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Raptors Looking To Nab The Hawks Paul Millsap?

It’s possible the Atlanta Hawks will be going into full rebuild mode after trading starting point guard Jeff Teague for the 12th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. If that happens, the Toronto Raptors are almost certain to inquire about Paul Millsap and his $20 million likely expiring (2017-18 player option) contract.

The speculation about Atlanta’s possible rebuild comes largely from Al Horford and Kent Bazemore’s pending unrestricted free agency. If these two players leave without compensation, the Hawks will be a Lottery Team next season even with Millsap.

However, by moving out Teague, the Hawks could have well over $40 million in salary cap space and it’s been suggested they are trying to create more space (or more incentive for Horford to re-sign?) by using their first round draft picks as bait.

So, the Hawks rebuild is on hold for now, but it’s been setup so it could happen if (the Hawks believe) Horford moves on to greener pastures in July. At that point, look to the Raptors to ramp up their interest in Millsap depending on what president and general manager Masai Ujiri has already committed his resources to. The draft and free agency can’t take a back seat to trades that may or may not happen.

There is going to be a lot of speculation and actual player movement around this year’s NBA Draft.



Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.