Aussies in NBA: Could this be Patty Mills' biggest season yet?
The NBA preseason is coming to a close, with the first games of season 2016/17 kicking off on Wednesday.
The San Antonio Spurs have had one of there biggest roster changes in recent memory, with all-time great Tim Duncan hanging up the 'kicks'. The front office instantly replaced him by signing Spanish legend Pau Gasol.
With these changes during the offseason, Patty Mills has cemented his place as a leader in the team. Entering his 8th year in the league Mills can be classed as a 'vet'.
The Aussie had a quite preseason, considering the bigger role he is expected to play in 2016/17. He featured in just 4 games and averaged 14 minutes. Across the games he played he scored 6.5PPG, but he did shoot the ball at an impressive 60% from beyond the arc.
His best performance came against Orlando, going for 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 3/5 from downtown. Mills didn't feature in every Spurs preseason games, being rested twice.
The St.Mary's alumnus is expected to have an increased role due to the reduced output of Tony Parker. Last year the French star had his lowest average points per game (11.9) since his rookie year.
Parker, 34, is coming to the end of his career. However whether Coach Popovich will be ready to sit his long time starting point guard for extended periods of time, is still up in the air.
The only potential thing stopping the Australian having the biggest year of his career is Spurs rookie, Dejounte Murray. The guard has been touted by many as the steal of the draft. If he can have an impact straight away he could hurt Mills' court time.
It has been a long offseason, but it is finally time for NBA season 2016/17. It might have been a quiet build up, but don't sleep on Patty Mills.