Countdown to the trade deadline - YOUR view on a Paul Millsap (and Kyle Korver, evidently) trade
Some of you may be wondering why Kyle Korver's mug is featured at the top of the page. Let me explain. Earlier this week, we polled Celticslife readers on whether they'd like to see a reportedly available Paul Millsap traded to the Boston Celtics as part of our "Countdown to the trade deadline" series, where we take the temperature of the fanbase on proposed and rumored trade possibilities circulating in the NBA media. Unlike earlier iterations, we included two other players - Thabo Sefalosha and Kyle Korver - also reported to be available for a trade. It seems the question we posed this morning about Korver was unintentionally answered by the Millsap poll:
Other future FAs on the @ATLHawks may be available; which should the #Celtics trade for? Tell @CelticsLife in a comment or vote #PaulMillsap— justin quinn (@justinquinnn) January 2, 2017
Korver in, Millsap out.
What does this mean, exactly? Well, I interpret it like this - at first glance, polling returns seem to suggest you collectively undervalue Millsap's value, maybe criminally so. When it comes to the assets you'd prefer to offer for a Paul-Millsap-to-Boston trade - almost half of you don't even want to part with a pick, preferring only salary match - you are simply in unrealistic territory. Of course, this isn't because our readership is a bunch of bandwagoneer johnny-come-latelies, (I assume) it's because you're aware of the relatively unlikely nature of such a trade making sense.
If the @celtics DID make an offer for #PaulMillsap , what would you want it to be? Tell @CelticsLife w/ a comment. #Celtics #NBA @ATLHawks— justin quinn (@justinquinnn) January 2, 2017
As we noted in the polling article, Millsap is capable of commanding a full max contract in free agency this summer, and has opted out of his current deal with that in mind. He may also be looking for a ring, and is in a position to exert a fair amount of leverage to where he ends up given the short term remaining on his current deal. If he won't sign an extension with the team who he ends up with, he's going to be a pricey rental. And for Boston, while he'd be a clear upgrade over Amir Johnson (and maybe every other player on the roster), he would not be enough to make Boston contend, and doesn't fit the age curve of most of the roster. Most importantly, a long-term deal - which Millsap likely wants at his age (nearly 32) would take the Celtics out of realistic contention for a top-tier free agent this summer.
So, on closer review, I think you DO realize how talented Millsap is for the most part, but also recognize there's a limited number of scenarios where adding him to the Celts makes sense from a contention perspective. He would, of course, make for much more interesting trade bait if he extends with Boston (especially on a shorter deal), but that's probably too many "ifs" to build with in this uncertain, post-new-collective-bargaining-agreement era.
This uncertainty seems to also be the reason you all chose Korver over Millsap. Kyle, who is nearly 36, is almost certainly in the last year or two of his career as a productive NBA player, so it's not like anyone expects him to re-up with a long term deal of consequence. And while he's not having one of the best years of his career, his .414 clip from deep and 9.8 points per game - and expiring contract - might just be what Boston's second unit needs to keep pace with all but the most elite of NBA squads without risking the team's long-term ability to contend.
Fair assessment, folks - well done. Let's take a look at what you had to say about the Millsap (and other Hawks players) being traded to Boston:
You are pretty lukewarm on a Millsap trade in general:Should the @Celtics make an offer for #PaulMillsap before the #TradeDeadline? @CelticsLife #Celtics #NBA #Hawks @Paulmillsap4 @ATLHawks— justin quinn (@justinquinnn) January 2, 2017
41% of you are open to a trade, depending on the offer, but only 20% outright ready to pull the trigger, with almost as many people opposed outright (38%) as are on the fence. This is more than likely indicative of your concerns regarding free agency this summer and the fact that while a clear upgrade, a true contender Millsap does not the Celtics make.
Though some of you are definitely on board:
@CelticsLife If we got him, he would be our best frontcourt player.— B. Bouck (@BMB17) January 2, 2017
Some of you had concerns:
@justinquinnn @ATLHawks @CelticsLife if I HAD to I would take milsap but I'm not a huge fan of trading for a rental possibly.— KJTH (@heartagram2195) January 2, 2017
@TeamBoston @CelticsLife why would we want to be 40% of last years atlanta hawks...— josh hanson (@joshhanson9) January 2, 2017
@CelticsLife Horford & Millsap have already proven not to work. #Celtics— Andy Dufresne (@theunzippedfly) January 2, 2017
Some of you bid high:@CelticsLife He's 31 tho— Hayd912 (@Raver912) January 2, 2017
Some of you bid low:
@justinquinnn @celtics @CelticsLife @ATLHawks Kelly, Amir and a pick— AJ (@Teen_Titans23) January 2, 2017
@TeamBoston @CelticsLife Amir, Zeller, and a 1st (not nets).— KevinGuay (@KevinGuay) January 2, 2017
Some of you want nothing to do with him:@CelticsLife Amir + future non Nets pick(s) would be the highest I'd go. And gauge his interest on a cheap 2 yr deal. Need to save cap room.— Zach Davis (@zrdavis9) January 2, 2017
@justinquinnn @ATLHawks @CelticsLife None!!!— João (@J0a0_87) January 2, 2017
And some of you have other ideas:@joshhanson9 @TeamBoston @CelticsLife No thanks. He does nothing for us in catching the Cavs— Matt Porter (@Mattpizzy) January 2, 2017
@CelticsLife Horford is playing better now that he gets more time at PF. Milsap makes him a Center again. We need a 7-Footer not named Tyler— Devonte R (@_DevonteR) January 2, 2017
For more stories about Paul Millsap on Celticslife, click here. For more by Justin, click here.@CelticsLife I like him but big salary to match , still like going after vucevic+hezonja from orlando, boogie , pg13, etc— busterbrez (@BosGardenTroll) January 2, 2017
Photo via Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Data via www.basketball-reference.com
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn