Paul Millsap will probably be the subject of trade rumors from now until the trade deadline in mid-February. However, the All-Star forward indicated on Tuesday afternoon that his heart is with the Atlanta Hawks.
In speaking to Chris Vivlamore of the AJC, Millsap had this to say when prompted about the rumors that Atlanta has been taking calls on potential trades involving the 31-year-old:
Millsap on trade talk: "Everybody knows where my heart is and where I want to be."— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) January 3, 2017
Me: And that's here?
Millsap: "That would be here, yes."
Millsap has a player option for the 2017-2018 season and there are conflicting reports as to whether he plans to opt out in favor of free agency. With that in mind, it does make some level of sense that the Hawks would be open to overtures from other teams but, in the same breath, Atlanta’s asking price would likely be high given the immense talent and value that Millsap brings.
It is also worth noting that, in February 2016, former Hawks center and current Celtics big man Al Horford had this to say when prompted about trade rumors involving him (via Sam Amick of USA Today):
"I’m very happy in Atlanta," Horford said when asked if the Hawks had reason to be concerned that he might leave. "I’ve said it repeatedly. I love the city. My family, we all live in Atlanta, we stay there in the offseason, so my focus is just to keep playing and taking it day by day and, right now, it’s to enjoy this weekend. … Just taking it day by day. That’s the only thing I can do. We really can’t worry about three or four months from now."
Millsap, who was also reportedly dangled in trade rumors during the 2016 free agency period, has been extremely professional throughout and his play has been stellar this season. It remains to be seen as to whether the Hawks will entertain serious offers and, eventually, pull the trigger on a trade involving the team’s best player but, for now, Paul Millsap appears happy in Atlanta and the Hawks are playing improved basketball on the court.