The Indiana Pacers will be looking to fill two major needs this offseason, and those two needs are the starting point guard position and better bench play. There is one player on the free agent market right now that fits either of those bills for the Pacers. Patty Mills is fresh off of helping the San Antonio Spurs win an NBA championship, and he will be looking to cash in on more playing time in free agency.
While the Pacers don’t have a ton of cap space to sign a free agent, Mills might just fall right into their price range. He was one of the key bench pieces for the Spurs this past season, but will now be looking to become an even more important piece with his next contract. All that being said, the Pacers will have to compete with many teams including the Spurs to sign him.
Mills has shown the ability to stay extremely consistent coming off of the bench with San Antonio, and that could still very well be a role that intrigues him in the future. Most players want to start, but players that have a style similar to Mills seem to fit very well coming off of the bench. He is extremely quick and has the ability to get hot from the three-point arc at any time.
He played in 81 games this past season with the Spurs, but started in just two of those appearances. In those 81 games, he averaged 10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. His 42.5% shooting from behind the three-point arc make him a very attractive option for a team like the Pacers, and he would give them a piece that they haven’t had in quite some time.
All of that being said, the Pacers will have to figure out a way to lure Mills to leave the Spurs. They could very well offer him a legitimate chance at the starting lineup if he is able to beat out George Hill, or they could trade George Hill and straight up promise the starting job to Mills. That seems to be a very unlikely option, but Larry Bird has made it clear that he is looking to make some moves this offseason.
Overall, the Pacers would be getting a very special player with the signing of Mills. Even if he was the Pacers’ sixth man, they would be getting a huge upgrade over what they had last season. Mills does have experience playing in the shooting guard spot with the Spurs, so he could play well alongside of C.J. Watson with the second team if that is how Frank Vogel decided to use him.