Former NBA Champion guard an option for Boston Celtics within buyout market

A roster spot on the league's best team is still vacant. After a decision by an Eastern Conference foe yesterday, another name can be added to the list of players who may fill it.

Atlanta Hawks v Philadelphia 76ers
Atlanta Hawks v Philadelphia 76ers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

After contributing in 19 games for the inconsistent Atlanta Hawks this season, Australian basketball icon Patty Mills is on the market. The 35-year-old has been dealt three times since July 2023, finishing his tenure in the Peach State as an efficient 38.2% three-point shooter in a very limited role. The Athletic's Shams Charania announced that the current No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference waived Mills yesterday morning. Atlanta later confirmed it via social media.

The question then becomes, could Boston snatch up a player who once helped define the winning culture under Gregg Popovich? With the kind of qualities he possesses as an experienced international and NBA champion, it seems to make a bit of sense. The Cs were linked with the guard in 2021 before the Brooklyn Nets earned his signature. Brad Stevens couldn't lock down his services the first time.

Here is his second chance.

His connection with Derrick White could very well help make it happen. The two donned the silver and black in Texas together from 2017-2021. Mills was 29 when the Colorado product came into the league. In an interview back in 2020, White had high praise for one of the faces of Australian basketball.

“On the court, off the court, just who (Patty) is as a person is incredible,” said the now Boston standout. “I’ve had a lot of respect for him since my rookie year. How he welcomed me to the team, always lends out a hand in trying to help me."

There are calls for him to return to San Antonio, where he made a name for himself, but if he is still ring chasing, what better place to be than New England? He'll add depth to the point guard position, most likely serving as more of a vocal locker room-type presence like Blake Griffin last year. The only difference: the ex-Slam Dunk champion never reached the league's pinnacle.

Who knows how many times Joe Mazzulla will call on this person who secures this spot, but Mills knows how to fill a role off the bench. He has made of living of it his entire career. Don't forget back in 2014, the 2022 NBA Sportsmanship Award shot over 40% from beyond the arc in 23 playoff games including back-to-back 14-plus point displays to close out the NBA Finals.

Patty Mills' postseason experience and obvious leadership qualities make him fit for Boston Celtics' final roster spot

Over the last week, individuals within the league such as Kevin Durant have spoken out about the kind of guy he is not just on the floor, but off of it. Head coach Quin Synder expressed how grateful he was he was to work with the 2014 NBA Champion.

"It has been an absolute pleasure having the chance to coach him," Atlanta's sideline leader stated, "He is the type of professional you point to, how you handle everything across the board in good times and bad times."

It's quite evident around the league and in society as a whole, Mills has had an unprecedented impact. You'll be hard-pressed to find someone out there with a negative opinion of the guy. He's just a straight-up top-class human being. Mills hasn't played much at all since he left the disaster that is the Nets. Is he willing to make sacrifices in his playing time ahead of the Paris Olympics to have a run at another chip? That's up to him to decide.

The fit in Beantown is there. You can never have another veteran leadership. In those trying times fighting for the league's crown, you need it. Boston added an ex-NBA champion via trade in the offseason. Why not acquire another with less than two months until the postseason?