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Lakers, Nets, Warriors trying to steal Patty Mills from Spurs

Spurs, Patty Mills, Lakers, Nets

NBA reporter Marc Stein, from his Substack, is reporting that the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are pursuing San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills, who is currently playing for Team Australia in the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

NEW UPDATE (8:40 p.m. Eastern time on Monday):

The Golden State Warriors have reportedly joined the pursuit of Patty Mills:

More on the Lakers shortly. The rumor makes a lot of sense for the Nets, who watched Joe Harris miss lots of big 3-point shots in their seven-game playoff loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Brooklyn might think that Mills would be a better role player for a star-studded lineup featuring James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant.

The rumor is not as easy to piece together for the Lakers, who signed sharpshooter Wayne Ellington on Monday. It’s true that Patty Mills would handle the ball, in addition to providing bench scoring, but it’s still an open question if Mills would give the Lakers enough of a two-way presence.

Mills knows his way around the NBA, having entered the league in 2009 as a late-second-round pick of the Portland Trail Blazers. He latched onto the Spurs in 2012 and instantly became a great fit on the 2013 and 2014 teams which made the NBA Finals and nearly won back-to-back titles. Mills, as Lakers fans know, won it all in 2014 with the Spurs, who thrashed the Miami Heat in five games.

Mills will be coming off an Olympic tour of duty with the Australian “Boomers,” as they are called. He is 32 years old and will rarely be asked to play more than 25 minutes in playoff games. During the regular season, he could certainly play 25-30 minutes on nights when the Lakers or Nets — or now, the Warriors as well — need to engage in load management for their starters.

UPDATE:

Seeing where Patty Mills fits on the Nets’ roster is a little more clear-cut at this point. However, the fact that the Lakers just lost Alex Caruso to the Chicago Bulls might sharpen everyone’s understanding of why Mills would come to Los Angeles.

There is more to come on this story.