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Paul Millsap agrees to two-year deal with the Hawks

Jul 6, 2013, 12:31 AM EDT

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

The Utah Jazz knew that two of their best players would be unrestricted free agents this summer, and yet they played out all of last season without trading them to try and get anything of value in return.

They didn’t bother to re-sign them, either.

After Al Jefferson left for the greener pastures of the Charlotte Bobcats (that’s a joke, people), now comes word that Paul Millsap has agreed to join the Atlanta Hawks.

From Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The Hawks agreed to terms with free agent Paul Millsap late Friday night, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

The deal for the 6-foot-8 power forward will be for two years and $19 million, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The agreement with Millsap came hours after the Jazz renounced his rights upon agreeing to a trade with the Warriors. In that deal, the Jazz obtained the expiring contracts of Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush. Millsap made $8.6 million last season and had an $11 million cap hold.

It could be argued that the Jazz weren’t very good with Millsap and Jefferson in the fold, when they finished 43-39 a season ago, outside of the playoff picture entirely in the Western Conference.

But losing both of these players puts them into a full-fledged rebuild, and taking on the high-dollar contracts in that trade with the Warriors all but confirms that to be the case.

Meanwhile, the Hawks add an excellent player in Millsap, who averaged 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 78 games with the Jazz last season.

Atlanta also re-signed Kyle Korver, and are still in the mix to re-sign Josh Smith, though he may receive bigger and better offers to play somewhere else.

  1. JMClarkent - Jul 6, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Excellent is a bit strong. Milsap is a high motor guy for sure, but he is a tweener and a very average defender. I do think he will do a nice job next to Hortford; less than $10 Million per year isn’t terrible for his services.

    • nbascreed - Jul 6, 2013 at 8:14 AM

      You don’t know anything about basketball. First, he’s not a tweener he’s an undersized four. Big difference. Second, he’s a heckuva post player so his size really hasn’t been much of an issue in what has been a good career thus far.

    • skinsfanwill - Jul 6, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      Tweener? This guy has been in all star talks for several years. He led the nation in rebounding every year he was in college and would have better numbers had Utah not had to divvy up minutes between 4 bigs. This is a very good player. high motor guy that is an average defender is how I would describe Reggie Evans. Millsap can ball.

      • JMClarkent - Jul 6, 2013 at 10:56 AM

        You clearly haven’t watched much Jazz basketball, which makes your desire to retort interesting. While he may be baby Barkley in NBA 2K where you get your info, actually watching him play would give you a bit more insight. Don’t give us that “nearly an “All Star” garbage – Jamal Maglore was an All Star – would you run out and sign him? Fact is, Paul is indeed a 4 (I agree) that has played a solid amount of three (due to Favors emergence and that he struggles to guard true high caliber PFs) over the last few years. In your defense, I guess they don’t share that on Sportscenter.

  2. abchome - Jul 6, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    They should be fined $20 million ($250k x 82) for… lol

  3. drunkenjunk - Jul 6, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    Horford isn’t true center. Why pick up another high dollar pf?

    • fm31970 - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:25 AM

      Yeah, I thought we heard all along that the Hawks wanted to get Horford back to his “natural” position of power forward…maybe that was simply not true.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:59 AM

      The Hawks might yet get Omer Aisk from Houston in a trade with the Hawks for Smith.

      Then you’d have Horford and Milsap as the forwards and Aisk as the center (he averaged a double double last year). He isn’t great, but he isn’t terrible either and he’s still has upside.

      He protects the rim too. Again, not great but they could do a lot worse or continue having Horford man the post.

    • anhdazman - Jul 6, 2013 at 7:23 AM

      Because you’re still going to need a 3 big man rotation and Millsap is going to be much better than what you had in Josh Smith. Millsap knows his strength and will work hard in the pain and on the blocks. He’s not going to be drifting out to the 3 point line.
      You guys are still in pursuit of a center and Asik would be the ideal add.

  4. 00maltliquor - Jul 6, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    Hawks just won’t let Horford be a true PF, huh?

  5. qpoiu1 - Jul 6, 2013 at 4:07 AM

    weren’t they trying to slide horford to PF?

  6. saint1997 - Jul 6, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    Good move by Jazz. Rebuild around Burke, Burks and Favors

  7. bellerophon30 - Jul 6, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    I guess Josh Smith really wants $15 million a year, because I don’t see how Millsap is an upgrade over him. But he’s better than 2/3 of Smith, yes.

    And I agree with the others, I thought that the plan all along was to move Horford over to PF. Maybe a sign and trade with Smith for Asik is still in the wind.

  8. cantonbound13 - Jul 6, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    Jefferson got more than Milsap?

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      As he should.

  9. mannyicey - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Stop it with the “Al Horford isn’t a true Center”, madness. Hes an All-Star NBA Center; with a 6’10, 250lbs frame. That makes him as tall as Al Jefferson and an inch smaller than Joakim Noah (even though he’s actually bigger than Noah in weight).

    Don’t lose penalize Horford just because he’s athletic and versatile. Just because he has handles, he shouldn’t automatically be seen as a PF. He can play BOTH positions well. That gives the Hawks a competitive advantage, IMO.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      Horford himself has said he doesn’t want to be a C and wants to go back to PF.

      • casualcommenter - Jul 6, 2013 at 8:08 PM

        Yeah, I don’t think he realizes – nobody is trying to insult Horford by calling him a true power forward instead of a center.

        Many people, including Al Horford himself and even his dad, have said publicly Horford should be a power forward, not a center.

      • drunkenjunk - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        I didn’t mean you maltliqour. I was talking to mannyice

    • drunkenjunk - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      By your logic Dirk should of been a center all this time.

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 7, 2013 at 3:14 AM

        Huh? Dirk is right where he should be, at PF. Not sure where you’re coming up with this.

  10. mannyicey - Jul 7, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    First of all, Dirk never played as an NBA Center. He never was an NBA center for a playoff team. He never was an NBA All-Star Center. So of course he’s not a center.

    But Al Horford did all of those things. Plus, he was a Center that also played PF at Florida. So he’s a successful Center!

    He did say that he wants to play PF. This is true. Heck, if you ask many NBA players what position they would REALLY want to play, they would say another position. But if you can’t upgrade at that position, you play the best you have. And right now, Al Horford is one of the best Centers playing right now.

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