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Patty hits the road, but why?

Daniel Eade

Daniel Eade

Written on Monday, 21 November 2011 10:55

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When Patty Mills signed with the Melbourne Tigers he vowed, "As a Tiger, I'm here until the end," but for Mills and the Tigers the end was not due to the NBA lockout stopping, but with a huge pay day, worth in excess $1million, to sign with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Mills quits the Tigers and leaves them on top of the NBL standings with a 6-3 clip.

While some have criticized Mills for shooting the ball too much during his time with the Tigers, which is quite absurd, he proved that his skills made him one of the most attractive drawcards in the NBL during his short stint.

To add Mills to the roster at the beginning of the season the Tigers let go of 10-year veteran Daryl Corletto, who then joined the New Zealand Breakers, cutting ties with a huge fan favourite for nine games from Mills.

What was left out of the Melbourne Tigers press release, in regards to Mills' departure, was if any buyout was orchestrated between the two parties, Xinjiang Flying Tigers and the Melbourne Tigers, and if so how much money was exchanged?

It seems odd that Xinjiang, who are currently attempting to buyout the contract of Bo McCalleb from Siena (Italy), would not offer the Melbourne Tigers some sort of compensation for Mills.

But another question is, if the Melbourne Tigers did not receive any money in releasing Mills to Xinjiang, why not? When if they ‘d have played a little hard ball they could've received adequate compensation.

Compensation potentially worth between $200,000 - $500,000 if the Tigers were able to draw parallels between Mills and ticket sales/sponsorship/merchandise etc.

Xinjiang are not shy when it comes to splashing money around, and they have the biggest budget in the Chinese Basketball Association to prove it, Xinjiang signed NBA free-agent Kenyon Martin to the most lucrative contract in CBA history to entice him to play and have also made offers to Jamal Crawford and JJ Barea in recent days, so there would have been nothing wrong with the Tigers agreeing to release Mills from his contract, but only if the price was right.

With Mills signing in China he has almost certainly lost his chance to return to the NBA, if the lockout ends, with the CBA having a rule that doesn't allow players to be released from their contracts to re-join the NBA until their season finishes in March.

If the NBA season starts up, Mills would've presumably re-signed with the Portland Trail-Blazers, but the Blazers will not be able to keep a roster spot open for Mills until late March and will likely fill that position with another player.

In nine games with the Tigers, Mills averaged 18.6ppg and 5.0apg.



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