SACRAMENTO -- With the reported trade of 35-year-old sharpshooter Kyle Korver, the Atlanta Hawks appear primed as sellers nearly seven weeks before the NBA’s Feb. 23 trade deadline. What does that mean for veteran big man Paul Millsap?
According to multiple reports, the Kings have interest in the Hawks’ All-Star forward and are pushing hard to make something work.
The Atlantic Journal-Constitution’s Chris Vivlamare started the conversation with a tweet Thursday afternoon.
“The Sacramento Kings are a team very interested in Paul Millsap,” Vivlamare tweeted.
Minutes later, RealGM writer Keith Smith jumped into the conversation.
“Also, the Kings are getting deep on Millsap. Other teams involved, but SAC very motivated to get in the playoffs this year,” Smith posted on twitter.
Smith went on to say that DeMarcus Cousins would not be included in any deal for Millsap and that the Kings would love to pair the veteran with their All-Star center.
Millsap, 31, is in the middle of a three-year, $60 million deal that carries him through the 2017-18 season, but he has a $22 million player option for next year and could leave as an unrestricted free agent.
The three-time All-Star is posting solid numbers for the Hawks, averaging 17.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals in 33.9 minutes per game.
Known as a positive presence in the locker room and a quality defender on the floor, Millsap would fit nicely at the power forward position alongside Cousins.
Whether the Kings have the assets to land an All-Star caliber player is another question.
Sacramento has already committed their 2017 first round selection (top 10 protected) to the Chicago Bulls as part of the Omri Casspi/J.J. Hickson deal from 2011 and their 2019 pick is property of the Philadelphia 76ers from the Nik Stauskas, Jason Thompson, Carl Landry deal from 2015. The earliest selection the Kings could include is a 2021 pick per NBA rules.
If Atlanta is looking for prospects, the Kings have plenty of young options sitting on the bench from both the 2015 and 2016 NBA Draft. They also have plenty of moveable veteran pieces on short-term deals to make the money work.
Millsap’s value will be hampered slightly by his contract status. Dealing him in the first week of January would guarantee a team less than four months of service before he could exercise the option to enter free agency this summer.
It looks like trade season is starting early this season and the Sacramento Kings might be ready to jump in the action.