At the 2012 Olympic Games, San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills showed the type of offensive firepower he can bring to the Spurs next season. At London, he averaged 21.2 points (most among players at London), nailed a game-winning shot versus Russia, and showcased an all-around game which could prove beneficial for San Antonio next season.
But after an excellent run in London, one could see Mills expect much more time off the bench but that would be far from the truth. Mills is exercising great patience and isn't expecting more minutes on the court for the Spurs.
"I'm not getting too greedy about minutes just yet, just go with the flow, pick up things as you go and I think everything else will fall into place."
Though Mills may be showing great patience as far as increased minutes next season, Spurs assistant coach and head coach for Team Australia, Brett Brown, has stated he expects Patty to have an increased role for the Spurs next season after his performance in London. So it wouldn't be a surprise if Mills hears his name being called by coach Gregg Popovich with more frequency to give Tony Parker a breather during the upcoming season.
And speaking if backing up Parker, Mills has embraced the role and is seeing his role as a learning experience to further develop his game.
"I see myself getting a lot better just from learning from him, so that in itself gets me excited," Mills said.
San Antonio's roster is stacked with guards which includes names such as Gary Neal, Cory Joseph, Nando De Colo, Parker and Mills. With Parker the obvious starting point guard, Mills is the logical player to back him up. Joseph is still raw, De Colo is unproven in the NBA and Neal is more of a shooting guard.
With that being said, Mills may not be saying he expects more time on the court, but it is only reasonable he should get more minutes to show the Spurs and the NBA that his performance in London was no fluke.
I don't think that Mills is going to have to be greedy with his minutes. I think he's going to get playing time this season, maybe starting slowly at first but more as the season goes on. He is a good PG, but the one thing I kind of remember with the 2 games before the playoffs he took over for TP was that he had the ball in his hands most of the time. If he makes a conscious effort to work on his distribution and get everyone involved then he will be a great backup for TP. He has speed and can score, but I haven't seen enough distribution from him (We really haven't seen much of him period). Ever since TJ Ford retired we have a backup PG hole to fill, so he should get minutes (I don't think Neal is our best option for back to TP).
Since we just brought De Colo over from France and Cory has shown significant development in the off-season, is it safe to say Neal is on the trading block? Could he and DeJuan be packaged for some deal (big man perhaps)?
@CraigThomas There's already a rumor going around that Neal and Blair (and possibly bonner) could get traded, and Spurs getting Patrick Patterson from Rox. Houston HAS to do something to lighten their PF load, and the rumor says they like Neal (and Blair likely to 3rd team) Also says that deal can't happen until Aug 27 because a certain rocket in the deal can't be traded before then. (possibly Shaun Livingston or one of their recent draftees) Lots of moving parts here if it's true, so who knows if it happens..but Spurs liked P Patterson since draft I heard.
@CraigThomas Honestly, I won't be surprised at a trade including anyone besides Duncan (and maybe Kawhi), I think everyone else is touchable, but the return would have to be of equal or greater value...