With one simple tweet, the Atlanta Hawks free agent odyssey came into focus. Late on Friday night, the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore dropped this bomb:
Hawks have agreed to deal with Paul Milsap. #ATLHawks
— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) July 6, 2013
Immediately, the reaction of “Hawks Nation” was pure joy (myself included, even after being awakened by the news), but when the terms of the deal came to light, the move became even better for Danny Ferry and the Hawks.
According to multiple outlets, Millsap’s deal will be 2 years for a total of $19 million ($9.5 million per season) and frankly, that is a steal. My initial take on the signing was “wow, that’s really cheap!”, and a look at the numbers should help indicate that viewpoint. Millsap averaged 14.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game last season with Utah, and he produced at that healthy level in just 30.4 minutes per game on a stacked frontline for the Jazz. In addition, he’s a career 51% shooter from the field, and he has posted PER numbers of 19.83, 21.85, and 19.89 in his past three seasons.
In addition, Millsap is a versatile player who can stretch his jumper out to nearly the 3-point line, and while he’s a bit undersized for the 4-spot at 6-foot-8 and around 250 pounds, the Hawks organization is no stranger to undersized power forwards. Playing next to Al Horford should be a dream for Millsap, as he has been placed next to the defensively challenged (to be nice) Al Jefferson for the past few seasons, and their games should compliment each other from day one.
Danny Ferry went out and claimed the best value on the entire free agent board in my opinion. Millsap was a guy that I recommended as a target earlier in the off-season, and for $9.5 million a year on a short contract, this move is an unequivocal steal for the organization.
The signing of Millsap wasn’t the only move for the Hawks on Friday night, as Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski also announced a 2-year, $5 million with DeMarre Carroll (a defense-first forward, also from Utah, who I like), but for now, we’ll focus on Millsap. In one moment, the Hawks leapt from “what are we doing?!” to “what a move!” and the legend of Danny Ferry continues to grow. Stay tuned for more updates as they come!