Thursday 17th January 2019,
The Hoop Doctors

Raptors, Nuggets, Pelicans and Kings All Interested in Paul Millsap Trade

Raptors, Nuggets, Pelicans and Kings All Interested in Paul Millsap Trade

Paul Millsap

By trading Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Atlanta Hawks have, ostensibly, started a fire sale.

It is not a conventional auction in the most fundamental sense; it would be truly shocking to see them shop guys like Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore, the latter of whom doesn’t hold much value anyway. The focus here is on soon-to-be free agents—guys due for pay raises that the Hawks, as but a blip on the Eastern Conference radar, cannot reasonably fund this summer.

Thabo Sefolosha falls into this category. More notably, so does Paul Millsap,, who has ambled in and out of the rumor mill since sometime last season, when Atlanta first entertained this reset.

According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hawks are indeed looking to move Millsap, and there are no shortage of suitors, the list of which includes the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets:

Atlanta (19-16) is engaged in discussions with several teams on forward Paul Millsap, who can become a free agent in July, and the organization is motivated to move him sooner rather than later, sources said. Toronto, Denver and Sacramento are among teams with an interest in Millsap, league sources said.

Basketball Insiders’ Michael Scotto added the New Orleans Pelicans to that list as well:

The Sacramento Kings are also believed to be in the running, per RealGM’s Keith Smith:

Millsap is the kind of midseason acquisition who can ensure his new teams approaches its highest-possible ceiling, so it’s no surprise there is a ton of interest.

Though the Nuggets and Raptors, in that order, can offer the best possible packages, Millsap’s value, along with Atlanta’s asking price, isn’t quite clear. He will turn 32 in February and is set to explore free agency over the summer, at which time he could command max(ish) deals that pay him $30 million or more annually.

Any team that acquires him must remember he’s a flight risk, and that it’ll cost a pretty penny to keep him in town even if he doesn’t leave. That should drive down the value of offers accordingly—hence why asset-strapped squads like the Pelicans and Kings are involved.

Whatever Millsap’s price tag on the chopping block, it sure doesn’t seem like he’ll finish the season in Atlanta. The Korver trade appears to be the first in a series of at least two or three moves that positions the Hawks to be more flexible for the future.

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