Paul Millsap remains an option for Celtics

NBA free agency may only be a day old, but that hasn’t stopped teams from around the league making eye-catching moves already. Paul George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jrue Holiday re-upped with the New Orleans Pelicans for five years/ $125million while Stephen Curry signed a hefty $201 million deal with newly crowned champions, the Golden State Warriors. But where does all this leave the Boston Celtics?

Well, George is off the table until next year at least, when his free agency tour begins. Reports vary over what Boston were willing to give up for him but the general consensus is the 2019 first round picks from Memphis and Los Angeles Clippers were on the table for Indiana. They refused. Next up was a planned move for Blake Griffin but the Clippers moved quickly to make sure he didn’t follow Chris Paul out the door. That leaves Boston with just Gordon Hayward to try and persuade to join their ranks as Danny Ainge’s assumed free agency plan was scuppered as soon as midnight came around.

Yet, there are other options for the Celtics front office to consider. One player they might take a look at is Al Horford’s former front court colleague in Atlanta, Paul Millsap. Millsap is 32-years-old and handing him a max contract wouldn’t be a wise investment. Paying over $20 million a year for a player on the wrong side of 30 would be the opposite to what the Celtics are building, and though he’s always been a reliable option, there’s always a risk someone that age will regress early into their long-term deal.

Millsap averaged over 18 points a game last year as he took on more of a scoring responsibility following the exit of Horford, and his defensive numbers were also solid, coming 15th in Defensive Win Shares. In terms of quality, a move for Millsap is understandable but at his age, and the contract he would seek, there’s better options out there. It might even benefit Ainge to wait around another year for that superstar free agent coup if the alternative is offering an ageing player a max deal.

Credit to Brad Mills/ USA Today Sports (top) and Chris Humphreys (bottom) for the photos
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