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Nets sign Patty Mills to two-year, $12 million deal, close to becoming $300 million team

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San Antonio Spurs v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Nets have used their taxpayer mid-level exception to sign Patty Mills, the longtime Spurs point guard, to a two-year, $12 million deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski Brooklyn’s interest in Mills was first reported Monday by NetsDaily writer Billy Reinhardt.

The Nets' connections to Mills are longstanding. He and Sean Marks were part of the Spurs organization from 2013 to 16. In 2014, Marks was assistant GM and Mills the backup point guard. Mills is also familiar with Adam Caporn, an assistant coach on the Australian national team staff and the new Long Island Nets head coach. He also played with Tiago Splitter, a Nets player development coach, in San Antonio. Splitter took to Twitter to express his excitement of Mills joining Brooklyn.

Mills has proved he can work well alongside stars during his tenure in San Antonio with the “Big Three” of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Throughout his decade-long tenure with the Spurs, Mills has served a vital bench role and has provided important veteran presence.

The 32-year-old guard is a capable ball-handler who has a smooth moving shooting touch — coming off of a season when he shot 37.5 percent from three, making a career-high 161 3-pointers. He shot 41.2 percent from the field overall.

The signing represents a big commitment for the Nets financially. Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype calculated the addition of Mills puts Brooklyn close the $300 million mark in salary and luxury taxes...

Bobby Marks noted how expensive the signing was for the Nets...

If the Nets pay out a projected $121.8 million in luxury taxes as Gozlan estimates, Joe Tsai would become the largest tax payer in Nets history breaking the 2014 record held by the Nets previous owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, who paid out $90.6 million that year. (The Warriors are projected to pay between $181 and $197 million in taxes this season.)

The signing has gotten good reviews so far with Bill Simmons of The Ringer saying on his podcast that, “my single favorite free agent signing is Patty Mills to the Brooklyn Nets for $12 million over two.” Simmons noted that Mills plays bigger in big games and thought the signing was a bargain. He believed Mills could have gotten $20 million over two. (Simmons had Blake Griffin at the vets minimum for a year as his third favorite signing. The discussion is about 20 minutes in to the podcast.)

Similarly, Zach Lowe of ESPN said that signing adds to the Nets’ “sneakily good off-season.”

His colleague, Kevin Pelton liked the signing, but wondered if retaining Jeff Green would have made more sense. He also noted that both Mills and Jevon Carter, acquired in the Landry Shamet, are both undersized. Still, he notes...

Brooklyn might just need anybody that head coach Steve Nash trusts in a big moment. Mills, who won a championship in San Antonio, surely qualifies. Mills also figures to be a great innings-eater during the regular season, teaming with either Irving or James Harden when the other ballhandler is unavailable.

Speaking of big games, Mills and Australia’s Boomers are set to compete against Kevin Durant and Team USA in the Olympic men’s semifinals on Thursday, August 5 at 12:15 a.m. ET. The Nets have a third representative in the semifinals. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot is representing France which will play Slovenia and Luka Doncic.

Mills made Australian history when he became the first indigenous Australia to be selected as the Australian flag bearer in an Olympics opening ceremony last week.

“As the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flag bearer my connection between our country - the land, the sky, the sea, our culture, our history and this particular moment runs extremely deep.”

Here’s what the Boomers’ assistant coach said of Mills leadership just before he signed with the Nets...

Ironically, Mills will be backing up Kyrie Irving, also a native of Australia.