The expected became official yesterday afternoon, as the four-time all-star opted out of the final year of his deal with Atlanta. Millsap was owed $21.4 million this season, but will be receiving a giant raise in free agency.
Millsap’s next contract will be in excess of $30 million, which is quite a number for a player entering his mid-30’s. The Anchorman, as Hawks fans have come to know him, has reiterated that he wants to continue to play for Atlanta. The question now becomes whether the Hawks will be willing to open up their wallets to retain him.
That looks to be the case. When asked about Millsap’s impending free agency, “The best for us is with Paul,” Budenholzer said. “We’re incredibly optimistic and incredibly committed to Paul.” Hawks owner, Tony Ressler, has also stated several times that re-signing Paul Millsap is the Hawks number one priority. Ressler made it clear that he wants the team to remain competitive rather than undergoing a rebuild.
This decision will be largely influenced by whoever the Hawks select to be their general manager. Atlanta has been on a continuous search for a new GM and President of Basketball operation since demoting both Wes Wilcox and Mike Budenholzer from their respective roles in the front office. Possible options include Joe Dumars, David Griffin, Chauncey Billups and many more. Whoever the Hawks decide to put ahead their organization will have a tough choice on whether or not to sign an aging star to a contract north of $30 million a season.