Patty Mills signs for Melbourne Tigers

Melbourne Tigers will on Monday confirm one of the NBL’s greatest recruiting coups with the signing of Boomers guard Patty Mills.

Coming off two seasons with Portland Trailblazers, free agent Mills is available to the Tigers because of the lockout that could cancel the NBA season.

While Mills has an offer on the table from Portland and will probably return to the NBA if the lockout ends, the Tigers are keen to cash in on the availability of the lightning fast guard.

No official comment was available from the Tigers on Sunday, but they have scheduled a media conference for a significant announcement on Monday morning.

It is believed the deal has been in the works for some time.

While Mills has been subject to European offers, Basketball Australia declared it would help NBL clubs sign Mills.

The Tigers had their 10-man roster set, so they may need to reshuffle personnel to allow Mills to meet the salary cap and player points limits.

One of the few indigenous Australians to have played in the NBA and for the Boomers at an Olympics, Mills will give the Tigers an edge on and off the court.

With his speed and scoring ability, Mills may be unguardable for some defenders, while his appeal is sure to increase crowds.

Melbourne fans will have their first look at Mills on September 7 when he leads the Boomers in Game One of the Olympic qualifying series against New Zealand at The Cage.

The NBL season starts on October 7.

by Buford Balony

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