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NBA Trade Rumors: Atlanta Hawks nearly dealt Paul Millsap on two occasions

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Apparently the Hawks came close to trading Paul Millsap twice in the last 11 months.

Detroit Pistons v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Trade rumors have begun to swirl around Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap and they aren’t likely to let up between now and the trade deadline. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst reported on Sunday that Atlanta had begun listening to offers for Millsap.

Windhorst was a guest on the TrueHoop podcast Tuesday and said that Atlanta had come close to trading Millsap twice previously. The first instance was at last year’s trade deadline when the team had a deal lined up with the Denver Nuggets. The second came this offseason when the Hawks would have sent Millsap to the Toronto Raptors had Al Horford agreed to return to Atlanta.

It was widely reported last February that the Hawks were aggressively shopping Horford and point guard Jeff Teague so to learn that they were also discussing Millsap deals is interesting.

Neither rumored deal means much now, but the Hawks could revisit a Millsap trade with both Denver and Toronto between now and the trade deadline. The fact that Atlanta has put Millsap’s name out there previously could mean that they fear being able to re-sign him or may be unwilling to offer a large enough contract to keep him considering what he might command on the open market.

The Hawks are still in good position here. They have until the February 23 trade deadline to decide whether or not to make a move. They don’t have to deal Millsap and despite an up and down season, they still look like a playoff team in the Eastern Conference. However, they must weigh the situation carefully and need to avoid losing Millsap for nothing like they did ultimately with Horford.