Next season, Paull Millsap can make $21.4 million with the Atlanta Hawks. All he has to do is opt into the final year of his contract.
However, as a clear max player, if he opts out and becomes a free agent, he can get a four-or-five year deal starting at $33.6 million.
That’s $12.2 million a year. We all know what Millsap is going to do, it’s the choice all of us would make in his shoes — even if we want to stay in Atlanta. He’s going to take the cash. Millsap, however, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Chris Vivlamore he has yet to make a decision.
“I haven’t decided anything, no,” Millsap told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday…
“I think the plan is to see how this season goes and go from there,” Millsap said. “I can’t predict what is going to happen. For me, it’s focus on basketball. Get through this year, try to get a championship for this team first of all. We’ll deal with all that during the summer time when we have all our options on the table.”
Riiight. Millsap may not have formally made his decision, but we all know what it will be. Barring a major injury that would damage his free agent value, it’s nearly impossible to imagine Millsap not opting out. He’s going to take the payday. Even if he wants to stay put (much like Kyle Lowry said he wants to do).
The Hawks did flirt with the idea of a Millsap trade last summer, part of the juggling act as they tried to retain Al Horford and worked to sign Dwight Howard. The Hawks are now committed to the Millsap/Howard front line, and they cannot let Millsap — their best player last season — walk.
For his part, Millsap may wish to spend the rest of his career in Atlanta. The Hawks told the AJC that retaining Millsap would be a top priority — but why wouldn’t he take the extra cash to do that? This is a business.