Portland Trail Blazers GM Rich Cho said today by telephone from NBA meetings in New York City that he does expect Patty Mills to sign the team's qualifying offer and attend training camp next week, although no agreement has been signed yet.
Earlier Thursday, Mills wrote on his Twitter that he is, "loving the support from the Oregonians!!! Hope we can keep it up" and said he was "on the way to the airport".
With 15 other players under contract this is a surprising move. Why would Mills decide to come to camp?
First, and most obviously, because Mills and his representative continue to consider him an NBA caliber player.
Attending Blazers camp affords Mills three opportunities: a chance to beat out one of Portland's 15 other players for a roster spot, a chance to wait and see if another Blazer is traded in the short term, and a chance to keep his name circulating in NBA circles.
While he has been linked to teams overseas, it's unclear how much NBA interest there is in Mills following an up-and-down Summer League and a solid World Championships run.
Either way, he still does not seem to be a fit here in Portland. If I were going to rank the possible outcomes for Mills in order of likelihood, it would go something like this...
1) Catch on with an NBDL team
2) Sign with a team overseas
3) Retained by the Blazers after another Blazer is traded
4) Cut by the Blazers and picked up by an NBA team
5) Retained by the Blazers because he wins a roster spot
I guess we'll have to wait and find out.
Cho also said today that he continues to expect Rudy Fernandez will report to training camp because the Spanish guard is under contract with the team.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter