Atlanta Hawks, NBA Free Agency

Paul Millsap possibly leaving Atlanta in a sign-and-trade

Paul Millsap may have seen his four-year tenure with the Atlanta Hawks come to an end. He looks to be a prime candidate for a sign-and-trade this summer.

With the Dwight Howard trade to the Charlotte Hornets, it seems that the Atlanta Hawks are about to usher in a new rebuilding era in their organization. New Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk essentially dumped Howard’s salary to division rival Charlotte for lackluster assets. Now it seems that Paul Millsap is probably the next big piece to go.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that Millsap will not end up getting the max from Atlanta and could be a candidate for a sign-and-trade this summer. Windhorst mentioned teams like the Denver Nuggets, the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings as possible landing spots for a newly maxed-out Millsap.

Keep in mind that Atlanta has made 10 straight playoff appearances in the Eastern Conference. Only the San Antonio Spurs have been to more consecutive postseasons than the Hawks. Should Atlanta sign-and-trade Millsap, this could be first time since 2006-07 that Atlanta has not made the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Millsap has made the All-Star Game each of his four seasons in Atlanta as head coach Mike Budenholzer’s best player. He has reinvented himself as one of the best power forwards in the game today. However, Millsap is on the wrong side of 30 and may only have a few years left in his prime.

Clearly Schlenk is trying to create salary cap flexibility so that he can rebuild the Hawks in the way that he wants. While he does have his roots in team building with the Golden State Warriors, Schlenk has made it abundantly clear that Atlanta has to rebuild to hopefully become a championship contender. Atlanta is less than three years removed from winning 60 games and having the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference in the 2015 NBA Playoffs.

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