Paul Millsap has been a prime topic of conversation since the beginning of July, and that is somewhat unusual for a player that was not a pending free agent. However, the Atlanta Hawks elected to move in a vastly different organizational direction by signing Dwight Howard and failing to secure the services of Al Horford, and that entire exchange threw Millsap into turmoil.
In the final hours before Horford selected the Boston Celtics as his next employer, rumors swirled that the Hawks were looking to trade Millsap for assets in order to pave the way for Horford’s return in the power forward slot. On Monday, Millsap was asked about those rumors, and Chris Vivlamore of the AJC brings word of his response.
Paul Millsap on trade rumors this summer: "Wasn't the first time. Won't be the last."— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) August 1, 2016
Millsap, who is now 31 years old, has always been a consummate professional and this statement falls in line with that. It would be interesting to take a journey into Millsap’s mind with how he views the organization after those (very) public rumors surfaced, but at least publicly, the All-Star forward was always likely to downplay his inclusion in those rumblings.
At this point, it seems unlikely that Millsap would be dealt prior to the start of the 2016-2017 NBA season, but if things go south in any way, that could quickly change before the trade deadline in February. Millsap famously holds a player option for the 2017-2018 campaign that will likely be declined barring injury, and that would throw the uber-talented forward on to the free agent market at the age of 32.
This story certainly won’t be going away anytime soon, but Millsap is toeing the company line publicly.