Apr 1, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) drives to the basket against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. San Antonio Spurs defeated the Orlando Magic 103-91. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Patty Mills signed a three-year, $13 million deal in the 2014 offseason. The Spurs knew he would need shoulder surgery, yet they signed him after a terrific performance in the 2014 NBA Finals. He averaged 10.2 points and shot 57% threes in the series.
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Last season, Mills came back at around midseason and he struggled to get in rhythm. Mills averaged 6.9 points and shot 34% from three in 51 games. It was certainly a drop off from 2013-14, when he averaged 10.2 points and shot 43% threes. In the playoffs Mills performed at a high level once again. He averaged 10.1 points and shot 57% from three against the Clippers in the first round.
A big reason that Mills struggled to get going, was because he was sharing minutes with Cory Joseph and Manu Ginobili off the bench. With Joseph leaving to Toronto and Ginobili only getting older, Mills role will expand. The Spurs got Ray McCallum in the offseason from Sacramento and he plays similar to Joseph. The 24-year old is at his best when he is attacking the basket, which can only compliment Mills.
It’s fair to expect Mills to have a season like he did in 2014. I believe he will average around 11 points, which would be a career high. He should also shoot at above 40% from three. Mills is healthy and will be able to play in the preseason and attend training camp.
It’s difficult to perform at a high level, when you are shooter after missing a heavy portion of the season. Expect Mills to have a big season off the Spurs bench this coming year.