Patty Mills has opted out of his deal with San Antonio, becoming a free agent. From Spurs Nation:

In a move long expected, and one that does not necessarily guarantee his departure from the Spurs, backup point guard Patrick Mills has declined a second-year option with the team.

Spurs officials acknowledge the contractual deadline for Mills to opt in to another season in San Antonio has passed, rendering the 23-year-old Australian a restricted free agent when the new league year begins Sunday.

Mills, who signed with the Spurs in March and was scheduled to earn a league-minimum $885,120 next season, will soon be free to solicit offer sheets from other teams.”

The motive is clear – to secure a bigger and longer contract – but once again it’s a risky move. In San Antiono he had the perfect situation; a great team, great organisation and a clear path to a permanent back-up job. Now he enters a free agent market that is overstocked with point guards.

These are some of the players available: Deron Williams, Jason Kidd, Andre Miller, Steve Nash, Goran Dragic, Ramon Sessions, Jeremy Lin, Aaron Brooks, Raymond Felton, Lou Williams, Kirk Hinrich, Keyon Dooling, John Lucas, Derek Fisher, Delonte West, D.J Augustin and Jonny Flynn. The depth of this group (the majority of which are back-up point guards) will no doubt suppress Mills’ value on the open market, but his strong play at the end of the season should ensure that he latches on somewhere, if not back with the Spurs. But I’d be surprised if he upgraded from his current minimum contract.

Stay tuned.

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