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NBA Free Agency 2017: Sentiment reportedly growing that Paul Millsap won’t return to Atlanta Hawks

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This isn’t good news for folks that want Paul to remain in Atlanta.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Sacramento Kings Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Paul Millsap free agency saga rolls on but, on Thursday, Brian Windhorst of ESPN painted a dismal picture for the faction of Atlanta Hawks fans that want the team’s best player to return. In speaking with Kevin Arnovitz on ESPN’s The Basketball Analogy Podcast, Windhorst was frank in his belief that Millsap isn’t likely to return.

“I think it's been pretty clear that Paul Millsap is not planning on coming back to Atlanta and Atlanta is not having him back. Travis Schlenk just gave another interview to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution where he came to the one-yard line of basically saying he's gone. And he's got a bunch of suitors.”

This isn’t a shock considering Schlenk’s previous comments, both in the linked story from Chris Vivlamore (seen above) and with regard to other NBA teams potentially offering more than the Hawks. Still, this is a very direct statement from Windhorst and, in concert with Arnovitz, there is every reason to take this at face value.

Beyond the bombshell above, Windhorst also spoke on some suitors that Millsap could have, headlined by the Suns and Rockets.

“The word on the street is that Phoenix is a very strong suitor and is willing to offer the max. Not necessarily for a full four years but was willing to offer the max for a shorter contract.”

“Denver's interested. Sacramento... but I would have to think that Houston might have some interest, depending on what else happens with their roster. Frankly, they have pieces they could use in a sign and trade. I don't know where Atlanta is on that but it's possible. Anything is possible.”

Paul Millsap is a tremendous player but, with all signs pointing to a retooling effort of sorts, it would make sense that the Hawks would let him ride off into the sun to make a great deal of money elsewhere. Stay tuned.