Paul Millsap is reportedly off the trade block in Atlanta, but with six weeks to go until this year’s trade deadline, several NBA.com writers and reporters remain unconvinced that the team’s decision is final. David Aldridge, Steve Aschburner, Scott Howard-Cooper, and John Schuhmann are among the scribes who believe there’s still a chance Millsap could be moved by February 23, with Howard-Cooper writing that the phrase “taken off the market” will mean nothing if a team calls the Hawks with an offer that Atlanta likes.
I would have agreed with that view of the Millsap situation after a report surfaced suggesting that the Hawks were telling other teams the big man was unavailable. Telling clubs that Millsap isn’t available is a move that could be used as leverage later, in an effort to get those same teams to improve their offers. Still, Atlanta also reportedly informed Millsap himself that he won’t be dealt, and NBA teams don’t often reverse course on that sort of promise in a matter of weeks — I’d be somewhat surprised if the Hawks move Millsap, though it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
Here’s more from out of Atlanta:
- Mike Dunleavy Jr., who reported to the Hawks and passed his physical earlier this week, expects to make his debut for the team on Friday, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
- Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link) spoke to the other veteran acquired in last weekend’s trade by the Hawks, though Mo Williams isn’t expected to report to or play for the club. As Kennedy details, Williams is focused on coaching younger players, and doesn’t seem interested in coming out of retirement as an NBA player anytime soon.
- In the wake of a report that Wes Wilcox made a “racially charged joke” at a recent season-ticket holder event, the Hawks general manager has received an undisclosed discipline from the team, reports Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
- According to Spears, this is what Nzinga Shaw, the Hawks’ diversity and inclusion officer, had to say about Wilcox’s comments: “After hearing multiple sides of the story and getting multiple eyewitness accounts of what took place, I am not convinced that what we heard and read in Deadspin is a direct quote that was used. Wes, however, certainly did make his off-color statement, which included elements of describing his wife’s race. People that were in the room could make the assumption that he was using her race for the reason of the comments that followed. We certainly do not approve of this behavior and we are going to handle this manner internally.”