The Pros And Cons Of Paul Millsap Returning To The Jazz


May 20, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) rebounds against Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) and forward Pero Antic (6) during the third quarter of game one of the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday afternoon, our own Clint Peterson discussed a report that former Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap could be in the team’s plans for free agency. Millsap, now a two-time All-Star with the Atlanta Hawks, will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st and the Jazz should have money to spend.

According to Spence Checketts of the team-owned radio station 1280 KZNS, the Jazz and GM Dennis Lindsey will actively pursue the former Jazzman. Moreover, Millsap’s agent and uncle DeAngelo Simmons has apparently confirmed that his nephew still thinks fondly of his former franchise–

While I’m intrigued that this has come to light and tend to believe that where smoke is seen, fire follows, I think that Jazz fans and team management alike need to ask themselves one question in light of these revelations. Would reacquiring Millsap be the right move for the future of the Utah Jazz?

There are definitely pros and cons to a potential reunion.

Those in the pro-column would probably point to the evolution in Millsap’s game and Quin Snyder’s system as reasons he would better mesh with the current roster than he did when he left Utah. This is legitimate–whereas Millsap and Al Jefferson once stole minutes from Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Rudy Gobert, Millsap’s current skill set combined with Snyder’s offense could see the forward transition to the small forward spot for the Jazz.

Detractors will say that this strategy cannot equate to long-term success for a variety of reasons. While Millsap has developed skills to play more on the wing, he lacks the foot speed and lateral movement to defend the league’s athletic swingmen (of which there are many). His improvement aside, there may also be a question about whether or not Millsap is effective enough as a shooter to hold down the position for Snyder.

On the other hand, the three-point shooting ability that Millsap showed glimpses of as a Jazzman have become a major part of his game and one of the catalysts for his All-Star ascent. Since joining the Hawks in 2013, Millsap has nailed 153 shots from downtown–triple the amount compiled in his seven seasons with Utah. He has made nearly 36 percent of his attempts during that time; a number defenses must respect.

Is Millsap a versatile player that can start at small forward, while also giving the team minutes as a stretch big and guarding multiple positions? It’s an intriguing possibility, but the notion that he remains a tweener without a true position that will inevitably halt the progress of our young core is still in play.

It was hard for Jazz brass and fans to see Millsap go and Lindsey may well regret letting it happen. Nonetheless, not all reunions are happy ones.

Still, it could be argued that Millsap would be the biggest free agent acquisition in team history. He is, after all, a multiple-time All-Star in his prime who just led his team to the best record in the NBA. The chance to acquire a player fitting that description is hard to come by in the league, especially in Salt Lake City.

Again, pros and cons.

As for yours truly, I tend to err on the side of caution with Millsap. I love his game, his tenacity and have no doubts that the Jazz would be a Playoff team next season with him in the fold. That said, I might question what kind of roster Lindsey was trying to build if he were to re-sign Millsap. The team could have major issues matching up with some of the quicker, more athletic teams on the wing and you don’t want him taking minutes from others in the frontcourt.

Nonetheless, even a pessimist like myself must confess that the Millsap scenario is unquestionably an intriguing one. Bottom line–if the Jazz want to transform themselves into title contenders, every avenue must be explored.

What do you think about bringing Millsap back to the Utah Jazz? Sound off below or hit us up on Twitter!

Next: Utah Jazz Reportedly Looking at Millsap in Free Agency

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