Per a report from The Vertical’s Shams Charania, Paul Millsap has opted out of his contract for $21.4 million next season in order to become a free agent this summer. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as Millsap said previously that he was likely to opt out in order to cash in this summer.
Millsap is widely regarded as the best free agent available at his position. Despite this year’s class being weaker than most, he’s one of the best defenders in the league and already has an offensive game that should age well as he gets into his mid-thirties.
With more than ten years of experience in the NBA, his max contract will start at $35.3 million for next season and rise from there. While the last year or two of that contract could be an albatross, the Hawks have publicly stated that they’d like to bring Millsap back to Atlanta. Last year, the Hawks lost Al Horford for nothing in free agency, with reports that they were unwilling to give him the full five-year contract for which he was looking, so it will be interesting to see how they handle Millsap’s free agency.
Just one year after inking Kent Bazemore to a large contract, bringing in Dwight Howard, and extending Dennis Schroder to make him their point guard of the future, it would certainly be a step in the opposite direction to let Millsap walk.