Celtics Rumors: Spurs PG Patty Mills Among Boston's '7 or 8' Targets in Free Agency

Blake SchusterContributor IJuly 31, 2021

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 25: Patty Mills #5 of Australia during the Australia V Nigeria basketball preliminary round match at the Saitama Super Arena at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Newly promoted President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens will target point guard Patty Mills in free agency, according to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald.

Mark Murphy @Murf56

Hearing that the Celtics have a list of "seven or eight" free agent targets, including Spurs point guard Patty Mills. ... Discussions between team and Evan Fournier are ongoing, but not close to resolution.

As Murphy noted, Mills is one of "seven or eight" free agents the team plans to pursue when clubs can begin negotiating on Aug. 2. The 32-year-old from Australia is coming off a four-year, $48 million deal with the San Antonio Spurs—the only franchise he's known since spending his first two seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers (2009-11).

In 68 games off the bench last season, Mills averaged 10.8 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

The makeover of the Celtics roster has already begun following the team's first-round loss to the Brooklyn Nets in June. 

Boston acquired guard Kris Dunn as part of a three-team trade with the Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings that sent Tristan Thompson to the Western Conference before adding Josh Richardson from the Dallas Mavericks not long after. 

This came on the heels of the team's selection of guard Juhann Begarin out of France with the No. 45 overall pick in Thursday's draft. 

Before the draft, Shams Charania of Stadium reported Boston is interested in New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, who is set to become a restricted free agent. 

Stadium @Stadium

Chicago, Boston and Toronto are expected to show interest in RFA point guard Lonzo Ball, per our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBA</a> Insider <a href="https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ShamsCharania</a>, presented by <a href="https://twitter.com/ATT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ATT</a> 5G. <a href="https://t.co/qlN2L7Ey3w">pic.twitter.com/qlN2L7Ey3w</a>

As free agency approaches in Stevens' first offseason in charge, his best bet to widen the club's championship window may rest with the handful of players on the front office's wishlist. 

Mills has never started more than 36 games in a season and would likely be looking at a similar role off the bench should the Celtics convince him to sign. For his career, the veteran has averaged 19.8 minutes per night and could provide Boston with solid depth behind Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Payton Pritchard.