Paul Millsap, the Atlanta Hawks forward, has been involved in a myriad of trade rumors this summer. And even though the Hawks are determined to take Millsap into the new season, one source notes that the San Antonio Spurs are interested in acquiring him.
Since Millsap is an unrestricted free agent next summer, the Hawks are in a sticky situation and could be forced to deal the three-time All-Star prior to February’s trade deadline.
Earlier this month, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported that the Hawks are trying to initiate talks with Millsap’s camp about a contract re-negotiation. If the talks fail, they could be compelled to trade the big man.
“Sources close to the Hawks say the relationship between Millsap and management is actually pretty good, even despite the trade rumors around the draft. They say that there has been an honest, open dialogue about Millsap’s role and future in Atlanta,” wrote Kyler.
However, Kyler noted that if the Hawks get off to a poor start in their regular season campaign, coach-cum-president Mike Budenholzer could pull the trigger on a Millsap trade.
“But if the Hawks get out of the gate at 5-15, does all of that change?
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,” added Kyler.
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Paul Millsap: What can Spurs offer?
The Spurs can package Danny Green, Patty Mills, Kyle Anderson and French wing Livio Jean-Charles for Millsap. ESPN Trade Machine approves the proposed trade.
Millsap would be the ideal frontcourt replacement to Tim Duncan and instantly improve San Antonio’s interior defense. Even though Pau Gasol was an impressive addition, the Spaniard isn’t known for his rim protection.
A frontcourt of LaMarcus Aldridge and Millsap, with Gasol and David Lee coming off the bench, should allow San Antonio dominate Golden State Warriors in the glass. The Warriors have a relatively thin rotation of centers and power forwards.
Kyler, the NBA insider, also noted that the Hawks can’t afford to wait too long since Millsap’s trade value will diminish. Remember, Millsap will be 32 next February and looking for his final max-level contract next offseason.
“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?”
Paul Millsap, who averaged 17.1 points and 9.0 rebounds last season, should prove to be a good fit with the Spurs since his current coach, Mike Budenholzer, was assistant coach to Gregg Popovich for nearly two decades.