Paul Millsap was an All-Star level player for the Atlanta Hawks in four consecutive seasons and, with that as the backdrop, it made complete sense that he would garner a (very) lucrative free agent offer. However, Millsap reportedly did not receive an offer from the Hawks before agreeing to sign with the Denver Nuggets.
Paul Millsap tells the AJC the Hawks never offered him a contract. Story soon.— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) July 3, 2017
This is a very interesting revelation from Chris Vivlamore of the AJC and it speaks to Atlanta’s eagerness to go in another direction. The same report brought the following quote from the four-time All-Star forward.
“It was pretty simple. Denver, they came and they’ve been wanting me for years. They made that known. The presentation that they gave me, it felt comfortable, it felt real. At the end of the day it was going to be the team that I felt most comfortable with and Atlanta. Atlanta decided to go another direction. They didn’t want to make an offer. So it was pretty simple. Denver was the team.”
Millsap’s contract was widely seen as a shock in that it included “only” $90 million over three seasons and, according to reports, the deal includes a team option for the third and final season.
However, the Hawks falling short of his offer or, in this case, not tendering an offer at all is a sharp indication of their approach at this juncture. Atlanta’s offseason has been painstakingly quiet other than this news with the team’s now-former best player but Travis Schlenk appears to have the squad headed in a very different, forward-thinking direction.
Paul Millsap was already out the door but, with this nugget of information available, it is now very clear that this was always going to be the reality of the 2017 offseason after Schlenk was hired as the team’s front office leader. Stay tuned.