Home » Patty Mills given NBA lifeline five days after axing

Patty Mills given NBA lifeline five days after axing

Patty Mills’ move to title-hunters Miami has smoothed his path to Paris, the four-time Olympic great poised for an immediate Heat impact after enduring the quietest of his 15 NBA seasons.

ESPN reported on Tuesday that the 35-year-old Boomers mainstay would be going to Florida after being released by the Atlanta Hawks five days earlier.

He will play under coach Erik Spoelstra and star forward Jimmy Butler, who led the Heat into the finals last season, where they lost to the Denver Nuggets.

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Mills struggled to see court time at the Hawks behind back-court pair Dejounte Murray and Trae Young, averaging 2.7 points, 1.1 rebounds and 10.6 minutes in 19 games off the bench this season.

It’s his lowest output since his rookie year with Portland in 2009-10 and comes after a whirlwind off-season that saw him traded from Brooklyn to Houston, then Oklahoma City, before finally landing at the Hawks.

Patty Mills has been signed by Miami Heat for the rest of the NBA season. Credit: AP

Mills has managed to shoot 37.3 per cent from the floor and 38.2 per cent from three-point range when given his chance.

Those are important figures for the Tokyo bronze medal hero, considering his role in Paris as part of a new-look Australian core led by Josh Giddey could be more as a spot-up shooter than ball-handler.

It’s a decade since Mills won the 2013-14 NBA championship with the Spurs, the Tokyo flag-bearer boasting 879 career games with Portland, San Antonio, Brooklyn and the Hawks.

But signing with the Florida franchise will represent another opportunity for the veteran to play his part in a post-season push with the Heat, who are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference.

Mills will battle with Terry Rozier and Delon Wright for immediate minutes, given both of the Heat’s starting guards – Tyler Herro and Josh Richardson – are currently injured.

Last year’s finalists have an 8-2 win-loss record in their past 10 games and are only 1.5 games back from the No.4 seeds, the injury-hit New York Knicks.