And there is a simple reason for that.
The Hawks had discussed trading Paul Millsap, a likely free agent at the end of the season, and Millsap would be an attractive piece to a contender.
Yet while it’s still possible the Hawks could be sellers before the deadline, there are no guarantees. Atlanta is 9-5 since trading (Kyle) Korver – including a 113-108 win at Houston on Thursday – and teams that have engaged the Hawks believe Atlanta is unsure how it wants to proceed. Internally, some see a team that has little chance of advancing past Cleveland in the Eastern Conference; others see a team just 2 ½ games back of the second seed – the type that should be reinforced, not broken up.
Expect teams to still probe the Hawks about Millsap, who averaged 19.5 points and shot a season-best 37.7 percent from 3-point range in January. But the more the team wins, the less likely it is Atlanta moves him.
Not many expected the Hawks to soar like they have after dealing Korver. At the time, it looked like the first domino to fall in a new rebuilding direction for the franchise.
That hasn’t been the case and if the wins keep coming, expect Millsap to remain in Atlanta, at least until the summer.