Paul Millsap has agreed to a three-year, $90 million deal with the Denver Nuggets according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania. Millsap has played 11 years in the NBA, most recently with the Atlanta Hawks. During the 2016-2017 season, Millsap averaged 18.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game.
Millsap was one of the best power forwards available in this years free agency class. Millsap leaves Atlanta after four years with the Atlanta Hawks -- the most impressive being the the 2014-15 season, where the Hawks ended first in the Eastern Conference heading into the playoffs. They were eventually sent home by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, which like most Eastern Conference teams, began the breakup for the Hawks.
In his final year for the Hawks, Millsap found himself on the trading block at the deadline, as the Hawks saw Al Horford walk away the previous summer in free agency. The Hawks also traded Jeff Teague before the season, and sent Kyle Korver to the Cavaliers. While the Hawks held onto Millsap at the deadline, the rebuild in Atlanta has been underway for some time now.
Why this is good for Denver
This move for the Nuggets definitely helps in the goal of making the playoffs. After coming in ninth place last year, and missing the playoffs in the prior four years, the Nuggets now have a roster that can compete. The West is deeper than ever with players like Jimmy Butler and Paul George switching conferences, but this is the move Denver needed to make.
Millsap will fit well next to Nikola Jokic in the Nuggets’ frontcourt. Millsap is a great defender in the post and this will allow Jokic to focus on protecting the rim. Not only defensively, Millsap should pair extremely well next to Jokic on offense as well. The Nuggets were after a power forward this offseason, after being linked to possible trades for Kevin Love, but the ultimate Paul Millsap signing should be a great addition. What makes it even better is it’s a team option for Denver in the third year, which is a great contract for Millsap.
If the Nuggets are able to also re-sign Danilo Gallinari, the Denver will run out a lineup with Millsap, Jokic, Gallinari, and Gary Harris which is plenty to be excited about.
What should I know about Paul Millsap?
Millsap is a four time All-Star and 11-year veteran in the league. Millsap is a fan favorite wherever he goes, as well as an important part of locker room culture as well as a figure in the community. Atlanta moving on from Millsap is more about their current state as a team than it is a reflection on Millsap.
At 32, this is a great deal for Millsap and a great fit in Denver as he likely gets his last big paycheck in the league. Millsap was drafted 47th overall in the 2006 draft but has turned into one of the premiere power forwards in the league.
In the playoffs last season, Millsap averaged 24.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists.