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Patty Mills Rumors: Lakers, Nets, Warriors Eyeing Spurs' FA Guard

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 3, 2021

San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in San Antonio, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP Photo/Eric Gay

The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets both figure to be on the short list of realistic championship contenders in 2021-22, and they are reportedly interested in adding a playoff-tested veteran guard in free agency.

According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, the Lakers and Nets "are both in pursuit" of Patty Mills.

They apparently aren't the only ones, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported the Golden State Warriors are also interested in Mills.

Mills has been in the NBA since the Portland Trail Blazers selected him with a second-round pick in the 2009 NBA draft. He played his first two seasons in Portland and was with the San Antonio Spurs during the past 10 campaigns.

The Saint Mary's product is 32 years old and remained productive in 2020-21 by averaging 10.8 points and 2.4 assists across 68 games. He also shot a solid 37.5 percent from deep, which helped him average double-figure scoring totals for the second consecutive season and the fifth time in his career.

Mills also has 90 playoff games on his resume, which is surely notable for the Lakers and Nets.

Perhaps the most notable moment of his NBA career came during the 2014 NBA Finals when he made a combined nine three-pointers in Games 4 and 5 of San Antonio's victory over the Miami Heat. His five triples in Game 5, which was the closeout contest, helped the Spurs build an insurmountable lead on the way to the title.

Shooting like that would play nicely in Los Angeles alongside LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis. The same could be said for Brooklyn if he played with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, or if he played next to Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in Golden State.

Playing with stars like that leads to plenty of open looks for outside shooters, which is something Mills took advantage of at times in San Antonio as teammates with Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and others.

He wouldn't be expected to do more than provide a spark off the bench for any of the three squads and has proved in recent years he can do just that.