Former Hawks veterans team up with rival Heat: Report

The division rival Miami Heat have signed a pair of former Atlanta Hawks guards for the rest of the season.
Atlanta Hawks: Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler
Atlanta Hawks: Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks (26-34) parted ways with Patty Mills on February 29.

Less than one week later, the former NBA champion is already on another roster, and one the Hawks are particularly familiar with.

“Free-agent guard Patty Mills has agreed to a deal with the Miami Heat for the rest of the season, sources told ESPN on Tuesday,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote on March 5. “Mills, who played 19 games with the Atlanta Hawks this season before getting waived, is eligible for the Heat's postseason roster.

“Mills gives the Heat point guard depth and a deep history of playoff performance.”

Mills was a vital member of the 2014 NBA champion San Antonio Spurs team. He also has a wealth of experience internationally and is coming off a strong showing in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

The Hawks originally acquired Mills in what was essential a salary-dump trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder last offseason. 

They sent Usman Garuba, Rudy Gay, Ty Ty Washington, and a second-round pick to OKC.

Mills averaged 2.7 points and 1.1 rebounds in just over 10 minutes per game for the Hawks this season. He can still produce when given an opportunity, though, averaging 12.0 points and shooting 54.5% from beyond the arc when playing over 18 minutes this season.

Mills was on a one-year, $6.8 million contract with the Hawks. He will receive a prorated portion of the veteran’s minimum for a player with his experience (14 years): $3.2 million.

The Hawks felt Mills was expendable even in Trae Young's ongoing injury-induced absence. They have rookie Kobe Bufkin back in the mix, and the current starting duo of Dejounte Murray and Bogdan Bogdanovic can split ball-handling duties with third-year forward Jalen Johnson.

Mills isn’t the only former Hawk to join the Heat in recent days either.

Patty Mills joining former Hawks guard Delon Wright in Miami

The Heat also added former Hawks guard Delon Wright, whom the team let walk in free agency last summer. Acquired in a three-team trade with the Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics that also included current Hawks big man Bruno Fernando.

Wright signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Washington Wizards this past offseason. But the Wizards cut him during the All-Star break.

The veteran duo joins Miami trade deadline acquisition Terry Rozier, formerly of the Charlotte Hornets, as the Heat stockpile guards from division rivals. Of course, they join a legitimate playoff contender in the 34-26 Heat in doing so.

The Hawks are 1-2 versus the Heat this season, with one more matchup to go. That is on April 9 at home in State Farm Arena.