Once thought to be a luxury, Paul Millsap re-signing quickly became mandatory
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 21, 2020
Millsap, 35, had received interest from over half of the league to serve as a bench big man, but the Nuggets needed him and had the ability to pay Millsap more money than anyone else on the market.
The veteran power forward played in 51 of Denver’s 73 games last season, starting 48 of them next to Nikola Jokić. He averaged 24.3 minutes, 11.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. He shot 48.2% from the field and a career high 43.5% from behind the three-point line.
For the Nuggets, the departure of Jerami Grant forced Denver to pivot and sign JaMychal Green away from the Los Angeles Clippers. Because Denver also lost Mason Plumlee, Denver’s frontcourt was still set to take a major hit if Millsap departed. Bol Bol has only played seven games and remains an injury risk. Zeke Nnaji, the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, will be brought along more slowly now that the Nuggets have some veteran pieces ahead of him.
With Millsap back in the fold, it appears that Denver has mitigated disaster. The loss of Grant cannot be overstated, but during the regular season, it was arguable that Millsap was more valuable than Grant on a game to game basis. His analytics are very strong, and as has been the case for his three seasons in Denver, it’s important to look beyond the boxscore to see Millsap’s true impact on the rest of the roster.
Count me as one of the folks who are happy to have Millsap back in the fold, especially given the circumstances.