PATRICK Mills and Joe Ingles, if you’re reading this, congratulations.
The two Boomers veterans are about to become richer than they ever imagined if these predictions by Bleacher Report’s national NBA writer Dan Favale are on the money.
San Antonio Spurs guard Mills and Utah Jazz small forward Ingles are both free agents this off-season and, at a time when riches in the NBA have never been higher, they’re set to cash in.
But it’s unlikely even Mills and Ingles will be expecting the type of offers Favale thinks could be heading their way: $93 million over four years for the Spurs dynamo and $90 million over the same period for the Jazz swingman (figures converted to AUD).
That’s the type of dough that would immediately vault the duo to the top of the list of Australia’s highest-earning athletes and be an incredible reward for a lifetime of dedication to their craft.
It sounds hefty for two men who play support roles on their teams but Favale used some interesting statistics to explain just how valuable the pair are.
His breakdown revealed the Spurs offensive output is similar to the all-conquering Golden State Warriors when Mills is the primary ball-handler while there’s only three other players in the NBA (Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Manu Ginobili) who average the number of three-pointers, steals and assists per 100 possessions Ingles does.
“(Ingles) only has three full NBA seasons under his belt, and his contributions aren’t predicated on remarkable explosion or quickness. He is calculated and incisive, with the capacity to swap roles on a rim. He defends 2s and 3s while switching on to point guards and power forwards without issue,” Favale wrote.
“He’ll rain triples off the catch all night, with the mere threat of his 44.1 per cent conversion rate from deep acting as a gravitational pull, but he’s also comfortable generating offence as the quarterback.”
“Stints with the second unit and during garbage time inflate this output, but the argument against Mills is shrinking by the word,” added Favale, on Mills production. “Only four other players closed 2016-17 clearing 20 points and eight assists per 100 possessions while matching Mills’ effective field-goal percentage (55.7): Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic and Kyle Lowry.”
The final deals Mills and Ingles sign will depend on a range of factors: what their free agent teammates do; whether they’re willing to accept less money to stay on teams that both made it past the first round of the playoffs and just exactly how much lottery teams believe they’re worth.
But what’s clear is they’re going to be set for life — and that’s amazing news for two of the real good guys of Aussie basketball.
CAVS COACH: CELTICS HARDER TO DEFEND THAN WARRIORS
The Cleveland Cavaliers are one win away from their third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals and another rematch with the Golden State Warriors.
Many believe it will be the ultimate test for these two star-studded teams, but when it comes to Xs and Os, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue thinks the Boston Celtics pose a greater strategic challenge than even the Warriors.
Lue told reporters that since the Celtics lost All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas to a season-ending hip injury in Game Two, Boston has become almost impossible to scheme against.
“The stuff they’re running, it’s harder to defend than Golden State’s (offence) for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it’s a totally different thing,” Lue said, via Cleveland.com.
“Like, they hit the post; Golden State runs splits and all that stuff but these guys are running all kinds of (stuff). And Brad (Stevens)’s got them moving and cutting and playing with pace and everybody is a threat.”
The Celtics definitely have been more competitive since Thomas’ injury, winning Game Three and keeping it close for the majority of Game Four. Cleveland can close out the series Friday, but Lue said he’s not looking past the Celtics despite having a 3-1 cushion.
“You can’t,” Lue said. “As much as you want to, it’s not over. Like I told you guys before, it’s like we’re preparing for a whole new team. Like, we didn’t know what they were going to run. Isaiah goes down and they’re running a totally different offence than we prepared for so, it’s been tough on us. And defensively, they’re a lot better. They don’t have a lot of weak links to go to, to go at.”