Countdown to the trade deadline - Paul Millsap

Cue up the speculation drive, folks - Paul Millsap is reportedly available!

We jumped on this one (almost) before anyone could connect the inevitable dots to the Boston Celtics and their treasure trove of assets, which is something of an accomplishment, given the connection to the Atlanta Hawks the Celts now have via Al Horford (who defected from them) and of course because it was more or less the work of Millsap last year that bounced the Celts from the postseason (yes, Avery Bradley's injury played a HUGE part, too - I'm only talking about what DID happen, not what might have).

There's a lot to consider here regarding the wisdom of a Millsap-to-Boston trade possibility, but they can be broken down to the following:

1. Fit: Let's be honest - it'd be as close to perfect as you can get for a perennial All-Star changing teams. Millsap's mobile, perimeter-oriented game is at its best in the motion-geared, pace-and-space system Boston uses, which is not that far from how he's used now. It's possible Horford will not be into the idea of moving back to the five (at least in name), given his interest in playing power forward, but in Brad Stevens' system, it's more semantics than in most teams on the defensive end of the floor. And adding Millsap's nearly eight boards per game can't hurt one of the weaker rebounding teams in the league, either.

2. Age: At almost 32, it's safe to say Paul is looking at the back nine of his career, and this is a concern. His productivity is probably going to drop off notably in the next five years, but the question is....when? If he is viewed more as a rental with potential for a short term deal (say, two or three years), he might be a great option, though it's unlikely that's the case, given Millsap reportedly opted out of a $21.5 million final year of his current deal. Paul could easily get the full max for his age as a free agent from a rebuilding team with few options (Hi, Brooklyn Nets!) this summer, so unless moving to a team to compete for a ring is his top priority (and it could be - he's made plenty to date), a shorter deal is probably off the table.

Also, if it's a shorter deal Boston is after, other teams will probably beat what Danny Ainge is willing to pay for a half-season - Philadelphia has similar assets and young talent that would likely appeal - and a longer deal takes the next factor into play:

3. Planning: Trading for Millsap will take Boston out of the max contract free agent market this summer, barring a massive and very unlikely salary dump. A core of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Millsap and Horford could theoretically compete for a year or three in the east if healthy, particularly if a situation like what the Cleveland Cavaliers are dealing with (J.R. Smith being out until March or April) now happens in the offseason. However, barring the same thing happening out west AND staying healthy, this is probably not enough to get Boston to Banner 18.

That doesn't mean the deal doesn't get done, though - keep in mind that under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, trades and drafting look to be the best means available to build a contender, and a package of Millsap and Marcus Smart plus a Brinks truck full of draft picks would probably go over better than Amir Johnson, Tyler Zeller and Smart plus the latter should a player like DeMarcus Cousins or Anthony Davis actually become available. The devil, as always, is in the details.

To complicate things further, it's also been reported Thabo Sefalosha and Kyle Korver - both also future free agents this summer - are also potentially available. Could a deal involving some of our younger players be a preferable move to banking on the uncertainty that comes with trading for Millsap? Or would some combination of the three be a better move?

So, here's the part where we ask YOU, the reader, to act as hive-mind, and break down your collective point of view on any such a trade - whether it involves Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver, Thabo Sefalosha - or some combination of the three. Make sure to take the Twitter polls, and leave us detailed comments in the mentions or comment section below. We’ll use the best - and funniest - comments in our write-up of your view on a Millsap/Korver/Sefalosha/multi-player trade.

For more stories about Paul Millsap on Celticslife, click here. For more by Justin, click here.

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