January 2, 2017, 8:24 am
Recent reports had Paul Millsap hitting the trade block for the middling Hawks but apparently someone jumped the gun in declaring things so cut and dry. Or it’s just posturing.
Either way, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that the star power forward is not being actively shopped. That’s hardly a surprise, as Millsap is good enough that the Hawks would be silly to do anything other than sit back and listen for offers.
Vivlamore also points out that there are those within the organization that want to give this iteration of the team some more time to grow. That makes sense considering Atlanta decided to re-up Kent Bazemore and stick with a similar framework to the one they’ve been using in the Budenholzer era. It doesn’t help that the team has been wildly inconsistent this season, with massive swings leading to an underwhelming 18-16 mark to this point. Of course, Millsap’s ability to opt out of his current contract also hangs over Atlanta’s decision. It’s tough to set a clear course for the future if your best player might dip out after the season.
Vivlamore reports that Millsap has made no decision yet, contrary to rumors that he’s already set on opting out after the season. While that’s probably technically true, there’s absolutely zero chance that Millsap doesn’t test the market unless he suffers a catastrophic injury. It just doesn’t make any sense for a star like Millsap to forgo the flying dollars of free agency.
Atlanta did this song and dance with Al Horford last season, only to lose him for nothing to the Celtics. Making a trade solely to defend against that possible outcome again would be foolish at best, but it’s hard to imagine that that isn’t weighing on someone’s mind in the front office.
With Millsap shaping up as the premier talent available for trade and a bevy of potential fits, it’ll be an interesting few weeks for Atlanta and their star.