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Report: Knicks to target Patty Mills this summer

Jun 17, 2014, 8:11 AM EDT

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five Getty Images

Things that should worry the rest of the league: Next season the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs can roll out pretty much the exact same lineup that just thumped the Miami Heat in the Finals.

They have just two free agents who showed up big in the NBA Finals — Boris Diaw and Patty Mills (Matt Bonner is also a free agent, but we’re not going to call him “key”).

After the Finals, he just had including 17 points off the bench in Game 5, you can bet someone is going to target Mills… like the New York Knicks, reports the New York Post.

The Knicks will look to use their mini mid-level exception to obtain a free-agent starting point guard and one may have emerged out of the Finals massacre of Miami in Spurs backup Patty Mills….

“New York is definitely a city Mills would want to play in,’’ the source said. “He has that personality.’’

The Knicks are in the market for a new starting point guard because, well, Raymond Felton.

Although, as Derek Fisher and Phil Jackson move them toward the triangle the role of the point guard will change, it will diminish. In that system, the point guard brings the ball up (sometimes), makes an initial pass to start the offense, then is mostly a floor-spacing shooter asked to play defense. Mills could fill that role, but does he want to?

If the Knicks retain Carmelo Antony, the most they can offer Mills or any free agent is the tax-payer’s mid-level exception of just less than $3.3 million (if Carmelo Anthony opts out then signs as a free agent elsewhere, it cold free up enough cap space to offer Mills more).

The Spurs are under the salary cap and could easily match or beat any offer from the Knicks, if they wanted to. The thing is they may not want to — they are not going to break the bank for a back up point guard, if he leaves they can get another guy to fit in (the Spurs are always pulling guys off the scrap heap who then come in and blossom). It is likely both teams (and any others that may want to get in on the Mills bidding) are in the same financial ballpark.

Patty Mills needs to ask himself what he wants. He’s a key role player on the NBA champions, a team where he told PBT it took him a couple of years to be comfortable and understand that role. This is a place he likes playing, and a place where they will win a lot of games.

But if Mills wants a bigger role on a team that can give him more minutes, if he wants to be in a bigger spotlight, the Knicks are a good call.

  1. goraidersgospurs - Jun 17, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    I Respect G.Neal to death when he was with the Spurs, but look at what happend when he left. MILLS is basically the same type of player!!!

    • nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Jun 17, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      I would be leary of signing any spurs player as they are all products of unselfish system basketball. However Patty Mills seems pretty identitical to Fischer in his prime and could be perfect for the triangle and just hitting open 3 point shots when needed.

      • josh4bv2014 - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        It is not like the Knicks have any other options other than trade Anthony to the Bulls for 2 1st rounders

  2. Nadeem - Jun 17, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    If he leaves, his case will be the same as JJ Barea. But u cant fault a guy for wanting to get paid. I hope the Spurs offer him a decent contract in the 3 year 10 million range. We need him to keep Tony’s minutes low. However, i can see a team offering him the full mid level at 5.5 m over 3-4 years. Spurs will never match that.

    • spursareold - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      Mini Mid is not “getting paid”. You can pay him more than that if you have it, but if you’re looking for a PG, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Patty is a mini 2 guard, a stone cold gunner. He’s not going to run your offense, and if you don’t have a big guard that can, then you’re also looking at matchup problems on D. Spurs had Manu and Beli to run plays.

  3. robigd - Jun 17, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    I feel that Mills will not thrive outside of San Antonio. The Spurs system allows him to come in and give high energy minutes and basically fire at will. Any team that overpays him to make him their starter is going to regret it IMO.

    Having said that, as a Spurs fan, I hope we can hang on to this guy, but if we can’t, he will be replaced by another high energy guy.

  4. cantonbound13 - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    He outplayed Bosh & Wade in game 5. He could deserve a max contract. Maybe a decision show & pep rally with smoke machines

    • spursareold - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      If I’m an owner, and my GM gives Patty Mills a MAX contract, I fire him on the spot. Just because a couple of geezers on MAX contracts in Miami underperform doesn’t mean Patty is a MAX player.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      He pretty much outplayed everybody on his own team on a per minute basis. His PER and per minute scoring in the Finals was 2nd only to LBJ.

  5. chicagosports2014 - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Thibs and Pops have point guard friendly systems👤

  6. djwhite33 - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    As an Aussie and a Knicks fan I think he’d be crazy to leave the Spurs. He should stay right where he is and enjoy the ride!

  7. campcouch - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Patty Mills didn’t magically become a good player,he’s been good in college and overseas. Unfortunately he got injured in Portland then signed up in Australia and China (balled out too) during the NBA lockout. I don’t think it matters what system he’s in,he can play no matter what. Now does he want to be a starter and get less or be on the bench and get paid more? I’m sure he’d like to start,but SA is the more stable team right now.

    • spursareold - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      No, the system absolutely matters. He needs a bigger guard to pair with and create the offense.

  8. saint1997 - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    An Australian Knicks fan can’t ask for much more!!

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 17, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      At least you don’t live in the garbage dump known as New Yawk.

  9. azarkhan - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    I hope Mills will stay with the Spurs, but if he leaves for the Knicks, it will be like going from the penthouse to the outhouse. He will hate the clubhouse culture in NY, which is dominated by narcissistic players like Anthony and Smith.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Mills plays like a guy who wouldn’t mind that culture… which is to say he plays like JR Smith and Anthony as far as his shot rate is concerned. Moving from San Antonio to New York City is literally going from the outhouse to the penthouse.

      • azarkhan - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        Oh, the idiot is back. Hi anti-intelligence!

      • antistratfordian - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        You can do better than to be so juvenile. I’m sure of it.

  10. patriotsarespygaters - Jun 17, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    two words GARY NEAL

  11. sumkat - Jun 17, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Tough call. I liked what I saw out of Mills, but i still think he’s just a role player. Very good at his role, but a role player none the less. Teams paying role players like they are stars is what kills a organization

  12. jimeejohnson - Jun 17, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Knicks are a reflection of a horrible city of death and pain: New Yawk sucks!

  13. reesesteel23 - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Don’t fall for it. Look at Hill and Neal

  14. mogogo1 - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    This is where it starts to get fun because these are the decisions that will define whether Phil Jackson can run a team.

  15. antistratfordian - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    His towel wave is going to be annoying regardless of what team he’s on. I’m surprised Pop never told him to cut it out.

  16. norcalsportsknowledge - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    I could see Dubs signing him. Kerr probably wants someone who knows Pop’s system. Bogut would like it as well.

  17. drewzducks - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Well at least one day he’ll be able to tell his grandchildren that he won ONE championship.

  18. 00maltliquor - Jun 17, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Patty Mills should just stick with the Spurs. All money ain’t good money. A potentially good PG for the triangle coming in NY believe it or not would be Mario Chalmers’ bum azz. And you know he’ll be available for cheap this summer.

  19. batoujitsu - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    Spurs wont try to out bid the knicks. They have Corey Joseph anyway

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