All-Star Weekend Ramblings

Hmm, where to start?  Well, let’s stay true to the title and just ramble on.  In no order of perceived importance:

-Miami Heat- During the lengthy, pre-season disagreements about where the Hawks would finish this year, the Heat were one of the teams I defended, in crafting an apparently inaccurate prediction for the Hawks (along with the Sixers and a couple of other underwhelming Eastern conference foes).  There wasn’t much support for the idea that the Heat would rebound from last years’ worst NBA record, to a challenge for this years’ Hawks.  But one of the primary points I made was that Riley never stands pat.  So with the Heat a mere 3.5 games behind the Hawks, the Heat have acquired a big man that, if healthy, could make a tremendous impact the rest of the way (I know, big if).  But the point is that the Heat knew they could not compete for the Eastern crown without the “potential” that O’Neal represents.

Ray makes a very interesting point when he says, “We’re not competing for a championship this year. Unless somebody can show me different, that is. If you’re going to go for a one-year, one-shot deal….it better be for a championship, not a 4th best seeding in the playoffs. But hey, that’s just MY opinion…”

Yet the Heat have seemingly found the soft spot in that argument.  They’ve traded an expiring contract, for a potential difference maker, in O’Neal, without mortgaging their immediate future.  Is Bibby not our Marion?  Is it not clear that this Hawks team, as you point out, is no more than a fourth seed, left unimproved?

If you believe that this team will re-sign both Bibby and Marvin, and that this roster, unchanged, WILL compete for championships, in the next few years, then it’s reasonable that you believe the Hawks shouldn’t make a major deal.  But if you don’t, where does that leave the Hawks, in YOUR (not just Ray, but anyone who feels that way) opinion?

In MY opinion, the Heat were a team we didn’t want to see in the playoffs, BEFORE this trade.  Now, if O’Neal can stay healthy (I know, a big “if”, but Marion was leaving either way, so how much did they risk), and throwing the defensive value of Moon into the mix, I don’t think the Hawks, as they are currently constructed, want any part of the Heat come playoffs.

So, are we to be happy with this years’ Hawks, no matter how things turn out, with the assumption that this will be the best Hawks team in a decade, no matter what?  Or do we look at the roster, project some tough choices that may have to be made this summer, and seek a move or two that optimize THIS years’ team, AND look towards the coming years as well?  I guess I’m saying that Ray’s points seemed to suggest an either/or scenario.  I think the Heat’s move highlights that you can take a shot at maximizing this years’ team, while still planning for the future (or at least not mortgaging the next few years).

The truth is that Bibby is unrestricted, and Marvin is restricted, this summer (Zaza is unrestricted, as well, a point that seems to be flying under the radar).  And JJ has one more year after this one, with no literal control over what he will do.  Folks around here spend 90% of their time discussing who the Hawks should keep, long-term, but the 10% spent considering whether all of these players INTEND to stay here is likely inadequate, relative to the question.

So, to counter what I think was Ray’s position, I don’t believe a serious effort to make this years’ Hawks team a legitimate contender for the Eastern crown has to come at the cost of future potential.  And I think the Heat’s trade underscores that opinion.  It’s not likely that the Hawks can make a trade that thrusts them into the mix of the Eastern elite.  But I guarantee you that neither the Celtics, Cavs or Magic want to take on the Heat, come playoff time, if Wade, O’Neal, Beasley (who will now blow up with the exodus of Marion, who plays the same position as the rook), and the versatile Moon, are all healthy in April.

With one week left before the trade deadline, my stubborn position that the Hawks would be financially compelled to move Bibby is down to the wire.  If they don’t, then I will be left to scratch my head (and chow down on some crow).  I can only assume that the organizations’ commitment to pay out the full, projected $68 million payroll, despite some well-reported information that points towards even greater losses this season, and with the upcoming resolution of the Belkin buy out, is part of an overall end-game that will all make sense in the future.

The truth is we’re the 4th seed, with 3 legitimate threats to that slot:  Philly, Miami and Detroit.  Based on injuries and ineptitude, there doesn’t appear to be any remaining Eastern teams that can expect to make a run on us, or the other three.  So it’s hard to imagine anything worse than a 7-seed.  That’s a great season for a team that has floundered for over a decade.  And if that’s enough for you, or the organization, for THIS season, it’s hard to argue with your position.  But Ray previously mentioned a high-flying Bulls team, which came crashing to earth, in a mere year.

And while I have been largely absent from the never-ending Woody assessments, you can’t have this discussion, without articulating how much his coaching has, and will for the remainder of his tenure, has either optimized, or limited, the fortunes of this Atlanta Hawks team.

I’ll end with the opinion that there are a handful of plausible, deadline trades that could not only improve the possibilities of this years team, but strengthen the franchise for the coming years.  And most of those deals would likely include Bibby, who’s massive and expiring contract, combined with my belief that he’ll never play better than he has this year, make him the obvious chip to make both a run at maximizing this season, while solidifying the structure of the coming versions of the Atlanta Hawks.

I had a lot of other things I wanted to discuss, but I’m over a thousand words, and most of you know that I’m all about being concise and succinct……..

Be sweet to your girls this weekend!

101 comments Add your comment

richbrave

February 13th, 2009
10:59 pm

HB:

Certainly mean’t no disrespect in my solitary shout out to RAY. So here’s one for you. A Valentine sent with love and kisses big guy.

Waitin’ to see if the HAWKS dump contracts by the deadline. You’re nothing if not consistant. Your arguments regarding re-signing WILLIAMS and moving BIBBY always made sense to me. So I’ll bring two forks to that pie-eating contest. Where are those crows anyway?

Big Ray

February 13th, 2009
11:02 pm

I’ll take a stab in the dark and assume there are no comments here yet because everyone is watching the Rookie/Sophomore game and trying to figure out how the rooks (and all those wonderful 7-footers) lost the lead and are now behind the Sophs by half a dozen….

Big Ray

February 13th, 2009
11:09 pm

RichBrave!

Caught your halloa on the last blog, tried to reply, and it caught somewhere in cyberspace. Well, at least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it :) .

Ando,

Great post. One can only wonder if management will sit on their hands or pull a trigger on something. As for head scratching, that’s to be expected when trying to figure out anything that’s going on in the owner’s box…By the way, “Riley never stands pat” gets my nomination for “Pun of the Year.” :)

It’s a close one in the rookie/sophomore game. Sophs are gonna pull it out. So much for MannyT’s rookie 7-footers….heh heh heh.

HB Ando

February 13th, 2009
11:13 pm

Watching Beasley and Durant. Like I said above, with Marion cleared out, watch Beasley explode from here on out. Durant is just sick.

I’ll reiterate what I said about a week ago, regarding Marvin: he’s solid, but he’ll never be anything close to the forward that Chris Paul is as a point guard. And as far as the drafting strategy I mentioned last week, a guy should be a dominant 3-4, at the college level, to go in front of a top point or center. Durant and Beasley stepped into the NCAA and exploded, as true freshman. There wasn’t any doubt, at least in my mind, that both of them would be impact players in the NBA. At the end of the day, Marvin was taken second for the same reason that Darko was taken second: potential and projected upside.

While a 20-year old Durant is quickly becoming one of the most dominant scorers in the league, 22-year old Marvin is still falling well short of replicating the production of the player he was drafted to replace, Al Harrington.

For those of you who read Bill Simmons’ annual “trade value rankings” was I the only one who noticed that the 2 primary players Billy Knight egregiously ignored, Brandon Roy and Chris Paul, were ranked the 9th and 3rd most untradeable players in the NBA? For Shelden and Marvin….

Yeah, I know, let it go….

I can’t……

HB Ando

February 13th, 2009
11:17 pm

Ray, my Riley line is kind of like that Kenny Mayne-Pat Summitt commercial, LOL.

HB Ando

February 13th, 2009
11:20 pm

Rich, thanks for making me feel better about myself. I may well turn out to be nothing if not redundant. I also may turn out to be nothing if not dead wrong. What are ‘ya gonna do?

Watching Durant and Beasley, I can’t help but think about the quote I’ve heard attributed to ‘Nique, regarding the pre-draft Marvin: “He’s a once in ten years kind of talent”.

Guess nobody told Marvin…………

Big Ray

February 13th, 2009
11:21 pm

I wonder if the Heat are actually done dealing? They may not be. You know how Riley is…

HB Ando

February 13th, 2009
11:26 pm

I wonder more if Colangelo is going to turn around and package Marion. I’m not sure how much value he gets out of the cap space of an expiring contract in Toronto….

Big Ray

February 13th, 2009
11:29 pm

Ando,

The Blog Crimes Unit recovered the real tape of that conversation. Apparently ‘Nique really said this:

“This is a pick that only comes around every once in ten years. Only once in ten years do we see a GM skip over the best player in the draft for a guy who didn’t even start for the team he only played one year for.”

Unfortunately, ‘Nique forgot about other notable GMs and their picks, such as Dumars and Paxson. Of course, even blind squirrels find nuts. But even those two never passed over transcendant lead guards. Paxson was smart enough to get Rose, and Dumars was smart enough to get Stuckey. Sigh….

HB Ando

February 13th, 2009
11:33 pm

Thanks for clarifying, big fella. ‘Nique CAN require interpretation……..

Ariose

February 14th, 2009
1:02 am

Just throw acie under the bus ray…..Stucky is’t a great shooter, neither is CP3or Deron, they’d all be riding pine.

You guys have got to let this hindsight crap go. I like marvin’s game. He’s rebounding well and he’s finally growing into his body and becoming coordinated on the court(It took Nique’ a while too).

I know Marvin is coming back unless Granger is avilable he’s coming back. If marvin was a PG he’d be riding the bench so let’s all be grateful that he’s not.

cp

February 14th, 2009
1:43 am

I doubt we make any moves but if we do I would call the Kings up and see if I could get Garcia and Moore. I would easily take Garcia over Evans. Garcia is a better defender, can handle the rock, and can hit the j. His only question mark is his health. If he is healthy I would love to have him on this team. Moore would give us some shot blocking and rebounding. Who would we have to give up to get them I have no idea but probably expiring contracts seeing how they are losing a lot of money. It would probably be something like Evans and Pachulia for Moore and Garcia. I have to go check the salaries and more than likely they wont match but this is just one scenario I have been thinking about.

richbrave

February 14th, 2009
10:18 am

HB:

Right or wrong it is a rightous take. Money for the ASG is a concern unless they have a revenue stream undisclosed in clandestine venues.

Stinky

February 14th, 2009
11:09 am

Are yall seriously considering trading Bibby? We saw what happened when he’s not out there (20 point blowout at home to the Clippers). If we want to advance in the East Bibby has to be here. If we’re gonna make a trade, how about trying to get a Chris Wilcox or Joe Smith type of player for ZaZa or Marvin Williams & a 2nd rounder for Caron Butler. Are those trades viable? I think Bibby has to be considered untouchable this season based on our record & his play.

doc

February 14th, 2009
11:22 am

nice stuff ando. as far as collapses only look to the raps and the wiz to know there is no assurance for next year or the year after. i will take it as it comes. one and done may be it and the BASG will have to take the criticism along with my boy rick. that will come. cudos if they are able to make the grade to have a true power house and savvy to continue it. i am not a betting man but wouldnt bet on it. i am not going to let the future mess up enjoying the moment. hear you both though and have argued along similar lines. will pick up the argument in the off season.

in the mean time roses are on the way to my girls as we speak. taking care of all the girls in my life and suggest all do the same. the slam contest is not worth it. heh heh

James Banks

February 14th, 2009
11:48 am

HB Ando,

Coaching does matter! Do you honestly believe that the Hawks coaching staff has “developed” any of its young players?

You continue to give BK a lot of heat for drafting Marvin Williams and Shelden Williams. Coaching does matter-don’t you think B. Scott and J.Sloan are better head coaches that Woodson? Both Paul and D. Williams get more shot attempts per game than Marvin (at worst, Paul and D. Williams are the #2 scoring option for their respective teams while Marvin is the Hawks’ 4th option). Don’t you think that Marvin’s numbers would be comparable to Paul or D. Williams if he had the same amount of shot attempts. Marvin may have been drafted to replace Al Harrington but has never come close to Harrington’s shots per game average. How can you expect him to put up 20pts a game if he is the team’s 4th scoring option. Mye biggest knock against Marvin is that he is too unselfish.

Everyone knew the Hawks needed a center and would take a center in the 2006 draft. I think we can all agree that Coach K is a great coach and that Shelden Williams was an All-American for him. Take a look at the centers available when the Hawks picked at #5 and tell me who should they have drafted? Patrick O’Bryant, Mohammed Sene, Hilton Armstrong and Josh Boone were the other centers available that were drafted in the first round that year (none of them are playing a significant role for their team)and tell me who they should have drafted ? And please don’t say they should have drafted Brandon Roy because you know that you would have demanded his immediate dismissal for drafting another swingman with Joe Johnson, Josh Childress, Josh Smith and M. Williams already on the roster.

BK’s job was to obtain the talent and I think he did it well. No, he wasn’t perfect (signing Claxton turned out to be a terrible idea) but look back at his draft choices: Boris Diaw, Royal Ivey, Childress, Smith, M. Williams, Salim Stoudemire, S. Williams, Solomon Jones, Al Horford and Acie Law and all are playing in the league except Stoudemire and Childress (who should be and will be again). The coaches job is to mold, shape and improve the obtained talent. Again, does anyone truly believe the Hawks coaching staff has improved the team’s talent. Coaching does matter.

Right now, the Hawks are no better than a number four seed. I think we all agree that Horford is a warrior but he really needs to be moved to the PF position. Trading Bibby will not get you the big man and the PG (to replace Bibby)you need to compete for a championship this year nor will it produce a salary reduction for a team that is bleeding red ink. So let’s look to the future. I proposed this idea in Sekou’s blog and would love your opinion on this. Trade Joe Johnson and Maurice Evans to Memphis for O.J. Mayo, Darko Milicic and Mario Jaric, Release Bibby, Pachulia, Hunter, Gardner and the rights to Childress. Re-sign Jones, Murray, West and Williams, sign Channing Frye and Melvin Ely as free agents and trade your first round draft choice for cash considerations. You’ll go into the 2009-10 season saving about $15 million in salaries and have Mayo, Williams, Smith, Horford and Frye as starters with Law, Murray, Jaric, Milicic and Ely as a second team with Morris, Jones, West and Claxton filling out the roster with Claxton’s expiring contact becoming a valuable trading chip.

St. Bernard

February 14th, 2009
12:11 pm

We wasted how many picks during the BK years?! WOW! I think Bibby should be dealt if there’s a real profit to us, but it has to be a profit. I’ll deal Williams as well if we can maximize the trade. How about the rights to Childress? Is that worth anything?
IF Woodson won’t play young guys and he’s going to stay here, then don’t bother bringing in the Acie type players!

Sautee

February 14th, 2009
1:03 pm

James Banks

While I’m intrigued by your trade proposal, and I like the “out of the box” thinking it shows, I doubt seriously that the Grizz, after giving up Kevin Love AND Mike Miller to get Mayo, would let him go. My guess is that you can count on Mayo being there at least til the end of his rookie contract.

MannyT

February 14th, 2009
3:15 pm

Instead of looking for the championship or bust bus this season, accept the fun of the improvement. The Hawks have not done this well since the 1990s. If they continue on this route (around 50 wins) and get into the 2nd round of the playoffs, they will have had a great season.

During the offseason, it will be time for your boy Rick to earn his keep. Whatever the team looks like in November, these are factual building blocks for the near future.

Expiring contracts total about $20 Mil (Bibby, Zaza, Solo)

We have two draft picks

Marvin is a restricted free agent

We still have Chills NBA rights

Josh will no longer be a BYC player for trade purposes once we get to July.

These facts allow us to have several options for remaking the team without going through a complete talent purge like BK had to do when he took over.

Ding!

ANDO, you skipped the part where 3 of the guys that BK did bring to this team are on that top 40 list (JJ, Josh & Al). Sure he blew it with Shelden. I’ll even let you have fun with Marvin on the potential versus performance argument. I’ll still take BKs performance as average during his tenure when compared to his peers. When compared to the guy he replaced, he was far superior.

If you have facts to dispute that, bring ‘em. Your dislike of the dude doesn’t change the players. In fact, BKs 2nd biggest mistake after Shelden was Woody. He tried to correct it, but that didn’t work out too well.

As pointed out previously by several including YOU, this ASG isn’t likely to take on additional financial obligations in the short term. We will not dip into luxury tax range with the ownership in flux and hemorrhaging cash. Given NBA trade rules, is a 30 year old Bibby going to get you a cheaper, useful center…probably not. Trade rules and trade trends work against it.

Your best chance for a trade that doesn’t totally screw up the current run is to get a functional but worse PG and a mediocre center that is a little better than Zaza. Because the team that best fits that deal is competing with the Hawks for a playoff spot (Pacers) I doubt they will do any deal to help us…especially since they fixed their PG issues when they picked up TJ Ford & Jarred Jack.

Base Year Compensation rules value Josh’s contract at half its actual value for trade purposes until July. Thus I don’t see big money moves to get better and decrease salary and bring a center here.

If you really like the old days so much, start your bring back Babcock campaign. Let me know when to bring my camera to see you and your sign at Philips for that one ;-)

In the spirit of PTI end of round, I win

My hoops focus will be on JJ and his attempt to handle the young bucks in tonight’s HORSE competition. I am also interested to see how Bibby does in the 3 pt shootout.

BWAF

MannyT

February 14th, 2009
3:20 pm

Instead of looking for the championship or bust bus this season, accept the fun of the improvement. The Hawks have not done this well since the 1990s. If they continue on this route (around 50 wins) and get into the 2nd round of the playoffs, they will have had a great season.

During the offseason, it will be time for your boy Rick to earn his keep. Whatever the team looks like in November, these are factual building blocks for the near future.

Expiring contracts total about $20 Mil (Bibby, Zaza, Solo)

We have two draft picks

Marvin is a restricted free agent

We still have Chills NBA rights

Josh will no longer be a BYC player for trade purposes once we get to July.

These facts allow us to have several options for remaking the team without going through a complete talent purge like BK had to do when he took over.

Ding!

ANDO, you skipped the part where 3 of the guys that BK did bring to this team are on that top 40 list (JJ, Josh & Al). Sure he blew it with Shelden. I’ll even let you have fun with Marvin on the potential versus performance argument. I’ll still take BKs performance as average during his tenure when compared to his peers. When compared to the guy he replaced, he was far superior.

If you have facts to dispute that, bring ‘em. Your dislike of the dude doesn’t change the players. In fact, BKs 2nd biggest mistake after Shelden was Woody. He tried to correct it, but that didn’t work out too well.

As pointed out previously by several including YOU, this ASG isn’t likely to take on additional financial obligations in the short term. Given NBA trade rules, is a 30 year old Bibby going to get you a cheaper, useful center…probably not. Trade rules and trade trends work against it.

Your best chance for a trade that doesn’t totally screw up the current run is to get a functional but worse PG and a mediocre center that is a little better than Zaza. Because the team that best fits that deal is competing with the Hawks for a playoff spot (Pacers) I doubt they will do any deal to help us…especially since they fixed their PG issues when they picked up TJ Ford & Jarred Jack.

Base Year Compensation rules value Josh’s contract at half its actual value for trade purposes until July. Thus I don’t see big money moves to get better and decrease salary and bring a center here.

If you really like the old days so much, start your bring back Babcock campaign. Let me know when to bring my camera to see you and your sign at Philips for that one ;-)

In the spirit of PTI end of round, I win!

My hoops focus will be on JJ and his attempt to handle the young bucks in tonight’s HORSE competition. I am also interested to see how Bibby does in the 3 pt shootout.

BWAF

O'brien

February 14th, 2009
3:23 pm

If I’m not mistaken, Woody said that the goal of this team is to host a playoff series, so I dont think the Hawks are thinking championship this year. The best we can hope for is a first round victory (if we have home court).

I hope Bibby has a great playoff showing, but if he does, it will be hard for the Hawks to resign him at the price he is looking for, and then what do we do for a PG next year?

If we are not going to make a move, I think we should offer a Bibby an extension before the seaon is up.

Ariose

February 14th, 2009
4:38 pm

Bibby has been good for more than just his deft shooting touch this season. He’s also helped the Hawks take care of the ball as well as just about any team in the league. Atlanta’s 13.0 turnovers per game ranks seventh in the league. And Bibby’s 3.09 assist/turnover ratio ranks eighth in the league…..

Najeh Davenpoop

February 14th, 2009
4:49 pm

Ando, I agree that the Hawks are not an Eastern Conference title contender right now, but I am not nearly as worried about playing Miami or Detroit in the first round as you seem to be. I don’t think the Hawks are going to lose a first-round series with home court advantage to any of those teams. I can see the benefit to trading Bibby, but do you have any specific ideas in mind as to what the Hawks could realistically receive in return that would improve the team to near Orlando’s level?

blast

February 14th, 2009
6:44 pm

I think it was Ariose who said this on an earlier post. Baby Steps. You must first learn to crawl, then stand, then walk. For years the Hawks have been crawling, last season they stood up a little, this year they are finally walking. Next they have to run. Baby Steps. Even after last year’s playoffs, none of us expected the Hawks to be 31-21 halfway through. I have said for long the Hawks cannot win a championship this year. A 2nd round playoff series will be good enough for me. To get to that next level, they have to tinker with the lineup.

I know Bibby’s expiring contract is like a beacon of gold to some folks here. Bibby is not going anywhere this season. The Hawks will be stupid to trade him now. They need to offer him an extension before the season ends. If they won’t play Acie, they need to package him in a deal. If the Hawks can land a decent enough, tough center, then they will have a more balanced team. I really think Mike Bibby will want to remain with the Hawks if they treat him right. When was the last time he was able to participate in the All Stars in his own hometown in front of all his friends and family? And with what team? He says he loves his teammates and they are his family away from home. Mike is having a ball, man! Playing with the Hawks!

Go Hawks!

PD

February 14th, 2009
7:45 pm

The Hawks should trade Marvin, Speedy and Zaza to the Suns for Amar’e.
The contracts matchup and you get the points and rebounding from Amare to make up for for both Zaza and Marv.

The Suns would have to make Speedy retire.

Big Ray

February 14th, 2009
9:10 pm

Ariose,

I’m not throwing Acie under the bus. You have to know me better than that, considering how much I’ve lobbied for him to get more PT. Stuckey might indeed be a bench sitter here. That’s the difference between Dumars and his bosses, versus Knight/Sund and the ASG.

Dumars knows how to judge whether or not a coach can take the team to the next level or not, and was not afraid to make a change (which he did) if he thought it necessary. Ownership supported his decisions.

Knight on the other hand, tried to make the change (perhaps a bit too late), and was rebuffed by ownership. Meanwhile, Sund has not tried to, as he must give Woody time, so that he can properly judge him.

You can call Stuckey a guy who doesn’t shoot all that well, but at least he was given the playing time to prove himself. He proved himself well enough, as Dumars was willing to let Billups go. Stuckey is a Wade-type of player, if not quite as developed or talented. I think Acie could match his numbers if he got the same amount of minutes (and no, that won’t happen while Bibby is here).

Either way, Stuckey is a lead guard, averaging roughly 14ppg/5apg/3.5rpg. He’s a good pick, a favorite of the GM, who will make sure that Curry starts and plays him. But that’s how things are run in Detroit.

Big Ray

February 14th, 2009
9:14 pm

PD,

Nice thought, but it probably won’t happen. Then again, you just never know. Nahhhhh…:)

Najeh,

If you would be so kind, could you please re-post that trade idea that Bill Simmons came up with?

Big Ray

February 14th, 2009
9:25 pm

Bibby untouchable? Again, is this guy going to lead us to the NBA Finals? How about the Conference Finals? Yes? No?

Let me put it another way for those who are so caught up in the “now” and care nothing for the future at all. There’s a wonderful quandry waiting for you. It’s like this: the better Bibby plays, the harder he will be to re-sign after the season is over, as he will command more money and have plenty of suitors.

That’s right. You can’t tell me how wonderful he is, then automatically assume that he will get no offers from other teams, and that he just wants to play in Atlanta the rest of his career, for whatever the Hawks can afford to pay him. Heh. As IF…sorry, but no having it both ways.

And here’s the best/worst part, depending on how you view things. When the season is over, and if dude walks….you end up with three guys staring at you: one is an off-the-bench offensive spark plug who doesn’t make his teammates better on either end of the floor, another gets a disjointed 9 minutes per game, and the last one will probably never suit up and play a single NBA game ever again. Feel comfy with that?

But hey. We’re going to maybe get the 4th seed in the playoffs for this one year. Life in the NBA couldn’t POSSIBLY get any better. Who cares what happens after that?

Ariose

February 14th, 2009
11:53 pm

Ray, I was just joking lol. I knew what you meant ;-)

Najeh Davenpoop

February 15th, 2009
2:17 am

I believe Bill Simmons’ trade proposal was Caron Butler, Juan Dixon, and Darius Songaila for Marvin Williams, Acie Law, Speedy Claxton, and a future first-rounder.

The only obstacles I see with that trade are that a) Speedy’s contract is covered by insurance as long as he’s a Hawk which benefits the DASG, as Astro Joe pointed out, and b) the Hawks may be reluctant to trade Marvin within the division and risk that he becomes a star (I’ve always thought that’s a stupid reason, but teams do take that into consideration).

Big Ray

February 15th, 2009
4:57 pm

Najeh,

Thanks for the refresher. Other than what you mentioned as obstacles, I don’t see much wrong with it. I would LOVE to have Butler. He makes that deal for me all by himself. Already all-star level, he’s a very tough defender who will make things easier on Joe (the guy can guard opposing 2s). He’s a very certain 2nd threat on offense, and knows how to play with other 20+ppg scorers. Dixon is a good vet to have coming off the bench. Songaila is a hustler that’s crafty around the basket.

I understand to a point, the idea of not trading a guy within the division on account of him becoming a star. Well, here’s the rub. If you’re so sure that he CAN become a star, then how about putting him in position to be that star on your OWN team? What a concept….

Interesting.

So Kerr will fire a guy that he picked. A guy who was part of a **winning record**. In his first year, no less. Heh, heh, heh.

I guess you have to lose 4 years in a row in order to be untouchable…

The Suns reek of desperation. Make a splendid mess, then try to clean it up twice as fast as you made it. That’s the GM way. At least Kerr is allowed to try and fix his horrendous mistakes. Knight wasn’t allowed such leeway in that one key area. Nor will Sund be, I suspect, unless he has a silver tongue.

Then again, you’ll never have much to fix if you don’t do much in the first place. Heh.

richbrave

February 15th, 2009
8:45 pm

Everybody wants BUTLER, but he has a clause allowing trades with his say-so only. He would have to want to come to ATLANTA. JUAN’s is an expiring deal and the WIZARDS’ only wiggle room for the #1 pick in the draft. SONGAILA’s expires in 2010. Thw WIZ have J-CRIT, and he is the anointed successor to ARENAS. They don’t need LAW or CLAXTON. What would they do with another #1 pick? They don’t have cap room to sign the one coming up now. BUTLER has one of the least egregious contracts financially on the LIZARDS right now. Why take on MARVIN’s deal even if they could? “Duck” doesn’t fit well into D.C.’s system – that is, assuming there is one when the new coach arrives. GRUNFELD wants long-lean players with quickness and speed. This deal doesn’t make sense at all for the WIZARDS.

richbrave

February 15th, 2009
9:15 pm

HB:

WIZARDS have a contractual $75,906,000 on the books for 2009-2010. Taking on WILLIAMS, LAW and CLAXTON would ADD another 470,000 to the total. And they’ve got a high,HIGH draft pick coming up. Unless they can restructure some deals, they won’t even be able to sign their 1st round pick for 2009. What’s the cap limit for next season?

richbrave

February 15th, 2009
9:20 pm

SONGAILA is up in 2009-2010 with a player option for 2010-2011 just south of 5 MILL.

HB Ando

February 15th, 2009
10:02 pm

RB, I’ve not really given any thought to this Butler chatter. He’s a great player, but the Hawks pressing need is a center. The cap for next year has not been determined. But I just read an article, quoting Stern, that suggested that the cap might actually GO DOWN, placing many teams that are currently on this years’ luxury tax bubble actually over it next season unless they reduce payroll. The implications of such a possibility mind-boggling. It would force almost every team in the league to re-evaluate their payroll planning. It would certainly suggest that on top of every other consideration that the ASG is dealing with (operating losses, the Belkin buy out, etc.) if the intent is to re-sign both Bibby and Marvin (which I continue to find unlikely), then it will be even harder to accomplish such a plan.

Trade deadline is Thursday. Like everyone else, I’m anxious to see if the Hawks are going to make any moves, as the nature of any deal they might make would likely say a lot about both the finances and the direction of the franchise.

Melvin

February 15th, 2009
10:14 pm

Forget his playing ability. The Hawks could have use Chris Paul for his off the court showmen ship… I know, I know Ando but I just realize how big of a MISSED this was for the Hawks… Man, the exposure this franchise could of had with that fella… Can’t imagine the ASG losing $174 mil had they drafted Chris Paul… Sorry fellas I hate to bring up the past but like I said his off the court impact just hit me….

HB Ando

February 15th, 2009
10:16 pm

Hmm, more undermining reports about the ASG’s financial health. I assume most of you have seen Steve Hummer’s article about the Thrashers today. He highlights that the Thrashers are 29th out of 30 in attendance, and restates the annual losses of the ownership group, since 2004, at an average of $24 million/year. I just can’t find any math, based on what little I know about the partners of the ASG, that suggests that they can absorb these types of losses AND be faced with an upcoming buyout of Steve Belkin for what could be a devastating amount.

It is exactly these financial reports that generated my belief, since the beginning of the summer, that the ASG could not afford a $68 million payroll, and that moving Bibby’s expiring, $15 million salary, was one of the most obvious ways to minimize losses. I still don’t know how they’re hanging in there, in this economy, with flat ticket sales. Obviously, the Hawks are a better team for having Bibby in uniform this season. But I just don’t understand how they’re pulling it off.

Guess we’ll have a clearer picture if Thursday’s deadline comes and goes with no reduction in this years’ payroll. If it does, Hawks fans can certainly rest easy that the best local product in over a decade will remain intact, if unimproved, for the remainder of the season.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m kind of anxious to see how this will play out later this week.

HB Ando

February 15th, 2009
10:23 pm

Melvin, you said it………

Melvin

February 15th, 2009
10:52 pm

Hmmmm, Doug Collins just said the owner (or GM) of the Suns said this weekend that they made of mistake by not signing Joe Johnson. Let’s see the Suns got Diaw and 2 1st round picks from the Hawks. So that’s 3 1st round talents they received in return from the Hawks and they still say they was on the losing end of that deal… Oh my, maybe Billy did get that one right…

Don!

February 15th, 2009
11:35 pm

Random thoughts — and most of the good points have already been made.

1. Until the ownership situation is settled, none of this really matters.

2. We need a center. We likely have an overage at the 2-3-4, which will take care if itself in the off season.

3. We need to decide now what we’re going to do with Acie. There are GMs in this league who like his potential (still), but everyone agrees that he doesn’t mesh with Woody’s style and desire to play in a tight 8-man rotation.

4. Bibby is the key to the off season. If we keep him, how much will it cost? If you had to make a choice between keeping him and Marvin on a four-year contract — would you be willing to mortgage the team’s future on that decision?

5. Are you content to be (at best) the fourth best team in the East? Because that looks to be the ceiling with this group. Let’s be honest, this is a good team — but something big would have to happen for them to be great. Boston got KG, and Pau was gifted to LA. Cleveland won LeBron in the lottery, and Orlando got Dwight. The Spurs are still the Spurs, and let’s just not mention CP3, okay? I love Joe Johnson, and he’s worth every cent (and every player) we’ve invested in him — but he can’t carry this team to a championship alone, and this supporting cast is just missing something.

5. The core of this team for the next three years is Big Al and Josh — and they really share the same position. That’s not a recipe for success — and there’s no way you would want to trade either.

6. Something has to give. We’re at the same spot the Bulls were two years ago … almost good enough to compete — but not quite there. The Bulls tried to make the moves to become contenders, and blew it. How can we learn from their mistakes?

7. Last one, I promise. Where can the Hawks turn to find one more quality player — a difference maker — to get them over the hump, without mortgaging the future? We could either get lucky in the draft, either an underrated big man from college, or by maybe signing an overseas player who wants to make the jump over here. I think bigs are the most likely to be undervalued overseas right now. Of course, the other option is to take on someone else’s problem — think about someone like Eddy Curry — and pray.

Anyway, I think we can make the moves to bring a trophy here to Atlanta in the next couple of years — but I’m not sure if the group on the court, and definitely not the ones off the court are the ones to make it happen.

Later,

Don!

doc

February 16th, 2009
12:04 am

stuckey doesnt shoot well? uuumm about 46%. what do you guys want? if you say it is because he gets to the basket for lay ups then i say what is wrong with that?

so, finally some sense on how the suns have imploded since they got rid of jj for essentially nothing to show for it except maybe richardson and lopez. i dont think they got anything of value for rondo did they? yup, that was a smooth move for us an all star and horford to boot. say what we could have rondo? yup, sitting right next to speedy as a guard that cant shoot.

ando, the thrashers rank about the same in salary for the hockey team, problem is they depend on gate for the income in the nhl. they are also dead last for record the last ten years about where the hawks land i imagine. sad thing is their drafting has been far worse than bk could ever be accused of by even you. good thing you have no interest in hockey or you would be sort of a full fledged lunatic by now.

has anyone figured out the real payroll for the hawks since chills and speedy wont count for real dollars? about 40 mil for jj, smash and bibby then what? another 14 mil for the next top five players then what? those top three players represent the whole hockey team budget. i would estimate the true total salary about 62-64 mil and maybe less.

HB Ando

February 16th, 2009
12:20 am

Don, good points, all. This Acie thing has a couple of obvious, differing perspectives. Certainly, Woody isn’t interested in using him as long as Bibby is here. And if Woody isn’t interested in using him ever, something only the insiders in the organization can know, then using him as a trade asset makes good sense. But the flip side is that Acie is either insurance if we trade, or fail to re-sign Bibby. And there’s the additional perspective that Woody’s opinion of Acie is only as pertinent as long as he’s the head coach here. Both of those alternatives exist, though to what extent none of us fans can accurately gauge.

On points 1 and 2, you probably know my opinions well enough to know I agree.

As far as Curry, I simply don’t understand your, or anyone’s, ongoing fascination with a guy who clearly has no motivation to be a great player. He was blessed with the size and physical talent to be a perpetual all-star. He will never, ever, be a part of the annual celebration we watched on TNT tonight. I just don’t get how anyone can still believe he’s ever going to change his stripes. He’s a dog and he always will be. Any mention of guys like him, or Stromile Swift, befuddle me.

None of us can know how the organization is approaching the remainder of this year, or the planning/goals of the coming years. The Bulls ARE a cautionary tale of how quickly an apparently emerging team can fall flat, after one seeming break-out season.

To me, it’s pretty obvious that even if the Hawks keep this core together, re-signing Bibby and Marvin, they still don’t project to develop into a legitimate threat, in the next 3-4 years with the Eastern teams in front of them (though clearly much can change with those teams as well). There is the clear concern that they can’t afford to keep both. If you believe that, then you have to ask how they can keep both AND add the type of quality center they would seemingly need to challenge the folks above them. And if that combination, keeping Marvin and Bibby, and adding a ready-to-compete, legitimate center, is just not reasonable, then you have to question who is the odd man out.

Like I said, if they do nothing before Thursday’s deadline, then these points are moot until summer, when, hopefully, the legal issues with Belkin will be resolved. If that is the case, then we can all sit back and watch the remainder of the season, hanging with the “ones who brung us”. If they do make some kind of move, any kind of move, by the deadline, I can’t help but believe it will provide some clues as too the future plans of the franchise.

Wasn’t a classic all-star game tonight. But Shaq turned back the clock one last time, and that was pretty cool. Paul had another in what will likely be another decade of games that make Hawks’ fans like me continue to cry in our milk. Unfortunately, JJ turned into OJ for the night (as in 0-fer). Or, if you prefer, you could call him Do Johnson (as in doughnut). Either way, it wasn’t pretty. But given the way Woody rides the dude into the ground, you have to give him a pass for being out of gas, and be simply happy he survived the night without getting injured. I’m sure Woody will be ready to play him for about 44 minutes, first game back though……..

HB Ando

February 16th, 2009
12:22 am

doc, Hoopshype lists the full, current roster, and each of their individual salaries. The number equates to the $68 million they attribute to this years’ Hawks. I didn’t see anything that looked out of line. Let me know if you check and see something I missed.

richbrave

February 16th, 2009
8:44 am

HB:

I’ve been deluging the WIZARDS and WASHINGTON POST blogs with a blitz of postings to go after H. THABEET in this draft. Like you, I recognize the one and five positions to be the most important on an NBA team. I even advocate tampering as the CONNECTICUT center is still a junior. And of course, I get much flak from the best athlete advocates who say “GRIFFIN or ADRIEN” to which I say, “IF you get the chance to secure a franchise center you have to grab him” even when he’s not the best player available. And at 7′3″ 265 that’s what he is. I pointed out to the WIZARDS faithful how SHAQ destroyed the hapless LIZARDS not to mention ANDRAY BLATCHE’s knee whilst he is far past his prime. With someone to assist with his bulk, the WIZ could have won that game – and most others.

I see ZaZA’s and SOLO’s contracts are expiring(if the on-line data site I consulted for WIZ contract info is correct) and that there is only 40,000,000 committed for 2009-2010. You could take on the WIZ pick(a probable top three) and BUTLER at 7.8 million, but would have to give up something of equal value being either HORFORD or SMITH both of whom are signed for several seasons. But this almost certainly would give you the pick needed to get THABEET in the event he is available. In that case, you could move HORFORD or SMITH to #4 and have BUTLER at #2 or #3. This conjecture gets complicated and long-winded so I’ll stop now. I was just ruminating on the possibles of a VALID trade between ATLANTA and WASHINGTON. At this point, it too soon to say anyway.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2009
9:20 am

Heh. Doc still disagrees vehemently with Ando on the particulars of acquiring JJ from the Suns….

I wouldn’t be surprised if the trade deadline went right by with management sitting on its collective hands.

Here’s a thought (though my likeness will no doubt be burned in effigy for saying it): Bibby is still ultimately tradeable by the deadline. And without him, the Hawks could still make the playoffs. Why? Well, Bibby does make us a better team than we’ve been without him. But we’ve won 3 games already this season. Winning only 10 of the remaining 30 still gives us 41 wins and a .500 record, which will probably be good enough for a 7th or 8th seed, I’m guessing. And that’s assuming that we would only win 10 games without Bibby.

I wonder if that thought hadn’t occurred to management? Just a thought, not a wish or desire. Just a wild thought. I see the flamethrowers heating up in the not-so-distant distance…:)

doc

February 16th, 2009
10:35 am

yeah, ando and take the figure they give of sppedy and subtract it by the amount they get from insurance for speedy of 6 mil plus the one or two mil that they have to ultimately pay him and you get uh … 62 to 64 mil. i think that was my estimate before going to the site. so what is your point?

ray, not ando just anybody else as it continues to surface. i think most recently it was obrien, realist and a few more that want to rewrite history. wasnt it realist that took sekou on last week spouting off the virtues of the suns and how they were still our peers. funny he didnt respond to either me or sekou. as a greta detective once said …just the facts, mam. he also hasnt been heard from since the latest about their franchise. i havent changed my tune one bit and as it came down it pretty much has done tem in, that is sarver’s ego which i pointed to long before anyone else did. i would hate to be one of his minority partner’s npw.

doc

February 16th, 2009
10:54 am

i guess taking those figures into account ando it answers where we are without chills salary. adding the chills salary that they dont spend but fits into their “legal” cap space takes them to what about 74 mil? i think it means we are done making deals and any deal would have to come out cheaper for us in the long run as 75 is the high level mark tax purposes, correct? maybe resident expert manny t can add something to the info out there.

anyway, bottom line is i dont expect any salary added out right as we are pushing the upper limits unless basg wants to enter a new realm of fiscal spending. i doubt any trade for bibby would mean adding any long term salary so they are stuck playing this one out just as it is. no big cheap bodies to the rescue unless they trade chills and his salary to avoid spending over the limit is the way i see it. if they want to improve this team now, chills is the card they can play, not bibby it seems to me playing on the last thread you guys posted.

Melvin

February 16th, 2009
11:40 am

Not so fast on the Speedy contract. I think the Hawks only receive insurance payments if/when Speedy declares a medical retirement. Until that happens, Hawks are on the hook for payment of his contract…

doc

February 16th, 2009
11:57 am

melvin, it is a complex subject. the insurance package is done by the year or even partial years in some cases, i think. so at the end of the year if criteria are met then it pays off. it was difficult to get my boy rick to explain it at the town hall but i think that was the summation for speedy this year. that has also been the way it works on baseball most notably from the info on hampton through the years. it can even be for loss of partial services if it is an extended stint on i r in high risk contracts. for baseball there is a goal of avoiding long term contracts because insurers wont ante up for more than three years at a time and was part of the discussion this year for the long term deals on pitchers.

Melvin

February 16th, 2009
1:46 pm

And there you have it. Speedy will be a member of the Hawks for the 09-10 season… I must admit, after seeing Speedy up close at the Clips game. He’s sharp dresser…..