Despite repeated opportunities to trade him for a valuable piece, forward Paul Millsap is no longer a member of the Atlanta Hawks, signing a 3-year, $90 million contract with the Denver Nuggets Monday morning, according to ESPN.com.
In four seasons with the Hawks, Millsap was an all-star every year, averaging 17.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He was the team’s most valuable piece in all four of those seasons and was frequently the go-to guy in key playoff moments, and the Hawks made the postseason all four seasons Millsap was with the club.
It’s been clear for the last 12 months that the Hawks are in some form of a rebuild, allowing Al Horford to sign in Boston and trading Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver, then Dwight Howard just days ago.
But the rebuild temporarily halted some time around Jan. 10, when the Hawks won their seventh game in a row to improve to a 22-16 record. Trade rumors were swirling, with Millsap at the forefront of questions about the Hawks’ future, and it was around that time when management decided to turn down all offers for Atlanta’s best player.
Now, at a time when the Hawks were probably right to not offer Millsap a massive contract and focus on the rebuild, they’ll get nothing for a player who was the centerpiece of the franchise’s best team ever. We’ll see what the Hawks choose to do with all that money they saved, but it’s hard not to see an opportunity lost in this saga.Follow @Sean_Breslin