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.

O'Brien

May 28th, 2010
8:58 pm

Based on salaries last year, Craig Smith made $2.5 Mil, amir johnson made $3.7 mil, and gooden made $4.5 mil. So based on the hawks budget, Craig Smith might be our best bet.

I still think we should trade Jamal if JJ re-ups. Crawford can probably get us 1 solid player and filler (or 1 solid player and a draft pick).

Astro Joe

May 28th, 2010
9:41 pm

Remember when people would say that “Woody is coaching scared”? Well, if Sund hires Avery, IMO, he is “hiring scared”.

Dang, that Pendergraph piece was chock full o nuggets. I have posted anything that long over on MC’s blog since it was Sekou’s blog.

Melvin

May 28th, 2010
10:31 pm

OB,

If the Hawks are going to make the next step, Sund has to be creative with the roster and/or ASG will have to open up the pocketbook a little more… Amir Johnson would be my first chocie out of your group. I wonder if a under the cap team would be interested in ZaZa for a trade exception and we used that exception to sign a big like Haywood.

Melvin

May 28th, 2010
10:58 pm

What I can’t understand is why so much Avery bashing? NBA champion as a player, coached in a NBA final, .743 regular season and .524 playoffs record. He’s at least a proving winner on this level…

Melvin

May 28th, 2010
10:59 pm

I have no problem with Avery. Get him or somebody in here before the draft b/c I want more than the GM/Asst GM evaluating draft prospects…

Melvin

May 28th, 2010
11:18 pm

First Boston beat the T-Mobile Man (D-Wade), 2nd The King (Lebron), now Superman (Dwight), next is Black Mamba (Kobe)…. Let’s Go Celtics b/c I can’t stand the Lakers….lol

niremetal

May 28th, 2010
11:21 pm

Can’t write off the Suns yet, Melvin. I agree it’s tough to see the Lakers drop the next two, but it’s far from impossible…

O'Brien

May 28th, 2010
11:22 pm

Melvin,

Although its not a bad contract, I don’t think a team under the cap will trade for ZaZa at $14.2 mil for 3 years.

I like amir Johnson too, but will the hawks spend upwards of $4 mil on a backup PF? Can they afford to, because they need a shooter, a backup SF and a backup PF more than anything else.

And they don’t have much money to spend…

Melvin

May 28th, 2010
11:40 pm

Talking about a tough road to the championship, if the Celtics beat LA then they would have beating the top 3 teams and arguably all of the league superstars (DWade, Lebron, Dwight and Kobe)…. Take that FA class of 2010….

Melvin

May 28th, 2010
11:43 pm

OB,

Thats why I said Sund would have to be creative (see Manny T magic beans trade) with the roster and management will have to be willing to fork up a few extra dollars to improve this team…

Melvin

May 28th, 2010
11:50 pm

Hedo wants out of Toronto, let’s send them Marvin….lol

Melvin

May 29th, 2010
12:15 am

I like this article with the super agent David Falk. I think Joe should take notes as well or I hope his agent has some of the same wits as Falk.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/frank_hughes/05/28/jordan/#ixzz0pGEUfpAi%20

Ed

May 29th, 2010
4:07 am

The way I see it, if Casey could go 20-20 with that collection of players he had in Minnesota, he’s more than OK in my book. If you question that, just check out Randy Wittmans’ record after taking over for DC.

vava74

May 29th, 2010
6:52 am

Melvin,

Spanish is not my native language but I am 100% fluent due to its similarity to portuguese (my native). The translation of Horford’s piece in the DR newspaper is wrong:

He does not say that he wants a REAL PG, its is commented by the reporter (there is no quote, contrary to what happens in the rest of the piece) that Al considers that the Hawks need a YOUNG PG and a legit C so he can slide to the PF spot.

The first point that we should not is that he did not seem to want to be quoted on that subject.

Second, if indeed there are Al’s words behind that final sentence, this is – in my opinion – a clear cut criticism to Bibby’s lack of athleticism and his lack of penetration/drive and kick game and a possible endorsement of Teague’s sliding into the starting slot.

As for the Center comment in the same sentence, it’s correct: apparently he would like to play along side a real C so he could play the PF slot.

I think we will accommodate his requests during this off season by 75%: I think Sund will do all that it is in his reach to bring a “banger” to play the role of first big out of the bench.

As I said previously when we were dissecting Lionel Hollins’ interview, as much as I like Zaza, he is the wrong type of big for us since his characteristics do not complement the shortcomings of our current front court duo: he plays smaller than his size on defense and is as over matched as Al and Josh, and on offense he is more of a finesse finisher and we need someone with more brute force.

vava74

May 29th, 2010
6:57 am

As for the Wade interview, here is what I posted on MC’s blog:

“Wade said he plans to speak with the Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Hawks’ Joe Johnson before making a decision once free agency begins July 1.”

I know that this is the previous threath theme and I have not followed the posts due to excessive work, but here’s may take on it’s meaning:

The underlying theme of the piece was player loyalty vs franchise loyalty.

Wade intends to speak with JJ and Lebron probably because they have already discussed between themselves previously (last summer? during the season? Allstar game?) that their primary option was to remain loyal to their respective franchises and now it’s time to check if anyone is really read to have a different stance.

Other free agents were not mentioned because their are known to be seriously considering moving to greener pastures for a long time.

Bosh, Boozer for instance are almost guaranteed to leave their teams and sign with
whichever team Wade (and maybe JJ and Lebron) will be playing with next year which is another factor for Wade not to mention them.

Finally, being the three premier perimeter free agents, it is highly unlikely that there will be a signing involving two of them together.

O'Brien

May 29th, 2010
10:44 am

Vava,

In the Lionel hollins interview, he talked about balancing out the team. And that’s exactly what the hawks need to do.

We need a shooter who can spread the floor (best case scenario, he would also play SF). And we need a center who is not soft on defense. Zaza’s best move on defense is to committ the foul.

As for free agency, I think Wade stays in Miami, and is joined by one of the 3 free agent bigs.

I think JJ leaves the hawks to play alongside another big name free agent (my guess is Lebron). It could be in cleveland, it could be in Chicago, and it could be new York.

Melvin

May 29th, 2010
11:37 am

Vava,

That was Marcus who posted the Horford interview but I wouldn’t read too much into it.

OB,
I have a feeling that Joe stays with the Hawks. I think Wade will get one of the bigs, probably Boozer and Lebron will stay in Cleveland. I think Bosh is the wildcard….

O'Brien

May 29th, 2010
2:03 pm

Melvin,

I think it will be stoudemire in Miami. But I hope JJ stays with the hawks. I also hope it wont cost 6 yeas $120 mil.

Its being reported on fanhouse.com that mark Jackson will be interviewed for the hawks job. I wouldn’t mind having him on staff, but I much prefer him as an assistant.

vava74

May 29th, 2010
2:07 pm

Sorry Melvin, I read it on the fly and went straight into the link and then posted my commentary.

niremetal

May 29th, 2010
3:21 pm

I think that we’d sooner see Nique win the Slam Dunk contest again than see Mark Jackson accept an assistant coaching position.

O'Brien

May 29th, 2010
3:52 pm

I know its early, but Doug Collins is doing his prep (speech) work. From philly.com, talking to Iggy;

“I told him he hasn’t scratched the surface of the player he can become, but we have to tighten up his game. He can’t live on long jump shots….If he plays to his strengths, it can make the game easy for him.”

“I want to see him slash and cut, get to open areas. He has seen the nameplate on the coach’s office change several times, but I asked him to give me a chance to change things, to change the culture, to restore accountability and responsibility within the group. I’ve found that that’s what really good players want.”

That is probably the kind of conversation our new coach will be having with players.

Melvin

May 29th, 2010
6:27 pm

The ATL Dream is undefeated. Break them up. They are too good…lol

O'Brien

May 29th, 2010
7:46 pm

I wonder where the atlanta dream ranked in terms of attendance last season. And where they ranked in payroll.

niremetal

May 29th, 2010
8:31 pm

O’Brien,

The salary cap for an entire WNBA team is $827,000. Nope, not a misprint, you read that right. And that’s a hard cap rather than the NBA-style soft cap. The minimum salary is $796,000, so there really isn’t much wiggle room for owners to mess with payroll.

The Dream were 12th out of 14 in attendance last year.

And I still am of the opinion that the NBA needs to drop these efforts at pretending that enough people will ever care about women’s basketball to make it worth watching. Women’s hoops is not a growth industry. I honestly don’t like saying that, because I think the WNBA players generally have better fundamentals than their male counterparts. But it’s speed, strength, and athleticism that attracts most people to basketball, and the best of women simply cannot equal the best of men in those respects.

Big Ray

May 29th, 2010
9:06 pm

AJ ,

Never really saw Sund as the type to “hire scared”, but then I’ve seen stranger things, so I can’t scoff at the notion…

O’brien ,

I certainly hope our new coach will have such conversations with our players. May play a part in Joe sticking around as well…

Melvin

May 29th, 2010
10:30 pm

I guess it helps when you make the right draft choice (Angel McCoughtry) instead of complaining about the lack of talent in a draft (see asst GM interview on MC blog). A total lack of accountability. Their are team that routinely find good quality rotational players late in the draft and our guy is complaining about the lack of talent… SMDH

niremetal

May 29th, 2010
10:43 pm

Melvin,

The Dream had the #1 pick. The Hawks have the 24th. I wish Pendergraph hadn’t said that because I can’t fathom it being part of a strategy, but there is not one single team in the NBA that manages to draft a rotation player more often than a dud with picks lower than #20. Even the Spurs – the best team in the NBA at finding gems – have batted lower than 50% over the past decade.

Melvin

May 29th, 2010
11:06 pm

Nire,

The Hawks had the #2,3,5,6 picks over the last few years and they haven’t even come near to playing in a conference finals and citing other teams that had multiply lottery picks with similiar results is not justification either.

niremetal

May 29th, 2010
11:11 pm

???? Who the hell was talking about prior drafts, Melvin? Your comment referred to what Pendergraph said about this draft. Kind of a big difference there.

niremetal

May 29th, 2010
11:17 pm

I can’t stand the man, but Kobe has hit some incredible shots in this game. Fadeaway 20 foot jumpers with a hand in your face is terrible shot selection, but Kobe has hit 2 in 2 minutes.

Melvin

May 29th, 2010
11:20 pm

Nire,

Sometimes I just don’t know how to respond to you…. I’m going to switch the subject and ask you, how you like Channing now????

niremetal

May 29th, 2010
11:33 pm

Melvin,

That subject is worn out. The only thing I’ll say is that Frye was an embarrassment on the boards this series. Odom got several key ORebs over him.

vava74

May 29th, 2010
11:38 pm

Kobe is still the man.

Just like MJ was not particularly likable, Kobe reigns high over everyone else.

It does not mean that the Lakers will beat the Celts, but he is a much more roundup player than Lebron is.

Lebron is 70% a freak of nature and 30% talent, Kobe is waaaay more balanced. And mentally, right now it’s grammar school versus PhD stuff.

As for the Suns: what a valiant effort by the team and Gentry, although I think he should have kept a few reserves rather than going with Hill and Richardson to close the game.

But with Kobe hitting the shots he was hitting, anything short from playing 6 on 4 would not cut it.

vava74

May 29th, 2010
11:39 pm

Melvin

May 29th, 2010
11:56 pm

Nire,

Yes, he was poor on the boards for the first three games but he pick it up and finished the series with two straight double doubles and 6 rebs in game 4…

niremetal

May 30th, 2010
12:04 am

Melvin,

On key possessions, Frye didn’t crash the boards or attempt to even box an opponent out. I saw Odom sneak around him and get an OReb on at least 4 possessions in the 4th quarter during the last couple games. Not acceptable in the playoffs, even if his total number for the games is high. In fairness to Frye, it wasn’t just him. Amare and Amundsen were non-factors on the boards during several important possessions too. The Suns need to work on D-rebounding this summer, because I’ve never seen a series where rebounding had such an obvious impact on the series’s outcome.

O'Brien

May 30th, 2010
12:16 am

I’m disappointed with stoudemire too. He does not rebound enough and his defense is inconsistent.

Without Steve Nash and in a different system, I’m not sure how his game will look . But I’m sure he will get a Max contract too…

Melvin

May 30th, 2010
12:22 am

OB,

I’m not sure how Wade and Amare would mesh. Wade perfer to create his own shot off the pick and roll whereas Amare need someone to pass him the ball slashing to the hoop b/c he’s not a great back to the basket player…

O'Brien

May 30th, 2010
11:32 am

Melvin,

Sounds like amare would be a better fit with lebron then, because lebron is a really good passer.

I don’t mind Celtics and Lakers finals. But no basketball until Thursday? That sucks.

Speaking of the Celtics, I wish sund had given thibodeau an interview.

Melvin

May 30th, 2010
12:28 pm

Looking at the picks 20-30 from the 2009 draft, 7 out of the 11 picks became rotational players. Of the 7, 3 were on playoffs teams. There’s talent in this year draft as well. I seen some guys project as high as lottery picks a year ago and now boreline 1st rounders this year. It’s on Sund and staff to do their due diligence and make the right choice. Simply saying that the talent pool is weak is a cop-out, Mr.Pendergraph …

dr.maryb

May 30th, 2010
7:49 pm

Melvin

Lottery picks is just that a – Gamble. You could fill a page with busted Lottery picks!
Marivin was the CONSENSUS #2 pick – on ALL the draft boards – Not just the Hawks!
The PUNDITS said he was a No-Brainer @ #2! We all know how that worked out!

You can measure a Man’s HEART – whether he is bare-foot or wearing 6″ – come Fk’ -me – pumps!
It has already been editorial-ized on this blog about how many Gems are found at the bottom of the
1st RD & in RD2 or, not even drafted at all! (Ala Dennis Rodman!)

I would never trade a proven player like J-Smoove or The BOSS! For a Lottery pick – unless, a once in a LIFETIME player like LBJ, MJ, SHAQ, or KOBE comes along! I don’t see anyone like that in this draft!
And, I could be VERY wrong about that! But, it’s All a GAMBLE!

How do you measure the HEART of a LION a MAN. ???????????????

dr.maryb

May 30th, 2010
8:02 pm

Melvin
Correction: “You CAN’T measure a Man’s HEART….whether he is bare-foot or…….”

niremetal

May 30th, 2010
10:19 pm

Melvin,

Last year’s draft was ballyhooed as one of the deepest (though with less elite talent at the top) in recent memory. This year’s is not. And I’ll bet you a pretzel that Douglas, Ellington, and Maynor are no longer rotation players by year three in the league. Hell, Shelden was a rotation player as a rookie…

That being said, a good GM should be able to at least get a contributor at 25. But the Jazz’s draft record in the past three years, during which they picked between 20 and 25 each year, shows that’s no guarantee (Almond, Koufos, Maynor – you know, the guy they basically sold to OKC this year).

[...] Big Ray on the Hawks Summer Speculation [...]

O'Brien

May 31st, 2010
6:10 am

Drmaryb,

Kobe was a #13 pick, so nobody knew he would turn into the player he is. Some guys picked #2 4or later: john salmons, Tony Parker, Gerald Wallace, dalembert…and the list goes on.

Although it is the exception, maybe the hawks can find a diamond in the rough (although our track record does not suggest it).

I agree on Marvin, for some reason, he was a consensus top 2 pick. But in hindsight, us fans are right. We didn’t see anything special about Marvin, and we wanted a PG.

Nire,

The hawks only need a rotational player at #24. If they can get somebody (preferably a center or PF) to give them a solid 10-12 minutes per game when called upon, that would be great.

MannyT

May 31st, 2010
9:53 am

It’s always fun to peek in for a moment when there is nothing really going on. Y’all do a fine job of keeping the conversation moving.

A few observations:

Do any of you believe we would acquire a center better than Zaza this offseason? It’s up the the coach to decide if we are better giving a center more minutes to give Al time at PF. The last coach preferred to have Al & Josh on the floor at the same time.

@drmaryb – I love that you are back in the blog. ROFLMAO about a man’s heart and his 6″ – come Fk’ -me – pumps

@Melvin/niremetal Seems like Amare’ did no better than Frye on the boards vs. Lakers. I think the distinction is that we can afford to add Frye to the roster. Amare’ is a bit beyond our budget…unless he adds into the gang of 4 and gets a big chunk of LeBron’s endorsement money. Those Nike commercials don’t have to be just LeBron & Kobe puppets ;-)

…and I am going to an Atlanta Dream game or two this summer. If for no other reason than their current record. I didn’t go last summer, but I did the season before. I like the Brazilians. With Angel’s star rising, it could be a dream season :smile:

I’ll take a WNBA championship over nothing. It’s not like the other summer hoops action is so compelling that I cannot find a few hours for the ladies. Besides, at Dream games, they don’t charge extra to sit on the suite side of the arena.

@vava Can’t you slip some Euroleague insight to Sund? There has to be some underappreciated talent out there that San Antonio hasn’t already claimed. When you talk about a big man with an outside shot, that is NBA speak for get me a Euro that can play!

Y’all can chew me up as like…time to start working on food plans for this afternoon.

WWSD

Big Ray

May 31st, 2010
10:30 am

I’m down with a Euro big who can play. Just make sure he’s a tad tougher than Channing Frye (which won’t be hard)….

Something tells me Sund is maybe a bit wary of “top defensive-minded assistant coaches” right about now. Some have issues knowing what to do on the other side of the court, and don’t take much advice from assistants who are more offensively-minded. Maybe that’s why Thibodeau got no interview. Or, it could be the Sund heard through the grape-vine what Thibodeau’s preferred destinations were, or who else was hot on his trail. We’ll never know…

I really hate talking about the draft. All I ever do is get mad. Things that make me happy about the draft where the Hawks are concerned, in the last 5 years- Al Horford, Josh Smith, and maybe Jeff Teague. Everything else makes me mad….

Melvin

May 31st, 2010
10:37 am

Someone tell Pendergraph that it’s not a consensus that this draft lacks talent. Now go to your dang job and find us a quality player. Notice how 4 of the Celtics top 8 players were pick after 20….

http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/articles/2010/05/30/roster_will_get_greener/?page=1

Big Ray

May 31st, 2010
10:37 am

Nire ,

Yes, Shelden was a rotation player as a rook. Let’s review his competition – Slava Medvedenko, Matt Freije, Lorenzen Wright, Solomon Jones, Estaban Batista. Josh Smith was a starter, Zaza started more than half the games. Other than that, Shellhead didn’t even need to earn his time.

I have no idea what happened to Eric Maynor. He was supposed to be a pure pg, but I also understand the Jazz needed to shed a few pounds (which explains Ronnie Brewer’s exit as well, if I recall correctly).

Big Ray

May 31st, 2010
10:39 am

Melvin ,

On the one hand, Pendergraft isn’t the final voice in the draft, his boss Rick is. On the other hand, Rick will probably retire before too very long. Who’s next in line?

Thanks for the link, too…

dr.maryb

May 31st, 2010
10:47 am

OBRIEN

KOBE was a #13th pick? Wow! I forgot about that! Wasn’t he drafted by the Honets & then, traded to
LAKERS on draft night in exchange for ???? Who was he traded to LA for?

It’s been a while & I’m too lazy to do research. I really appreciate all the researchers on this blog!

I actually work with the Atlanta Dream behind the scenes a little. Off the record, they’re playing awesome right now.

We must find a GEM somewhere in this draft! We need a better talent scout in that so – called front office.
Maybe, we can borrow Dimitroff for a couple of weeks to find us a player using that
Falcons Formula. We need to hire an outside consulting agency to prospect players intangibles – is there a company out here who provides a service like that? Or, is it just the Draft Board People?

dr.maryb

May 31st, 2010
11:03 am

Is was NOT impressed with Amare’s rebounding & mid-range shot. Selections in that Laker’s series.
I would like to see him, (like J-Smoove) to plant his azz in the post. Amare plays smaller than his size when he is away from the basket.

I was disgusted with Amare’s lack of prescence in their series loss! I’m Not sure how he would look without
Steve Nash at point. I don’t think he gets that Max-Money consideration at this point – anyway,
How old is he? What’s he looking for $20 Million/year? No way – Jose’.

I would take him in Atl, but for much less & only 4 years. I’m sure he will remain a SUN!
His defense wasn’t that impressive to me either! Although he did put up 41 pts in one home game.

Rather than him? I’d rather have a center or veteran PG! I think Josh plays better paint defense than Amare & he’s younger, cheaper & and can fill the stat sheet! Josh does it ALL! And he plays with fire, heart & a little too much emotions….but at least Josh has a radial pulse & he’s ALIVE on the court!

niremetal

May 31st, 2010
11:17 am

Ray,

Look at the competition Toney Douglas, Wayne Ellington, and Omri Casspi had. That stuff cuts both ways, since they all were only “rotation” players relative to scrubs.

niremetal

May 31st, 2010
11:21 am

Of course, Casspi wasn’t a “rotation” player. He was a rotation player, sans quote marks. Anyway, color me unimpressed with Douglas and Ellington, just like I was with Shelden. The difference is that players like Douglas and Ellington are about the best you can hope for late in the first round, whereas we coulda done a hell of a lot better with the #5 pick.

O'Brien

May 31st, 2010
1:32 pm

Drmaryb,

Kobe was traded for vlade divac.

We need a backup center who can play defense. The problem is, its easier to find an offensive player.

I like the flexibility of playing al at PF and Center. But ZaZa is too soft to complement him on defense.

dr.maryb

May 31st, 2010
1:53 pm

OBRIEN

Thks! I would have never remembered that. ” Vlade – Vlade, he likes to Party”
That dude smoked 2 packs of cigs a day & still ran the floor! LOL!

What ever happened to Vlade? Is he still in the US? mmmmmmhhh!

Thks OBRIEN. Mmmmmwah!
Happy Memorial Day! Be safe!

dr.maryb

May 31st, 2010
2:04 pm

OBRIEN!

I bet the Hornets wished they NEVER made that trade. KOBE probably still would have ended up in LA eventually though! The Hornets are a small market team that has moved to New Orleans & with
KOBE being such a DIVA? I’m sure he would have opted out at 1st chance.

Was Alnonzo Mourning & Deririck Coleman (the laziest bum to ever suit it up with tremendous talent & no heart) still there when Kobe was drafted? Derrick Coleman would show up in New York for disciplinary hearings in a stinky, slept in, sweat suit! I heard he was like that (dread-locked football player in Miami now who traveled abroad to smoke weed for like 2 or so years). Aaah…what’s his name?
Is it (Ricky Williams?) His teammates said he refused to shower after practice and games.mor, he showered with his helmet on! LOL!

Anyway, both these cats smell like dogs and don’t like to wash their butt-cracks!
Uuuuggghhh !!!!!! I just lost my appetite for barbeque! LOL!

Later fellas…..& remember – dr.maryb likes good, clean, fresh men! So wash up & I’ll see you later!

Now, when are we gonna get us a coach & a draft pick?

Melvin

May 31st, 2010
3:25 pm

Dr.Maryb,

If memory recalls me correctly, Kobe refuse to play for the Hornets (or any East Coast team except for Knicks). He made it known prior to the draft that he was not going to play for, so they had no choice but to trade him…

O'Brien

May 31st, 2010
4:13 pm

Hoopshype is reporting that thibodeau is hornets choice for coach, with Monty Williams being their second choice. However, Chris Paul allegedly prefers Monty Williams.

Any news on the hawks coaching search? Its sooooooooo sloooooow around here.

Oh yeah, and amare has said he will talk to the other big name free agents.

Sautee

May 31st, 2010
6:06 pm

Ray,

I forgot to mention this, but NICE Shakespeare reference a few days ago.

Here’s a frightening thought:

Is Pendergraph Sund’s Iago?

The “realist” in me would like to know. Heh heh.

vava74

May 31st, 2010
6:55 pm

MannyT,

Unless I developed a bizarre inability to understand my own words, I never suggested that we needed a shooting big.

I actually said that, following up on the discussion had over Lionel Hollins’ interview, we should try to sign a C which complemented Josh and Al and than IMO that would be a bruising/physical C since Zaza’s particular skills do not complement Josh and Al’s lack of size and roughness down low.

Hence, I think we could have someone who could steal some minutes from Al at the C slot with Al stealing some minutes from Josh at the PF slot and have Zaza work as a situational 4th big only until we managed to package him in a trade and in that event, I would see if RandMo could be the 4th big coming off the bench to provide some situational offense in the low post (in for 5/8 minutes but getting 3 to 6 good shots during that period against smaller and weaker interior adversaries).

I like Zaza, but in spite of him being considered dirty, he plays smaller than his size on D since he does not have upper body strength nor anything resembling jumping ability.

Furthermore, Zaza’s offensive game is more “finesse” oriented since he has difficulty finishing in traffic (weak hands and no jumping) and we would be better off with someone who simply smacked that rock hard and broke hands trying to block his dunks.

If we cannot get that and do keep Zaza, we should get him to shoot from the high post where his shot is pretty decent if the play is designed well enough for him to square and shoot (we saw that in spurts this year).

One of the problems with Woody was that the Hawks did not have any sort of consistent shot selection depending on the line ups playing and that is always a capital error.

In order to be effective, you need to mix and match and act accordingly. You simply cannot expect that a player like Zaza who cannot finish in traffic suddenly comes up with 5 off rebounds per game and make his minutes be worth it ALL the time like that.

He can do it some times, but you need to motivate him by catering to his ability and one of them is his relatively decent jump shot.

The problem is, if he is doing that shot and he is the only big on floor who can get an offensive rebound, then that shot is not a good option.

Consequently, if you have Zaza playing and you want to take advantage of his game, you need to pair him with someone who will crash the boards and keep defenses deep in the paint and not the opposite, IMO Al at the PF slot is a good option for that (and Josh, who is not is what we saw paired with Zaza more often).

As for a C with 3 point range… Well, I think Al will have 3 point range very soon.

I am not talking .400 stuff, but I am very confident that Al will be shooting .340/350 from 3 point land within 2 years max AND he will do it in a very disciplined way.

vava74

May 31st, 2010
7:16 pm

And MannyT, in reply to your actual question, no, I cannot advise Sund since I hardly see any Euro bball.

It’s not that is not entertaining enough (sometimes it is quite) it’s that I simply do not have the time.

And to be perfectly frank, although I complain about the lack of sleep, the only way I can follow the Hawks is due to the time zone difference.

For instance, whenever the Hawks played during the afternoon in the US, I was not able to watch the games: I was either with my better half and our little girl enjoying family time or cooking dinner, or both at the same time.

One thing I can tell you, though, Euro BBall, in particular in some countries like Greece or in the countries which used to form Jugoslavia, you almost ALWAYS have playoff atmosphere, in particular when you have heated, historical rivalries:

It’s quite frequent for opposing teams to be pelted with coins and plastic lighters during tight games, so I kind of look forward for the day in which Artest may come to Europe during his twilight and see his reaction to a mob of fans crazier than him.

O'Brien

May 31st, 2010
7:29 pm

Vava,

I have heard chills talk about the intensity in greece. He said his car has been vandalized, fans throw stuff at the players etc.

Given the Greek economy, and the fact his contract expires next year (he will not get a big Greek deal next year) I think he opts out and tries to work a sign and trade deal with sund.

I don’t see Al shooting the 3. He might extend his range, but not to the 3 pt line. The interesting point is he does have better form than Josh.

I agree wih you that the Hawks need a defensive minded big (pf or center). But we also need a shooter to help stretch the floor (redick maybe).

vava74

May 31st, 2010
7:45 pm

OB,

We need a consistent 3 point threat off bench who can hit day in day out instead of guys like Mo who shoot .450 one month and .250 the other.

And for me, it could be just a situational spot shooter who played short spurts and got a few quick shots and then be off to the bench again.

As for Mo, my preferred Mo move is when he fakes the 3, drives and pops a mid range shot. Usually he does that with confidence and with good results. Obviously, for that to work he needs to be seen as a moderate 3 point threat.

I like Mo and I even think he could be our SG but being the first guy to come off the floor to give way to more offense (Craw).

He is grossly underutilized when playing the SF slot which is well beyond his physical skills.

Al’s shot looks quite good and really think he can develop 3 point range.

Obviously, I prefer that he tries to develop his low post moves, in particular his left hand so he can fake going right, spin and go left.

If he managed to do that consistently it would work wonders since he would stop being so predictable down low and it would be much more difficult to stop him.

Another thing he should work on: head fakes both offensively and defensively. Defensively he gets lifted way too much since he tries to compensate his lack of size by being airborne before the opponents release their shots and on offense, no one and I mean no one buys his head fakes.

vava74

May 31st, 2010
7:48 pm

OB,

By the way:

a) Redick is going nowhere.

b) Redick is far worse than he looks if opposing players are not collapsing on Howard.

vava74

May 31st, 2010
7:52 pm

vava74

May 31st, 2010
7:54 pm

vava74

May 31st, 2010
7:54 pm

vava74

May 31st, 2010
7:58 pm

vava74

May 31st, 2010
7:59 pm

Blog monster is blocking this other link.

These guys in Salonika (Greece) are a pretty good sample.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Qo3h-NmXDU

O'Brien

May 31st, 2010
8:56 pm

Redick is the cheapest shooter available. Sure, he has his faults, but i dont think we can afford mike miller or kyle korver.

Another magic player i like (depending on the price). Matt Barnes made $1.6 mil last year, but he is opting out. I know he is 30, but If I’m the hawks, I would offer him $2.5 mil per year for 2 years to be our backup SF (That’s assuming we don’t bring chills back of course).

I am okay with mo Evans as our backup SG if we keep JJ and trade Jamal. But I don’t want mo as a starter.

Melvin

May 31st, 2010
9:08 pm

Ok Mr.Pendergraph I about to do your job for you and allow you to have the credit. Get this kid in a Hawks uniform on draft night. This guy is a player and he’s only 19.

Vava, OB, Sautee,

You want big that can shoot, well look no longer. He’s a diamond in the rough that may be a superstar in a few years…

Get it done Sund…

http://www.slamonline.com/online/media/slam-tv/2010/05/video-is-ryan-richards-nba-material/

vava74

May 31st, 2010
9:14 pm

Damn, maybe its my eyes but I still can’t see WHERE DID I SUGGEST that we need a big that can shoot?

We need a BRUISER a guy which physique complements Josh and Al’s shortcomings to come off bench and allow Al to move to the PF slot for a few minutes giving Josh a rest (in particular because I would ask Josh to ALWAYS start games going ALL OUT blocking, stealing, dunking and doing most of all crashing the boards as if there was no tomorrow).

vava74

May 31st, 2010
9:23 pm

Melvin,

Did you notice that he was playing against players 6′8” or less?

He does have very good body control for his size and seems to be an interesting prospect, however, he will not be able to launch a single comfortable shot against NBA opposition since he brings the ball waaay forward before releasing it.

Sautee

May 31st, 2010
9:36 pm

Melvin,

I want a banger as well. IF I ever suggested getting a big who could shoot, it was ONLY to fit in Woody’s offense (if you could call it that).

But over and over I’ve pleaded for a Jeff Foster type to play 18-20 minutes.

Melvin

May 31st, 2010
9:41 pm

Nice suggestion for the Hawks. Dang Mr.Pendergraph, everyone is trying to help since you have no clue…

http://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2010/5/31/1494661/around-the-association-2010-nba

Melvin

May 31st, 2010
9:44 pm

Hey guys, we can sign a banger in FA for immediate help and bring Ryan Richard along slowly. Could we be looking at the next Dirk or Kevin Durant??? I think he’s worth a gamble.

Melvin

May 31st, 2010
9:46 pm

Vava,

Look at Kevin Durant’s shot, he almost shoots it off his face and I rarely seen him get his shot block…

niremetal

May 31st, 2010
9:57 pm

Melvin,

I wouldn’t put much stock in the suggestions of a guy who lists Josh as an SF.

Oh, and for all your posts about prospects the Hawks could select and citing exceptions as if they are the rule, the fact remains that most players drafted outside the top 20 fail to become consistent rotation players. A good GM will shoot about 50% with picks 21-30. You want to pretend otherwise? Fine. But know that you are, in fact, pretending.

Melvin

May 31st, 2010
10:04 pm

Nire,

No pretending needed. Just look at the Hawks draft record and tell me that you have confidence in this organization. 50% would definitely be an improving for them…

Astro Joe

May 31st, 2010
10:10 pm

Been gone for a few days. Am I to understand that rotational players become evident after a single year? I read some posts here and on MC’s blog about picks after 20 not being rotational players… is that after a single season or is that the perception even 2-3 years down the line? I’m also curious about the proximity of the magical line drawn at #20… as it may suggest that a #19 pick is in spitting distance of being a “non-rotational player” in his rookie season (at a minimum).

From the file of “nothing good ever comes from talking to the media”, exactly WTF was Pendergraph doing with that interview? He lowered the trade value of the pick by essentially saying that “no immeidate help” is available with the Hawks pick. So if they choose to trade it, they won’t likely get fair-market value after claiming their pick is defective. If they keep it, the new guy likely walks in the door feeling like an “irregular” shirt that was purchased from the clearance rack of the dollar store. Hopefully, he uses that to motivate himself (or someone may claim that the management “took his spirit”).

One way or the other, Pendergraph needs to shut-up. And if chooses to talk, lie. Say that they think they could get a player like JON who in 3-4 years will be a franchise cornerstone. Why must we have the only truthful front office in the NBA?

niremetal

May 31st, 2010
10:21 pm

Melvin,

I never said that either the Hawks or Rick Sund had a good draft record. Hell, I even cracked a joke at Sund’s expense about his draft record a couple days back. That doesn’t change the reality that outside the lottery, the draft is a crapshoot for even the best GMs. Take a look at this link:
http://www.82games.com/nbadraftpicks.htm

The average career averages for #24 picks drafted between 1989 and 2008 are 7.9ppg, 3.0rpg, and 2.1apg in 20.6mpg. And that is the BEST average for any pick from #22 downward. Guys drafted #22 averaged 5.6ppg, 3.0rpg, and 1.2apg in 16.9mpg. Guys at #25 averaged 5.2ppg, 2.7rpg, and 0.9apg in 14.6mpg. The average production of players drafted #47 is better than those drafted #29.

Box score stats aren’t always a great indicator, but the mpg averages tell you that most of these guys were not front 8 in an NBA rotation. Like I said, crapshoot. Good GMs bat about .500 in terms of finding consistent rotation players (ie guys who are in the rotation even when the team is healthy).

The Hawks’ draft record is atrocious mainly because of blown lottery picks. That’s fair game for criticism, no doubt. But that doesn’t mean that Pendergraph was wrong when he said that picking where the Hawks are picking, it’s hard to find rotation players.

niremetal

May 31st, 2010
10:23 pm

And before you get on me for Pendergraph saying it, I already said it was stupid to make that comment to the media. I can’t imagine what strategic purpose it could serve.

vava74

May 31st, 2010
10:26 pm

Has anyone seen the two links I posted?

Don’t you all think that Childress will come from Greece a fearless dude which will not even blink when confronted with “nba playoff intensity”?

I actually think that it should become mandatory to send developing talent to Greece in order to check of which exact material guys are made off.

Turkey and ex-Jugoslavia are also pretty good destinations for this purpose.

vava74

May 31st, 2010
10:27 pm

The Hawks are marred by perennial stupidity and futility…

MannyT

June 1st, 2010
1:29 am

@vava I didn’t mean to imply that you suggested a C with a long range jumper, but I do recognize that it is more likely to find one in Europe than the US. Given your location, I nominated you for the job of finding one for the Hawks.

As a Hawks fan, I’m not sure if you stay up late to see them or if they keep you from sleeping because you are a fan ;-)

@nire Thanks for the 82games.com link. We are in the sweet spot (#24)at the bottom of the draft. Now I do expect more out of Sund than if we had the 23rd or 25th pick. 40% chance we get a solid player or better. Expectations are a bear!

@Melvin your boston.com link shows that the Celtics do well picking late. Maybe we should just look at their media suggestions and go with one of those guys. Gordon Hayward fits. J Hey & G Hay. If it works, the Falcons & Thrashers will be looking for guys with a similar last name :grin:

Also had interesting point about Ewing not getting any coaching respect after 7 years in the assistant coaching trenches. I think he deserves more of a shot than Mark Jackson.

I hope we do make a hire soon. Give the guy a chance to have some input in the draft process. After all, he will coach the player selected.

WWSD

ken

June 1st, 2010
3:12 am

FORGET A BANGER, BANGER’S DONT WHEN CHAMPIONSHIPS, DO THA LAKERS GOT A BANGER, (WHOSE GOOD)? DO THA CETLICS GOT A BANGER (WHOSE GOOD)? ILL TAKE THA KID RICHARDS WHO CAN STRETCH THE FLOOR AND LEAVE ROOM FOR JOSH SMITH AND HORFORD TO WORK. THAT KID CAN KEEP OPPOSING TEAM BIGS FROM CAMPING IN THA PAINT. (DWIGHT HOWARD). THIS A PARAMETER LEAGUE. THIS AINT THA D##N 80S OR 90S. THIS THE 2010. WE WIN IN THA PLAYOFFS NOT THE SEASON. YOUR BANGERS DWIGHT HOWARD, STAT, TIM DUNCAN, CARLOS BOOZER, HORFORD, CHANDLER, NOAH, SHAQ AND THA KING. ARE GONE FISHIN

vava74

June 1st, 2010
3:49 am

Best possible draft for the Hawks?

Re-signing Childress.

O'Brien

June 1st, 2010
8:33 am

How do you guys feel about Brad Miller? He is 34, but he played in every game for Chicago, averaging 9 pts and 5 rebs in 23 mpg. He is a legit 7’, and although he made $12.5 mil last year, my guess is he knows a big pay cut is coming.

I don’t know how much of a banger he is though. What about Haywood? Is he considered a banger? Would one of these guys be worth the MLE (and is that even in their price range)?

Another 7 footer who the Hawks could get for cheap (but I don’t know much about his game) is Johan Petro. Rick Sund should be very familiar with him, since he drafted him in 2005 with the 25th pick for Seattle.

Petro averaged 4 pts and 4 rebounds in 12 mpg for Denver. I wonder if he can give you what ZaZa gives you, for 1/3 of ZaZa’s price.

I also think we should resign RandMo, even if he is the 13th guy. He has some decent post moves, good size, and if we can get a legit big man coach, and a coach who knows how to us him based on the situation, he could be decent.

Big Ray

June 1st, 2010
9:29 am

Am I to understand that rotational players become evident after a single year? I read some posts here and on MC’s blog about picks after 20 not being rotational players… is that after a single season or is that the perception even 2-3 years down the line? I’m also curious about the proximity of the magical line drawn at #20… as it may suggest that a #19 pick is in spitting distance of being a “non-rotational player” in his rookie season (at a minimum).

Allow me to answer the question. From the website 961answers_to_347questions_you_now_wish_you_never_asked_about_82games_and_every_obscure_statistic_in_between.com :

General managers who have draft picks below the top 20 have a 99% chance of getting a player who is a contributor. All but 1% of players picked in the draft will be able to contribute in some way (bag carrier, involuntary popcorn cargo transporter, towel and gatorade distributor, clipboard fetcher, etc). The aforementioned 1% are unable to contribute because they are still in another country and don’t want to play for Minnesota and that General Manager that looks like an overgrown, half-retarded hobbit.

Finding a rotational player is much more difficult. Below the 20th pick lies a 39.5% chance of getting a rotational player if the GM borrowed Bill Belichick’s spy equipment, stayed in a Holiday Inn the night before, or got laid. If two of the three elements are present, then the chances are reduced to 28.6%. If only one of the elements is present, then the chances are reduced again to 18.3%.

If the number of European or Asian players projected to be picked from slots 21 through 32, by no less than 3 mock draft sites, is less than 4, then the percentage is now 11.8%. If the number of said players is greater than 7, then the percentage is now 7.3%. If the foreign prospect is bilingual and willing to play anywhere in the NBA, then the percentage rises to 69%.

If the prospect in question can play more than one position, the chance that they will be a rotational player is 84%. If their natural position is unclear at the next level, the percentage is reduced to 25%.

Note: The likelihood of a player becoming a rotational player applies only to year one. For years two and three, take the square root of the draft slot number, then add that to 71. Drop your result into the quadratic equation, then divide that answer by 4 to the third power. Move the decimal point to the left two times, and then take three shots of Maker’s Mark and call it a night.

Because for all you know, your highest pick in the draft in the last decade may just barely average double figure scoring in his fifth year.

That should explain everything….

Melvin

June 1st, 2010
9:31 am

Yes sir, we are in the dog days of summer canniblogging…
Now where in the heck is ARIOSE????? I need my links…

Big Ray

June 1st, 2010
9:41 am

Yeah, I miss that guy…

niremetal

June 1st, 2010
9:44 am

Ha – nice one, Ray! Sounds like just another typical day at the blog ;)

And Ariose does need to get his ass back here, especially since summer’s here again. And the French Open is on. Can anyone else here banter about tennis??

Astro Joe

June 1st, 2010
9:56 am

Who needs coahcing when drafts lotting pre-determines your fate.

Meanwhile, I’m in favor of Jerome Jrordna, Crag Brackins or Trevor Booker… and yes, on this particular team, I think they could all contribute.

Brad Miller would be a good get for a one year deal. In the past, he’s been a good rebounder and shot blocker. A rotation of Horford, Smith and Miller would give Coach Vacant plenty of options. If we’re headed down the NBDL path (which seemingly would suggest that these guys aren’t likely going to be rotational players because if your odds are poor if drafted in the 20s, what are they when you are selected from the 60s?) then Sund will need to go real strong amongst his first 7-8 and then roll the dice thereafter. Like a Gardner, Jones, Morris, Hunter and West kind of roll-of-the-dice. But Coach Vacant will beat all of the aforementioned odds… which reminds me, if Coach Vacant will work miracles with the NBDL crew, why is #24 doomed for a career in the Icelandic League?

Astro Joe

June 1st, 2010
9:59 am

Serena looks really nice in some of those tennis outfits. Real nice. Amazingly nice. She has a very, very, very nice set of skills. Well developed skills.

Thus concludes my tennis banter.

Astro Joe

June 1st, 2010
10:03 am

I will try to post the link later, but Sekou said on 680The Fan this morning that he thinks Joe will leave the Hawks. And he has no inclination of who the next coach will be (just that the new coach will be expected to exceed this past season’s performance and that will not be an easy thing to achieve).

Astro Joe

June 1st, 2010
10:19 am

Hassan Whiteside showed up to the combine in flip-flops to be measured? NO THANKS! He may become the next “name-your-favorite-big-man-here” but I want no part of a kid who shows up to a job interview in flip-flops (not unless he’s interviewing to become the team’s life-guard). Kind of reminds me of the story of a few UGA basketball players going on a road trip without their basketball shoes. WTF is wrong with some of these kids?

Melvin

June 1st, 2010
11:05 am

Astro,

Calm down. I think Serena outfit raised your sugar level (what the country folks call it) too high. Hassan showed up in flip flops b/c he didn’t need the extra inch and half sneaker (or the 2 inch pumps that Cole Aldrich was wearing)…

Astro Joe

June 1st, 2010
11:30 am

Melvin, hopefully Whiteside didn’t think that he was only competing against Aldrich… there may have been a few other young, long and athletic big men at the combine. But then again, he’s already claming that he is the next great big man. I guess when you’ve got it going on like that (after playing at Marshall of all great college basketball programs), you can wear anything on your feet. :roll:

Have I mentioned how impressed I was with Booker’s attitude toward his future NBA career? Very refreshing.

O'Brien

June 1st, 2010
11:59 am

AJ,

Booker says all the right things, so if he continues to work on improving his game, and he ends up in the right situation, I think he can be a poor man’s DeJuan Blair.

Whiteside has potential, but his biggest drawback seems to be his maturity. How will he respond when he sits on the bench for 4 or 5 games? Is he going to pout, or is he going to keep working? And what’s his work ethic? And him showing up in flip flops is not as bad as WR Dez Bryant who showed up at his pro-day and forgot his cleats.

I’m starting to think JJ is leaving too. Why stay with the Hawks, when he can probably go to another team and join forces with another big name FA, improving his chances at winning a title, and feel more appreciated?

And speaking of JJ, there was an article that somebody posted on MC’s blog. It suggested JJ to Chicago in a SNT for Hinrich, Taj Gibson, and draft picks.

Hinrich is pricey (2 years, $17 mil), but he gives us a tough defensive minded PG who could also play spot minutes at SG if needed. And next year, Hinrich and Bibby will be expiring contracts worth $14.5 mil.

Taj Gibson is still young (24) and on the skinny side (6’9”, 225 lbs). But he could be in the mix for the backup PF spot (he averaged 9 pts, 7.5 rebs in 27 mpg).

However, their draft picks are going to be at the lower end of the first round (assuming they get JJ and one other big name FA).

What do you guys think about that deal? Personally, I would prefer if the Hawks get a draft pick and a trade exception for JJ, but we could also lose him for nothing, and only have $8 mil in cap space to show for it.

vava74

June 1st, 2010
11:59 am

Europe is not the best place to find a BIG.

The Gasol brothers, in particular Pau, are a rarity over here (Marc will get better) and the most that you can hope for is to find a lesser version of Okur (who is a rarity on his own due to his combination of size and mobility).

When they are big, they usually either immobile or lack skills. When they are skilled, they are either too small, too slow or too soft.

No rebounding, little D, good hands and good shooting is the norm.

Big Ray

June 1st, 2010
12:58 pm

Nire ,

Thanks! Had to ring the summer in right. :)

Vava ,

Well THANKS for peeing on our parade and telling us how it is with European big men! :lol:
Want to hear something funny? There are quite a number of American players that fit the same descriptions…

Big Ray

June 1st, 2010
1:04 pm

O’brien ,

I guess we’re talking in the theme of “JJ is going, how do we best recoup.” We can’t replace him, as we all know. Would I take Hinrich, Gibson, and some low first round draft pick (or maybe a 2nd rounder in addition)? Yep. Better than him just walking away. Perhaps the best we can hope for is a S&T that is equal in $, but unequal in talent exchange.

On the other hand, Sekou could be wrong (though I won’t bet against him). Either way, JJ isn’t gone yet. We shall see.

Astro Joe ,

Here’s a question: what will the expectations of Coach Vacant be if Joe Johnson isn’t around when the season starts? As you said, exceeding last season’s results will be difficult. Without Joe, you’d think those expectations would have to change.

Well, maybe not. After all, Coach Vacant can and will turn water into wine and NBDLs into NBAMVPs. As long as he doesn’t win COY. After that, the curse is on…. ;)

Astro Joe

June 1st, 2010
2:00 pm

Ray, I said this a few days ago, if Joe leaves, the season becomes a referendum on Sund. But presumably, Coach Vacant inherits a nucleus with an All-Star center who is getting better, a SMOY who will be playing for his next contract, a DOPY runner-up determined to make his 1st All-Star game and Marvin. We’ve seen a worse core in these parts. I’m thinking somewhere around 42-45 wins. Joe leaving ia a -15 wins and Woody leaving is a +5 wins (right?) so that gets them in my suggested range.

Astro Joe

June 1st, 2010
2:27 pm

Here’s what I don’t understand about this Forum of Phenomnal Free Agents that is supposedly happening in someone’s backyard… they can’t all play together and they most likely will mostly end up in the Eastern Conference, so what are they deciding? I doubt that any of them end up with the Clippers, so I will assume that they will most likely discuss the Bulls, Heat, Knicks and maybe the Nets. So exactly what is there to discuss as a collective unit? LeBron, Wade, Joe, Amare, Bosh and Boozer will more than likely be split over 2-3 of those Eastern Conference teams. It seems to me they can’t ensure any trip to the Finals because they could potentially be colliding in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The part that would be fascinating is if they were to decide to sign short-term contracts. If they all decided to sign a 2-3 year deal, and keep freeing themselves up to form a different “tag team”. They could even consider taking it a step further and coordinate the expiration of their next deal with some other elite players like Melo, Dwight, CP3, Deron or Durant. It would essentially give them the power to move relatively freely from team-to-team in search of a title as opposed to being held “captive” by GMs who may fail to put the right players around then over a 5-6 contract.

Now THAT would be a powerful output from this mega-meeting. That would truly “change the game”.

Melvin

June 1st, 2010
2:58 pm

Astro,

Can you post the link to Sekou’s interview????

O'Brien

June 1st, 2010
3:35 pm

Ray,

As much as I would love to keep JJ, if I’m the Hawks, I would not offer him a 6 year max deal. 5 years, ~$93 mil (which is the most other teams can offer him) is the most I would offer him. But if we are going to lose him, I hope we can work out a sign and trade.

AJ,

I like ZaZa’s effort, but if the right deal comes along, I would trade him. If we can add a Brad Miller or Brendan Haywood, that would be good for the Hawks. It gives them plenty of options, and it gives us a better defender (compared to ZaZa) to throw at Howard.

I like Booker and Brackins. But I’d be okay with Gani Lawal too. In the second round, I like Dexter Pittman.

As for the free agent meeting, I’m not sure how that’s going to work. What happens when LeBron says he wants to play with Stoudemire, but Stoudemire says he wants to play with Wade, but Wade says he wants to play with Boozer? Then what?

I think JJ will be the consolation prize though, because I think Wade will get one of the bigs (Boozer has ties to Miami, and he lives there), and LeBron will push for Bosh or Stoudemire. If Wade gets Boozer, and LeBron gets Bosh (or Stoudemire), I think that increases the chances of JJ coming back to the Hawks.

Big Ray

June 1st, 2010
3:37 pm

Astro Joe ,

Interesting thoughts on the top free agents. I’m betting on the money, money, money, mooooooneyyy….mooooneyyyy though….

As for the team and Coach Vacant, I tend to agree with that prediction.

Big Ray

June 1st, 2010
3:39 pm

O’brien

Could be. Joe might find himself playing second fiddle (or third) to the top brand names yet again. And if it causes him to return to the Hawks, then perhaps it would be sufficient motivation to be better than ever before. Especially in the playoffs…

Astro Joe

June 1st, 2010
3:57 pm

Here’s the thing, that’s yet another reason to sign a short-term deal. Bosh, for example, may be willing to take a $3M pay cut for 2-3 years to win a title but after that, he wants a shot for a max deal again. (or consider another team to win a title). If a few of them will be “forced” to take something less than a max deal, I can’t imagine that they will make that sacrifice over 5+ years. The other thing is if those secondary guys (Joe, Bosh, Boozer and Amare), can get an off-court deal done, they could make up the salary cut from their team. If Amare is playing next to Wade, he couldn’t get a deal with Coke, Gatorade, sneaker company ABC or whomever to supplement maybe $3M loss in his annual salary? Surely those secondary guys are factoring in the increase in their own brand image if they become the Robin to Wade or LeBron in terms of endorsement deals. Heck, Big Z got a puppet just for being in the vicinity of LeBron.

Of course, I don’t like any of this (even though I do find it fascinating). I like the idea that when they finish all of this plannnig and scheming, that an old school guy like Kobe will be waiting in the wings to rip apart this notion of a New NBA Order.

Astro Joe

June 1st, 2010
3:59 pm

Melvin, here’s the Sekou interview. He talks about the Hawks at the very end.

http://www.680thefan.com/audiovault/rude_awakening.php

vava74

June 1st, 2010
5:51 pm

OB,

To swap Zaza (position in the roster) for Brad Miller is preposterous.

Zaza is still young (26) and Miller old like hell (34).

Zaza has holes in his game but you simply do not swap 3 more years of solid, if un-spectacular contribution for a one year rental of a melting iceberg who’s outside shooting (his previous forte) is slipping fast.

Ray,

Let me continue with my peeing: even though Zaza is not the complementary big we need to cover Josh and Al’s shortcomings, he would EASILY average at least 15 and 9 in Euro bball.

Check out all that you want and you’ll see that there aren’t any real C’s averaging that at any real level of competition in Europe.

The euroleague rebounding leader was a 6′8” PF/C (!) averaging 9,5 rebounds per followed by Maric from Partizan averaging 8,4rpg.

To fish for C’s in Euroleague ball is like fishing sharks in your garden pond.

O'Brien

June 1st, 2010
6:03 pm

Vava,

What about losing Zaza and inserting Haywood then?

This offseason suggests to me that sund should have fired soot 2 years ago rather than giving him an extension.

Because we have no idea how these players will look under a different coaching staff. So its hard to predict which player will improve under the direction of a new coach.

Will JJ play well without ISOs? Will Marvin improve once his role is better defined? Will the new coach get Josh to cut down on his jumpshots and reduce his turnovers? What will Teague look like when given more minutes?

Unfortunately, we don’t know these answers, so the players can be harder to evaluate.

O'Brien

June 1st, 2010
6:05 pm

* I meant sund should have fired Woody 2 years ago…

Daniel

June 1st, 2010
6:09 pm

Nire- I can’t talk much about the French Open, but I am pumped for the World Cup.

Vava- How are you feeling about Portugal’s chances? Do you guys still love Ronaldo? Or has fallen out of favor in his home country as well?

dr.maryb

June 1st, 2010
7:09 pm

Given this ailing economy & Fans being forced to choose between paying their mortgages versus taking a family of four to a basketball game, the next years attendance numbers may decline even further.

How much Max-Money is there really available. Especially, if the G-4 Summit players are trying to get a team to sign two of them. How does one player tell another that he should take less to play with the other?
For Joe & others this could certainly be their last big deal. And, with these guys big uncles, cousins, parents ,d Grand-Parents looking for a piece of the pie? That pie gets eaten up pretty quickly.

Cory Blount is 41 years old and is out here slinging weed, smoking BLOUNTS and doing time.
Zach Randolph is allegedly already drug trafficking to get a jump on retirement it seems.
Eddie Curry in NYC is up there doing a TV episode for “REPO” by, not paying $500K for a fleet of Benzes.
EtC

These guys need money man! At the end of the day it’s more about the money than winning Championships!

LeBron is already eluding to going back to

dr.maryb

June 1st, 2010
7:13 pm

Given this ailing economy & Fans being forced to choose between paying their mortgages versus taking a family of four to a basketball game, the next years attendance numbers may decline even further.

How much Max-Money is there really available. Especially, if the G-4 Summit players are trying to get a team to sign two of them. How does one player tell another that he should take less to play with the other?
For Joe & others this could certainly be their last big deal. And, with these guys big uncles, cousins, parents ,d Grand-Parents looking for a piece of the pie? That pie gets eaten up pretty quickly.

Cory Blount is 41 years old and is out here slinging weed, smoking BLOUNTS and doing time.
Zach Randolph is allegedly already drug trafficking to get a jump on retirement it seems.
Eddie Curry in NYC is up there doing a TV episode for “REPO” by, not paying $500K for a fleet of Benzes.
EtC

These guys need money man! At the end of the day it’s more about the money than winning Championships!

LeBron is already eluding to going back to Cleveland, Wade ain’t leaving Miami, Joe and those two all play the same positions! Of those 3, however Joe is more likely to walk. Dirk stays, Bosh & Boozer probably walks.
But, outside of Flash & the King, the Tier 2 guys aren’t gonna take pay cuts, I just don’t see it!

These teams are ALL strapped, if you ask me.

vava74

June 1st, 2010
7:28 pm

Hi Daniel,

In general I completely stopped watching football about 7 years ago.

I simply got fed up with all the corruption that ruined the portuguese championship (FC Porto has been a mafia type organization since the late 70’s – with wiretaps on payments to refs, even invoices of travel expenses paid to refs revealed in all its “splendor” and little to no penalty).

It would take me 10.000 words just to describe the “surface”, but I can tell you that this has been the work of an evil genius “Pinto da Costa”, who built an empire with a combination of $30.00 hookers and trips to Brazil (I assume then at some stage compromising photos are part of the package as well) used to get favorable decisions by refs, league officials, police, judges, you name it…

The same happened in other championships where I had some “sympathies” like for instance Italy where finally 4/5 years ago Juventus got caught for what they had been doing for more than 20 years and Inter (a clean club) finally got the chance to simply play to win a fair series of championships and here is the result now, the first italian team to win the “triple crown” (scudetto, coppa and coppa dei campioni/champions league).

AC Milan had already been relegated for corruption in the early 80’s and got caught as well this time, jointly with AC Roma.

The same crap happened in the World Cup played in Korea and Japan when Korea got “lifted” by absurd calls against Spain and Italy (Portugal complained with no reason when they lost their match), as well as Brazil who, in the playoffs got a 0-1 clean goal by Belgium magically erased as well as many many midfield calls controlling their matches…

All because Nike and Brazil are worth gazillions on the Japanese merchandising market.

Again in Germany: Argentina – my favorite national team due to the fact that my parents lived there and brought home a sympathy for that country – scored a completely clean goal against Germany in the semi finals which was overruled (either as the game ended or in overtime – i can’t remember – and which would have been the deciding goal).

In relation to Portugal, I generally hate the national team since it represents most of the things I hate about our football.

In this case, it starts with the head coach – which is a complete idiot – and goes on with the portuguese players’ general attitude which usually shifts from being excessively presumptuous to having a complete lack of confidence on field when the goings get tough.

This year, after a few years drought and against all pressures and schemes, my favorite club, Benfica won the championship playing beautiful football. The work of a coaching genius makes wonders with almost the same players which in the year before looked like zombies.

Nonetheless, in total I watched less than 90 minutes of live action and just followed at a distance.

The roster had at least 2 players who deserved the call up to the portuguese national team (apart from the one which was indeed called), but they got snubbed because the HC is a major f*ckhead and hates Benfica because he got snubbed, was never invited to coach there and was trying to lick ass in order to get hired by Oporto who had the HC’s position vacant.

So, if they lose all 3 matches during phase 1, it will make my day.

As for Ronaldo, he is really, really good (easy within the top 3), but on the national team he tries to do more than he should and ends up playing like crap.

In club play, in spite of his high profile life with dozens of women per week, he is the ultimate professional, taking care of his physique and working out long hours, so he deserves my respect for being able to balance both things in an almost inhuman way.

And I sincerely didn’t realize that he had fallen out of favor anywhere. Maybe slightly less popular, but in Spain he had a tremendous season and is highly regarded.

In a nutshell: I will probably only watch a few minutes here and there.

vava74

June 1st, 2010
8:11 pm

Przybilla would be the guy I would bring in if we could get him since he would always work hard and has a good mentality to be a 20/25 minute backup.

Haywood doesn’t.

O'Brien

June 1st, 2010
8:21 pm

Vava,

Pryzbilla is an injury risk, so I would be concerned about signing him. I like nenad Kristic too, but he has been injured 3 of the last 4 years.

Big Ray

June 1st, 2010
9:40 pm

Vava ,

Try American Football on for size. Or don’t. I love it.

I hear the hookers cost a lot more than $30 though…..

vava74

June 2nd, 2010
9:44 am

Ray,

American football is entertaining enough for me to follow it “mildly”, however, the pace of the game is tailor made to cram in commercials and allow you guys to get up pick up more beer and pee, making it annoying/boring for me to watch most of the time.

I think that the rules should be changed in order for it to flow much faster, with only a maximum of 10 second stoppages between downs and 15 second stoppages when possession shifted.

That would make it a lot more exciting in my opinion.

As for the hookers: the right hand guy of the real football mob king is the owner of many bordelos, so the funny thing is that the club does not even have to spend the $30 of whatever they charge normally. It’s on the house.

So, there you have it, an empire built on a simple diversion of available means within your organization.

I can assure you that this is 100% true and not, by any means, an exaggeration.

In some of the wiretaps the middle men which made the arrangements discussed over the phone if the referees had requested milk, milk with coffee or coffee, as a code for the hookers’ skin tone.

All amidst a few good laughs. There were also wiretaps about fake newspaper articles and clear instructions to both reporters and players on what to say to allow the disciplinary organs apply more lenient penalties to FC Porto players or the contrary against the clubs.

Apart from the refs, the league’s delegates which job is to turn in a report after the games on the refereering were also “bought” and always produced positive reports on the worst refs. Etc…

Astro Joe

June 2nd, 2010
1:08 pm

I’m pretty sure that during the World Series, baseball operations pretty much shut down so that nothing (like a coaching change) can detract from their big event. Does the NBA do something similar? I just wonder if a team can announce their new head coach once the Finals start tomorrow… or if Stern mandates that nothing happens away from the game to detract fans from the actual series.

O'Brien

June 2nd, 2010
3:11 pm

AJ,

I think teams can still announce their coaching hires. But my guess is they would announce it on the days they don’t have games.

JJ has to be leaving, right? Because does anybody see the hawks offering him 6 years $120 mil? I think they will offer him the 5 year $95 mil Max.

And if you’re JJ, why stay with the hawks when you can make the same money somewhere else (especially if he joins another big name free agent).

I think our best chance at retaining JJ is if Lebron pairs up with one of the free agent bigs.

Say Wade pairs up with boozer or stoudemire (in Miami) , and lebron pairs up with bosh or stoudemire (in Cleveland, new York or Chicago ) , what does JJ do?

Doc

June 2nd, 2010
3:18 pm

We now have an instant big Ray classic tostart the summer.

Dude write a few books and retire.

Good stuff man.

WWSD

Doc

June 2nd, 2010
3:21 pm

Moving on up baby, first I phone entry for me

way cool

maybe now nre will give me a break n puncs and caps

:-)

Remarkable

June 2nd, 2010
4:31 pm

Is anyone else concerned about this “Free Agent Summit?” How I read this is, “We are all going to get together and decide how much money we all want to make, which team several of us might want to make into a winner (such as when Boston signed Garnett and Allen), and which team(s) gets shafted.” This sounds like collusion to me.

niremetal

June 2nd, 2010
4:55 pm

Doc,

maybe now nre will give me a break n puncs and caps

Sure, but no pass on misspelling “nire” and “in” ;) . On an unrelated note, shortening my handle to nire actually removes the meaning behind it (my 3 favorite bands in 7th grade were NIRvana, REM, and METALlica), although it’s a useful shorthand so I don’t mind.

Sautee

June 2nd, 2010
5:58 pm

And here all these years I thought it was doc, not Doc.

Corrupted by an I-phone. Sad, really. ;-)

jeremiah

June 2nd, 2010
6:06 pm

you do need to get wade

jeremiah

June 2nd, 2010
6:08 pm

you need to get wade and johnson

doc

June 2nd, 2010
6:58 pm

nire, i liked nirvana, rem but metallica not so much. ;-)

doc

June 2nd, 2010
7:00 pm

oh my, have to go back and correct that one sautee.

thanks man, dont want anyone thinking i am going big time. heh heh

obviously, back to trusty macbook pro punching them out one finger literally at a time.

Sautee

June 2nd, 2010
7:03 pm

doc,

Yeah, don’t let that “thumb” thing make you lose your blog identity. ;-)

Big Ray

June 2nd, 2010
7:49 pm

New blog up…

W. R. Terrell

June 7th, 2010
12:49 pm

The HAWKS are lookinmg for a coach, one with experience who can perhaps take them to the next level. Why look when the best coach they can find is amongst the Atlanta faithful. I am a Dominique Wilkins fan since he was a collegian at the University of Ga. Who else knows the spirit of Atlanta HAWKS basketball moreso then Mr. Wilkins. He was the emdodiment of hustle, hardwork, lunch pale, bring it on every night even when the “fat lady” was screaming. That never say die kind of mentality. Add TREE ROLLINS as an assistant along with Steve Smith. There’s your winning combo folks. The kind of players that gave it all, that battled 48 minutes and more if necessary. Why look when we already have the best around.