Mills NBL Move Gathers Momentum
The likelihood of Australian NBA star Patrick Mills returning to the NBL has increased after the Wollongong Hawks indicated that they will step up their efforts to bring the Portland Trailblazers star back to Australia.
With the NBA lockout showing no time of ending any time soon, it is becoming increasingly likely that Mills, who is a fringe player with the Trailblazers, will make his way back to the NBL.
The Hawks are the only NBL club that is yet to secure a starting point guard until the upcoming season, and it is believed that they won’t move to sign one until Mills decides on whether coming back to Australia is a viable option.
Basketball Australia CEO Larry Sengstock has already indicated that the sports governing body may be willing to kick in some funds if that’s what it took to bring Australian talent back to the NBL during the NBA strike.
Current Hawks player and former team mate of Mills at the AIS, Dan Jackson says he will be doing whatever he can to get Mills in a Hawks jersey.
“I know he’s in Boomers camp at the moment, but once he finishes that I’ll probably get in his ear and see if I can convince him to come down for a visit. That way we can get in his ear a lot more,” Jackson said.
“After seeing the story on line that Basketball Australia may be kicking in some cash, I’ll definitely send him a little text and see where his heads at.
“Having him here would be great for the community, not just the team. He’s pretty well known these days so a lot of people would want to see him play. His quickness on court in real life is also pretty special.”
Wollongong coach Gordie McLeod said the club was considering the option, however the major obstacle was the fact that if the NBA lockout ended, Mills would be required to travel straight back to the US.
However the NBA lockout shows no sign of ending soon, after it was announced that the lockout could run at least until the Olympics, which would rule any NBA based players out of representing their country because of insurance reasons.