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With Paul Millsap slated for free agency after the season, the Hawks are putting him on the trading block.
According to ESPN.com, the Hawks are fielding trade offers for the 31-year-old forward.
In 30 games so far this season, Millsap is averaging 17.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists — all comparable to his past three All-Star seasons with Atlanta.
The Hawks are fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 17-16 record. Dwight Howard has been a nice addition, but they don’t appear to be capable of challenging the Cavaliers, Raptors or even the Celtics in the playoffs. Offering up Millsap, who will demand big money, shows the Atlanta front office sees what everyone else does.
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Offloading Millsap now could attract a nice haul and negate the risk of losing him in the offseason with no return.
In 2018, Anthony can opt out of the final, $27.9 million season on his contract. If he doesn’t, he’ll hit unrestricted free agency in 2019 anyway. He’ll be 35 by that point, teetering on the top 10 all time in career points. Maybe he’ll want to leave New York by then. Maybe the Knicks (and Nets) won’t give him a choice, even if he’s willing to take a pay cut.
Few players in the NBA come across as steadfastly confident as Anthony. Unlike Rose, he’s not callous about how his words are perceived, yet he also seems to embrace his role in the soap opera of backpage tabloid covers and postgame interview videos that comes with being in New York. He loves being in New York. He wants to stay in New York. And no one’s going to bully him out of New York.