According to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News, San Antonio Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford said after Thursday’s NBA draft that the Spurs have extended qualifying offers to both restricted free agents Danny Green and Patty Mills.
This means that when free agency begins on Sunday, July 1, the Spurs will have the option of matching any teams offer sheets they give to either player, before the players are allowed to sign NBA contracts on July 11.
Both Mills and Green were productive this past season with the Spurs, as Green was the starting shooting guard for the majority of the season, before having a rough Western Conference Finals series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Mills was a spark off the bench late in the regular season as he helped lead the team to back-to-back victories when the Spurs’ big three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker were being rested before the playoffs.
Thus far, the Boston Celtics have been one team rumored to be interested in Green, and our own Jeff Garcia caught up with Green in New York on Wednesday at Steve Nash’s charity soccer game, where he said he would welcome a return to the Spurs, but he’ll also be looking for the best situation for him and his family.
Here’s a piece from the one-on-one Project Spurs exclusive interview with Green:
Jeff: July 1st is right around the corner. You’re looking to hopefully come back to San Antonio?
Danny: (smiling) I am! But business is business at the end of the day. You never know what’s going to happen and I got to do what’s best for me and my family.
Mills on the other hand wants to see what his value is right now on the open market, because though he enjoys San Antonio, he said he owes it to himself to explore all of his options.
Several teams will contact both free agents when free agency begins on Sunday, and the expectation is the Spurs will match those offers that make financial sense for them. Should either or both players receive deals the Spurs aren’t willing to match, then San Antonio has set themselves up with two backup plans, as they can bring in French guard Nando De Colo to play point or shooting guard, while they can also see the growth Cory Joseph has made over the summer, and they can possibly give fresh 2012 draftee Marcus Denmon a shot at the backup point guard slot as well.