POSTED: Jul 10, 2013 5:54 PM ET
ATLANTA (AP) — Hawks general manager Danny Ferry says he coveted Paul Millsap long before NBA free agency began.
One minute after teams were allowed to begin negotiating with free agents last week, Ferry called Millsap to schedule a meeting and make his pitch.
Danny Ferry on Paul Millsap
Millsap, who spent the last seven seasons with Utah, signed a two-year, $19 million contract with Atlanta on Wednesday. Ferry describes Millsap as a model teammate and power forward to pair with Al Horford, Kyle Korver and Lou Williams and keep their team competitive in the Eastern Conference.
The Hawks acquired Millsap after Ferry was turned down by Dwight Howard, who left the Los Angeles Lakers to sign with Houston, and as the Hawks prepared for Josh Smith to depart for Detroit following nine seasons with Atlanta.