NBA Rumors: Paul Millsap joining Miami in free agency? Heat need an upgrade at PF

NBA, NBA Trade Rumors, Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks
PHOTOGRAPH: Keith Allison/Flickr | Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks

Paul Millsap plans to opt out the final year of his contract with the Atlanta Hawks and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. After the Hawks suffered an early exit in the NBA Playoffs 2017, will Millsap consider joining other teams in free agency?

The Hawks entered the 2016-17 NBA season without Al Horford and Jeff Teague. They also traded Kyle Korver in mid-season, leaving Paul Millsap as the only member of the Hawks’ famous starting five. Millsap and the Hawks still managed to enter the playoffs but the Washington Wizards easily eliminated them in the first round.

NBA Free Agency 2017: Paul Millsap to Miami Heat

Two months before the 2017 NBA free agency, Paul Millsap revealed his plan to opt out of the final year of his contract and test the market. Millsap will surely be one of the most coveted superstars this summer. The Miami Heat are one of the NBA teams who is expected to pursue Millsap in free agency.

“With Chris Bosh out of the picture, Millsap fits a Heat need at power forward. He’s also a consistent contributor, as he’s averaged more than 16 points and seven rebounds and has been named an All-Star in each of the past four seasons,” Anthony Chiang of wrote.

If the Heat succeeds to remove Bosh’s salary from the book, they will have approximately $38 million in cap space. This will be good enough to bring Millsap to Miami. The Heat could sign him to a four-year deal worth $158.4 million.

However, as Chiang notes, giving Millsap such deal will prevent them from pursuing other players in the upcoming free agency. The Hawks power forward will undeniably be a great addition to Miami, forming a formidable frontcourt with Hassan Whiteside. However, if they could re-sign James Johnson to a much cheaper deal, the Heat should use their money in a young and talented free agent.

NBA Free Agency 2017: Paul Millsap wants to re-sign with the Hawks

After revealing his plan to become a free agent, Millsap expressed his intention to re-sign with the Hawks. The 32-year-old power forward sees no reason why he shouldn’t return to Atlanta.

“I don’t know,” Millsap said when asked what would prevent him from re-signing with the Hawks. “It’s something me and my agent and my family have to sit down and talk about. The decisions I make with my career is not just about me. It doesn’t affect just me. I’ll talk to my family and see what happens. But knowing these guys, knowing the organization, I know they want to head in the right direction. They want to get the best available. They want the franchise to win. I believe that without even having a meeting with them. I know the direction they want to go.”

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr

Video courtesy: Youtube/NBA Reel

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