When NBA free agency begins on July 1, all eyes will be on Blake Griffin and Gordon Hayward as they will be the top targets for those seeking a max player, but right alongside those two will be Hawks All-Star Paul Millsap. Millsap has made four All-Star teams in his four years in Atlanta, emerging as one of the league’s best power forwards, and he’s set to get paid this offseason.
Millsap’s abilities as a versatile offensive threat — best served as a secondary or tertiary scorer — and a quality defender will make him extremely valuable on the market. Teams with max space will be tempted to throw money at Millsap, with good reason, but don’t expect the Hawks to be among those teams.
New president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk has already indicated that the Hawks won’t be giving Millsap a max offer — they could assuredly land him if they gave him the full 5-year, $200-plus million deal — but they, understandably, have concerns about giving the 32-year-old a max with that many years.
There are other teams that may be more willing to hand Millsap a max deal that he will crave on the market, and as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on The Basketball Analogy podcast on Thursday, Atlanta won’t be retaining his services because of that.