Blogtable: Thoughts on Hawks taking Paul Millsap off trade market?
Each week, we ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day.
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After trading Kyle Korver to the Cavs, the Hawks reportedly have taken Paul Millsap off the trade market. Smart move?
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David Aldridge: No one’s ever “off” the trading block once they’re on. Atlanta didn’t hear what it wanted to hear from teams so the Hawks “pulled” him off. Believe me, when and if they do hear what they want, he’ll be back on. (No one’s going to make a real offer for him if they’re not sure he’s going to re-sign with their team.) For now, though, they don’t need the headache; they’re playing well and in the east, you’re just one good series away from having a shot at reaching the conference finals.
Steve Aschburner: Unsmart move. We’re to believe that shedding Korver, for next to nothing in return, somehow better equips Atlanta for a playoff run in the Eastern Conference? Nope. The Hawks not only made the East favorite in Cleveland stronger, they undermined Millsap’s marketability by signaling to the league that they’re not serious about contending. Not after the departures of Al Horford (free agency), Jeff Teague (trade) and now, Korver. They should have traded Millsap first, then Korver. Better hope a bidding war sparks as the trade deadline approaches, at rent-a-Millsap bargain rates.
Fran Blinebury: Smart move if the Hawks can continue their recent winning ways and demonstrate that they’ve turned the season around. But not necessarily the final move with the trade deadline not till Feb. 23. There are still moving parts to this story in Atlanta.
Scott Howard-Cooper: “Taken off the market” is a meaningless phrase. If someone calls with a sweet offer in 10 minutes, he’s back on. The Hawks are in no position to lay low with at least two teams already better than them, the Cavaliers and Raptors, and the Celtics waving the Nets’ unprotected first-rounder around as a trade chip. I’m not saying dump Millsap because he could be part of the solution. I’m saying we’re talking about Atlanta, not Cleveland and whether LeBron James should be available or Golden State and Kevin Durant. The Hawks have to consider all options.
Shaun Powell: No one can say whether it was smart or not because we don’t know what was offered for Millsap. Evidently, the Hawks didn’t get what they wanted — at least for now. Either they have a strong indication Millsap will re-sign this summer, or they’ll shop him again next month before the deadline. Lots will depend where the Hawks are in the East by then.
John Schuhmann: Time will tell. There are still six more weeks until the trade deadline, the Hawks could put him back on the market, and Millsap may or may not intend to re-sign with them this summer. But it would be a sad state of affairs if the fourth-place team in the conference felt the need to trade its best player because it thought it would lose him in free agency. Even if there’s no getting past the Cavs in the Eastern Conference, I’d be curious to know for what kind of package the Hawks would be willing to sacrifice the chance at winning a playoff series or two.
Sekou Smith: Useless move. The Hawks botched this thing from the start. They should have never allowed the fact that they were entertaining offers for their veterans get out in the first place. As for this latest statement about Millsap being off the trade market … whatever works. I think we’re all smart enough to know that any good team is always willing to listen to potential offers. And the Feb. 23 deadline is like a neon sign in the distance for the entire league, not just the Hawks. Do your business in private and you don’t have to worry about your locker room melting down at the first mention of a trade rumor.
Ian Thomsen: It means they couldn’t get enough in return for him, based on the fact that he can become a free agent this summer. The question is whether putting Millsap on the market has helped convince him to leave. Was this a self-fulfilling act by the Hawks? We’ll know soon enough.
Lang Whitaker: Brilliant. It is as smart to take Millsap off the trading block as it was for a team that wants to win games right now to put a player like Millsap on the block. Dwight Howard has been a great addition to the Hawks and shored up their interior presence, but Paul Millsap is clearly the best player on the Hawks. All things considered, trading Korver is relatively minor move. Moving Millsap would signal a major change in direction for these Hawks.
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