Patrick Mills has signed a contract with the San Antonio Spurs and could join the team within a week, pending the resolution of work visa issues.
“We had previously noted that Mills’ delay was a result of government work visa issues, so this should have been expected” said agent Aaron Goodwin.
Mills, 23, an Australian national who could be in line for immediate minutes backing up Tony Parker, is eager to resume his NBA career.
The former Portland Trail Blazer who last played in China during the NBA lockout, averaged 5.1 points and 1.5 assists in limited minutes during his first two NBA seasons in Portland. He is also a member of the Australian national basketball team coached by Spurs assistant Brett Brown.
Viewed league-wide as somewhat of an undersized combo guard, the 6-foot Mills would nevertheless be a welcome addition in San Antonio, where the Spurs are thin at the point guard spot since T.J. Ford suffered a career-ending neck injury earlier this month.
The Spurs’ point-guard needs increased in Wednesday’s win over Minnesota, when Parker left before halftime with a tight hamstring.
Mills’ deal with the Spurs, believed to be good for two years, is contingent on him clearing all legal hurdles. Mills is already listed on the Spurs roster, but cannot participate in team activities until his visa issue is settled.
“Hopefully it can be expedited,” Goodwin said. “It shouldn’t be longer than a week.”
Getting Mills should be a welcome change for Parker, who have logged a lot of minutes since Ford’s retirement.
While Gary Neal and Manu Ginobili did a decent job to spell Parker, having another natural point guard to bring up the ball and set up some plays while Tony is resting could give the Spurs some edge in the post season.