Knicks to pursue Spurs PG Patty Mills
The New York Knicks are reportedly going to pursue San Antonio’s reserve point guard Patty Mills. Phil Jackson apparently watched the NBA Finals very closely, and obviously likes what he sees. Mills erupted in the NBA Finals, especially in Games 4 and 5, averaging 15.5 points on 61.1 percent shooting from the field and 64.3 percent shooting from three in the final two games.
The Knicks are obviously desperate to improve their roster for next season. Right before the playoffs started, they announced that last year’s starting point guard Raymond Felton is going to be traded or released. Mills is young, just 25 years old, he’s not gotten a real shot at a starting role for any team yet. He is now an unrestricted free agent, is this the chance that Mills is looking for?
Mills collected just $1.3 million during the 2013-14 campaign, but he is looking at a substantial pay raise after enjoying the best season of his five-year career. He played a career high 81 games and just under 19 minutes per game and posted an impressive .464/.425/.890 shooting line.
“He’s a special guy,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, via Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News. “His energy has been important to us all year long. He’s a real significant reason why we got to the Finals. That energy, that team sense that he has really has become infectious for everybody.”
Mills’ three point shooting could definitely help spread the Triangle Offense that Phil Jackson and head coach Derek Fisher are likely to have the Knicks use. Pablo Prigioni is the only Knicks regular to shoot a higher percentage than Mills last season, even though Mills took almost 200 more threes than Prigioni (318 to 140).
There’s a lot to like about Mills as a potential starter. There’s his great jump shot, there’s the fact that he played for a Spurs team that was one of the best ever when it came to ball movement. He got to learn from playing behind Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, and now has the Finals experience and the highly covenant ring. He can play under the big lights, if this goes through, he’ll be a quality starter in the Big Apple.
- Justin Hodges is a Staff Writer for ProSportsExtra.com