The Hawks made it sound, weeks ago, like they weren’t willing to pay forward Paul Millsap the kind of money that would make him stay in Atlanta, and the notion came from the top. Tony Ressler joined the Dukes & Bell Show on May 5 and said the Hawks might have to take a step back to take two steps forward.
“Sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward,” Ressler, the team owner said. “We get that. That’s part of the NBA. For anyone who thinks we’re not here to build a championship-caliber franchise has not spent time with the Hawks in the last two years.”
New general manager Travis Schlenk told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in mid-June that Millsap might get better offers than any the Hawks could offer.
On Sunday, Millsap made what many thought to be true official by signing a three-year, $90 million deal with the Denver Nuggets.
He even told the AJC that the Hawks never even made Millsap an offer.
With both Millsap and Dwight Howard on other NBA rosters, the Hawks’ transition into build mode has arrived.
With many months before head coach Mike Budenholzer has to fill out a starting lineup, an early guess starting five could begin with Dennis Schroder and Tim Hardaway Jr. playing guard, Taurean Prince and Mike Muscala at forward and Miles Plumlee at center. Rookies John Collins and Tyler Dorsey might make appearances and second-year DeAndre Bembry could as well. And there’s certainly a lot of fluctuating this current Hawks’ roster could go through before the 2017-18 season starts.