Miami Heat sign veteran guard Patty Mills, waive Dru Smith

Patty Mills
Patty Mills has played 15 NBA seasons with four different organizations. (Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

The Miami Heat are planning to sign veteran guard Patty Mills for the rest of the season, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski first reported Tuesday.


The Heat entered Tuesday with all 15 roster spots filled up. Thus, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, they will waive guard Dru Smith as a corresponding move. Smith was expected to miss the rest of the 2023-24 season after suffering a knee injury in late November.

Mills, 35, has played 15 seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks.

He was waived by Atlanta ahead of the March 1 buyout deadline, thus remaining playoff-eligible for Miami down the stretch. He only appeared in 14 games with the Hawks and logged 202 total minutes. Mills tallied 51 points, 20 rebounds, 14 assists, nine steals and one block on 37.3 percent shooting and 38.2 percent from 3-point range.

Mills has been a certified 3-point sniper throughout his career. He’s a career 38.9 percent shooter from distance, where he’s hoisted 59.2 percent of his career shot attempts. He’s shot above 40.0 percent from 3-point range five times in his NBA career, most recently in 2021-22 with the Nets, knocking down 40.0 percent (on the dot) on seven triple tries per game (71.5 3PAr).

At minimum, Mills is a good veteran leader who provides insurance in the backcourt behind Terry Rozier, Delon Wright, Josh Richardson and Tyler Herro–the latter two being both currently injured.

According to Jackson, Mills’ addition has been labeled as “more protection” for Richardson (dislocated shoulder) and not Herro, who will missed five straight after today with knee and foot injuries.


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I know I’m late to the party, but I just wanted to say that I’m said to see Dru Smith go. That dude was a bulldog on defense. If he can get healthy, he’ll have a long career in this league


Liked his time with the Spurs, he was a tireless player and a reliable three points threat. Have not watched him of lately.


Kelly olynyk signed with Raps tho, shame


No surprise, Heat made it clear that they are bent on going small.


I have a very strong feeling Miami is going to use a full court press a lot during the remainder of the season and the playoffs…especially in the 4th quarters (as Spo did against Utah). It is a very effective tool at slowing down opponents’ offenses, running down the 24 second clock and allowing the Heat players to get into their defensive sets. It also tires out opponents’ frontcourt players. You can only do it effectively if you substitute frequently and have a deep bench. Spo is frequently ahead of the curve. I think this will be another brilliant tool, if he chooses to use it.
Any thoughts?


P.S. I thought we already had 15 players on contracts after signing Wright.

Reality Czech

Dru waived




Yes, that may be true that we will press more. Or, it could be JRich is not ready to come back. I followed Mills for a long time. He was once a very good player. He will likely help us, at least some. His skill sets are not exactly like JRich’s, but if he is in good shape, he can help us, maybe just as much.


Yes, that’s definitely an effective tactic, this is the deepest our bench has been in a long time, so that added wrinkle will make the D more fiercesome. It will also add more playoff intensity to and get us even more conditioned. Just another tool for spo to torture his opps. Lastly we waived dru Smith, so patty just taking his spot.


Do you think Pat can sign me for a cheap 100k the rest of this season? I’m good at hounding players but only 25% career 3s lol


Yes, we have a role for but you have to go through G-league first for endurance training If you can play only for 4 minutes, game on. lol!


You also have to prepare for your opponents using it against you too.If they do, it also tires you. Yes, I agree you have to use a deep bench for fresh legs and hoping no injuries.


We got too much guards sheesh, wish we could of picked up a pf/c instead. Nothing wrong with patty but he will most likely ride the bench for most of the season and playoffs. I guess he figured that if he gonna ride on the bench might as well do it for a championship organization that made it to the finals last season. When everyone comes back healthy, the guards will be rozier, Tyler, duncan, jrich delon, patty. The forwards will be Jimmy, jjj, caleb, jovic,cain. The centers will be bam, love, orob,Bryant. So much depth it won’t matter who we’re missing with the exception of bam and Jimmy. Also this signing let’s me know that jrich and herro injury might be more concerning then we thought or just more insurance since jrich, herro, rozier all missed time due to injury.

Last edited 1 month ago by Big_guy305

Also I forgot to put hh as our other forward.

Reality Czech

I think Mills is a decent pickup but, to your point, Morris or Lopez might have been better fits.


Yes, agreed, or even wait to see if Otto porter got bought out.


Morris is Markeiff 2.0 Robin is not Brook 2.0. I would have taken another big also. But, hey, I have to give Pat and Spo credit where credit is due, so far.

Reality Czech

I agree, but Lopez is 7’1”, 280 pounds, and experienced. Might be useful against the big bangers we’ll face.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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