NBA: Patty Mills to sign with Heat for remainder of season

NBA: Patty Mills to sign with Heat for remainder of season

/ 12:31 PM March 06, 2024

Patty Mills Miami Heat NBA

FILE -Atlanta Hawks guard Patty Mills (8) plays against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

MIAMI — Veteran point guard Patty Mills has agreed to sign with the Miami Heat for the remainder of the season, a person with knowledge of the deal said Tuesday.

The Heat will waive injured guard Dru Smith to make room for Mills on the roster, according to the person.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced the moves.

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READ: Nets’ Patty Mills declines player option for 2022-23 NBA season

Mills played in 19 games with Atlanta off the bench this season before getting waived on Feb. 29, in time to preserve his postseason eligibility with another team. The Heat will become the fifth NBA team that Mills has played for, along with San Antonio, Portland, Brooklyn and the Hawks.

His acquisition is part of a series of changes at guard by Miami in recent weeks. The Heat traded Kyle Lowry to Charlotte for Terry Rozier; Lowry ended up in Philadelphia after a buyout. The Heat also added Delon Wright last month, in part because Josh Richardson has a dislocated shoulder and will have season-ending surgery on Wednesday.

Mills was part of the Spurs teams that played Miami in the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals — the Heat won the first matchup in seven games, the Spurs won the next season in five games.

READ: Jimmy Butler takes over late, Heat fend off Pistons

Mills has appeared in 95 playoff games, more than anyone else on the current Heat roster other than Jimmy Butler — who has played in 119. Kevin Love has appeared in 83 games, Bam Adebayo in 69.

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Mills has averaged 8.9 points in his career and is a 39% shooter from 3-point range.

He is a longtime standout for Australia’s national team and a four-time Olympian who helped lead the Boomers to a bronze medal at the Tokyo Games three years ago — the team’s best showing ever in an Olympic or World Cup tournament.

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Mills scored 42 points in that bronze-medal-clinching win over Slovenia in Japan, plus had the honor of being one of Australia’s flagbearers for the opening ceremony at that Olympics. That made Mills the first Indigenous Australian to serve as a flagbearer at any Olympics.

He also donated more than $1 million to various anti-racism causes in 2020; that figure was the full amount of the salary he earned by joining the Spurs in the NBA’s restart bubble at Walt Disney World to finish that season’s pandemic-shortened schedule.

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