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Reports: Lakers, Bulls interested in Paul Millsap but as buyout candidate, not trade piece

Brooklyn Nets v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

As Marc Stein reported last week, the Nets would like to get some deep shooting help for Paul Millsap, but so far, there’s been little else to report on the 6’8” power forward who turns 37 at the trade deadline.

Now, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Mike Scotto of Hoopshype and Kristian Winfield of the Daily News report that teams are interested in Millsap ... but apparently as a buyout candidate not as a trade piece. The Nets and Millsap agreed to a parting of the ways as Millsap seeks one more chance to extend his career. He fell out of Steve Nash’s rotation early in the season.

Here’s Fischer’s summary of how Millsap could fit with the Lakers ...

The Lakers are searching to find Kent Bazemore a new home after he opened the season as a starter. And while it’s believed Paul Millsap would prefer to land in Chicago, having a connection to Bulls lead executive Arturas Karnisovas from their shared Denver days, Los Angeles has been mentioned as a suitor for Millsap should he reach the buyout market.

Scotto’s take on the Bulls ...

Paul Millsap is another name to watch in Chicago if he gets bought out by the Nets following the trade deadline. The Bulls showed real interest in Millsap before he chose the Nets as a free agent. They could use a little help with their frontcourt depth as they try to make a run in the playoffs.

And Winfield’s... on another scenario where the Nets would get value and Millsap his freedom.

Most likely scenario here is Nets including Millsap in a larger deal with a team that will buy him out.

Meanwhile, during Tuesday’s night broadcast, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported on his telephone call with Millsap, in which he said he believes he can still contribute to any team and that he didn’t want his minutes with the Nets be dependent on the health of other players above him in Brooklyn’s rotation.

Presumably, Millsap will stay on the Nets roster till the trade deadline, now a week away, . Millsap is on a one-year, $2.64 million contract, having been signed in September. If the Nets can’t move him in a trade, pundits believe that the Nets may have to settle on a buyout ... then sign Kessler Edwards, still on a two-way deal, to a standard NBA contract. That way, he can play in the post-season.

Meanwhile, Fischer writes about Spencer Dinwiddie’s decline. Following reports that the former Net is not happy in Washington and the Wizards aren’t happy with him, Dinwiddie is on the block despite signing a three-year, $54 million deal in a sign-and-trade, Fischer writes...

Team personnel across the league have noted Dinwiddie’s decline in production as he’s returned from a torn ACL that cost him all but three games in the 2020-21 season. “He needs the ball, he’s not good enough to have the ball, and he’s not a good shooter,” one Western Conference executive told B/R. Even with a career-high 37.6 percent mark in 2016-17, Dinwiddie has converted just 31.8 percent of his long-range attempts in eight seasons.

There is no indication the Nets would be interested in a return. In the five-team trade last August, the Nets received a second rounder in 2024 and a swap of second round picks in 2025, the former of which was later used in the DeAndre Jordan salary dump. Brooklyn also received the draft rights to 27-year-old Serbian seven-footer Nikola Milutinov and generated an $11.45 million trade exception, now one of Brooklyn’s biggest trade assets.