The Hawks officially traded away one veteran player on an expiring contract this weekend, sending Kyle Korver to Cleveland in a deal that netted them a future first-round pick. Moving Paul Millsap would net an even bigger haul, but it’s not clear yet whether the Hawks are ready to trade their standout big man. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Hawks haven’t yet been aggressive in fielding offers for Millsap, though they’ve suggested to rival teams that they could be serious about moving him.
A Saturday report from ESPN’s Marc Stein indicated that Atlanta would be seeking at least one “quality” first-round pick to headline a trade package for Millsap. Stein didn’t specify how many other pieces would be required in such a deal. Meanwhile, other reports identified the Sixers, Nuggets, Raptors, Pelicans, and Kings as teams that have expressed some level of interest in Millsap. The Trail Blazers have also been “sniffing around,” per Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
In addition to those clubs, the Magic can be added to the list of potential suitors, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. While O’Connor doesn’t say that Orlando has conveyed interest in Millsap recently, he writes that GM Rob Hennigan “has a long-standing infatuation” with the three-time All-Star. A league source tells O’Connor that the Magic made a push to trade for Millsap last summer before acquiring Serge Ibaka and signing Bismack Biyombo instead.
With Ibaka and Biyombo now in the mix, along with Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, the Magic’s frontcourt situation is crowded, making them an unusual fit for Millsap. Still, if Hennigan and the front office decides to shake things up by moving more than one of those frontcourt players, a Millsap deal would make more sense. So far, the club’s new-look frontcourt hasn’t been a success — Orlando is 16-23, good for 12th in the East.
The Hawks nearly dealt Millsap on two separate occasions in 2016. Atlanta had a deal lined up with the Nuggets at the trade deadline, but opted against trading him away. The Hawks were later prepared to deal him to the Raptors in July if Al Horford had re-signed with the team. Millsap can opt out of his current deal and become a free agent at season’s end, and he’s expected to do so, though there are conflicting reports about whether or not he has already made that decision.