Archive for June, 2010

Hawks fans: Are we looking in the wrong direction?

All the noise around here is centered on Joe Johnson’s possible departure from the team. Everywhere you read, people are either convinced that Joe will stay if offered a maximum salary contract, or convinced that he will land elswhere, part of some other team’s star player tandem. AJC Hawks beat writer Michael Cunningham thinks that despite all the interest from other teams, Joe stays if the “cash love” is right.

But is the issue only about what sort of contract he’s offered?  What does it really take for Joe to be convinced that staying in Atlanta is the thing to do?  I think one thing that General Manager Rick Sund must keep in mind, is that Joe is far from stupid. He knows what he wants, and what he will accept.  He also knows he left the playoffs with perhaps less leverage than before. But he and his agent appear to be doing all the right things to sway the leverage solidly back into his favor. 

So what does Joe want besides money? It may be a change in the locker …

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Summer of Sund II: Preemptive strike

With the aftermath of the draft still reverberating throughout the NBA, we now turn our attention fully to free agency, trade, and – in a few weeks – the summer league.  Draft Day featured so many trades that one wonders if NBA teams have anything left in the bag for the festivities that begin on July 1st. Have no doubts, surely there’s more to come.

Typically, some transactions will take longer than initially expected. Others will happen very quickly. For Hawks fans, there is one guy who needs to act with speed and resolution: General Manager Rick Sund. While a slow and deliberate pace may be his preferred method of operation, it could prove costly this summer. Just look at what happened on June 24th. Teams moved quickly, with a sense of desperation in some cases. Normally, there is a flurry of movement early in the free agency period, even as the League moratorium comes to a close (July 8th). Then things settle down. Will this summer prove to be different? It’s possible, …

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Draft night: Sund’s sleight of hand

When was the last time there were this many moves during the NBA draft?

The fact that the Atlanta Hawks got involved in trading draft picks should attest to the magnitude of the situation. If nothing else, Hawks fans can take some small solace in the fact that several other teams threw their fans curveballs during the draft, what with the trading, selling, and trading again of one pick after another. It started for the Hawks when they decided to trade their first round pick (#24) for New Jersey’s 27th and 31st picks. Texas forward Damion James was selected, and his rights traded to New Jersey, who in turn selected Xavier guard Jordan Crawford. James might have been a good fit in Atlanta, bringing defense, toughness, energy, and athleticism to the swing forward position, but the Nets will benefit from that. So long Damion, we hardly knew you…

Meanwhile, the Hawks will get to see what Jordan Crawford is made of. The Xavier guard is tabbed by Draftexpress.com as a very good catch …

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Hawks fans: Two week notice

Within a fortnight, some questions will be answered. Others will begin in earnest. Still others can’t be answered until much later. In the spirit of crossing the bridge when you get to it, let’s examine some events involving the near and far future of our Atlanta Hawks.

 

New Additions

We’re a week away from the NBA draft, and to hear some people tell it, this draft isn’t very deep. According to others, there is plenty of draftable talent available, albeit raw in most cases. Which theory do you believe? Will the Hawks be able to add two new recruits to the squad in the draft this year? Will they be able to add guys who can help (whether sooner or later), or guys who are merely useable assets? In the ever changing landscape of NBA mock drafts, here are the current guesses from a few websites that you’re probably familiar with already. This close to the draft, most sites have either made their last mockup, or will do so Monday. In the meantime:

Draftexpress.com has the Hawks …

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Drew’s the man, but what’s the plan?

Well, here we are. As reported by Hawks beat writer Michael Cunningham, Larry Drew has apparently been tabbed as head coach.

Shall there be weeping, lamentation, and gnashing of teeth? How about dancing in the streets and parading down the avenues? Maybe an extreme reaction either way is neither optimal or appropriate. But how do you define extreme, and besides – this is what blogging is about. You know, overreacting as you please, with no penalty other than a faux jab from another blogger (or fifty, depending on how big the frenzy is). Like it or not, the wheel of this ship has been taken by the first mate of the former captain. And no, it was not a mutiny (that we know of).

You Think You Know…

 What should we expect from Larry Drew? Expectations are fluid and tricky. Expect too much, and you will almost certainly be disappoined. Expect too much too soon, and the effect will be similar. Is there a penalty for expecting too little? What will the players expect out of him? …

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Patience a virtue, indecision a detriment

Patience is a virtue. Good things come to those who wait. Such wonderful old sayings, but do they apply to the ongoing search for a new Atlanta Hawks head coach?

Scratch that, the Atlanta Hawks aren’t searching for a coach. They don’t need to be patient or wait for good things to come to them. How many coaching candidates have come their way already? How many interviews have been conducted? How many guys are still out there, ready for a job? This isn’t about patience. This isn’t about long-suffering. It’s about indecision, and no matter how you try to spin that, indecision is a detriment to any organization. You cannot strike while the iron is hot, if you’re going to deliberate all day on what kind of hammer to use, or where you want the anvil positioned.  Or is the issue more primitive? Is it as simple as one person liking this guy, and the other person liking another, with neither willing to budge on the horse he’s backing? How many people are backing different guys? What …

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Hawks fans: How does three rookies sound to you?

In spite of what you may be thinking, I’m not suggesting yet another insane trade or draft proposal of my own. However, the possibility of the Hawks starting the season with three rookies is….well…possible, for lack of a better word. It probably sounds crazy, but hear me out. As I said, it’s possible.

 

Stash, Trade, or Cash?

As far as we know, the Hawks aren’t looking to trade their first round pick. So, for the time being, let’s assume that they are going to choose from what several experts are claiming is a decently deep draft (there are arguments to the contrary). But what of the second round pick? Here are three scenarios the Hawks could go with:

_ Draft another foreign prospect and leave him stashed away in Europe, as they did with Sergei Gladyr last year.

_  Trade the pick to another team, but for what? Cash? Of course, the pick could be used in combination with an existing Hawks player for another piece altogether. I won’t elaborate, but feel free to do so yourself. …

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Sifting through noise and nonsense

There is a lot of it out there, and we all know this is just the beginning. All the rumors, be they about draft picks, free agents, coaches, etc. Speaking of which, has there ever been this many NBA head coach vacancies (or at least uncertainties, such as with Boston’s Doc Rivers) going into the summer?

The New Head Coach

No, we still don’t know who it is, or who it is going to be. But if it makes you feel any better, fans of several other NBA teams are in the same position right now. Only the Sixers fans have the luxury of either extolling or lamenting the choice of their new head coach (Doug Collins). A couple of the latest hot shot assistants seem to be seem to be getting closer to a deal if reports are to be believed. Well, did that make you feel better? Yeah, me neither….

 

Draft – Deft or Daft?

Some of you have already sounded off on assistant general manager david pendergraft’s draft day revelations, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still talk about it. As usual …

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