For now, Atlanta Hawks All-Star forward Paul Millsap is no longer on the trade market, league sources told The Vertical.
Atlanta general manager Wes Wilcox started informing teams Monday afternoon that the Hawks were no longer working to unload Millsap, sources said. Millsap can be a free agent this summer, and multiple teams – including Denver, Sacramento and the Los Angeles Lakers – had an interest in making a deal for him, sources said.
The commitment to trade for Millsap, 31, would be significant for teams because of the assets it would take to acquire him and the likely $30 million-plus annual salary needed to re-sign him in summer free agency. If the Hawks had overwhelming offers for Millsap, they may not have hesitated on pulling him from the market.
Nevertheless, the Hawks could change course with several weeks left before the Feb. 23 trade deadline and return Millsap to the marketplace. For now, the Hawks – 21-16 and fourth in the East – are turning back toward competing in the conference.
After getting a future first-round pick for the expiring contract of guard Kyle Korver in a trade with Cleveland, the Hawks had sent strong indications around the league that they were prepared to dismantle the veteran core and try to accumulate young players and draft picks for a rebuild. For now, the Hawks are hedging, and president and coach Mike Budenholzer and Wilcox decided against pushing deeper into trade talks on Millsap.
The Hawks had planned to move veteran Mike Dunleavy Jr., who was acquired in the Korver deal, to a third team with Millsap on the trade market, but the directive to change course made it easier for the Hawks to commit to a role for Dunleavy and convince him that a contract buyout wasn’t his best alternative for his season. Dunleavy, 36, will report to the Hawks on Tuesday to take his physical and complete the Korver trade, league sources said.
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