While they will often downplay it, NBA players hate it when their names are involved in trade rumors. According to NBC Sports, the Atlanta Hawks have assured Paul Millsap that he is not being traded. This comes after management attempted to move him a couple of times during the summer.
The Atlanta Hawks made a bit of a splash during the offseason when they were able to sign Dwight Howard in free agency. The 30-year-old center has long been rumored to be interested in playing for his hometown team. It finally happened, as Howard inked a contract worth approximately $70 million.
With Dwight Howard on board, the Atlanta Hawks were hoping to ink Al Horford to a long-term deal so that the two of them could become a formidable frontcourt tandem. Horford had other plans, though. The former Florida Gators star decided to take his talents to the Boston Celtics.
Since the Atlanta Hawks were so sure that they were going to have a frontcourt tandem of Al Horford and Dwight Howard, management decided to field some offers for Paul Millsap. With his overall blend of talent, the Hawks were surely going to be able to retrieve some assets for him.
Now, the Atlanta Hawks have to settle with Paul Millsap at power forward and Dwight Howard at center. Very few in the NBA are going to have sympathy for the Hawks. That is still one of more formidable tandems in the entire league because of the variety of skills that they bring.
Paul Millsap knows that the Atlanta Hawks tried to trade him over the summer. NBA players will claim that they do not pay attention to the media, but they do. Obviously, Millsap did not want to feel that he was expendable, so it bothered him a bit that the Hawks tried to move him.
Next summer, Paul Millsap can opt out of his contract with the Atlanta Hawks and become one of the more desirable free agents in the NBA. Unfortunately for Millsap, he will also be 32-years-old when that happens. That complicates things a bit.
With the way that the salary cap has been rising in the NBA, bigger contracts are being handed out to the players. For someone who is as productive as Paul Millsap is, a maximum contract would not be out of the question. However, it becomes risky to hand out that much money to someone who is 32-years-old.
Then again, the same concerns were had about Dwight Howard when he opted out of his contract with the Houston Rockets to become a free agent this past summer. Even though he is 30-years-old, Howard still managed to secure a three-year deal from the Atlanta Hawks.
Paul Millsap is not a household name in the NBA. However, those who closely follow the sport know that he is one of the most underrated players. He can help turn things around for a franchise. For example, a team like the Houston Rockets could close the gigantic gap with the Golden State Warriors if they were to acquire the services of Millsap.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are another team that could use the services of someone like Paul Millsap. They recently traded away Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic. Millsap is good enough to help Russell Westbrook keep the Thunder as a competitive team in the Western Conference.
Promises have been broken plenty of times in the NBA. Right now, Paul Millsap is not going anywhere. However, if the Atlanta Hawks receive a phenomenal deal, things could change tomorrow.
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