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Report: Suns ‘out’ on free agent PF Paul Millsap, open to going ‘all-in young’

Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) celebrates the overtime victory as he leaves the court after an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sunday, April 9, 2017, in Atlanta. The Hawks won in overtime 126-125. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

The Phoenix Suns are reportedly no longer involved in the sweepstakes for free agent power forward Paul Millsap, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Suns were reportedly in pursuit of both Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap, looking to add a marquee name to the roster and accelerate their timeline. The move would have assumingly pushed 2016 top-10 picks Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender down the depth chart.

With the Millsap news, however, and last night’s report of Griffin agreeing to a five-year deal with the Clippers, the timeline of the team to begin contending for the playoffs when 20-year-olds Devin Booker and Josh Jackson and 19-year-olds Bender and Chriss are ready appears to be intact for the time being.

Wojnarowski’s report would also indicate the Suns’ willingness to potentially move on from veterans such as 34-year-old Tyson Chandler and 31-year-old Jared Dudley, who both have two years remaining on their contracts and would be positive additions to more competitive teams.

Dudley had some fun with the report on Twitter.

Chandler spoke during the team’s exit interviews about his current situation. The veteran had the chance to be traded last season, according to head coach Earl Watson.

“I have a summer to analyze things and think about things,” Chandler said in April. “I think with a few tweaks and some pieces here and there on the roster, I think that this franchise and this team can be in that mix, and at that point, there would be no point for me to go elsewhere. That’s my hopes for the summer.”

In terms of what the team could add, Chandler was specific about the team adding players who would help the team get better.

“A couple pieces, a couple more veterans, a couple middle-of-the-pack guys around here,” he said. “I think the young talent is here, the core is here. We have a high draft pick, so seeing what that’s gonna be could also bring some help. We’ll see how it plays out.”

While the news on Millsap was reported less than 24 hours into the league’s free agency period, as Wojnarowski’s report indicates, the Suns could look to be a team taking on bad salaries with their cap space for future assets such as draft picks instead of signing players to win now.

The situation, of course, is complicated by the fact that general manager Ryan McDonough is reportedly in the last year of his contract and the team is in a seven-year playoff drought.

The rest of the offseason will tell us how true Wojnarowski’s report rings for the timeline of the team’s future, but for now, it appears the front office is in it for the long haul.

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