Paul Millsap, the three-time All-Star, has reportedly told the Atlanta Hawks that he will test fee agency next summer, according to several reports.
Millsap, who has a $21 million player option for the 2017-18 season, stands to maximize his earnings by opting out and pursuing a fresh, maximum-level contract.
Since Millsap is on the wrong side of 30, many insiders believe this would be the forward’s last chance to secure a lucrative contract.
Last summer, Millsap re-signed with Atlanta on a three-year, $59 million contract. At the time, it was evident that he signed a two year + one opt out contract with the intention to re-enter free agency in 2017.
There will be no shortage of suitors for Millsap, who is one of the elite defensive big men in the league.
“I haven’t decided anything, no,” Millsap told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, when asked if he intends to take advantage of the rising salary cap next summer.
Paul Millsap: Is a trade possible?
For most of the summer, Millsap has been mentioned in a myriad of trade rumors.
There were reports that Millsap was pursued by nearly four teams prior to June’s NBA Draft. However, the Hawks reportedly gave an assurance to the big man that he won’t be traded.
Technically, it makes sense for Atlanta to trade him if they aren’t confident about re-signing Millsap.
“I think the plan is to see how this season goes and go from there,” Millsap said in the same interview with AJC.
“I can’t predict what is going to happen. For me, it’s focus on basketball. Get through this year, try to get a championship for this team first of all. We’ll deal with all that during the summer time when we have all our options on the table.”
Are Atlanta tempted?
Last month, Basketball Insiders reported that if the Hawks begin the 2016-17 season on a losing note, Millsap would be a name to watch out for in the trade market.
“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.
“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,” wrote insider Steve Kyler.
Paul Millsap has undoubtedly been Atlanta’s best player over the last few seasons.
During the 2015-16 season, he averaged a career-best tally of 17.1 points, 9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 blocks from nearly 33 minutes per game.