Warriors and Lakers Battle For Tokyo Olympics Hero Patty Mills in NBA Free Agency: Reports

Published 08/03/2021, 11:48 AM EDT
May 25, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with teammates against the Phoenix Suns during the first half in game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Following a remarkable show out at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Spurs guard Patty Mills will be hunting for a payday. Mills entered free agency following a recent contract which saw him net 48 million $ over 4 years with San Antonio. With NBA free agency kicking in yesterday, how likely is it that Mills remains on the market any longer? Certainly not too long, given the Lakers’ reported interest in the former champion.

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In fact, with multiple teams aiming to add depth for supporting their superstars, the Mills stock is surging. The former Spur will be a formidable fit for teams like the Lakers and Warriors, especially with the focus of the modern era all around shooting from beyond the arc.

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While Patty Mills is no longer a 40% shooter from 3, his ability to knock down key shots as seen in the Play-in game is vital for teams like L.A. Mills last season averaged 8.9 points a game, while shooting at 42.3% from the field, and 37.5% from 3.

And while the argument over his consistency from deep over the last few years is valid, that’s not all he brings to the table. Mills is also arguably an above average defender with a defensive rating over 109.3.

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Lakers and Warriors in close contention

With a 56.4% true shooting %, one can only imagine how formidable he becomes when players like LeBron James or Draymond Green drive and kick for an open shot. The Lakers have been after a shooter for quite a while now, with Wesley Matthews and Danny Green disappointing to say the least.

Apr 7, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) shoots the ball past Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the first quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Considering they also lost KCP who was their best shooter in the Westbrook trade, this team without high % shooters is headed for disaster. Having already signed Wayne Ellington and Kent Bazemore as their other 2 high volume guards, could Mills find himself a new home in Hollywood?

One major bullet in L.A’s chamber following Day 1 remains the tax payer mid-level exception. If this plays out to the point of who wants him more, is the front office willing to offer Mills the 6-million $?

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Coincidentally, Golden State can make Mills the same offer! They too being deep into luxury tax, have the 5.9-million TP-MLE available. However, Golden State just signed forward Otto Porter Jr. for a vet minimum deal. Could this be a move to further a contender’s roster depth already featuring Steph Curry, a returning Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and James Wiseman?

The chase is on

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With the Brooklyn Nets with talent they possess are reportedly backing off from the Mills race, league insiders expect this off-the-court matchup between L.A. and Golden State go on for a while. Which Californian destination will the Aussie veteran choose?

Watch this story – Lakers Legends Who Changed Their Jerseys Multiple Times

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Nikhil Naik

170 articles

Nikhil Naik is an NBA writer at EssentialySports. Having completed his bachelor's degree in Hospitality, he has worked with the Indian Hotels Company Limited, at the Taj in Mumbai. Nikhil has been playing basketball since 2014.

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