Patty Mills is still a leader for the Spurs

Patty Mills returns to the NBA in 2019/20 for his 11th season in the league and his ninth with the San Antonio Spurs.

Last year he played a supporting role off the bench, starting just one game for the entire season. He still got his minutes though, averaging 23.3 per game and in that time scored just under 10 points per game.

Patty's contagious passion

Coach Gregg Popovich loves Patty Mills not just for his heart, hustle, and energy on the floor but what he brings off it. As has been clear in the offseason with the Boomers and his endeavours outside of basketball, Mills is a guy that brings a contagious passion to what he does.

That leadership obviously is crucial on the floor, especially at the point guard position. But on top of that, the Aussie is a shot creator who works just as hard off the ball as he does on it. Mills' effort in Andrej Lemanis' system at FIBA World Cup displayed his intensity away from the rock on offence. Although that style of play isn't utilised in the NBA at the level it is in international competition, we've seen previously Mills works brilliantly playing Spurs basketball.

Patty's place in the rotation

This is going to be an interesting season for Mills, with Dejounte Murray and Derrick White both seemingly in front of him on the depth chart for the point guard position.

Murray didn't play at all last season due to injury, however will likely fight with White for the starting position. What is in Mills' favour is his work off the ball that was mentioned earlier, along with the height of both Murray and White.

The Aussie should be able to play minutes in the shooting guard position because Murray and White have the ability to guard multiple positions on the defensive side of the ball.

Mills' role may slightly change from what we've seen in previous years, but we'll still be seeing plenty of him out on the floor due to the calibre of player he is.

Team outlook

The Spurs will once again be a playoff contender in the Western Conference. DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge are both back for another season, as is Rudy Gay.

Murray being back from injury is a big plus as his potential appears to be sky-high.

They add DeMarre Carroll who will provide a handy wing and shooting presence that should work well in Pop's system.

On paper, the Southwest Division looks to be the weakest in the West, with the Spurs playing alongside Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, and Dallas. San Antonio should finish top two, however the Pelicans and Mavericks could both easily make big jumps this coming season.

Expect the Spurs to be around that 50-win mark and tie up one of the lower seeds in the West.