Paul Millsap is happy right where he is.
Following a report from ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst that said the Atlanta Hawks were listening to offers for Millsap, the All-Star forward has made it clear he prefers to stay put, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Chris Vivlamore:
Millsap on trade talk: "Everybody knows where my heart is and where I want to be."
Me: And that's here?
Millsap: "That would be here, yes."
— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) January 3, 2017
Millsap owns a player option for next season worth a hair under $21.5 million, which he will decline to enter free agency. At that point, he’ll be 32, fielding max or near-max contract offers.
The Hawks may not have the financial stomach to keep him. It’s become clear they are more roller-coaster spectacle than Eastern Conference contenders, and it’s tough to justify funneling a nine-figure investment into this core when its ceiling is relatively low.
Atlanta does have Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore under big-money pacts, so there is at least a partial sense of urgency to compete now. But with Kyle Korver and Thabo Sefolosha, both of whom are older than Millsap, also set to explore the open market, the Hawks might view next summer as an opportunity to begin rebuilding, in which case Millsap would be good as gone anyway.
Rather than let him walk away for nothing, as became the case with Al Horford when he left for the Boston Celtics, the franchise owes it to itself to try capitalizing on whatever market value Millsap currently holds as an over-30 flight risk who may end up being a partial-season rental.