Home » Patty Mills to sign with Miami Heat… but key Olympics question remains despite new home

Patty Mills to sign with Miami Heat… but key Olympics question remains despite new home

Patty Mills has a new NBA team.

Mills, who was waived last week by the Atlanta Hawks before the NBA’s March 1 buyout deadline, is set to join the Miami Heat for the remainder of the season.

The news was first reported by ESPN and later verified by The Miami Herald, with Mills adding more guard depth to the Heat’s roster ahead of the post-season.

Watch an average of 9 NBA Regular Season games per week LIVE on ESPN, available via Kayo. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial Today >

At the start of the season Mills may have actually been looking at consistent playing time with a Miami team that didn’t have much guard depth but that is no longer the case, meaning minutes are still going to be hard to come by.

Mills joins Terry Rozier, who Miami traded Kyle Lowry and a lottery-protected first-round pick for, and Delon Wright, who the Heat added on the buyout market, in the guard rotation.

That is, of course, along with starters Tyler Herro and Josh Richardson, although both are currently injured which factors into the decision to add Mills.

The signing of Mills gives the Heat a back-up option at guard with Richardson to miss his eighth straight game on Wednesday with a dislocated right shoulder.

Getting playing time ahead of the Olympics will be key for Mills. (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Miami’s other starting guard, Herro, will be sidelined for his fifth game in a row on Wednesday with a right foot injury.

Elsewhere, the Australian’s arrival will see guard Dru Smith, who tore his ACL in November, cut by Miami to free up a roster spot.

Mills had played just 19 of 58 games for Atlanta before being waived and even when he saw time on the court it wasn’t much, prompting concerns the veteran guard could be underdone as he prepares to lead the Boomers at the Paris Olympics later this year.

Australian basketball great Chris Anstey, for example, had suggested a stint in Europe may be the best next move for Mills in the wake of news of his departure from Atlanta.

“This could be a really interesting few months for Patty Mills,” Anstey said on social media platform X.

“Taking a high level, high opportunity European contract to finish the European season could be the best preparation for his final Olympic Games.”

Instead, Mills offers Miami a dependable depth option to call on in the post-season if needed as the Heat look to replicate last year’s run to the NBA Finals.

Miami currently sits seventh in the Eastern Conference, just 1.5 games back from the No. 4 seed Knicks, who are dealing with a mounting injury toll.

Hawks coach Quin Snyder was full of praise for Mills when asked about the decision to part ways with him last week, adding it had been “an absolute pleasure having the chance to coach him”.

“He’s someone you’re glad your paths crossed,” Snyder said.

“I’ve been a fan of his from afar, a fan of the Boomers because of Joe Ingles, and I’ve followed him for a long time.

“Patty’s the type of professional that you point to for how you handle everything across the board — the good times, the bad times, the successes, the failures.”

“We’re grateful that we had a chance to have him here for a short time and we wish him all the best.”

Suns superstar and Team USA rival Kevin Durant, meanwhile, was asked about his former teammate at the NBA’s All-Star Media Day last month and described Mills as a “flat out legend”.

“He’s been a constant for that program since I’ve been in the league and they play with such a toughness and you know that comes from their best player, which is Patty,” Durant said.

“And then I had an opportunity to play with Patty for two years at Brooklyn. I see why he’s become such a legend over there.

“He’s so passionate about where he’s from, he’s so passionate about just the culture itself and basketball and he’s an extremely hard worker whose journey should be spoken about with some of the best.”