WASHINGTON — When the Washington Wizards trade Paul Joseph Millsap to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, the Hawks will be in the market for a big-name center, but Washington will also have to clear salary.
That’s why Washington will have to part ways with Millsap and get a return.
The Hawks, who are on the brink of losing Millsap for nothing, have a surplus of center talent, but Millsap has played in just 14 games since joining the Hawks in a July 3 trade.
Millsap averaged 10.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in his first five games.
The Hawks are in desperate need of a veteran center, and they are reportedly willing to move Millsap if he agrees to a one-year deal.
Washington has been in pursuit of center Jeremy Lin and has been linked to Dwight Howard, who could be available in the trade.
The Wizards will have little to offer Millsap at the deadline.
They will be able to offer the Hawks a two-year, $23.9 million contract for center Terrence Ross, a restricted free agent who has played well in his only season with the Hawks.
The Wizards have been in search of a wing to complement DeMarre Carroll, who missed the last two games with a hamstring injury and could not play in Sunday’s 108-94 loss to the New York Knicks.
Carroll has played a key role on the perimeter for Washington, but he is still raw as a player and has not proved to be a consistent shooter.
Washington could have a tough time filling Carroll’s role on a team with a young nucleus, especially if the Hawks are trying to add a veteran leader.
Washington could also be tempted to take a chance on a young player who has been productive for the Wizards this season, but the Wizards could also find themselves without a legitimate point guard.
Washington had struggled with point guards all season with John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. All of whom have struggled with injuries.
The loss of Millsap could have the biggest impact on Washington’s offense, which has struggled offensively in the last few games of the season.
Washington is averaging just over 90 points per game this season.
The Atlanta Hawks have been a playoff-bound team this season with a record of 27-6.
They are currently sixth in the East, but they have struggled on the defensive end of the court.
The team has been one of the most difficult to score against this season after averaging 93.7 points per 100 possessions in the first five weeks of the campaign.
Atlanta has won just nine of their last 12 games, including a 104-97 loss to Detroit on Wednesday.