NBA Trade Speculation: Ranking Best Fits for Paul Millsap
One of the most commonly mentioned names in NBA trade rumors is Paul Millsap of the Utah Jazz. The big man is the only thing standing in the way of heir apparent Derrick Favors and is widely perceived to be an attractive trade piece.
The former Louisiana Tech star is a 6'8", 253-pound power forward. He's averaging 15.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in one of the most crowded frontcourts in basketball.
So where would the power forward fit best?
5. Los Angeles Clippers
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According to Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz have expressed mutual interest in a potential trade.
The deal would be centered around Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe and Millsap.
The question is, where would Millsap fit into the Clippers rotation?
Blake Griffin is the starting power forward in Los Angeles, and that isn't going to change.
Unless they plan on making him one of the league's most undersized centers, it's tough to see where Millsap fits in the Clippers starting lineup.
It's possible Griffin could be moved to center. The question is, would coach Vinny Del Negro risk playing his star out of position?
This unanswered question leaves L.A. as a potentially poor fit for Millsap.
4. Milwaukee Bucks
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The Milwaukee Bucks have an elite interior defender in Larry Sanders at center and a star-studded backcourt with Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings.
With that being said, they are rather weak in terms of scoring points in the post. Paul Millsap could be the ultimate cure-all.
With a plethora of expiring contracts and reliable veterans, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio reports that Milwaukee could make a trade happen.
Should Millsap end up with the Bucks, he'd be the change-of-pace player that they've desperately needed on offense.
Jennings and Ellis will push the pace and provide roughly 40 points per night between them. Mike Dunleavy, Jr.'s sharpshooting will also help space the floor.
Although Larry Sanders is active on the glass, it would be Millsap who saves the interior.
Millsap is an underrated rebounder and a versatile scorer. He can play out of the post or face-up.
The question is, will the Bucks make it happen?
3. Brooklyn Nets
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This should come as music to his ears.
The Nets are about as crowded as the Utah Jazz at the power forward position. But, there is no young, rising talent set to take Millsap's spot in Brooklyn—he would finally be "the man" at his position.
Reggie Evans would get his fair share of minutes as the team's rebounding maestro.
Andray Blatche, with his efficiency, and Kris Humphries, with his rebounding prowess, would garner some playing time as well.
To acquire Millsap, however, at least one of those players would be dealt.
Millsap is the combination of a space-the-floor scorer and interior banger that the Nets have been looking for. Paired with Brook Lopez, it's quite likely that Brooklyn will have found its frontcourt of the future.
Best of all for Millsap, he's an unrestricted free agent. If it doesn't work out as the paper rosters would suggest, he's free to sign elsewhere.
2. Boston Celtics
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To be clear, this is total speculation.
With Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Brandon Bass all potential trade pieces, swinging a deal for Millsap could cure the Celtics' interior woes.
With Kevin Garnett becoming more of a spot-up shooter, the Celtics need a player who can pound it down low. With Jared Sullinger out for the season, that need becomes all the more pressing.
Millsap would get the ball on the low block quite often. With an abundance of three-point shooters, he'd almost always have room to work.
The question is, will Boston and Utah enter talks before the trade deadline?
1. Denver Nuggets
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The Denver Nuggets are one of the most powerful offensive teams in the NBA.
They rank third in scoring offense, third in assists per game, eighth in field-goal percentage and second in offensive rebounding.
With that being said, Denver is rather pedestrian in the half court—a result of its lack of a legitimate low-post presence.
By adding Paul Millsap, the Nuggets would have a player who could potentially be their postseason savior.
When their potential opponent turns up the defensive pressure and limits transition opportunities, the Nuggets need a player to turn to. Millsap can be that go-to guy as he scores and rebounds in the half court, even if it is for one season.
Kenneth Faried is clearly the future in Denver. For that reason, Millsap may want to sign elsewhere come the offseason.
Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio reports the Nuggets could to make this deal happen.