The Utah Jazz knew that two of their best players would be unrestricted free agents this summer, and yet they played out all of last season without trading them to try and get anything of value in return.
They didn’t bother to re-sign them, either.
After Al Jefferson left for the greener pastures of the Charlotte Bobcats (that’s a joke, people), now comes word that Paul Millsap has agreed to join the Atlanta Hawks.
The Hawks agreed to terms with free agent Paul Millsap late Friday night, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.
The deal for the 6-foot-8 power forward will be for two years and $19 million, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The agreement with Millsap came hours after the Jazz renounced his rights upon agreeing to a trade with the Warriors. In that deal, the Jazz obtained the expiring contracts of Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush. Millsap made $8.6 million last season and had an $11 million cap hold.
It could be argued that the Jazz weren’t very good with Millsap and Jefferson in the fold, when they finished 43-39 a season ago, outside of the playoff picture entirely in the Western Conference.
But losing both of these players puts them into a full-fledged rebuild, and taking on the high-dollar contracts in that trade with the Warriors all but confirms that to be the case.
Meanwhile, the Hawks add an excellent player in Millsap, who averaged 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 78 games with the Jazz last season.