Paul Millsap, the All-Star forward, faces an uncertain future with the Atlanta Hawks and could be traded before February’s deadline, per sources.
Millsap is likely to decline his $21.4 million Player Option for the 2017-18 season and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Since the Hawks fear losing Millsap to another team, they could be forced to trade the All-NBA forward at some stage this year, especially if Atlanta begins the new season without much success.
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that Millsap was undergoing a procedure to reduce the swelling on his right knee. As of this writing, Millsap is ruled out of the preseason and could miss the first few games of the regular season.
The Hawks, via a statement, announced that Millsap would skip most basketball activities for the next three weeks as a precautionary measure.
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Paul Millsap gone from Atlanta?
Earlier this month, Basketball Insiders revealed that the Hawks would be open to the idea of trading Millsap if the forward is unable to agree to a contract extension.
“Here’s the question: If the Hawks are not out of the gate world-beaters – if they are a middling team in the East – do they hang on to Millsap? Keep in mind, he can walk as a free agent.
“League sources say the value of a would-be free agent diminishes the longer a team holds on to him, so if the Hawks are not sold Millsap will stay in his $21.4 million Player Option, can they really risk letting him potentially walk in July?” wrote Steve Kyler.
The Insiders report added that of all the All-Star players approaching free agency next year, Paul Millsap is the most likely to be traded ahead of the deadline.
“Millsap is absolutely a name to watch as the trade deadline gets closer. But like many of the guys on this list, he’s not someone the Hawks would look to move today – if they looked at moving him at all.”
Prior to June’s NBA Draft, there were several reports about Hawks trying to trade Paul Millsap. If Atlanta begin the season 10-20, expect the phones to start ringing again.