Hawks fans: Summer speculation

Is summer really here yet? The thermostat in my house says “yes!” My truck parked outside of the garage (I don’t park in there, The Queen does, and if you’re married, you KNOW who The Queen is) with the windows up agrees, especially if I happen to be getting into it in the middle of the day. The NBA Playoffs? They say “no”, summer doesn’t begin until they end. So we can’t call this the summer doldrums. Shall we call it the late spring, my-team-lost-sooner-than-I’d-hoped-but-still-somewhat-expected doldrums? Of course, I see that some of us are in full mid-summer form, raising their canniblogging (copyrighted term, circa MannyT) capabilities to new levels. You know who you are!

 

Search Still On

No word from master poker player Rick Sund on a new coach. I guess when it was reported that he would be taking his time, that’s precisely what was meant. Or am I being impatient? Does it really matter how quickly Sund picks a new guy to man the rudder? Or is taking longer and “doing your homework” the way to go? Could a flurry of hires by other teams cause Sund to pull the trigger quicker than he’d like? The Philadelphia Sixers have tabbed Doug Collins as their new sideline stalker, and both New Jersey and Chicago have been reported as wanting to make a splash in this part of the market. Will that even have an effect on what Sund does? Chances are, all of the teams that are looking for new coaches (Philadelphia the exception) are going to do their due dilligence and not make moves that are rash, despite the media driven posturing. In fact, nobody except Philly has made a final move, so perhaps Sund isn’t so slow after all…so far.

 

Superfluous Soap Opera of Stupendous Summer of Superstars

How many times have you heard of the Summer of 2010 free agency class? Probably more than you’d care to count, considering the noise surrounding it started over a year ago. So rather than talk about it the same way everybody else has, I figured I’d try to come up with the most ridiculous title to such a discussion as I possibly could. Something tells me that A) I outdid myself, and B) Somebody who has never posted here will confirm this suspicion in a most unflattering fashion. Viva La Blogging!!

Okay, back to the topic at hand. While the conversation in media circles has been usually about which star free agent player will go where, things have taken a turn for the more…oh, I just about can’t find the words for it. And THIS time, it’s not simply some columnist or pundit somewhere trying to think up something new and clever to say. No, this latest batch of preposterous possibilities comes from the free agents-to-be themselves (Dwyane Wade being the mouthpiece in this case). Or so it has been reported. Personally, I think the idea of the top free agents of this summer getting together to discuss their future destinations is either nonsense. Or could there be an unseen nugget of truth to Wade’s statements? Hey, don’t take my word for it, check out Atlanta Hawks beat writer Michael Cunningham, as he  weighs in on the matter and tells it like it is.

Speaking of Wade, here’s an interesting statement he made, adding an NBA players perspective on coaching, to the mix. The below excerpt is from the original article that started all this noise about the star free agents conferring together:

“I don’t necessarily get into all the coaches stuff,” Wade said. “I feel the coach is only as good as his players. There are some great, great coaches around who can squeeze a lot of life out of their players, like Jerry Sloan. Every year he proves that.”

Now while some of us fans would probably like to latch onto said statement and use it as a “fact” to bolster their opinion on the subject, let’s remember that this is how a player sees it (a different perspective). More specifically, this is how ONE player sees it, not to be confused with or assumed to be the opinion of all NBA players. But it’s an interesting statement all the same. I feel that his assertion that a coach is only as good as his players is both true, and yet incomplete. But then he goes on to mention how there are some truly great coaches who can do a lot with their players. Would that not suggest something different than the idea he posed in his first sentence, suggesting that the level of the players determines the caliber of the coach? I do think so. What might his complete thought be on the matter? I’m guessing you’d be hard pressed to get that, especially from a player of Wade’s level. He’s well paid and things are built around him. He either won’t have much to say out of caution, or because he doesn’t really care as much as you’d think. Or maybe neither idea is on the mark. You might get something completely different from a guy who is coming off the bench, and playing for his third or fourth team in his seven years of NBA experience.

So is either idea correct? Or is it a mix of both. Maybe Wade is saying that the average coach is only as good as the players you give him to work with, but the truly great coaches can do much more with what they are given. That makes sense to me, at least to an extent, whether I agree or not. It’s a perspective, not something written in stone. Then again, what if you give an average or mediocre coach a great player or two? Will that raise the ability of the coach to do what he is supposed to do? Does it change his knowledge of the game? Does it influence his ability to make in-game decisions, exploit matchups, counter the opposing coaches’ and teams’ strategies and tactics? Or are all of those things intangibles that a coach either has, or doesn’t have, and can either learn or not learn? Are the players merely average, worse, or better tools to work with in trying to accomplish a goal (winning)?

If that is true, then what makes a truly great coach who can maximize what he has, different than his peers? Hawks fans, and basketball fans in general – What do you think?

 

On A Side Note…

David Stern continues to keep what seems to me like an unnecessary choke hold on the Lebron Sweepstakes. Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon finds himself the latest victim of breathing a single word about even liking the idea of acquiring Lebron James. Predictably, Mark Cuban was the first (imagine that), and may not be the least. Tampering? What tampering? Saying you wouldn’t mind having Lebron James on your team is tampering? Wouldn’t anybody say that? And not that I’m complaining, but why did Cuban get a $100,00 fine, but Gearon only gets $25,000? Is Stern putting a price on the type of words you use, or can the ASG simply not afford as much? Okay, okay, the last was a low blow (and a JOKE, I repeat JOKE), that I couldn’t resist. What can I say, I’m just another fan suffering from the doldrums described in the first paragraph of this post.

 

Summer of Sund continues….

186 comments Add your comment

BrittishAnger

May 27th, 2010
2:52 pm

BrittishAnger

May 27th, 2010
3:04 pm

Stern’s fines are as silly as his call regarding our protest against Cleveland, which he deserves a proper booing for when he visits Atlanta next…David is also at fault for “Tampering” by implying his wishes that Lebron stay in Cleveland rather than test the free agency market…Tiny Stern has more important things to do than shank Kerr for $10K and Gearon for $25K…Cuban’s a masochist for this thing now, so he can keep talking and paying for it, but otherwise just put down the stupid stick David…..

O'Brien

May 27th, 2010
3:11 pm

Ray,

I try not to take anything these players say seriously. Yes, they all say they want to win, but will that be the deciding factor for where they sign? Will it come down to money? Will it come down to comfort and fit? Or will be strictly based on ability to win a championship?

It would make more sense if Wade said he would talk to LeBron, or a couple of the bigs available (Bosh, Boozer, Amare). Because in my opinion, Wade, LeBron and JJ on the same team will not work. Who plays SG and SF? Who is the PG? What about defense in the post? Bench depth?

From the previous blog,

@ AJ,

Sund has made some good moves (especially trades), but over the years, his coach selection and his draft picks have been very questionable. The #24 pick will not be a game changer, and if he flops, it won’t be that big a deal. But picking at #24 provides Sund an opportunity to find a diamond in the rough, and I hope he is up to the task.

This is Sund’s third year on the job, and he has some big decisions to make. I won’t say I have faith in him, but I am not going to hold his past failures against him either. My mind is open, and I will just wait and see how the off-season goes.

As fans (me included), I wish he would hire a coach already. But the most important thing to me is that he hires the right guy.

niremetal

May 27th, 2010
3:12 pm

I had a long response to O’Brien’s last post ready to go, but I accidentally Xed out of the browser.

Bullet point version:
- It’s mindboggling to be that Schultz gave the Gentry and McLeod hirings only a C-. Suffice it to say, both are great coaches, especially McLeod (who Phil Jackson said was way ahead of his time in both offensive and defensive schemes), who led the Mavs to the WCF in his first year and took the eventual-champ Lakers to 7 games.
- All GMs bat .500 or worse. Sund’s history in Seattle was admittedly terrible, but he did a good job in his other stops, all of which involved him inheriting an absolute mess of a roster with several albatross contracts when he walked in the door (Seattle was even worse, what with the owner bent on relocating the team and bringing in his own people).
- It’s kind of misleading to call him a “journeyman” GM or criticize him as if he hasn’t been able to hold down a job. Most GMs fall off the face of the earth after they get fired from their first job, and are never given another chance. The only exceptions I can think of (having reviewed all 30 current GMs and knowing a few other recent ones) are Jerry West, Bryan Colangelo, Donnie Walsh, Ernie Grunfeld, David Kahn, and Billy Knight. With the exception of Knight, that’s pretty good company. In fact, the only good-to-great GM I can think of who spent his whole career with one team is RC Buford (who also definitely has flaws as a GM). Most GMs – even great ones – don’t stay with one team for more than 6-8 years (Sund was in Dallas 14 years, Detroit 6 years, and Seattle 5 years). Sund has been deemed fit to be hired by 4 different teams and hasn’t gone 2 full seasons without a GM job since 1980. Why is that a bad thing?

i_am_soulstar

May 27th, 2010
3:12 pm

Stern and his crew are like an authoritarian govt. Some of these fines are just downright ridiculous. I thought the one given to Steve Kerr was absolutely crazy as well.

Marcus

May 27th, 2010
3:30 pm

cinco (maybe).

ya know ……… just food for thought (I didn’t know Google could hook up a translated language web page ;) :0 :

Marcus

May 27th, 2010
3:35 pm

http://deportes.univision.com/nba/article/2010-05-24/el-dominicano-al-horford-condiciono

Translation of last sentence: Horford would like to have a real PG and a C so he can move to PF.

Marcus

May 27th, 2010
3:36 pm

translation lifted from Peachtree Hoops … I don’t think Google Translator did it justice (plus I couldn’t link to it)

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LeBron James to ATL, Michael Cunningham. Michael Cunningham said: AJC's fan blog: Hawks fans: Summer speculation http://bit.ly/aUeYKI [...]

Astro Joe

May 27th, 2010
4:35 pm

Ray, Wade has had 3 coaches (I think). SVG, Riley and Spoelstra. Maybe he is saying that he struggles to see a big difference between those 3… something that most fans would not believe. Maybe Wade’s experience is that the difference between Riley and Spoelstra is fairly insignificant when comparing the difference between having a younger Shaq and JON on your team (or Posey vs. Beasley). In the end, I think he seems to believe that having better teammates is more important than having a better coach.

Of course, he could be saying all of that in the context of Riley suggesting that he may coach again and Wade essentially saying “I don’t need a better coach I need better teammates if you want me to stay”.

Astro Joe

May 27th, 2010
4:58 pm

The Posey v. Beasley thing may have been a reach, but I honestly don’t remember much about that championship team. What was the starting line-up? Shaq, Haslem, Posey, Wade and ??? I think Antoine “I Gambled My Money Away and Now My Ex is Telling All My Busienss” Walker was on that team. But I am suffering from old man memory loss right now. But clearly, Wade is not impressed with his teammates and I think that his statement is mostly slamming his current crew (while also telling Riley that a promise that he may coach again won’t cut it).

doc

May 27th, 2010
5:02 pm

ray great stuff, what i hear him saying is the players can take most coaches further than most coaches can take the player.

i was going to say something similar earlier in arguing it is really a player’s league. just look at the folly of being COY nowadays or seeing how quickly coaches can be thrown beneath the bus. this isnt just in basketball as it was seem in some early great books written by melville like mutiny on the bounty or in the real world of business manufacturing that i witnessed when i was a consultant. it is very apparent in basketball because the numbers are smaller and the great ones stick out so strongly in the form of coaches and players.

i am looking forward to my summertime soap … AS THE NBA WORLD TURNS. it will be fun to see who wins and who gets toppled from their perches. it will be fun to sit here a year from now and reflect on what we saw and who saw it first.

chuckw/deadjournalist

May 27th, 2010
5:19 pm

On my comment on MC’s blog, I through out the less-than-ironic collusion twist. What happens if, collectively, free agents do start to work together. Not so much to go to the same team; but to keep each other in the know financially. Maybe this has been going on, but no one has been smart/stupid enough to admit it.

To play devil’s advocate to the comments regarding the Big 3+Bosh …

Maybe there is another story line below the surface. Since the likelihood of more than two of the four playing on the same team is almost nil, maybe – and this is a reach – maybe the group see the benefit a strong team rivalry could have for all of them.

Forget the one-on-one rivalries for a minute. When did the Eastern conference have a legit, high-profile two-team rivalry for an extended period of time? Racking my brain, the last one I can think of is … Heat vs. Knicks. Regular season or playoffs it was knock-down, drag out fight.

Maybe it is possible LeBron and DWade see the potential marque match-up would be … from a business stand-point. Team LeBron vs. DWade’s Heat (I just don’t see him leaving South Beach with the money the Heat have and the ability they would have to sign one or two high-end players). Not that any of these guys are going to the poor house; but it certainly would be a huge marketing opportunity.

The Real Hawk

May 27th, 2010
5:35 pm

Everyone knows the rules. Pay the fine.

Big Ray

May 27th, 2010
6:38 pm

Astro Joe ,

I figured this would be good fodder for discussion, and I think you and Doc have hit on some very good points.

I’m inclined to believe that Wade is definitely less than impressed with his teammates. The thing about the Heat team that won a championship is simple, in a way. Outside of Shaq and D-Wade, there were two major elements: the iron-fisted rule of Pat Riley (he of the many championship rings, so you had to respect him and his philosophies) and the diehard, consistent acceptance and execution of role playing. Haslem, Posey, etc….all of those guys had very clearly defined roles and never strayed from them. They played their parts like supporting cast members should and must. Talent? There was only so much talent.

Wade now has Beasley, who has great big gobs of talent, but very little discipline and non-existant work ethic. How disgusting that is to see. Jermaine O’Neal is in the stage of his career where he is also lacking in motivation. Haslem is still there, but he is a role-playing piece that has been supplanted to an extent by the aformentioned Beasley. If I were Wade, I’d be throwing a hissy fit of some sort, and maybe that is what we are seeing now. I certainly can’t blame him, considering what he’s got to work with down there.

Niremetal ,

I have to hand it to you, that piece of history on Sund is something many of us probably haven’t realized or likely would have, if you hadn’t pointed it out. Very good stuff, as that does put him in some rather elite company. It means something, even to the most sarcastic passerby. Bravo….

Big Ray

May 27th, 2010
6:40 pm

BrittishAnger ,

I like the way you think…

chuckw/deadjournalist

Interesting thoughts on rivalries. I would like to see some good ones return to the Eastern Conference. As long as we’re part of at least one of them. :)

Sautee

May 27th, 2010
8:52 pm

AJ,

To my memory, that Heat team started both the Glove AND J-Will at PG at different times.

Melvin

May 27th, 2010
11:18 pm

No need for the Lakers to play defense tonight, the Refs are doing a fine job for them….

Melvin

May 27th, 2010
11:24 pm

Channing Frye agent is a happy person right now…

Melvin

May 27th, 2010
11:39 pm

As soon as i compliment Frye he decide to miss his last few attempts…

doc

May 27th, 2010
11:40 pm

but nire he hired bob weiss, the only excuse could be he had a big gulp and got a brain freeze when he sucked too hard on the straw. i mean bob weiss. i dont know who the hell was sund then but with that hire i went omg, you’re kidding? nt disagreeing with your comments only i hope i dont say omg again.

stern has to keep himself in the mix. perkins with tech over rule. yeah i can just see that happening in a similar situation for the hawks. it strikes of the collusion in san antoine when he robbed the suns of a chance at the ring and called on the refs to take one away from cuban at all costs. he and what brtish brought up are why i am not renewing my tix next year as my protest at the arrogance of the man. why kid myself.

Melvin

May 27th, 2010
11:43 pm

At least they didn’t let Kobe hit the game winner. Too bad Artest did…

Melvin

May 27th, 2010
11:49 pm

doc,

Stern doesn’t want another Magic/Lakers final, he perfer Celtics/Lakers. Perkins give the Celtics their best chances to win, especially in Boston. Celtics may be in trouble if this game goes back to Disney World…

Melvin

May 27th, 2010
11:52 pm

Astro,

One of our boys is getting more pub….

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?STORY_ID=16322

doc

May 27th, 2010
11:53 pm

yes melvin, i know it is true.

whoever the ref is got his hand slapped i would imagine. like dude what got into you didnt you know the situation? that is like not running on a fly ball with two outs. next time and you are fired, we got advertisers em rules here, you know.

Melvin

May 28th, 2010
12:04 am

My gosh, Hassan Whiteside looks long. He’s towering over Daniel Orton who’s listed at 6′10…

http://www.nbadraft.net/hassan-whitesidedaniel-orton-workout

O'Brien

May 28th, 2010
7:38 am

Melvin,

Good read on the Booker link. I saw him play a couple games against GT, and I liked his effort and his game. If he is there in the second round when we pick, I would be okay with that.

Another PF we’ve talked about, Amir Johnson (who is a free agent) was a second round pick (#56). Brandon Bass (who is listed at 6’8”) was picked in the second round (although he was #33). Blair in San Antonio as well. Milsap too.

Good picks can be found in the second round. And with some of these guys, they will have a chip on their shoulder because everyone doubts their game, and that keeps them working hard.

Did you see the excerpts Mark Bradley had about another writer’s interview with Hassan Whiteside?

“He projected a confidence that bordered on naïve arrogance. He compared himself to everyone from Dwight Howard to Hakeem Olajuwon (with whom he spent a week training), complained about where I had him on my mock draft (No. 14 to the Rockets) and was insulted that our scouting report didn’t have more on his 3-point shooting ability.”

He is on the skinny side, but if he can add a few pounds, and improve his maturity, he could be a solid player down the road, even if its off the bench.

Astro Joe

May 28th, 2010
9:34 am

Melvin, great article on Booker. I read a whole lot of PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY in that article. Dude sounds like he has a plan and is working to achieve his goal. His head is down and he is propeling himself forward. Give me 7-8 of those kind of guys. Booker displays the maturity that is more commonly found in upperclassmen. He sounds like a man preparing for a job as opposed to a boy playing a game.

I think I mentioned after the first time I saw him that he was more “refined” than I expected. I was thinking raw, big athleticism like a Bass or Maxiell but he is clearly skillful. The article helps explains why. I’m sold, sign me up. (Although I also like Jerome Jordan and Craig Brackins as well).

Astro Joe

May 28th, 2010
9:46 am

Melvin, shhhh, be vwery, vwery quiet… Booker is getting even more good reports. From ESPN’s Chad Ford (don’t tell anyone, we need him to be available at #24 so be vwery, vwery quiet):

For the seventh straight year Insider has obtained this confidential report from a league source.

The NBA no longer creates a composite score to rank the top athletes in the draft. So we’ll break it down for you by category.

Mississippi’s Terrico White recorded the biggest maximum vertical with a whopping 40 inches. Only two other players jumped 38 or more inches in the maximum vertical jump: John Wall (39) and Armon Johnson (38.5). Solomon Alabi (26 inches) had the worst max vert in the camp.

Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody tested as the strongest athlete in the camp. Harangody bench-pressed a 185 pound bar 23 times. Derrick Caracter and Trevor Booker got the bar up 22 times. Gani Lawal did 20 reps. Avery Bradley and Charles Garcia got the bar up only two times. Jarvis Varnado could manage only three reps.

In the lane agility testing, Kentucky’s John Wall had the best score, finishing the drill in 10.8 seconds. Lazar Hayward, Dominique Jones and Damion James all finished under 10.9 seconds. Keith Gallon finished dead last in a terrible 13.4 seconds.

In the three-quarter-court sprints, Clemson’s Trevor Booker led the way with a blinding 3.1-second run. John Wall, Wesley Johnson and Avery Bradley all tied for second at 3.1 seconds. Gallon was last again, at 3.7 seconds.

Astro Joe

May 28th, 2010
9:50 am

Ford’s conclusion:

And don’t forget Clemson’s Trevor Booker. For a big man, he posted, across the board, the best scores in the camp. The Jason Maxiell comparisons just won’t go away.

Astro Joe

May 28th, 2010
9:52 am

Booker had a 36 inch max vertical (Brackins came in at 35 inches… below the rumored 40 inches but still very good for a 6′10″ guy with long range shooting skills).

Melvin

May 28th, 2010
10:27 am

OB,

I prefer the ex-head coach Hill’s opinion of Hassan in the above link over a writer who Mark Bradley reference. Also, get Amir Johnson agent on the phone July 1 (notice the date I reference Mr.Gearon) immediately he could be a nice and not too expensive backup PF. I love his athleticism and energy he brings to the game.

Astro,
All I can say is, we discovered Booker before all this pre-draft hype so kudos to us. Too bad Trevor doesn’t have his younger brother height (the guy has to duck his head coming into the gym) b/c he would be a #1 pick with the skills he has. I still have Booker number 2 on my draft board for the Hawks (Paul is #1). Also, I’m warming up to Damion James from Texas, look like he improved his jump shot which would make him more effective on the perimeter. He reminds me of Gerald Wallace. And I wouldnt mind James teammate Dexter Pittman if he’s available at our pick in the 2nd round. Dude has good size and low post skills but his conditioning is the problem. If we could get him on Randmo diet plan, he could be a steal….

If the Hawks could draft/acquire Paul and Booker/Brackins on draft night, Astro I will buy you and me season tickets the morning after.

Big Ray

May 28th, 2010
10:42 am

There are plenty of guys who have such great plans for “working hard”, “getting better”, “improving this or that”, etc.

Then that money hits. Then Othello’s “Iago” begins speaking in their left ear. So many then fall by the wayside, figuring they’ve arrived. Few stay on the path of hard work. I like to hear a young fella talk about what he is going to do in specific to improve himself, but I like to see the follow up. I like to see them saying the same thing when they get into their first NBA camp, after their first year of NBA experience, if they get sent down to the D-League, if they get 30mpg. I want to hear that 2, 3, 4, 5 years down the road when that second contract hits, and they’ve really started getting paid more than most of us will ever see.

Otherwise, it tends to be a little cliche…

O'Brien

May 28th, 2010
10:43 am

AJ, Melvin

I think Booker and Brackins will be there when we pick in the first round. But you wonder if the Hawks (or any team for that matter) will pick them until early second, because that’s where they are projected.

As a GT fan, I will mention Lawal. Paul Hewitt did not have a PG that can get him the ball in the right spots, and this year, Lawal shared the floor with Favors. He needs to work on his FTs and his shot making and form, but around the rim, he can be solid. His NBA comparison is Chris Wilcox.

I like the senior Dexter Pittman in the second round. He needs to lose some weight and stay out of foul trouble, but he has legit size, and he played at a big time program. Plus all we would need from him is 10-15 mpg.

I like Amir Johnson too, but I think his price tag will be $4-$5 mil (in the price range of guys like Bass and Maxiell), so the Hawks would have to give him most of their mid-level.

chuckw/deadjournalist

May 28th, 2010
10:49 am

Back to the coaching topic; we now know Sund’s coaching hire record but what about Gearon, Sr.?

While he was GM from ‘77 to ‘79 and team President from ‘77 to ‘86, here are the coaches he hired, or had a hand in hiring:

Hubie Brown 1976–1981
Mike Fratello 1981
Kevin Loughery 1981–1983
Mike Fratello 1983–1990

Those are three solid coaches. I’m not sure what, if any, role he had in Cotton Fitzsimmons before Brown.

Point being, I don’t think Gearon, Sr. will let a hire happen without him being in full support of the move. Say what you will about Sund’s coaching decisions but Gearon, Sr.’s were about as good as you can have (without winning title with one of them).

Astro Joe

May 28th, 2010
10:51 am

Ray, true. And maybe guys have watched videos of players they should pattern their games after in their junior year and then spent their senior season executing that plan. I just have personally never read that before. That isd what impressed me. He didn;t wait until a fewe months before the draft to get a “plan” from his agent and trainer. He took the initiative to say “maybe I can be a Millsap type player” and then he started studuying. I find that quite refreshing given the entitlement that too many of these guys demonstrate. Booker is clearly an above average athlete but he is approaching his next job as if he wants to use more than his talents below his neck… he also is using that thing that sits on his shoulders. Again, I find that very refreshing.

chuckw/deadjournalist

May 28th, 2010
11:06 am

Big Ray –

It would be great if the Hawks could have a big, national rivalry with an Eastern Conference team during the next few years. But unless LeBron reads Bradley’s editorial and goes, “You know what I could do the A. Let’s make a sign-and-trade happen JJ.” AND JJ agrees to go to Cleveland; I don’t think there’s a chance.

While which is probably Boston’s last hooray with that group, Orlando is set to be a contender for years – assuming Howard stays healthy. If Miami brings back Wade and adds Boozer or Amare or Bosh, they will be there too. Throw in the Chicago/Cleveland/NYK/NJN winner of LeBron + 1 and you’ve got three teams that are better than the Hawks if they loose JJ without compensation or – at best – the Hawks are on equal footing with the worse of those three.

The kicker is that most likely, the Hawks will have two teams in there division which will be Top 3. While that would set-up a fantastic four-game show-down with two teams … assuming the Hawks figure out a way to stop Howard and figure out a way to improve this off-season.

Astro Joe

May 28th, 2010
11:17 am

Melvin said “If the Hawks could draft/acquire Paul and Booker/Brackins on draft night, Astro I will buy you and me season tickets the morning after.”

:lol: I’m not greedy, just get me a ticket to the home opener and I will buy us each a big ‘ole box of popcorn from Manny’s favorite corner popcorn stand.

O'Brien

May 28th, 2010
12:51 pm

Assuming we resign JJ, that puts us over the cap, which leaves us with our mid-level and our bi-annual exceptions. Therefore, the Hawks will have to shop and spend wisely, while maximizing their draft picks (get somebody who can contribute right away).

For our backup PF slot, what about Drew Gooden or Craig Smith from the Clippers? Both are unrestricted, although Gooden will probably cost almost twice as much as Craig.

Melvin

May 28th, 2010
2:03 pm

Astro,

Consider it done…

OB,
Those are two quality guys (Gooden/Smith). If the Hawks resign Joe, will the ASG consider spending their MLE/Bi monies to improve the roster? I hope so….

niremetal

May 28th, 2010
2:59 pm

Mark Bradley with another one of the “salary cap rules? what are those?” posts

Astro Joe

May 28th, 2010
3:03 pm

Maybe Casey did get a bad break in Minny.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2006.html

It appears that in his full season there, his team was dissated by injury. If you look at the games played, a lot of the better players missed half of the season. And then, Casey was fired halfway through the next season.

So maybe he should have received an “Incomplete” grade as a head coach as opposed to a C/D. Not to mention thathe had an incredible collection of players NOT known for their work ethic. Ricky Davis, Olowakandi, Eddie Griffin, Marcus Banks and Rashard McCants. UGH!

Astro Joe

May 28th, 2010
3:07 pm

The other thing in defense of Casey is that the VAST majority of players from that ‘05-06 season are available for him to coach next season. That collection of players was not so desired that they have since become valuable players signed to long-term deals. Almost all of them are hoping that the phone rings in July/August.

I’m starting to come to the conclusion that McHale used Casey as a scapegoat for his inability to build a quality roster… as if he were the first GM to pull that trick.

Melvin

May 28th, 2010
3:36 pm

I read on hoopshype that Avery is going to have a 3rd interview…

Astro Joe

May 28th, 2010
3:45 pm

Melvin, WTF? Is he interviewing with the owners one at a time? A 3rd interview? At that point, it should be a contract negotiation.

niremetal

May 28th, 2010
6:10 pm

If he’s looking for a say in personnel decisions, maybe they’re still brokering that… e.g. Johnson gets to decide training camp invitees and draft picks, while Sund deals with free agents and trades.

Big Ray

May 28th, 2010
6:22 pm

Astro Joe ,

I guess I’ve grown a little cynical where the draft prospects are concerned. I agree that the kid seems to have come up with the concept of hard work and self improvement all on his own, which is indeed refreshing.

As for Avery Johnson, I have no idea what’s going on with that. Jeff Schultz insists it’s serious, Casey has indeed been scapegoated by McHale, and I haven’t been able to dig up a single thing about whether or not Avery is really a possibility. All of the pundits insist that the ASG won’t pay much for any coach (and therefore aren’t likely to get a brand name coach like Avery)….do we have a reason to believe that they will or won’t? I don’t know what their philosophy is on that at this point.

Maybe this IS contract negotiation by now, and NOT yet another interview. One never knows.

Melvin ,

Give me Craig Smith. Gooden is a decent-to-better-than-average player, or at least capable of being one. However, he doesn’t seem all that motivated lately. The guy was once a starter, what happened to that level of drive he once had? Smith has the grit and determination of a professional veteran and comes at a lot less money.

Then again, I’d be a lot happier with a guy like Gooden (but please light a fire under his butt) than I would with another geriatric Joe Smith who no longer seems able to hit the midrange jumper, and saw little or no playing time in the playoffs. Or a Randolph Morris that can’t play ten minutes straight without fouling out.

Big Ray

May 28th, 2010
6:26 pm

Nire ,

You think that may be the case? I still wonder where a guy gets the nerve to ask/demand for both a raise and a promotion of sorts when he’s the one looking for a job. But hey, ambition, I guess…

Big Ray

May 28th, 2010
6:39 pm

Eh, the article ends up saying that Avery Johnson is more likely going to New Jersey, which is what the latest buzz is anyhow. Suits me fine…

niremetal

May 28th, 2010
6:43 pm

Ray,

I just was speculating as to why there might be a third interview. There often are details to be ironed out, and distribution of authority is one possible area where details need to be ironed out before anything is signed. I can’t fathom Sund giving up more than control over training camp invitees and cuts, but honestly? I might feel better with Avery making the draft picks than with Sund making them ;)

That being said, I still say hell no to Avery.