Paul Millsap conducted his exit interview with the media today and was very reflective about his experience as a Nugget this season. He spoke about the encouraging year, how the team came together and played unselfishly, and how he wants to finish his career in Denver.
When asked whether this Nuggets team gives him the best chance to win an NBA title, he joked, “I don’t know. I could go to the Golden State Warriors.” But there was a bit of honesty and insight in that answer. He later elaborated there is a specific way he “wants his story to be told, [the Denver Nuggets] are definitely the group that can help me do it.”
This was an interesting year for Paul Millsap, one that featured ups and downs offensively to go with the rock solid defensive skill set. Millsap averaged 12.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game during the 2018-19 regular season, shooting 48.4% from the field and 36.8% from behind the three-point line. In the playoffs, the scoring average jumped to 14.6 points per game, albeit on reduced scoring efficiency. Defensively, Millsap was the team’s anchor. He had the 3d best defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions when he was on the court) on the team and was relied upon as the team’s best backside helper in pick and roll defense.
With a pending $30 million team option for Millsap during the 2019-20 season, the Nuggets have a (very pricey) decision to make. Millsap showcased his talents on the defensive end and served as an elite team defender in the playoffs, but his lack of outside shooting hurt Denver on the other end. The Spurs and the Blazers threw different looks at him, and while he had some success in post up and isolation situations, the well began to dry up in Games 6 and 7. In addition, Millsap will turn 35 in February next year. The Nuggets must continue think about their long term future given the age range of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Gary Harris.
Check out the rest of Millsap’s exit interview here.
And check out highlights form his 33-point game against the Dallas Mavericks in mid March.