Spurs officially sign Kyle Anderson, re-sign Patty Mills
[UPDATE: Spurs GM R.C. Buford on re-signing Patty Mills: "He was a big part of our chemistry and culture as well as his play. The opportunity to keep Patty in a Spurs for the next three years is big for all of us."]
While the Pau Gasol-to-the-Spurs rumors appear to be dying down—although how the complex deal taking him to the Chicago Bulls gets done remains to be seen—San Antonio announced on Saturday morning that it had officially re-signed Patty Mills and inked first round pick Kyle Anderson to a rookie deal.
The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have re-signed guard Patty Mills. Per club policy details of the contract were not announced.
Last season Mills appeared in a team-high 81 games and averaged 10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in a career-high 18.9 minutes while shooting .464 (309-666) from the field and .425 (135-318) from beyond the arc. He ranked seventh in the league in three-point percentage and connected on a team-high 135 three-pointers for the season. In the 2014 Finals Mills averaged 10.2 points while shooting .543 (19-35) from the field and .565 (13-23) from beyond the arc.
Mills was part of San Antonio’s bench in 2013-14 that averaged an NBA-best 45.1 points per game, marking the Silver and Black’s highest bench average in franchise history. The guard scored in double-figures 37 times and had eight games where he scored 20 points-or-more.
Reports pin the Spurs’ contract with Mills in the neighborhood of $12 million over three years, which is such a fair contract that it’s unfair. Role players around the league are cashing in big this offseason ($16 million over three years for Darren Collison?) and yet R.C. Buford and Co. continue to manage the cap beautifully.
Mills will be out for several months following rotator cuff surgery, but that won’t matter much. Cory Joseph, who quite possibly could be coming into training camp entering a contract year, provides depth behind Tony Parker at the point guard position. And Mills is just 25 years old. It seems like he’s been around forever since he burst onto the scene at Saint Mary’s, but this deal is about his future with the Spurs as much as it is about this coming season.
Meanwhile, Anderson is officially a Spur for the next few seasons as well.
Anderson, 6-9/230, recently completed his sophomore season out of UCLA. In 36 games he averaged 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.78 steals in 33.2 minutes while shooting .480 (153-319) from the field and .483 (28-58) from three-point range. The forward became the first player in Pac-12 conference history to record 200 rebounds and 200 assists in the same season and the first player at UCLA since 1973-74 to average 10-plus points, 5-plus rebounds and 5-plus assists (Bill Walton). Following his sophomore campaign, he was voted to the All-Pac 12 First Team and was a Third Team AP All-America selection.
Over the course of his career he appeared in 71 games, averaging 12.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.77 steals in 31.6 minutes. Anderson helped lead UCLA to the Pac-12 regular season title in 2013 and to the Pac-12 Tournament title in 2014 where he was named the Most Outstanding Player.
Anderson is currently on the Spurs Las Vegas Summer League roster and finished with 6 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds in 26 minutes in his first game.
A wholly unique player, Anderson performed well in his first Las Vegas Summer League action, but it’s hard not to imagine that Anderson won’t spend the majority of his rookie year in the D-League like the aforementioned Joseph did.
By signing Anderson and Mills, and with Boris Diaw’s new deal likely coming soon, roster slots are evaporating quickly with 48MoH favorite Matt Bonner still a free agent and the Pau Gasol rumors persisting. The core of the 2014-15 San Antonio Spurs has been locked into place for some time, but what happens on the fringes of the roster will be interesting to watch.