ATLANTA -- The Hawks have made it quite clear they want forward Paul Millsap to stay in Atlanta. But the organization's current shakeup could affect what happens in free agency.
The Hawks announced Friday that Mike Budenholzer would be stepping down from his role as the Head of Basketball Operations but remain the team's head coach. In addition, General Manager Wes Wilcox resigned and has moved into an advisory role with the owners.
Wilcox helped bring Millsap to the Hawks in 2012 while he was an assistant under Danny Ferry. Under Wilcox, Millsap signed a three-year, $60.2 extension, but could opt out the final year, which is next season.
With uncertainly in the Hawks organization moving forward and free agency just two months away, the restructure could have an effect on Millsap's future as he looks for a max deal. Millsap has been the team's leading scorer the last three seasons, including during the team's 60-win campaign three seasons ago.
He averaged 24.3 points per game and shot over 50 percent against the Wizards during the playoffs, but the Hawks fell short in the opening round series.
While there's uncertainty within the organization, Hawks owner Tony Ressler believes Millsap and his agent know enough about the plan moving forward.
"I think Paul and his agent and his advisors are really quite knowledgeable about what we’re trying to build here at the Atlanta Hawks," Ressler said.
He brought up things such as the $50 million practice facility, the Philips Arena remodel and D-league organization that are supposed to be incentives for Millsap to stay.
"You might make the assumption that I’m certainly going to make a further effort so that they are aware from that," Ressler said. "All of this should be viewed as a positive. Not just from Paul, but from every player, current and potential because this is a further commitment to take the franchise to the next level."
While the Hawks are aiming to have a new general manager hired well before the NBA Draft and Free Agency, there is no guarantee. The basketball operations staff will make the decisions with input from Budenholzer and Wilcox, according to the owner.
"We do feel we have plenty of depth and decision making on board," Ressler said.
Millsap said before the restructuring that he would likely opt out of his contract, and he already had preliminary discussions about his future. But now a new general manager is on the way, and that could affect Millsap's mindset depending on how much change could in fact be coming.
"It's something me and my family and agent have to sit down and talk about, " Millsap said after the Hawks season ended. "I'm proud of this group, what we accomplished this year. I still think we can win with this team. I think that these playoffs have been cut short. I feel we could have got a lot further, but I like this team."
© 2017 WXIA-TV