Two seasons ago, Paul Millsap bet on himself when he signed a two-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks worth $19 million. Two All-Star seasons later his bet paid off in the form of a three-year deal with Atlanta worth $60 million. It was quite a raise for the Hawks to have to pay, but they were more than happy to do so considering the growth he has shown during his time in Atlanta.
Millsap's maturation hasn't gone unnoticed around the league either. He checked in at No. 33 earlier this week in SLAM Magazine's countdown of the Top 50 NBA players. During his stint in Utah, Millsap was viewed as a one-dimensional player, now it is his versatility that has his game on the rise writes SLAM's Max Resatar:
Millsap has been at the front line of the space-and-pace revolution that’s swept the League, but he’s added another aspect to being a stretch-4; dude can dribble and pass fluently. He’s not just standing around the perimeter, waiting. A third of his total made fields goals were unassisted last season. Yeah, he can really create offense by himself now. Millsap gets the ball on the attack, which leads to him having to keep his eyes and head up. The most surprising element of Millsap’s game in Atlanta has been his playmaking ability.
Millsap has been a perfect fit for Atlanta and is one of the pillars that Mike Budenholzer is building the team around. Will be interesting to see if he has any more tricks in the bag for the 2016 season.