Brooklyn Nets veteran guard Patty Mills declined his $6.2 million player option for the 2022-23 season on Wednesday and will become a free agent, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Mills hasn't ruled out a return to Brooklyn, though:
The 33-year-old was a key rotation player for the Nets in his first year with the franchise. In 81 games with a career-high 48 starts, he averaged 11.4 points and 2.3 assists while shooting 40.8 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three-point range. He attempted an average of seven three-pointers per game, the most in his career.
A 13-year veteran out of St. Mary's, Mills has been a reliable sharpshooter since he entered the NBA in 2009. The Australian has a career three-point percentage of 38.9.
Despite having a veteran-laden roster led by star players Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets finished seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 44-38 record. Brooklyn won its play-in tournament game to advance to the postseason, but it was swept in four games by the Boston Celtics in the first round.
It was a tumultuous season for the Nets. Irving was away from the team for much of the year while he refused to comply with the vaccine mandates in New York City, and a COVID-19 outbreak ravaged the team less than midway through the season.
Durant missed a large part of the year after suffering a sprained MCL in January. Brooklyn completed a blockbuster trade that sent James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire Ben Simmons, but he didn't play at all this season because of a combination of physical and mental health issues.
Through it all, Mills was one of Brooklyn's most consistent players. If he chooses not to return, the Nets would lose a veteran who could help them get back to their status as title contenders.