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The Sacramento Kings are pursuing Paul Millsap

The Kings really want that 8-seed.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks made the first major trade of the 2016-17 NBA season yesterday when they dealt sharpshooting swingman Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Whenever an Eastern Conference playoff team trades one of their best players to another Eastern Conference playoff team, you can surmise that something else is going on behind-the-scenes. The Hawks have smartly come to the realization that their current squad has taken them as far as they are going to go, and have begun selling off pieces that don’t have a locked in, long term future in Atlanta. Kyle Korver’s contract expires at the end of the season, so it was either trade him this year or risk losing him for nothing this summer.

It’s a familiar scenario for Kings fans, as Vlade Divac needs to make a similar decision on multiple veterans in Sacramento. This is the Rudy Gay debacle we’ve been debating for months. It’s the same thing.

Like Kyle Korver, Hawks All-Star forward Paul Millsap has a contract expiring at the end of the season, (technically he has a player option, but semantics) and once that Korver deal was announced, it was only a matter of time before the Millsap rumors started. The only shocking part about these rumors are that the Sacramento Kings are reportedly in the mix.

Via Chris Vivlamore, Atlanta Journal-Constitution -

The Hawks are talking to a number of teams about the availability of Millsap. The Kings are very interested, according to a person familiar with the situation. Other teams that have reportedly shown interest include the Raptors, Nuggets and 76ers.

Via Keith Smith, Real GM -

Also, the Kings are getting deep on Millsap. Other teams involved, but SAC very motivated to get in the playoffs this year.

The Kings’ interest in Millsap ranges from awesome to misguided depending on how much Vlade Divac is willing to give up for what could ultimately be a four month rental.

Paul Millsap and DeMarcus Cousins would form a devastating front court. It may even turn the Kings into 8th seed favorites, but at what cost?

If Kings could acquire Paul Millsap while he’s under a long-term contract, that’s a no-brainer. You could give up most of the youth on the Kings’ roster for him and I wouldn’t bat an eye, but without the assurance that the Kings are trading for any more than a four month rental, Divac simply cannot sell the future for something so short-term, especially when the Kings are the ones that should be doing the selling.

I don’t have a problem with the Kings going after Paul Millsap. Who doesn’t love Paul Millsap? This has very little to do with Millsap and everything to do with asset management, something the Kings have been terrible at for a decade. We’ll have to wait and see how it all shakes out, but I’m nervous.