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While the big fish like DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George and Jimmy Butler remain unavailable, Paul Millsap reportedly is on the block and his skill set would just so happen be a perfect fit to Stevens' Celtics.

The Atlanta Hawks have begun listening to trade pitches for All-Star forward Paul Millsap in recent days, according to league sources.

they were stung by the free-agent departure of Al Horford in that Horford, in the words of one source with knowledge of the team's thinking, got away "for nothing."

The feeling within the organization now, sources said, is that it's best to gauge the trade market for Millsap, Korver and Sefolosha between now and the Feb. 23 trade deadline to guard against a repeat scenario.

He has earned Eastern Conference All-Star berths in each of his three seasons since joining the Hawks in free agency before the 2013-14 campaign, and he earned All-Defensive Second Team honors for the first time last season.

The Celtics could use more help in the front court and Millsap will likely be the best option available. He also fits well next to Horford as in today's NBA you don't want traditional big men and you can't even play with two of them. Both Horford and Millsap can stretch the floor. This is part of the reason the Hawks without a superstar won so many games. To the argument, "With Millsap, we'll just become the Hawks," I'd respond, if that's the case then are we worse than the Hawks without him? Don't we first need to become as good as them before we can be better? Also I'd argue our backcourt is better than there's was. Adding more talent (as long as the cost is fair and you're not tanking) is never a bad thing. Millsap would improve our talent.

Now onto what makes a deal doable or not, the cost. Due to Millsap's age (soon to be 32) and the likelihood that he opts out and becomes a free agent this summer, the Hawks asking price should be a bit lower. Now don't expect to get him for peanuts. There will be several other suitors, so a pu pu platter of our own expiring contracts like Kelly Olynyk, Amir Johnson, and Tyler Zeller as well as our lesser 1st round pick assets (our own 2018 pick and the Grizzlies and Clippers 1sts) won't get it done. We'll actually have to give up something fans don't want to lose in order to get an all-star back.



Ainge will refuse to part with the 2017 Nets pick, which is smart. The Hawks will likely ask for the 2018 pick, but I think we can talk them down from that. Next up becomes our best young assets, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier. I think Ainge says no to Jaylen Brown. Marcus he might possibly part with, but if Smart is going to Atlanta I can't see much more going with him. If it's Rozier then we likley have to include one of our lesser picks mentioned earlier. With regards to Millsap's free agent future, I have no doubt that Ainge would do his due diligence and find out how open he is to re-signing longterm before pulling the trigger on a deal. Millsap took less a couple summers ago from the Hawks than he was offered by the Magic, so he is an exception to the free agent norm of prioritizing money above everything else.

My main concern with Millsap would be his age in a long term contract, but the reality is Ainge blew his chance to add another star when he couldn't get the Jimmy Butler trade done last June. Now that ship has sailed and Millsap presents another opportunity to add an all-star without parting with the 2017 Nets pick.

While we're a pretty good team right now, we'd be knocking on competing with Millsap. Definitely not on the Cavs or Warriors level, but the next tier. And injuries do happen. Could a Celtics team with Millsap knock off the Cavs if let's say Kyrie got hurt again? I think they'd sure have a decent chance. The Celtics have had interest in Millsap prior, so expect them to be in the mix this time around as well. Would love to see them win the sweepstakes.

JR 1/01/2017 07:35:00 PM Edit
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