NBA rumors: Blazers targeting Paul Millsap

Kevin O’Connor: Sources: Free agent Paul Millsap is expected to draw interest from the Trail Blazers. Millsap turns 36 this season and is well past his prime, but he still offers leadership, tough defense, and shooting. Portland’s bigs got wrecked by AD, a reliable vet like Millsap could help.

More on Paul Millsap Free Agency

It will be the market, likely even more than heartstrings for the Heat, that will decide whether the Heat have to punt on 2021 cap space or punt on those players. For example, if retaining Crowder becomes an issue, there are viable Plan Bs out there. One, for example, could be Paul Millsap, if the 35-year-old veteran gets squeezed out by the Nuggets going all-in with Jerami Grant’s free agency and the preference to develop Michal Porter Jr.
Now 35 and entering free agency yet again, Connelly said the Nuggets hope to bring Millsap back. “I would love to see Paul retire in a Nuggets jersey,” Connelly said on Altitude on Wednesday morning. “What he brought to this team and this city has been pretty special.”
Millsap hasn’t made any decisions yet, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking, and he’s still processing the 83 days the Nuggets spent confined inside the Orlando bubble. Millsap has heard the refrain about retiring as a Nugget before. It’s something to consider as he weighs his options.
But in the postseason, he wasn’t nearly the impact player he was during the first portion of the regular season. Any offer from the Nuggets would acknowledge that. With so much uncertainty regarding free agency, the salary cap and what teams might be willing to offer, Millsap plans to take his time. What the Nuggets can offer in terms of comfort, compatibility and the chance to contend, might be enough to bring the veteran back to Denver.
Assuming Grant returns to the Nuggets one way or another, and with Porter and Bol on the rise, it makes the need for Millsap less dire. He filled the role of a decent scorer and defender, who played with a level of consistency needed on the less-experienced Nuggets team. But if Porter can step up into the small forward position, Millsap’s role is less necessary. The other factor is how much money they would have to pay him. However, if Millsap would take the vet minimum, there might be a better chance of him returning.
Have you thought much about your upcoming free agency and whether you have a future home in Denver? Paul Millsap: We’ll see, we’ll see. My main goal coming here was to help this team and organization get over the hump and help some of these younger guys develop into superstars, which they are. I feel like I’ve helped through that, and we’ll see what this summer holds. At the end of the day, I love being here, but at the end of the day, it’s still a business. So, weighing both options and understanding the business of basketball. I got to make a decision based, you know, for myself and my family. And this is my family also. So, it’s going to be a tough decision and hopefully they want me back.
The Denver Nuggets have exercised a $30 million option on forward Paul Millsap's contract for next season, bringing back a key player for the franchise's pursuit of a Western Conference title, league sources told ESPN on Saturday. Denver can keep Millsap, hold onto its $9.2M mid-level exception and still stay out of the luxury tax next season. Millsap, a four-time All-Star, averaged 12.6 points and 7.2 rebounds a game for the Nuggets. Denver had the best record (54-28) in the West and reached a Game 7 in the conference semifinals against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Millsap, speaking during Monday’s exit interviews, said there have been no preliminary talks about his future and he wanted to take some time following the painful loss Sunday before thinking about what he might do next season. Even though contract specifics haven’t been discussed, Millsap, 34, sounded encouraged by the strides Denver made this past season.
“From how I want to do it, how I want my story to be told, (this is) definitely the group that can help me do it,” Millsap said. “That’s definitely a dream and a goal of mine. I think it’s the goal for everybody, especially the younger guys.”
It’s also part of why Millsap would like to stay. The Nuggets hold a team option for the roughly $30 million he is owed next season, but even if Denver declines that option — a likely scenario — the two sides could strike an alternative deal, something that could help Millsap finish his career in Denver. Given that the Nuggets are 36 games over .500 in full games Millsap has played over the last two seasons, that prospect could very well be a mutual desire. “It’s a winning culture that’s trying to be built around here,” Millsap said. “I just want to be a part of that.”
But even in the midst of a frenzied race for the No. 1 seed, Millsap has considered the promise of Denver’s future and wants to be a part of it. “I could see myself being here long-term, for the rest of my career,” he told The Denver Post. “I can see this organization and this group of guys making a nice play at the championship. I feel like there’s a lot of youth, a lot of growth that can be made and you add that on top of what we’ve done this season with experience and you’ve got yourself a championship-caliber team. Definitely want to be a part of that, but I’ll deal with that when it gets there.”
Millsap is earning $30 million this season, and the Nuggets have a team option on him heading into this summer. At this point in his career, having never been to an NBA Final and with just one conference finals victory to his name, the Nuggets represent his most likely route to a ring. “It’s something that we’ll discuss at the end of the season with management, but I want to do something that fits for everybody,” he said regarding his contract. “We’ll see.”
Paul Millsap: Tried to find the words to better help explain how much the fans and the city of Atlanta has meant to me but words can not explain it. From an average Joe to a 4 time All ⭐️. Atlanta I could not have done it without you. Thank you for an amazing 4 years! Thank you for embrace me and my family and for always having my back. I will always hold a special place in my heart for you. #truetoatlanta #anchormanout #untilnexttime
The Hawks have agreed on a three-way trade with the Nuggets and the Clippers, with a pair of sign and trades, that will return Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, a protected first-round pick and cash, according to a person familiar with the situation. The deal was worked on into the early morning hours Tuesday and agreed upon later in the day. The deal can not be announced until after the NBA moratorium period ends Thursday.
The Clippers would receive Danilo Gallinari in a sign and trade from the Nuggets in the other major part of the proposed deal. The Nuggets recently agreed to a three-year, $90 million deal with Hawks unrestricted free agent Paul Millsap on Sunday and would acquire the four-time all-star power forward in sign-and-trade. The Nuggets would recieve a second-round pick from the Hawks, a 2019 pick acquired from the Wizards.
Millsap agreed to a three-year, $90 million contract as an unrestricted free agent by the Nuggets on Sunday. His tenure with the Hawks abruptly ended. “It was pretty simple,” Millsap told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday. “Denver, they came and they’ve been wanting me for years. They made that known. The presentation that they gave me, it felt comfortable, it felt real. At the end of the day it was going to be the team that I felt most comfortable with and Atlanta. Atlanta decided to go another direction. They didn’t want to make an offer. So it was pretty simple. Denver was the team.”
Millsap was not surprised by the Hawks decision. Nothing, he said, surprises him after 11 years in the NBA. However, he admitted to being disappointed by the end of relationship that helped him blossom into one of the top power forwards in the league. All four of Millsap’s All-Star Game appearances came with the Hawks. “Definitely disappointing,” Millsap said. “I thought I meant a bit more than that to them. But it is what it is. I’m happy with the decision I’ve made. I’m happy with the team I’m with. I’m ready to get it going with them.”
Millsap was the last remaining starter from the Hawks’ 60-win Eastern Conference final team from 2014-15. Just two years after the franchise-record run, Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Horford and now Millsap are gone. The Hawks received only at first-round pick for Teague (which turned into Taurean Prince) and a 2019 protected first-round pick from the Cavaliers for Korver. Carroll signed with the Raptors as an unrestricted free agent in 2015.
Matt Moore: Can confirm @ShamsCharania report on Paul Millsap to Nuggets. Team option third year, sources say.
Shams Charania: Free agent Paul Millsap has agreed to a three-year, $90M with the Denver Nuggets, league sources tell The Vertical.
Matt Moore: Nuggets meeting with Millsap was “several hours” and, as is always the case, “went well” according to sources close to the situation.
TJ McBride: According to @Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nuggets are currently in a meeting with Paul Millsap. Nikola Jokic is a late addition to the meeting.
Sam Amick: With Suns pulling out of Paul Millsap pursuit, I'm told Denver meets w/ him tonight in Atl. Gallinari still very much in play for Nugs too.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Suns out on Millsap pursuit, turning to use cap space to absorb $ dumps paired w/ assets. Open to moving vets, going all-in young.
Michael Scotto: Paul Millsap has a meeting lined up with the Minnesota Timberwolves today, league sources told Basketball Insiders.
TJ McBride: Millsap will also be meeting with the Denver Nuggets at some point today, along with the Minnesota Timberwolves…
Tony Jones: Paul Millsap will meet with the Denver Nuggets tomorrow, league sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune
Tony Jones: Paul Millsap will meet with the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, league sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune
Concerning Millsap and Hardaway, Schlenk would not indicate whether he has a price threshold that he’s willing to pay for each. Millsap is an unrestricted free agent. Hardaway is a restricted free agent and the Hawks have more flexibility regarding his contract. “The one thing I’ve maintained is that we are going to be flexible and not sign bad deals,” said Schlenk, admitting he realizes he already sounds like a broken record already in his short tenure with the team. “That means different things for different guys.”
According to people familiar with the team’s situation, Millsap could receive interest from as many as eight teams. With the salary cap now projected at $99 million, Millsap is eligible for a maximum contract of five years for $201 million from the Hawks and four years, $149 million from another team. Schlenk has indicated the team won’t offer Millsap the maximum and that he may receive a better offer from another team.
Free agent forwards Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap will meet with the Phoenix Suns after the NBA free agency moratorium period begins Saturday, reports John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station. Gambadoro reports the 28-year-old Griffin will meet with Phoenix this weekend. An unrestricted free agent, Griffin could be more likely to find a new home after the Los Angeles Clippers dealt All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets this week.
"The word on the street is that Phoenix is a very strong suitor and is willing to offer the max, not necessarily for a full four years, but was willing to offer the max for a shorter contract," reported ESPN's Brian Windhorst on The Basketball Analogy podcast. Windhorst notes that in addition to the Suns, the Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings are also interested in Millsap. Given the recent developments in Houston, it would also make sense for the Rockets to enter the race as well.
The Houston Rockets are aggressively trying to make trades in conjunction with Thursday's NBA draft to create the needed financial flexibility this summer to pursue a marquee free agent, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN on Wednesday that the Rockets have at least four top-tier free agents in their summer sights: Atlanta's Paul Millsap, Toronto's Kyle Lowry and the LA Clippers duo of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
New general manager Travis Schlenk told to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that retaining Millsap remains a priority. However, he acknowledged that Millsap may receive better offers elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent next month. “We are going to make Paul our best offer,” Schlenk said this week. “Will he have better offers? I don’t know. Do we want to keep Paul? Sure. I said last week, if you are building a team with all the things I’ve said, Paul checks all those boxes. He’s a hard-worker. He’s a good guy. He’s high-character. Skilled. He does all that stuff. We’d like to have him. The reality is, he might get better offers than we can make him.”
Schlenk said one of his top priorities is bringing back Millsap, a four-time All-Star who opted out of the final year of his contract.
The Hawks' win totals have slipped two straight years. The team could enter free-fall mode if unable to re-sign Millsap. The power forward, who averaged 18.1 points and 7.7 rebounds, was the top producer on a roster that received disappointing returns from $70 million investments in Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore. Millsap said he wants to stay with the Hawks. "I want to be here," Millsap said. "I think talks have been pretty good. ... It's something me, my agent and my family have got to sit down and talk about."
Paul Millsap will opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Well, he almost said it. “I think we all know the answer to do that,” Millsap said when asked directly about his intention. He later added, “Eventually I probably will opt out, yes. But I want to be here. I think talks have been pretty good so we’ll see what happens.”
“You always want to hope for the best,” Budenholzer said. “Without a doubt what is best for us is to keep Paul. We’ve got to do everything we can to make that happen. I think that is our intention. Free agency is not an easy thing for the player or for the organization. There are a lot of things that go into it. We are incredibly optimistic and incredibly committed to Paul.”
“I’m definitely recruiting Millsap to come back,” Bazemore said. “With the way the cap is this summer is probably smart for him to (opt out) and sign something long-term somewhere. That’s the business.”
Paul Millsap, who can and likely will opt out of his contract, will take some time before deciding his future. "It's been great," Millsap told reporters of his four seasons in Atlanta. "I am looking to expand this and see where this team and franchise can go. These last four years have been great. Can't ask for nothing more. Now I will take some time, relax and see what happens."
Ressler said a deal seeking his final approval to trade Millsap never reached his desk last February. And if it had, Ressler used a profane acronym to sum up his seriousness of not dealing the power forward. His intention is to keep Millsap a Hawk beyond the season. “We love Paul Millsap,” Ressler told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week. “We are trying to re-sign him. We want him to stay here. We think he is a really special player and a special person that we want on our team and in our locker room and we are going to make every effort imaginable to keep him.”
“If we lose Paul, which we desperately don’t want to do, we move on. We pull up our plan and we move on. But the goal is not to lose Paul. Paul is exactly the kind of player I love on the Atlanta Hawks. I don’t know how else to say it. I’ve said it to Paul. I’ve said it to you. I’ve said it to whoever has one ear, let alone two ears. Paul Millsap is a great guy, on the court and off the court. The NBA is a complicated place. The range of income for these players and the number of year that they have to maximize their income makes it a complicated business model.”
Ressler said he not bothered by trade talk involving Millsap earlier this season. It’s part of the business. He has the final decision. And Millsap is part of the Hawks’ business. “Did certain people have discussions based on calls they got? I have no idea,” Ressler said of the rumor. “I think that’s what basketball operations people do for a living. I actually believe the more they do that, the more it gets in the public domain. Yes, I read some of the stuff. Yes, I was told people call and people ask. We are in the Paul Millsap business. At least we are trying our best to be. Our job is to try to make him want to be here, both financially and emotionally. We are trying. That I can promise you.”
Adam Schefter: Hawks F Paul Millsap expected to void contract after season, become free agent, per sources. Loves ATL, would like to stay, but will look.
Jarrod Bryant: Is Millsap really off the table or just not getting good offers? Would be good to see him on a contender. - Steve Kyler: They shopped him, and understand what he's worth. Pulled back on talks to focus their team now, could revisit. Might re-sign him.
Millsap is widely expected to become a free agent in July by opting out of the final year of his current contract, which pays him $21.5 million this season. "We'll see what happens during the summertime," said Millsap, who is averaging 17.7 points and 8.2 rebounds this season. "I actually haven't thought about anything about that -- the summer -- right now. It has been about this season, trying to win big."
Would the Celtics be interested in Millsap? Some things would likely need to happen: Millsap would have to agree to honor the final year of his contract and the Celtics would have to offer the Hawks a chip for the long-term future — likely one of those Brooklyn picks — along with the expiring contract of Amir Johnson and likely another starter to match up salaries. It would be quite a sacrifice for the Celtics, and it would also mean Horford would have to move to center, a position he would prefer not to play.
In addition, a report surfaced that Millsap has already decided to opt out of the final year of his $21.5 million contract and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Simply, not true. While this is likely, due to basic economics, no decision has been made. Millsap told me this himself earlier this year and a source confirmed Sunday that not only has no decision been made but no discussion has been had.
Chris Haynes: Atlanta Hawks power forward Paul Millsap to opt out at end of season to become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told ESPN.
Like it or not, true or not, there are going to be a ton of trade rumors with Paul Millsap because of his contract situation. From a management standpoint, is there something you can do to prevent it from becoming a distraction? Wes Wilcox: Paul is a great professional, and it’s absolutely our goal for Paul to be a Hawk long-term. It’s as simple as that.
Paul Millsap said he has yet to decide whether he will opt out of the final year of his contract with the Hawks this summer. The three-time All-Star power forward has a player option for the 2017-18 season worth $21,472,407. It would seem likely that Millsap will opt out and become an unrestricted free agent based on an increase in the NBA salary cap. However, Millsap said he will see how this season plays out before making up his mind. “I haven’t decided anything, no,” Millsap told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.
“I think the plan is to see how this season goes and go from there,” Millsap said. “I can’t predict what is going to happen. For me, it’s focus on basketball. Get through this year, try to get a championship for this team first of all. We’ll deal with all that during the summer time when we have all our options on the table.”
Retaining Millsap is a priority, according to according a person in the Hawks organization. The Hawks did discuss possible trades involving Millsap during the summer as they juggled the signing of Dwight Howard and the free agency of Al Horford.
Paul Millsap said he has yet to decide whether he will opt out of the final year of his contract with the Hawks this summer. The three-time All-Star power forward has a player option for the 2017-18 season worth $21,472,407. It would seem likely that Millsap will opt out and become an unrestricted free agent an increase in the NBA salary cap. However, Millsap said he will see how this season plays out before making up his mind. “I haven’t decided anything, no,” Millsap told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. [...] “I think the plan is to see how this season goes and go from there. I can’t predict what is going to happen. For me, it’s focus on basketball. Get through this year, try to get a championship for this team first of all. We’ll deal with all that during the summer time when we have all our options on the table.”
Here’s the question: If the Hawks are not out of the gate world-beaters – if they are a middling team in the East – do they hang on to Millsap? Keep in mind, he can walk as a free agent. League sources say the value of a would-be free agent diminishes the longer a team holds on to him, so if the Hawks are not sold Millsap will stay in his $21.4 million Player Option, can they really risk letting him potentially walk in July?
Millsap will remain with the Atlanta Hawks after agreeing to a three-year deal worth about $59 million, a source told The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday. The deal, which cannot be finalized until July 9, has a player option in the final year, according to the source, giving the 30-year-old Millsap the potential of seeking another lucrative contract after the NBA's salary cap sees a substantial increase in 2017.
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September 23, 2021 | 4:49 am EDT Update
The Sixers would be best served if Simmons and Paul rethink their plans, though Simmons “is clearly aware of sanctions available to the organization to fine and suspend him, including withholding of salary,” according to Wojnarowski. An NBA source said Wednesday that Simmons initially asked for a trade at the draft combine in Chicago “right after” the end of the 2020-21 season. The Game 7 home loss to the Hawks occurred on June 20, with the combine running from June 21-27.
September 23, 2021 | 2:02 am EDT Update