The Tigers have released Patty Mills from his contract so he can take up a contract in China. It’s unsurprising that someone of his stature wouldn’t stay in the NBL long, though it is somewhat surprising that he only lasted seven rounds.
I do think it means that the Melbourne Tigers will start dropping down the table a bit. They aren’t a hugely different team from 2010/11, and they finished in 7th last year. Plus, they have a new coach which is likely to take some time to bring positive benefits. The Tigers also now only have one Point Guard that’s had extensive game time. The team will be forced to move Josh Wilcher out of the team’s reserves and place him on the bench, unless they sign a replacement. If they sign a replacement, that person is going to have to get used to the team. If they don’t, Wilcher is going to have to get used to having game time.
The next teams they’re up against are the Sydney Kings at Melbourne, the New Zealand Breakers at Auckland, the Cairns Taipans at Cairns, the Townsville Crocs at Melbourne and the Cairns Taipans at Melbourne. Three of their next five games are at home, which will help, but four of the games are likely to result in close games. Given the issues that the team is likely to see, I’d say they’ll lose at least three of their next five.
Patty Mills has been highly influential in the Melbourne Tigers camp and I do think they will miss him quite a bit. We’ll soon see.