The Denver Nuggets made one of the biggest free agent splashes of the summer on Sunday night, signing former Atlanta Hawks All-Star power forward Paul Millsap to a three-year, $90 million contract.
Denver had been bidding against Atlanta, Minnesota and Phoenix for the services for the 32-year-old big man. But $30 million per season seemed to win the day here.
First off, the acquisition of Millsap clearly means that Danilo Gallinari will move on in free agency (potentially to the Los Angeles Clippers). Gallinari was the team's leading scorer during its 40-win 2016-17 regular season.
But there's no real reason not to view this as an upgrade for Denver.
Millsap has earned four consecutive All-Star appearances. He's also coming off a 2016-17 campaign that saw him average 18.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
Even going up against tougher competition in the Western Conference, we envision Millsap having the same impact in Denver that he had with the Hawks. That it to say he will be a top-10 fantasy power forward when all is said and done.
Though, the addition of Millsap should really be a fantasy boon for young point guard Jamal Murray. The 2016 No. 7 overall pick averaged nearly 10 points per game while be relegated to primarily bench duties as a rookie. Murray will be the full-time starter in 2017-18 and should be able to produce at a high level across the board with a consistent scorer inside.
We're looking at Murray being a major surprise in Denver. An average of 15-plus points and seven-plus assists is definitely not out of the question here. Millsap's presence magnifies that even further.