Canberra basketballer Patty Mills has offset the devastation of a seven-month injury by agreeing to a new $12 million, three-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs.
Less than 24 hours after Mills revealed he needed shoulder surgery, it emerged the point guard had all but finalised a deal to stay with the NBA-winning Spurs.
Mills is also planning a celebration trip with the NBA championship trophy - also known as Larry - in the coming weeks to share his title glory with Canberra and Thursday Island.
The ACT government and AIS are starting to put together a celebration day for fans to see Mills and the trophy, with the party pencilled in for July 18. But Mills will have shoulder surgery on Friday (AEST), and that could change his travel plans.
The Spurs are sending the trophy on a 12 city, six country tour to recognise the diverse international backgrounds in their line-up.
Mills was set to test the free agents market for the first time in his five-season NBA career, but surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder - which requires a seven-month rehabilitation - threatened to affect his earning capacity.
Mills played through pain in the NBA season and played a crucial role in helping the Spurs beat the Miami Heat for the NBA title.
His efforts have been rewarded with a deal that will keep him at the Spurs until the end of the 2016-17 season. But while details of the deal have been announced, it cannot be finalised until July 10.
"I had to look at every option, if the option was bad or the option was good, I at least had to look at it and weigh it up," Mills said.
Former Canberra Marist College student Mills is due back in Australia in the coming weeks after having shoulder surgery.
It's perfect timing for the Spurs' international trophy tour, with Cairns also on the stopovers as the home of Mills' San Antonio teammate Aron Baynes.
Mills wants the Larry O'Brien Trophy in Canberra, but he also wants to pay tribute to his Thursday Island heritage.
The tour will start in Argentina on July 3 with stops also including Italy, France, Canada and cities across the US.
"This tour gives our organisation an opportunity to celebrate our diverse roster and thank the NBA's loyal fan support from around the globe," Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said.
"For the first time in Spurs history, our players will be able to bring a unique part of the championship experience to their family, friends and fans."
Mills enjoyed a breakout season in 2013-2014, playing a crucial role in the Spurs' run to their fifth championship while averaging 10.2 points a game.
The story NBA championship trophy coming to Canberra as Patty Mills signs new deal with San Antonio Spurs first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.