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Former Bulls target free agent Paul Millsap reportedly available – NBC Chicago

By on January 21, 2022 0

Former Bulls target Millsap reportedly available again originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

the Chicago Bulls was runner-up for the services of Paul Millsap in free agency last offseason – until the veteran forward finally chose the Brooklyn Nets.

But, with The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports that the Nets and Millsap have agreed to find him “a new team where he can have a greater contribution”, it seems that the union is now on the verge of a split.

Whether the Bulls will make another run at Millsap remains to be seen, but many of the factors that made it a logical landing spot for the former four-time All-Star during the offseason ring true now.

For one thing, the Bulls lack frontcourt depth, with Tony Bradley the only real center option behind. Nikola Vucevic, and the forward-looking stable has been depleted due to injuries to Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr. and patrick williams. Millsap, who is 6-foot-7, has been a power forward his entire career but has accumulated some experience at small-ball center in recent seasons.

Additionally, Executive Vice President Artūras Karnišovas has a close connection to Millsap, as Karnišovas worked in the front office for the Nuggets who signed him to a three-year (approximately) $90 million deal in 2017. , then re-signed him to a one-year, $10 million contract when that first pact expired.

The catch, of course, is that Millsap, who turns 37 on Feb. 10, is far from the four-time All-Star and franchise centerpiece he once was. With average career lows in points (3.4), rebounds (3.7) and field goal percentage (37.6), he finds himself buried in a crowded Nets frontcourt that includes productive veterans ( LaMarcus Aldridge) and upward prospects (Nic Claxton, Day’Ron Sharpe) as well.

How buried is buried? Millsap also averages 11.3 career minutes and has not once eclipsed 20 minutes in a game for Brooklyn. He’s appeared in just three of the Nets’ last 18 contests — a period that featured a stint in health and safety protocols — and has been absent from the team for their last three games for personal reasons.

Funny enough, Millsap’s best game of the season may have been a 111-107 loss to the Bulls in Brooklyn on Dec. 4. He posted 13 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a block in 15 minutes that night, flashing hints of the two-way contraption that made him a star — and some defensive reminders that his peak is long outdated:

But if the Bulls see any indication in his Nets streak that there’s something left in the reservoir that could be accessible with more opportunities, maybe Millsap would be worth a flyer. There are certainly frontline minutes to be had, given that just two days ago Billy Donovan answered a question about why his first three substitutes were guards against the monstrous Cleveland Cavaliers in a joke “Who else were we going to put? We don’t have any other big guys (besides Bradley). “

When it comes to trades, Millsap’s minimum wage is easily comparable to, say, Matt Thomas. If he reaches a buyout deal with Brooklyn, that would also be an option, but the Bulls would have to give up a player to clear a roster spot.

At the very least, it’s something to watch out for.

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