How has the Patty Mills experiment worked for the Atlanta Hawks so far?

The Atlanta Hawks traded for Patty Mills as part of the John Collins salary dump. Let's see how this trade worked out for the franchise.

Jan 28, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Dennis Schroder (17) is called for a charge
Jan 28, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Dennis Schroder (17) is called for a charge / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks were finally able to trade John Collins in the offseason. They sent him to the Utah Jazz and received Rudy Gay along with a future second-round draft pick. They then traded Gay along with Ty Ty Washington, Usman Garuba, and that second-round pick to the OKC Thunder for Patty Mills.

So after years of Collins trade talk the Hawks managed to, effectively, trade him for Patty Mills. Apart from letting the Hawks off Collins' future salary obligations, they effectively lost him for a veteran who is well past his prime.

This was by no means a player-for-player swap, given the nature of the Hawks' salary cap situation at the time. It is another case of the front office waiting too long for the right deal and the trade being a poor one for the Hawks. However, Mills is still a quality player, so let's see how his tenure has been with the Hawks up until the All-Star break.

Did the Atlanta Hawks get lucky with the Patty Mills deal?

The Hawks needed a quality veteran presence to replace Collins. Mills was a big part of the 2014 NBA champion San Antonio Spurs outfit and had played with some of the best players of that era. He knows what it takes to win it all thanks to his time with the Spurs and is an incredible leader on the Australian National team.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, this leadership and experience has not flowed through the team, and they are stuck in a familiar position of being down the bottom of the play-in standings. Should the fans blame Mills for this? No, he is simply a voice in the locker room, not the culture-setting team leader or even in that particular leadership group.

As far as on the court, Mills sat out the first 14 games for the Hawks, in fact only playing one out of the first 20 games. It is very hard to have an impact when you are not even hitting the floor. When he has hit the floor, Mills has played eight games with junk time minutes and 11 games where he has played ten minutes or more.

For the season, Mills has averaged 2.7 points, 1.1 rebounds, 0.7 assists, and 0.5 steals in 10.6 minutes per game. While these are not earth-shattering numbers, Mills has played hard while on the court. He has been ready, even having two games where he has scored in double digits. In these games, the Hawks won against the Miami Heat and lost to the Golden State Warriors.

Despite Mills showing some promise, it is actually unlikely that the Hawks will bring back the Australian veteran next season. However, be that as it may, Mills has done his job. He was the player in the trade where the Hawks were able to sign Dejounte Murray to his extension. While this may not seem like a good deal at the moment, it was the right call to make at the time.