Blazers Sign Patty Mills

According to this release from the Portland Trail Blazers...

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Trail Blazers signed guard Patrick Mills to a contract, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Portland selected Mills (6-0, 185) with the 55th overall pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft after playing two seasons at St. Mary's (CA) College. 

Mills, who fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during an NBA Summer League practice session on July 9, underwent successful surgery on July 13 and is continuing his rehabilitation on schedule. 

The Australian national was an early entry candidate for the NBA Draft out of St. Mary's, where he posted averages of 16.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.97 steals in two seasons. Mills, 21, was a First Team All-WCC selection as a freshman and sophomore.    

This announcement directly contradicts NBADraft.Net's report yesterday that the team was planning to waive Mills today.  

What does this mean for Ime Udoka and Jarron Collins?  Well, not a whole lot.  This is likely a non-guaranteed contract that simply adds Mills's name to the training camp mix, for now. 

 As Sham from ShamSports.com points out via twitter...

ShamSports: You can't be waived if you ain't signed.

So this could wind up being more a procedural necessity than anything else. Then again, given the official public announcement, maybe not. But Friday at 5PM sure seems like a strange time to announce the signing of your newest player.

Indeed, the Blazers also shuffled the following papers today, according to the team's official twitter account...

Along with Mills signing, Blazers pick up 4th year option on Greg Oden and 3rd year options on Fernandez, Batum and Bayless

This release provides a little bit more information...

TRAIL BLAZERS EXERCISE OPTIONS ON ODEN, FERNANDEZ, BATUM AND BAYLESS

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Trail Blazers exercised their fourth-year option on center Greg Oden and third-year options on the contracts of guard/forward Rudy Fernandez, forward Nicolas Batum and guard Jerryd Bayless.

The moves, announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard, keep all four players under contract through the 2010-11 season.

Portland selected Oden with the No. 1 overall pick and acquired Fernandez via trade in the 2007 NBA Draft.

The Trail Blazers acquired Batum and Bayless in 2008 draft day trades.

Clarifying details to come, I'm sure.

-- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)

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