After receiving interest for a couple of weeks and forcing the rumor mill to churn with hypothetical trades, the Hawks are informing teams that Paul Millsap is no longer on the trade market, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (on Twitter). This is a sign, at least for now, that Atlanta is determined to compete in the Eastern Conference instead of unloading assets, as Wojnarowski notes (on Twitter).
The Hawks definitely contemplated the move, however, and gave it considerable thought before arriving at the belief that Millsap was ultimately too valuable to the franchise, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. This decision may have come from ownership, Vivlamore adds.
Millsap, who has a player option for next season and can opt out and become an unrestricted free agent, expressed happiness about the situation, per Vivlamore, and wanted to stay in Atlanta. Millsap has not said he will become a free agent, but that would make sense considering he would maximize his money that way.
Several teams were linked to Millsap, an All-Star forward who would be viewed as a solid addition to virtually any team. The Nuggets were interested, according to Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post (Twitter link), and Vivlamore reported that the Kings were a serious contender for Millsap’s services as well. Millsap was also thought to be the missing piece for the Raptors.
The decision on Millsap comes only a couple of days after the Hawks traded Kyle Korver to the Cavs this weekend in in exchange for a protected 2019 first-round draft pick and Mike Dunleavy Jr. Atlanta, however, never claimed to be moving in a rebuilding direction with the move, and judging from the way it has played, perhaps it makes sense that it shouldn’t. The Hawks are atop the Southeast Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 21-16 record and Millsap is a significant reason why. Millsap leads the Hawks in scoring, and is second in rebounds, assists and blocks.