The Sixers are being linked with quite a few free agents this offseason, some making more sense than others, let’s take a look at one that is actually plausible.
According to reports from ESPN, San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills could be a target on the open market. With the ability to play both point and shooting guard, Mills could offer much-needed insurance for the Ben Simmons experiment running the point. If Simmons were to falter, Mills could step in in a pinch to run the point but since he isn’t a ball dominant guard, the two can coexist.
Adding in that Mills and Sixers head coach Brett Brown have a history together, this link could make quite a bit of sense. Mills spent two years under Brown when he was an assistant for the Spurs and they have also worked together on the Australian National team.
Mills enters this offseason as an unrestricted free agent after crashing out of the playoffs with the Spurs. The 28-year-old averaged 9.5 points, 3.5 assists, and 1.8 rebounds while playing 21.9 minutes per game.
Mills will likely command a deal similar to Evan Turner‘s four-year deal for 70 million dollars. This is a tough sell for a career sixth man but if the Sixers are penciling Mills into the starting lineup, it makes much more sense. The deal would run until his age 32 season, at which point the Sixers will either be paying their draft picks or allocating that cash to other free agents.
While there is some risk in a deal, Mills has come up in a professional system and could step in to make the Sixers a better team on both ends of the court. The team’s draft strategy would likely impact a deal with Mills as signing him means they likely won’t select someone like Dennis Smith Jr. or Malik Monk.
If Josh Jackson ends up being the Sixers’ pick, look for guard rumors to heat up but for now, file this one under plausible. The Sixers could do much worse in free agency than Patty Mills.