Eastern Rumors: Hawks, Millsap, Wade, Jennings

In an interesting piece on the Hawks, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com explains that Atlanta’s original offseason plan was to re-sign Al Horford to pair him with Dwight Howard, and to move Paul Millsap in exchange for young players and/or draft assets. That plan ultimately fell apart, but before it did, the Hawks spoke to the Nuggets, Suns, Raptors, and Rockets about a Millsap deal, according to Lowe, who adds that Denver had been ready to move a “players-and-picks package” led by Kenneth Faried.

Before the Hawks could move Millsap though, the team needed to be sure it could re-sign Horford, and when the longtime Hawk chose the Celtics instead, Atlanta decided to hang onto Millsap. Per Lowe, there was some debate about how much the Hawks offered and how much Horford demanded, but the gap between the two sides may have only been about $5MM in total.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Hornets general manager Rich Cho confirmed that his team, which officially acquired Marco Belinelli in a trade today, tried to sign the Italian sharpshooter in free agency a year ago (Twitter link via Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer).
  • During Dwyane Wade‘s free agency saga, Heat president Pat Riley never called Wade directly, per Ethan Skolnick of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel notes (via Twitter), Riley and Wade had a meeting after last season ended, but it was owner Micky Arison who was in touch with the former Finals MVP during this past week’s negotiations.
  • According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, Brandon Jennings was seeking a one-year contract from the Knicks in the hopes of proving himself and boosting his stock for 2017’s free agent period. New York, which wanted to maintain cap room for ’17, was happy to oblige.
  • Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders spoke to Courtney Lee about the veteran shooting guard’s decision to sign with the Knicks, and being recruited by Joakim Noah.
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