Paul Millsap is the one player on this list that the team would be significantly worse without him around next season. He was the lone starter of this group, and he was the team’s best defender at the 4 and 5 spots. He averaged 12.6 points and 7.2 assists per game, and was decently efficient with a 48.4 percent mark from the field and a near career-best from 3-point range at 36.5 percent. That mark was the best among all seasons in which he had at least 100 attempts.
The major blockade to bringing back Millsap is his colossal team option that the Nuggets have to decide on sooner rather than later. He’s slated to make over $30 million if they were to pick up that option. He would be the highest-paid player on the team, and they would be playing him as the fourth or fifth option on offense, and he would be the second- or third-best defender on most nights. You can’t afford to pay him that when you can use that money in other departments.
Millsap is going to want to keep his team option, and the Nuggets will want to keep this group together to maintain the chemistry. However, there is no way that they can keep him on that team option. If they can decline the option and re-sign him for a lower price, it’s the right move, but they shouldn’t feel obligated to pick up his team option because they might lose him in free agency.
Verdict: Buy, but on a different deal