Forgotten Knicks from the 1990s: Chris Mills
Chris Mills is probably most remembered among Knicks fans for the trades that he was involved in. New York acquired him from the Celtics in 1997 in a deal that sent several young players to Boston. He was later part of the trade that brought Latrell Sprewell to Madison Square Garden.
Shortly after the Celtics had signed Mills to a seven-year, $33.6 million contract, they realized he didn’t fit in the up-tempo style of play being implemented by former Knicks coach Rick Pitino. Looking to add depth to their aging frontcourt, the Knicks made a “win now” move by sending Scott Brooks, Dontae’ Jones, Walter McCarty, John Thomas, and a second round pick to Boston for the veteran forward.
Mills would play 80 games during the 1997-98 season, finding his name in the starting lineup 29 times when various players were lost to injury. He averaged 9.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists over the course of the season, while shooting 43.3% from the field, a drop off from his 46.1% rate over the previous two years in Cleveland.
Added to the roster to help bolster the team’s playoff chances, Mills played some key minutes during the ’98 playoff run, offering strong defense. However, he was suspended for Game 5 of their first round match-up against the Heat, along with Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning, after leaving the bench during a fight that broke out at the end of Game 4.
After the 97-98 season, the Knicks shipped Mills, along with Terry Cummings and John Starks, to Golden State to acquire Latrell Sprewell.