Paul Millsap: Hawks said I won't be dealt before trade deadline

NEW YORK -- Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap told ESPN.com on Tuesday that he has indeed been informed by team management that he will not be traded before the league's Feb. 23 trade deadline.

"Now everybody can stop talking about it," Millsap said after the Hawks' shootaround in Basketball City before playing the Nets. "I can stop thinking about it and just focus on basketball."

ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein reported earlier this month that the Hawks had begun to shop Millsap along with fellow free agents-to-be Kyle Korver and Thabo Sefolosha. The Hawks, according to league sources, began informing teams Monday that Millsap was no longer available in the wake of Atlanta's trade that sent Korver to Cleveland in exchange for Mike Dunleavy, Mo Williams and a 2019 first-round pick.

Asked if staying in Atlanta for the rest of the season is the outcome he wanted, Millsap said: "Oh yeah, absolutely. For me and my team, for us to really do something, I think that all the rumors (have) got to stop. I think we are at a good place right now during the season and our main focus is basketball and winning and winning big."

Millsap, who is in his fourth season in Atlanta, said he is used to hearing his name in trade rumors annually. However, the three-time All-Star admits that the uncertainty over his future was weighing on him daily.

"(Now) I can get on with just playing ... (instead of waking) up in the morning, look at the media and see what is going on," said Millsap. "I don't have to focus on any of that. I can focus on basketball, where I will be at for the rest of this year and try to win games for this team."

The Hawks have won a season-high-tying six games in a row amid the recent trade speculation entering Tuesday night's game in Brooklyn.

Millsap is widely expected to become a free agent in July by opting out of the final year of his current contract, which pays him $21.5 million this season.

"We'll see what happens during the summertime," said Millsap, who is averaging 17.7 points and 8.2 rebounds this season. "I actually haven't thought about anything about that -- the summer -- right now. It has been about this season, trying to win big."

When asked if the roster is set moving forward through the trading deadline, Hawks coach and team president Mike Budenholzer said he currently likes what he is seeing from his team.

"I just know that we feel strongly about this group, we feel good," Budenholzer said at shootaround. "The collection of guys, the way they fit and play together, we have shown an ability to play well for long stretches and against good teams. We just have to maintain that for the rest of the year and we are excited about the group.

"Paul and I have a lot of conversations about basically everything. Paul has been a pro, he has been great and I think he really believes in what we are doing and we are just excited about this group. I am sure you can imagine and respect that those conversations are between Paul and I. If I told you (the specifics) then they wouldn't be between he and I. He is in a good place and I am always very open and very honest with him."