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Paul Millsap: Hawks never offered me a contract

Paul Millsap

Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) reacts in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, April 9, 2017, in Atlanta. The Hawks won in overtime 126-125. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)


New Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk made it pretty clear Atlanta was ready to move on from Paul Millsap. Atlanta also traded Dwight Howard, further signaling an intent to rebuild.

Millsap left for the Nuggets in free agency, landing a three-year, $90 million contract with a team option.

Millsap, via Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“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.”
“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 is 32. He doesn’t fit a youth movement with Dennis Schroder, Taurean Prince, DeAndre’ Bembry and John Collins.

A two-year guarantee to Millsap wouldn’t have handcuffed Atlanta like the feared five-year max would have. But committing $60 million to a 32-year-old still would have been a hefty investment for a team trying to go another way.

There might have been a number where the Hawks would have brought Millsap back. But it was clearly so low, it wasn’t worth even presenting next to Denver’s offer.

If Atlanta made that lowball offer, would Millsap’s comments about disappointment and how much he thought he meant to the franchise have been any different?

The issue isn’t the Hawks not making an offer. The issue is the Hawks not valuing Millsap anywhere near the extend the Nuggets did.

Which is fine. Millsap will be an awesome fit next to Nikola Jokic, maybe the final piece to Denver reaching the playoffs. In Atlanta, Millsap would have been an expensive impediment to rebuilding.