Mills could soon rejoin Blazers

Rookie guard could be called up next week

By Brian T. Smith, Columbian Sports Writer

Published:

Updated: January 2, 2010, 6:30 PM

 

— Patty Mills could soon again be wearing black and red for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Mills poured in 38 points and added 12 assists in his first game Friday for Portland’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede.

Mills, who shot 7 of 10 from behind the 3-point line, led the Stampede to a 123-109 road win over the Reno Bighorns.

“He looked fantastic last night. And that’s nice to see,” Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said. “He’s not shy. He’ll put it up.”

The Blazers reassigned Mills to Idaho on Tuesday. But Pritchard said Portland is heavily considering bringing Mills back to the team, now that guard Steve Blake has been hospitalized with pneumonia and is out indefinitely.

Mills could rejoin the Blazers as early as the middle of next week, and possibly suit up for next Tuesday’s road game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

If Portland does decide to bring Mills back, the process could happen within one day, Pritchard said.

“It’s probably the right thing to look at him coming up here the next couple days,” Pritchard said.

Blazers coach Nate McMillan said that Mills’ game is based off quickness and his ability to create scoring opportunities out of pick-and-roll sets.

“We know he has speed,” McMillan said. “I’ve seen him play with the Olympic team.”

Mills was chosen by Portland with the 55th overall pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft.

He missed the team’s first 33 games of the season while recovering from foot surgery.