In order to maintain the flexibility needed for the pursuit of Al Horford, the Atlanta Hawks might have to get very creative. Of course, this salary cap situation was self-inflicted by the organization in the wake of free agent agreements with both Kent Bazemore and Dwight Howard, but the Hawks may be exploring a very interesting path to keeping Horford.
Moving on from Paul Millsap.
According to sources, a trade that's been pondered in recent days featured Hawks forward Paul Millsap and collection of picks owned by Suns.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 2, 2016
Millsap, who many believe was Atlanta’s best player in 2015-2016, is under team control for just one season, as he holds a player option for the 2017-2018 campaign. Given the presence of Howard, the Hawks could be hesitant to keep all three frontcourt players on the roster, and in order to fit Horford in under the cap, space must be created.
Enter Millsap, who could easily be flipped to another NBA team that desires a short-term fix in exchange for long-term draft options. The Phoenix Suns fit that description nicely, and although no specifics are available here, Atlanta would be incurring the benefit of future draft ammunition in exchange for the downgrade from Millsap to Dwight Howard in 2016-2017.
Everything is fluid at this point, simply because Al Horford might willingly walk away from the Hawks for greener pastures. Still, the possibility of a cap-clearing maneuver such as a trade involving Paul Millsap should be a point of great discussion in the coming hours.