The Denver Nuggets have contacted the Atlanta Hawks about trading for All-Star power forward Paul Millsap, according to a report by ESPN reporter Zach Lowe.
The Nuggets were mentioned in the following paragraph:
Presti doesn't want to trade Westbrook, but if he feels backed into a corner, he will chase young players and draft picks. The Phoenix Suns reportedly talked with the Atlanta Hawks about Paul Millsap, and they come armed with prospects galore, extra point guards and two future Miami picks. The Denver Nuggets had the Hawks biting on a package of picks and players, including Kenneth Faried, for Millsap, per several league sources, but it's unclear if Denver would chase Westbrook. Both teams have enough cap space left to renegotiate and extend Westbrook, though he may not have any interest in sticking around either place.
Millsap is under contract for $20,072,033 for the 2016/17 season, and has a player option worth $21,472,407 for 2017/18. His will be 32 years old in February, with 10 years of experience with the Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks. He's made three straight All-Star games, and has developed into one of the best power forwards in the league. He lead the league in defensive win shares last season, reflecting the contributions he makes on that end of the court. He is also excellent on offense, averaging 17.2 points per game as a Hawk while shooting 51.9 percent on field goal attempts over that time.
A trade for Millsap would be another aggressive move by the Nuggets front office, who have also been mentioned in the pursuit of free agent guard Dwyane Wade. A lineup of Mudiay-Wade-Gallo-Millsap-Jokic would be heads and shoulders better than the previous year's lineup, and would likely propel the Nuggets from fringe playoff contenders to a team fighting for a spot in the 4-5-6 range.
Here's one option of what the Nuggets combination of players and picks could be, with the draft asset likely being one of the two first-round picks the Nuggets own the rights to in 2017 (their own and Memphis).
Millsap could opt out of his contract after this season, which makes trading for him acquiring an expiring contract, which lowers his value for other teams. If they aren't able to trade for him, they could continue their pursuit of him when he if he opts out of his contract and becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Millsap is an appealing trade target because of his versatile contributions. He's able to defend, rebound, and block shots on defense. He can handle the ball, shoot from the perimeter, and score inside on offense. The Nuggets can play him in big and small lineups. He can slot in next to Jokic and Nurkic. He gives Mudiay and Murray a veteran pick and roll threat.
This is just an additional part of the Nuggets expectation to be aggressive in the offseason in an attempt to improve their team. A patient approach towards building a contending team is a solid plan, but the Nuggets brass have stated that they are open to taking risks when an opportunity presents itself.
First a rumor about Wade, now a rumor about Millsap. Tim Connelly sure is putting in work this summer.