The Atlanta Hawks are hell-bent in keeping unrestricted free-agent Paul Millsap this summer, though there’s no guarantee the All-Star power forward will stay with a fringe playoff team at its best. Should Millsap decide to join a contender elsewhere, SB Nation blog writer Graham Chapple advises the Hawks to try their luck on other free agent forwards such as Danillo Gallinari, Serge Ibaka and JyMychal Green.

Potential Millsap’s replacement

Again, the Hawks are the favorites to re-sign Millsap because of their ability to offer a longer and more lucrative contract than other teams.

Then again, free agency would also allow Millsap to explore other options, including the opportunity of playing for a legit NBA championship contender.

The Hawks aren’t even close to contending for a title at this stage, but they can still become a relevant Eastern Conference playoff squad even without Millsap, if they find a way to get their hands on free agent power forwards in the market.

Ibaka, who averaged 15.1 points and 6.8 rebounds, has adapted well to today’s game with a much improved 3-point shooting.

The 27-year old big man shot 38 percent from deep and maintained his status as an elite rim protector. The 28-year old Gallinari also emerges as an attractive free agency target for the Hawks after putting up 18.2 points and 5.2 rebound per game last season. Defense isn’t one of Gallinari’s strengths but he has Millsap's versatility to play the small forward and power forward positions.

Then, there’s the wildcard target in Green. The up-and-coming forward is coming off a breakout year, averaging 8.9 points and 7.1 rebounds in 28 minuites per game.

Did you really miss it?
Click on the button below to stay up to date on the news you cannot miss, as soon as they happen.
NBA

His numbers aren’t eye-popping but he can impact the game on both ends of the floor. He’s a bona fide 3-and-D player who shot 38 percent from beyond the arc. Among the three potential targets, Green might come as the cheapest, though the nature of his free agency enables the Grizzlies to match any offer.

Howard jacking up more 3s soon

In his recent appearance on “ESPN the Jump,” Dwight Howard revealed that he’s now working on his long-ball strokes in an attempt to expand his game and extend his NBA career.

Howard admits that ‘small ball’ drastically changed his game, rendering him irrelevant at times.

That was evident when Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer had to bench Howard for most of the series against the Wizards because of match-up problems. Howard believes improving his 3-point percentage next season would allow him to gain the trust of his head coach and become a key cog for the Hawks moving forward.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more