One day removed from nabbing the franchises fifth NBA championship, the San Antonio Spurs have three impending free agents — Matt Bonner, Boris Diaw and Patty Mills — in addition to the uncertainty around Tim Duncan’s player option and, potentially, a contract extension for Kawhi Leonard, the 22-year-old Finals MVP labeled as the face of the franchise to address in the offseason.
There’s already interest in Mills, the 6-foot guard who averaged 10.2 points on 54.3 percent shooting in the Finals. The New York Knicks, faced with the very real possibility of Carmelo Anthony leaving this offseason, are reportedly interested in signing Mills with a portion of their mini mid-level exception, according to the New York Post.
The 25-year-old Mills, one of the most vocal players on the team, may have some interest in playing in New York too.
“New York is definitely a city Mills would want to play in,’’ the New York Post source said. “He has that personality.’’
The Knicks’ mini mid-level exception, worth approximately $3.2 million, figures to be an accurate estimate of Mills’ value on the open market. Mills averaged 19.5 points per 36 minutes this season, tied for second on the team with Manu Ginobili, with a well above-average 58.8 true shooting percentage. He earned 5.6 win shares in 1,527 minutes according to Basketball Reference. (A “win” is typically worth around $1.6 million, meaning Mills produced around $8.96 million of value this season.)
Gregg Popovich gradually entrusted Mills with a larger share of the offense to rest Tony Parker and it paid dividends — the Spurs scored 109.1 points per 100 possessions in the regular season when he was on the floor and 117.6 points during the playoffs, per NBA.com.
Re-signing Diaw and Mills, second and seventh in plus/minus during the Finals respectively, remains a priority for the defending champions.