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NBA Free Agency Rumors: The Kings are still chasing Paul Millsap

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This doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks - Game Three Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Lost in the madness that was yesterday’s trade between the Hornets and the Hawks that sent veteran center Dwight Howard to Charlotte, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that multiple teams are interested in Paul Millsap. The Sacramento Kings are (still) one of those teams.

Brian Windhorst, ESPN:

“There are three or four teams out there that are willing to give a max level contract, and sources have told me that the Hawks have already begun getting some feelers on Paul Millsap sign and trades. Teams like the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Denver Nuggets [are] interested in Paul Millsap”

KHTK Sports 1140’s Carmichael Dave would later confirm the Kings’ interest in Millsap.

The Kings certainly have the cap space to acquire Paul Millsap, but just because they can doesn’t mean they should.

The Vertical’s Bobby Marks detailed the Kings’ cap space this morning.

If the Paul Millsap-to-Sacramento rumors sound familiar, they should. The Kings targeted Millsap around the trade deadline last year. The Hawks couldn’t find an offer they liked, and opted to keep him for the remainder of the season. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent when free agency kicks off later this summer.

The Kings’ interest in Millsap made a lot more sense last season before DeMarcus Cousins was shipped off to New Orleans. As Marks notes, the Kings are set to have 8 players on rookie contracts next season, which is no time to hand out a max contract to a 31-year-old Paul Millsap, as much as I enjoy Millsap’s game. It just doesn’t make sense.

In fact, it makes so little sense that I can’t imagine this is a serious topic of discussion inside the Kings front office. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part. I understand the logic behind giving your young players high-character veterans to learn from, and while Millsap certainly fits that bill, it’s a contract the Kings just shouldn’t have on their books. Not when teams are offering young assets for cap relief like we saw yesterday when the Nets were able to land D’Angelo Russell for taking on Timofey Mozgov’s horrendous contract, among other things.

Aside from the fact that the Kings shouldn’t sign Millsap, I have an extremely hard time understanding why Millsap would ever in a million years choose Sacramento over just about every other destination in the NBA. That isn’t a knock against Sacramento, but Millsap can still play at an extremely high level, and the Kings are in full rebuild mode. He should go to a contender, and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t.

So there is smoke here, I suppose, but I’d be pretty shocked if there’s fire.