NBA trade rumors have the Atlanta Hawks taking offers for All-Star forward Paul Millsap. One NBA team that has already been linked to trade negotiations with the Hawks is the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors could see Millsap as the type of big man who could help them compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. A report by NBA analyst Marc Stein confirms that the Hawks are actively listening to trade offers for Millsap.

The Hawks are now fifth place overall in the East, so it’s unlikely that the team is just looking to give away Millsap. The front office may also be looking at how close many teams are to overtaking the Hawks, as the Chicago Bulls (tenth place) are just one and a half games back. Two straight wins have the Hawks back above a 0.500 record and potentially looking at moving up again. That could easily go in the opposite direction with a bad streak, which is likely why the front office is open for business now.

One of the main reasons that these NBA trade rumors have come up is that Paul Millsap is in the final year of his contract. Millsap will be a free agent during the next NBA off-season, possibly commanding a contract that the Atlanta Hawks don’t want on the payroll. Millsap does have a player option worth about $21.5 million for the 2017-18 NBA season, but he is expected to opt out in favor of a long-term deal. It lowers his trade value a bit because this could mean that Millsap is only going to be a rental for the last few months of the 2016-17 NBA season.

[Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]

In 30 games with the Hawks this season, Millsap is averaging 17.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.6 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game. Those are close to his averages since joining the Hawks for the 2013-14 NBA season. In his first three years with the team, Millsap was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team every time. He could make it four straight years if he is invited to the 2017 All-Star Game. It’s unclear if he will make the cut this year though.

The Toronto Raptors are coming up in these latest NBA trade rumors because the team had previously contacted the Atlanta Hawks about dealing Paul Millsap. Nothing came from those negotiations, but the interest level that the Raptors showed hasn’t diminished at all. Acquiring a big man like Millsap could certainly improve the team a lot, especially if they don’t have to deal any players who are a part of the main rotation of minutes. As for players or picks that the Hawks would get in a transaction like this, no names have been mentioned just yet.

If the Raptors really want to acquire Millsap and the front office believes that the team is good enough to compete right now, several draft picks could be included in the deal. Right now the Raptors are at 22-10, good enough for second place in the Eastern Conference standings, but still three games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers. To catch the defending NBA champions or to improve the odds in a head-to-head series, acquiring a player like Millsap might be considered a key move for the franchise.

[Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]

Now that the Atlanta Hawks are officially putting Paul Millsap on the open market, there are likely to be many additional suitors. Any team that is lacking size or needs to improve on offense will likely make a call to Atlanta to find out what the asking price is for an All-Star power forward. This will undoubtedly lead to more NBA trade rumors, with teams like the Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Lakers getting linked to Atlanta.

[Featured Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]

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