No. 38 Paul Millsap
Millsap had a rough time distinguishing himself among the glut of talented forwards in the Western Conference, but he still played at an All-Star level for three consecutive seasons. Only Josh Smith matched Millsap's per-minute production of points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks last season, across-the-board contributions that will make him a bargain for the Hawks on a newly signed two-year, $19 million contract.
Millsap's malleable game allowed him to thrive alongside Al Jefferson (one of the more difficult big men to complement because of his playing style and weaknesses) and without a consistently helpful point guard in Utah. He scores (17.2 per 36 minutes) without having plays drawn up for him, he is one of the best big men at moving without the ball and he has the kind of range, strength and scrappiness to fill a variety of roles. His consistently remarkable plus-minus ratings in Utah provide further evidence that his raw production and dirty-work offerings translate in a positive way.
Millsap was one of my favorite acquisitions of the offseason for many of the reasons pointed out above. He has flown under the radar throughout much of his career and should be able to slot in perfectly next to Al Horford with the Hawks. Millsap will be called upon to help replace Josh Smith who comes in at No. 34 in the countdown. While he is no where near the defender that Smith, Millsap's even play at both ends of the floor most likely will negate any loss. When you factor in Millsap's $19 million bargain of a contract then it just gets even better.
More from Peachtree Hoops:
- Atlanta Hawks featured prominently in lower half of SI.com's Top 100 of 2013-14
- Free Agent Rewind: Gustavo Ayon and the Atlanta Hawks' frontcourt picture
- Elton Brand discuss joining the Atlanta Hawks
- Damien Wilkins latest forward to work out for the Atlanta Hawks
- Atlanta Hawks to open training camp at UGA October 1