There's big news out of the Big Apple on Thursday, and it concerns the future of a 33-year-old basketball player who did not have the 2021-22 season he envisioned as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
That's right, an NBA champion and Olympic hero has made an important decision about his career.
Yep, you guessed it: Patty Mills will re-sign with the Nets on a two-year, $14.5 million deal, agent Steven Heumann told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Claxton, 23, was Brooklyn's most trusted big man in its first-round series against the Boston Celtics in April. Drafted No. 31 in 2019, he has evolved into the kind of player the Nets could not afford to lose for nothing. He averaged 8.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 20.7 minutes last season.
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Mills had a $6.2 million player option for the 2022-23 season, but declined it so he could re-sign at a higher salary. Brooklyn was able to give the veteran a slight raise because it had his Early Bird rights.
In 81 games last season, Mills averaged 11.4 points and 2.3 assists in 29 minutes while shooting 40 percent from deep. He had to play a much bigger role than expected for the first few months, and his production declined down the stretch.
In addition to Mills and Claxton, the Nets have eight players on the roster: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Joe Harris, Seth Curry, Royce O'Neale, Cameron Thomas and Day'Ron Sharpe. Claxton and Simmons are a difficult fit on offense, and the same is true of Mills and Curry on defense.
O'Neale was acquired from the Utah Jazz on Thursday in exchange for a 2023 first-round pick. It is possible that more trades are coming.