Hovering right around .500, the Atlanta Hawks may be looking to shake up their roster.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Hawks, fearful of losing Millsap in free agency in the summer without compensation, are not openly shopping him but taking calls on the 31-year-old and their other pending free agents, notably sharpshooter Kyle Korver and swingman Thabo Sefolosha.
Some rival teams have expressed concern to ESPN.com that the Hawks want so much in return for Millsap that it makes a trade unlikely before the deadline.
Korver and Sefolosha are fine players but Millsap, a three-time All-Star, is the biggest name mentioned by Stein. Plus as the report mentions, Millsap could become a free agent if he outs opt of his contact in the summer. And although Millsap said in October that he was just going to focus on basketball during the season, ESPN's Chris Haynes reports that Millsap has decided to opt out and will become an unrestricted free agent. However, the Atlanta Journal Constitution's Chris Vivlamore reports that Millsap hasn't decided about opting out yet:
Told by a source that Paul Millsap has not made up mind about opting out and there have been no discussions.— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) January 1, 2017
But since Millsap could possibly opt out, the Hawks are listening to trade offers now before they possibly lose him for nothing in free agency, which is what happened this past summer when Al Horford signed with the Celtics. The Hawks said in October that their goal is to keep Millsap long-term yet as the season has progressed things may have changed. Also, this is not the first time the Hawks have entertained the idea of trading Millsap as they tested the market last summer as well.
The problem for the Hawks is that while Millsap is a phenomenal player and would be a boost to any team, his impending free agency makes him tricky to trade. And as Stein mentions, the Hawks are asking a lot in return for Millsap. Plus, teams don't want a rental for half a season with the risk of him parting ways at the end of the season. This could make it difficult for Atlanta to find a willing trade partner.
But with Atlanta basically treading water this season, the Hawks are looking to make some changes and it seems like they are reportedly starting with Millsap, Korver and Sefolosha.