Paul Millsap is the most consistent player in the Atlanta Hawks roster in recent seasons but will now be playing with new teammates with the departure of previous starters Al Horford and Jeff Teague. Latest offseason NBA rumors has Millsap leaving the Hawks as well when he hits free agency next summer.
Could the Hawks trade him before he becomes a free agent especially if Atlanta struggles with their new line-up for the 2016-2017 NBA Season?
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David Ramil from todaysfastbreak.com noted Millsap’s “uncertain future” with the Hawks. Millsap signed a three-year deal worth $60.2 million with Atlanta in 2015 but he has a chance to become a free agent after next season with a player option on the third year.
“Despite these challenges, Millsap’s biggest battle might actually take place off the court. Atlanta had, according to reports, come to terms with Howard and were looking to re-sign Horford, making Millsap highly expendable,” Ramil wrote.
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“And even actively shopping him around the league. Instead, Horford joined the Celtics and the Hawks were stuck with Millsap.”
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Ramil also noted that the new NBA season will decide what kind of long-term contract Millsap will earn in his next few years in the league.
The NBA rumors of Millsap being shopped in the 2016 offseason never gained serious traction after Horford committed early in free agency with the Boston Celtics. The trade buzz could also be affecting Millsap’s play next season and it’s not clear how effective he can be with new teammate Dwight Howard and new starting point guard Dennis Schroder.
It’s possible that Millsap joins Horford in Boston, which is still searching for another key star player to complete their roster in becoming a contender in the Eastern Conference. A Boston-Atlanta deal can happen as well and the Hawks can demand young players and prospect in a trade with the Celtics.
For the Hawks, shopping Millsap this offseason or during the season could be crucial as they don’t want to lose him for nothing like they did with Horford this summer.
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With Howard limited on offense, the Hawks’ offense will be led by Millsap, who averaged 17.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.7 blocks last season.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons
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