Apologies for not posting up this news sooner (I’ve been off the grid the past day), but this is absolutely huge. The Portland Trailblazers have signed our beloved Patty Mills. After months of wondering what might happen to Patty after his tragic injury, the thought of him playing in Europe, of not getting to see him in a Blazers jersey this season… well, we can put it all behind us now. Patty will be a Trailblazer this season. The details of the contract are yet to be revealed, but we will be following this one closely over the next few days. For now, head over to Blazers Edge for a few links and all the reactions.
Only other thing I’d like to say is a big thank you to the Portland Trailblazers organisation. Thank you. You just put a big smile on the face of every NBA fan living in this country (and probably guaranteed about 50,000 jersey sales Downunder).
Congrats Patty. You’ve made us proud. Now go kick some butt!!
UPDATE 18/10: It appears I may have been a little premature with my excitement (thanks to Chucko for pointing this out). This is a direct quote from one of the posters at Blazers Edge:
This may appear like we signed Mills to keep him, but actually this is Mills signing to become a free agent. The Blazers had to give Mills a Required Tender, which is just a one year offer, or he would have automatically become a free agent. The Blazers didn’t want him to sign that offer. They wanted him to leave it unsigned and go sign with another team in Europe or elsewhere. That way they would have retained his rights, as they do Freeland, Claver, etc.
Instead, Mills signed the offer. So now the Blazers either have to keep him as the 15th player, or they have to waive him by Oct 27 and then he becomes an unrestricted free agent. I doubt they will keep him as the 15th player, so the Blazers will no longer have exclusive rights to him.
The Blazers also can not trade him for 30 days because he is now a signed draft rookie
I certainly hope this isn’t the case. Guess we will have to wait and see. What are the odds of another team signing an unrestricted free agent rookie at the start of the season? Quite low, you’d think.
UPDATE 20/10: Another take on Patty’s contract signing. It’s going to be fascinating to see how this plays out.
UPDATE 23/10: Looks like Patty might be safe after all. The Oregon Live blog reported earlier today that the Blazers were set to waive Ime Udoka and Jarron Collins, and this seems to have been confirmed based on the recent response from Udoka himself. I feel sorry for the guy, but he is a decent role player in my opinion, and I’m sure he’ll find another NBA home. As for Patty, it’s obviously fantastic news and great to know that the Blazers have shown some confidence in him. I now await the many Australian news reports – such as this one – talking up Patty’s “lucrative” contract.