It seems like the Atlanta Hawks have resigned themselves to being mediocre through the rest of this season.
According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, they are listening to trade offers for All-Star forward Paul Millsap:
Story posting soon with @WindhorstESPN: ESPN sources say the Hawks have begun listening to trade offers for free agent-to-be Paul Millsap
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 1, 2017
We can’t really say this was inevitable, particularly after the Hawks blitzed opponents to start the season. But they have been struggling of late and, after moving on from Al Horford and Jeff Teague, have clearly entertained the idea of a reset, even if they did sign Dwight Howard.
Millsap will turn 32 in February, and as a free agent this summer, he could command max money. It’s tough for the Hawks to make that kind of investment in him when they’re not even close to rivaling the Cleveland Cavaliers.
That this year’s starting five—a combination of Kent Bazemore, Kyle Korver, Howard, Millsap and Schroder—has been a statistical disaster when sharing the floor this season, according to NBA.com, doesn’t help matters.
If the Hawks do move Millsap, they’ll be selling relatively low. Teams won’t fork over large chunks of their future for an aging star, no matter how good he is. Acquiring his Bird rights are important, but suitors know they must reinvest in his services this July. And then there’s always the possibility he could leave.
All offers the Hawks field should be reflective of those caveats. And, as far as suitors go, you can bet your life savings the Toronto Raptors will be making a phone call or 50 to Atlanta’s front office.