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NBA teams skeptical that Atlanta Hawks won’t make Paul Millsap available

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Teams still think that Paul Millsap might be the biggest name available on the trade market.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Dallas Mavericks Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

By now you know the story. The Atlanta Hawks explored hitting the reset button and were actively listening to offers for several veteran players and most notably Paul Millsap. A seven-game winning streak appeared to change their mind and they informed teams that Millsap was no longer available. Millsap ultimately went a step further when he told an ESPN.com reporter that the team had told him that he wouldn’t be dealt at all before the deadline.

Despite that, rumors persist that the Hawks could elect to revisit a Millsap trade at some point. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that many NBA team executives currently at the D-League showcase are skeptical that Atlanta won’t make Millsap available again before the deadline.

You'd struggle to find a single team with a representative at the Showcase that believes Atlanta has permanently pulled All-Star forward Paul Millsap from the trade market.

The skepticism has been so loud that it leads one to imagine Millsap might still prove to be the biggest name in play between now and Feb. 23, assuming Dragic indeed can't be had and with Sacramento's Rudy Gay suddenly out for the season.

It seems highly unlikely that Atlanta would go back on their word if they actually told Millsap that they wouldn’t deal him. But if the statement was a bit more open ended in that they were just taking him off the market, then you could see where they may look at it once again at some point. Personally I think it is doubtful that the Hawks will move Millsap at this point because they apparently told him something or else he wouldn’t have been speaking publicly with reporters about it.

In the meantime, the Hawks are still in contention for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs and they don’t appear eager to give up on this season just yet. If they want these rumors to go away, then they need to keep winning because if they start to struggle, the volume will get turned up even louder between now and February 23.