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Player Grades: Paul Millsap continues to produce

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The veteran forward had a good season as he continues to play his game.

2021 NBA Playoffs - Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Paul Millsap — still good at basketball.

He’s been a controversial player at times, but this player evaluation is coming from someone that really appreciates Paul Millsap. I’ve been able to enjoy watching him play basketball for a long time now, and there’s just something romantic about watching him continue to help contribute to winning in his own way and style. He’s no spring chicken anymore, but he plays hard, plays his role well, and is as dependable as weekend traffic on I-70.

If this was the last season he spends with the team, it will have been a great ride with a great person and player.

Per Game Stats

Paul Millsap

Games Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Turnovers FG % 3-pt % FT %
Games Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Turnovers FG % 3-pt % FT %
56 20.8 9 4.7 1.8 0.9 47.6 34.3 72.4

Season Overview

Millsap re-upped with the Nuggets after his original three-year contract expired at the end of last season, rejoining the hometown team to make another playoff run. The veteran forward was able to hang on to his spot in the starting lineup, and was a consistent presence for the team up through February, when he suffered a knee injury that kept him out for several games. Millsap would return in March to the starting lineup, where he would remain until the Aaron Gordon trade.

Millsap saw more minutes as a small-ball center following the Gordon deal, playing alongside JaMychal Green in more of a five-out offensive scheme while switching big assignments on defense. The coaching staff rested him through the close of the season, and he was able to be healthy for the Nuggets playoff games. While he didn’t start, he played between 10-15 minutes per game in the postseason, including a 15 point performance in Game Two against Portland that helped Denver pick up a blowout win at home.

Season Grade - C+

Millsap played about as well as you could expect him to. He’s not someone that is going to be going 35 minutes strong every night, including back-to-back’s anymore. He’s an aging power forward who can hit a 3-pointer, block a shot here and there, fight on the glass, and knows how to attack an offense as a defensive anchor. The athleticism is fading, but he still was important for them in winning games. He’s a PB&J guy for the team — you know what you’re getting, it’s good and reliable, and it’ll help get you through the day. Nothing flashy, but not trash. Definitely not a negative for the team.

Season Highlight

Putting James Johnson on a poster! I love seeing PJ Dozier look at him like “Dang I didn’t know you could get spring like that anymore.”

What’s Next for Paul Millsap

Millsap is a free agent again, having signed a one-year contract last offseason to return to the Nuggets. In my opinion, there is no reason to not bring Millsap back on another one-year contract. I think even Millsap would agree that his days of being a starter are over, especially with the Nuggets addition of Aaron Gordon to play alongside Michael Porter Jr. in the Nuggets frontcourt.

Denver has improved a tremendous amount during Millsap’s time with the team. He’s been a part of the culture, and the team is better with him on the roster. As he gradually draws closer to retirement, I can’t think of a better place for him to be than on the Nuggets roster, giving the younger players lessons on the practice court and being a leader in the locker room. As a Denver native, let’s hope that the quiet veteran returns back for another season in blue and gold.