the Spurs are resting their veterans and are making a push to prepare for the postseason. That will give Mills opportunity to acclimate himself back to the game and could provide San Antonio with an added dimension when the playoffs do begin.
People are going to doubt the Spurs with their five rings and all because that’s simply become the norm. However, San Antonio is going to be in the title-picture once again next season. Though he may not be a big part in helping the team get to that point, it seems inevitable that Mills will be a huge part in helping the Spurs get back to the Finals and possibly winning back-to-back titles.