A Veteran Leader and Familiar Face: Patty Mills
Patty Mills is 32 years old and past his prime, but that doesn’t mean too much. He’s coming off one of the better years of his career and is a franchise cornerstone in terms of culture, despite never being a starter. He can knock down shots and is also one of the best bench leaders in the league.
Of all the players coming off the Spurs' payroll this offseason, Mills is the only one I really want to see re-signed to the team. The Aussie point guard has become an unlikely icon in the city of San Antonio and one of the spiritual leaders of the team.
His three-point percentage has dropped off gradually, but his overall scoring production has remained consistent. He has also added a layup package to his game, scoring at one of the highest volumes in the inside in his entire career this past season.
For being 32 years old, Mills has aged very well. He can’t be left open from deep, and he has remained an adequate facilitator. His defense is weak, but that’s one of the only glaring issues in his game, and the Spurs have dealt with it for a decade.
I reckon he still has two or three more productive years. When a team signs a 32-year-old bench player, it’s usually a sign they aren’t building for the future. Patty is the exception to this rule. I can very easily see him joining the Spurs coaching staff soon after his retirement.
Keeping him around and transitioning into a coaching role could be very important when the franchise and Gregg Popovich eventually go their separate ways. Becky Hammon is hopefully Popovich’s replacement, but with a support staff of Tim Duncan, Patty Mills, and Avery Johnson, the Spurs would continue to have the best coaching staff in the league for the foreseeable future.