Not to say that Kevin Durant isn’t a great leader, but having a role player like Millsap, who’s a four-time All-Star in his own right, in a superstar-filled locker room featuring KD, Kyrie Irving and James Harden makes a lot of sense.
In 56 games last season, with 36 starts, Millsap posted averages of nine points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest. He shot 47.6% from the floor and 34.3% from 3-point range. However, he did shoot 43.5% from deep the previous season, and with so much talent around him in Brooklyn, he could get closer to that clip.
Millsap began his career with the Utah Jazz, but then went to the Atlanta Hawks for four seasons, and was an All-Star in each of those years. His latest four-season stint came with the Denver Nuggets, but injuries and wear and tear led to a gradual decline in his contributions to their younger, star-studded squad.
Many contenders would’ve loved to have someone like Millsap, even if he plays a minimal role off the bench. That the Nets convinced him to sign likely means they’ve promised him a larger minutes share than most other places could have.
This is simply a case of need matching up with the player’s desire to get his first NBA title. Millsap joins a rotation on Brooklyn’s front line that should feature some combination of Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Nicolas Claxton and James Johnson. Durant technically plays the 4 in smaller lineups, but he’s so ball-dominant and versatile that he doesn’t exactly count.
Even if he’s not quite what he once was physically, Millsap should be refreshed after appearing in only 107 games across the past two seasons.
Should he come back and prove to be healthy, Millsap provide the Nets with a stout defensive presence, a capable rebounder and a solid, floor-spacing big man who should fit seamlessly no matter who’s facilitating Brooklyn’s offense.