There is an AP report doing the rounds which gives a little insight into Patty Mills’ unsurprising desire to return to the Portland Trail Blazers and the NBA. Most of the information is re-hashing what we already know, but here are the key parts:
“It would be good to get released, obviously that’s what I’m hoping for. We just don’t know,” Mills said Wednesday night after attending the Blazers’ game against the Orlando Magic.
If he is let go, it’s unlikely that Mills would return to Portland in the near future because the Blazers’ roster is full, including point guards Raymond Felton, Nolan Smith and Armon Johnson. Portland would have to cut someone to bring him back.
“I’d love to be back here. I don’t know the chances, but obviously I feel like I’m very close to the guys on the team here and obviously to the community,” Mills said. “To come back to a place like this, it definitely feels like home to me.”
Mills waved a towel again on Wednesday night when the Blazers rallied but ultimately fell to the Magic 107-104.
Portland center Marcus Camby shouted “Miss you!” to Mills across the locker room after the game.
A free agent, Mills said he plans to get healthy and obtain his clearance before entertaining offers from NBA teams.
Obviously Mills is in a tough situation right now. He is effectively hamstrung (pardon the pun) by the Chinese team’s reluctance to give him a letter of clearance. That holds him out of action until March. Obviously that will play havoc with his fitness and feel for the game as well.
In addition, the Blazers do have three point guards on the roster. However, Felton is the only one playing significant minutes, with Jamal Crawford playing taking on much of the backup point guard duties. Either way, that will make it hard for Mills to crack into the squad, unless injuries or trades strike.