NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Phil Jackson doesn’t just value talent on his teams.
The Knicks’ president puts plenty of stock into leadership and a winning mentality.
That’s why, according to the New York Post, the ‘Bockers are interested in using their mini mid-level exception on soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Patty Mills.
The 25-year-old point guard is fresh off winning the NBA Finals with the Spurs. According to the newspaper, Mills is interested in playing on the big stage of Manhattan and having a larger role than he did this past season.
“New York is definitely a city Mills would want to play in,” a source told the New York Post. “He has that personality.”
The 6-foot-0, 185-pound speedster became a household name this past postseason. Backing up Tony Parker, the former second-round pick out of Saint Mary’s appeared in 23 playoff games, averaging 7.3 points in just 15.3 minutes.
He’s also been to the postseason four other times — 2012 and 2013 with San Antonio and 2010 and 2011 with Portland.
New York will look to trade incumbent starting point guard Raymond Felton this summer, according to the newspaper. In addition to having a down year this past season, the veteran has legal issues to sort out.
“He’s a special guy,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said in regard to Mills after the Spurs won the title. “His energy has been important to us all year long. He’s a real significant reason why we got to the Finals. That energy, that team sense that he has really has become infectious for everybody.”
In 81 games this season — 79 of which he came off the bench — Mills averaged 10.2 points, 1.8 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per game.
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