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 prospects are moving up and down the draft boards of most mock drafts, and probably on those of individual NBA teams as well. Take for instance, a one Mr. Kevin Seraphin, the French team center with the NBA body, who originally seemed like he might be available by the time the Hawks are on the clock. However, draftexpress.com has him going sooner than that. As always, things change quickly. Seraphin sustained an injury that will keep him out of NBA workouts for the next two weeks at least. If you’re not a fan of the pick, it won’t matter anyway, and of course there is no such thing as a completely and totally correct mock draft, let alone 20 plus days before the draft actually gets here. But what of other possible prospects?

Some say the Hawks need to be locked in on a player who can contribute in the frontcourt, the type the Hawks passed on last year in DeJuan Blair. Among those mentioned is Mississippi State’s JarvisVarnado, a 6′9″ shot swatter who also rebounds pretty well. His wingspan is impressive (7′3.5″), but at a suspect weight (does he really weigh 230, or is it 210?), he might be little more than another, slightly better Solomon Jones (though that’s not a bad thing when we’re talking role player). Another option would be Iowa State’s Craig Brackins , who is a completely different type. While Varnado is a defender/rebounder who struggles with his offensive approach to the game, Brackins is a power forward with range on his shot (3 point range, at that) with not-so-great rebounding skills and issues defending either the post or the perimeter.

Could Georgia Tech’s Gani Lawal be of service? His offensive skills are limited and he needs to become more disciplined on defense, but the energy level and work ethic are there. What of Dexter Pittman, the center from the University of Texas? Pittman’s main challenge has been his weight and body fat percentage, but his overall size is intriguing (6′11″ in shoes, 300 pounds, big hands). But would the Hawks be finding the next Glen “Big Baby” Davis, or even Jahidi White? Or would he just be another guy with intriguing size, but no real substance? Of course, the funny thing is that most of the guys mentioned above are slated in the second round. Should the Hawks pull the trigger early on one of them and not worry about where they are slotted, or should they wait and hope that one of them is around when the Hawks pick again, late in the 2nd round?

If the Hawks decide to wait on a big guy, then what kind of player should they target with their first pick? Not many have suggested a point guard, and probably for good reason. Some prospects that could be available by the time the Hawks pick include Kentucky’s Eric Bledsoe, Mississipi’s Terrico White, Kansas’ Sherron Collins, Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez, and California’s Jerome Randle (whom Draftexpress currently has the Hawks taking in the second round of the draft). Some of these guys are combo guards who don’t necessarily show the ability and awareness to be the type of floor leader the Hawks need. Others reportedly have the same problems that current Hawks point guard Jeff Teague was said to have. Either way, another point guard pick would probably raise the ire of most fans, and isn’t a great gamble with a latter first round selection.

That moves us on to the wing players, some of whom are clearly either shooting guards or small forwards, and others who can play both. While the story may not be completely done on Marvin Williams, many players have revealed what they can or simply will be by their fifth year. The Hawks can’t afford to gamble on the idea that Williams will surge back to respectability (and worthy of a starting role) either on his own or under a new head coach. In addition, Maurice Evans may not be around as an able (but undersized) option. So perhaps it would behoove Atlanta to looking into another swingman. The more versatile the better? Maybe, considering Joe Johnson may be gone by summer’s end, leaving Jamal Crawford the only currently credible gunner/scorer in the backcourt guaranteed to be under contract when the 2010-2011 season begins. Not that there won’t be other guys signed if Johnson is gone, or even that Johnson is sure to leave, but options have to be considered, don’t they? Okay, enough rambling, on to the prospects:

James Anderson of Oklahoma State could be available when Atlanta’s turn comes around, but he’s a mixed bag. Apathetic and rather ineffective on defense, Anderson can get it done on the offensive end, including some ability to get to the free throw line. Does Anderson’s potential make him a worthwhile gamble? Maybe, or maybe not. If a guy can’t be convinced to play defense by the time he has completed his junior year of college, it won’t be any easier in the pros. The Hawks need an improved defensive effort from their backcourt, not a regression. And while it’s become more cliche than the average Hawks fan probably likes “if JJ leaves”, then this problem becomes exacerbated. Exponentially. Up next is Stanley Robinson of Connecticut. Robinson has been compared to guys like Gerald Wallace, and that can’t be bad. Among his attributes include his ability to defend several positions, explosive athleticism (don’t we just love the cliches), a budding/decent spot up three pointer, and a tenacity on the boards. Robinson seems to have room to grow everywhere, but no areas that don’t look entirely fixable. Could he be like Corey Brewer of the Minnesota Timberwolves (only better)?

Possibly more intriguing is Washington’s Quincy Pondexter. This kid has potential and substance on both ends of the floor. Lacking good range from deep, Pondexter does well getting to the basket or hitting from midrange. He can also guard a variety of positions (always a plus) and has both the desire and focus to suceed defensively. Let me say that again: DESIRE and FOCUS. We can use more of that, can we not?

Needless to say, these are not all of the guys who might be available when the Hawks pick. However, it seems right now that guys like Xavier Henry (Kansas), Paul George (Fresno State), and Damion James (Texas) maybe be out of reach. But hey, we’re fans so we can hope and dream all we like.

Which positions would we as fans like to see the Hawks address in the first round? How about in the second? Should the Hawks try and pick up a college player in the second round, or another guy to stash overseas so that they don’t have to pay that guaranteed cash? Do you have another draft prospect that you feel should have been mentioned? Let’s hear it!

123 comments Add your comment

O'Brien

June 4th, 2010
7:10 am

From espn.com;

“Numerous NBA coaching sources believe that Ainge’s former teammate Kevin McHale will receive strong consideration for Rivers’ post if the Celtics wind up needing a new coach next season.”

I dont know what Doc Rivers will do, but props to AJ, who mentioned McHale to Boston (if Doc leaves)weeks ago.

doc

June 4th, 2010
8:39 am

vava just saying the guy was given much cred earlier, now some of that has to be pulled back if his guys continue to look confounded and overmatched. no i dont think it will affect his job search either, just saying his stock was so high. fortunately, they didnt meet earlier or one might have never heard of the guy, no?

yeah guys, aj isnt so dumb after all. give him respect he is due even if it is to keep discussion super charged. guy has a lot of wisdom and insight, smarter than the avg blind squirrel looking for a nut.

Astro Joe

June 4th, 2010
9:16 am

Here’s what I know (okay, here’s what I beleive), if the Hawks had given up 34 points in the 3rd quarter, some of y’all would be claiming that he didn’t make the adjustments at half-time like the opposing coach did and the team lost as a result. So if Thibodeau is the defensive mastermind, shouldn’t he be held accountable for the blitz that had them down by 20?

Artest set the tone in the first 30 seconds… we’re not the punks that you guys beat 2 years ago. And Gasol also showed that he is a new creature, as he stopped being Sau after that butt-kicking KG applied in 2008. His 20/10 also sent a strong signal.

Sunday should be a great game, because Boston knows that they are not a great home team and going back east down 2-0 likely means the series is over in 6 games. So I expect Pierce to be super aggressive from jump street and Ray Allen to fire off as many shots as possible. Doc will have them in desperation mode Sunday, it should be a great game to watch.

Astro Joe

June 4th, 2010
9:17 am

doc, I prefer roasted and salted peanuts in the shell, thank you. :)

Melvin

June 4th, 2010
10:04 am

I told yall Thibodeau lost some luster in the Magic series (check the archives). However, the pressure was on LA to win game 1 last night. Now the pressure is on the Celtics to steal game 2 Sunday. We will see what type of adjustments Doc will make. Speaking of Doc, I have to give him credit. How genius was it for him to collect a $100 from each player and place it the ceiling of the Forum back in March and told the team if they want their money back then they need to make it to the Finals to get it out the ceiling. Kudos to Doc for that one…

Melvin

June 4th, 2010
10:12 am

Vava,

Last year was the PG draft and I believe Teague would have been a lottery pick in another draft. Also, I think he’s going to be a better pro than all of the PGs that was pick ahead of him except for Brandon and Evans (who’s going to move to SG at some point).

Astro Joe

June 4th, 2010
10:32 am

Melvin, better than Steph Curry and Johnny Flynn and Darren Collison and Ty Lawson? COOL!

Melvin

June 4th, 2010
10:54 am

Astro,

I forgot about Curry. Maybe not him but Flynn and Lawson, yes. Collinson was pick after Teague, wasn’t he? Just my opinion, so if I’m wrong. Oh well….

JoJo the Godfather

June 4th, 2010
11:15 am

I think we have to sign Avery Johnson just to send a message to the league and free agents. Everyone is expecting Sund to make the pick he’s comfortable with, Casey. No on actually expects him to hire Johnson. Its assumed to be posturing. Even if its the wrong hire, it shows Sund has some ballz and that he’s not just the conservative, methodical GM people see him as.

As for the draft, find a way to get Greivis Vasquez out of Maryland (SG with PG handle) to ease a possible loss of Crawford in the next 13 months. Could turn out to be very similar players. And get Trevor Booker out of Clemson. The guy was timed the fastest player down the court (faster than Wall) at the combine, and was second in the bench press. Experienced, athletic, high-energy guy off the bench.

Keep JJ…S&T Childress or let him walk…Stackhouse & Petro on veteran deals….and an up tempo offense please!!!

doc

June 4th, 2010
11:33 am

melvin thy might have shown up to get their money but that is all they did last night.

they better show up with more effectiveness on both ends of the court if they want to lift the trophy or put rings on again.

bynum in the midddle sure did create probs for rondo, artest took out pierce on a great high school wrestling take down and allen cannot cover kobe. right now my over enthusiasm for the celts is showing and the lakers match up well. suns number two in the world, for now.

aj, can i call you the peanut man instead of acorn joe? ;-)

Melvin

June 4th, 2010
12:02 pm

Doc,

Not to make excuses for the Celtics but that game was officiate terrible last night. I expect a better performance from Boston on Sunday. And Rondo haven’t done nothing since he drove on the floor in game 3 against the Magic. He’s not attacking and finishing at the rim like he did earlier in the playoffs.

Astro Joe

June 4th, 2010
1:37 pm

Wow, Danny Ferry is resigning as the Cavs GM. Wasn’t he a recent Executive of the Year winner?

Astro Joe

June 4th, 2010
1:46 pm

O'Brien

June 4th, 2010
1:58 pm

AJ,

I think he won executive of the year twice. If he is resigning, its probably because he doesn’t want to be held hostage by the Lebron situation .

As for the Lakers 34 point quarter, thibodeau’s body of work is top notch. So one bad game, one bad quarter here and there wont tarnish his reputation much (if any).

Now if the Celtics get blown out in all their losses, then it might be different story. And if that does happen, doc and the players would share some of the blame too

Melvin

June 4th, 2010
2:30 pm

Dang, I guess Lebron wants to pick the next GM as well….

Astro Joe

June 4th, 2010
2:33 pm

Melvin, I understand that the Governor of Ohio says that if neccessary, he will resign also. It’s getting f’ing ridiculous.

O'Brien

June 4th, 2010
2:44 pm

AJ,

I think ferry was exec of the year. Maybe even twice. If he does resign, it could be because he doesn’t want to be held hostage by the lebron situation.

As for the lockout, I find it hard to believe that the NBA is losing $380 mil. I know that the economy is down, but $380 mil?

Astro Joe

June 4th, 2010
3:01 pm

Melvin, I understand that the Governors of New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Ohio have a resignation letter ready to be submitted if LeBron wants his mother to take over one of their repsective offices. (I think Florida dude has already indicated he won’t seek re-election, so maybe the Heat have an advantage). No price is too high to sign King James. (Personally, I find it nauseating).

OB, I agree with you on all your points. But we all know that the time when we read the most lies is during the walk-up to political elections and labor disputes. A whole lot of folk walk around with long noses during those points in time.

Astro Joe

June 4th, 2010
3:03 pm

OB, it’s official, Ferry is borrowing moving boxes from Mike Brown as we speak.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5252256

Big Ray

June 4th, 2010
3:05 pm

I thought head coaches were the ones who were responsible overall for what happens in a game? Silly me…

Astro Joe

June 4th, 2010
3:13 pm

Ray, blows my theory apart… I thought as long as you spend big money, that success was inevitable. Now we have both Isiah Thomas and Danny Ferry as evidence to the contrary. Oh well, at least I was right that the Braves would suck this year. Oops, dang it.

Astro Joe

June 4th, 2010
3:16 pm

Oops, my bad, are you talking about the Thibodeau comment?

Big Ray

June 4th, 2010
3:37 pm

LOL…nevermind AJ , just keep doing your thing…

doc

June 4th, 2010
4:07 pm

Chris grant who turned down a hawks intreview wasnt it, has hs ols bosses job.

Yean bravos have me eating crow too especially glauss who has to be into the same stuff palmero did on his last year.

Two things they learned from last year. Don’t keep a kid on the farm if you got a chance to be a lot better until it makes money sense and to make changes in the structure of your line up early rather than too late like they did with second base last year . Putting prado and hayward at the top
changed the complexion of the team immediately. In years gone by cox might have waited until Hayward lost his mojo before makng the move to protect him.

Astro Joe

June 4th, 2010
4:27 pm

doc, now why did you have to bring PEDs into the conversation? And if he is using, can he share some with #10 and mMcLousey?

Ray, someone needs to help manage the store in the mornings. 8O

Astro Joe

June 4th, 2010
4:35 pm

McLousey, McOut, McLouth… all the same person.

Melvin

June 4th, 2010
4:43 pm

Doc,

I wonder if Doc and the Celtics left some money in Phx, SA or Dallas ceilings as well…. lol

Astro Joe

June 4th, 2010
4:52 pm

Melvin, I wonder if Phil Jackson left some money at Philips Arena?

Hello? Is this thing on? (crickets) Dang it!

doc

June 4th, 2010
5:02 pm

you mean mcloathe, acorn? heh heh

melvin good query.

yeah the mice will play when big gay is away. ;-)

astro ROFL. yeah phil had a plan for us too i bet? oh astro you will will love this one. espn just reported phil called woody and borrowed woody’s game plan down to a T for last nights victory against the C’s man. guess he is calling woody now to ask about in between game adjustments.

mean just mean, my master would not be proud now.

O'Brien

June 5th, 2010
9:19 am

So mark Jackson gets another interview. Interesting.

I like mark Jackson. He was a good PG for many years, and he seems to have the old school tough mentality. Plus he sounds like he knows X’s an O’s. And he might be good for teague.

But I am concerned about his lack of coaching experience. I would love to have him on staff…as an assistant.

It worked for Doc Rivers going from the Booth to coaching, but I’m not sure we should take that chance with mark Jackson.

doc

June 5th, 2010
10:00 am

o’b i dont oppose jackson on the surface but agree. obviously, the guy is articulate and can think as well as express himself. that might be the critical feature of being a coach, to convey a message that is heard. i am not sure of who he brings or how he handles himself in times of crisis or stress. it would be his first job and we dont need OJT right now, we have done that experiment.

right now, i favor casey. he has been on the job before, comes with player credentials as well as recs, has continued to learn and be connected to the game so he can bring good people with him. finally and most important he really performed well in a terrible situation, in his first stop. he did too well is my guess and they had to get rid of him to get a lottery position is the way it looked in minny. he has to have learned even more since then i would hope, plus he worked with the king of “big teachers” in japan.

sorry, i think avery is not the guy for the job in this town. he is too polarizing and too, the lightening rod.

dr.maryb

June 5th, 2010
10:20 am

MUSICAL CHAIRS

5 chairs & 6 butts – if Thibbedeau doesn’t grab a seat soon? He may find himself standing.
(I seriously doubt that happens, he looks close to getting a done – deal in Chicago)
But, why would you go to a team that turned you away previously. What ever happened to holding grudges?
Besides, that Chicago front office is GANGSTA! A lot of bad vibes emanates from their owners & Paxon.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it started for me when MJ was there or NOT there – if you know what I mean. Flash, touched on it a couple weeks ago when he questioned the organization’s
LOYALTY to its players! I see steam rising from a pile of SHIAT ~ ~ ~ over there in Chicago! (See Vinny Del Negro being micro-managed down on the sidelines). Something about Noah’s PT?

Now, Thibbedeau … He is a very interesting man. He scares me … He has look in his eyes that is way too intense. Does he even know how to smile & relax a little. I would hate to get nailed by this guy…. He’d
Probably blow a hole in the mattress! No thanks, I’ll pass on him too.

In retrospect, maybe Thibb’s & the Bulls are a perfect match!

So, back to the MUSICAL CHAIRS

4 Chairs & 5 Butts. Shouldn’t there be more butts? Or, will that lead to too many people sitting on other people’s laps? But, hey, I’m a freak! I like Lap – Dancing!

Now where is my black & tan cheetah THONG! It’s been a while since I’ve had to pull that ole thing out the crack of my azz..

dr.maryb

June 5th, 2010
10:41 am

1. Atlanta – Casey / Johnson / Drew / M. Jackson. Is that it? What’s taking so long then?
2. NO – Monty Williams / ?.
3. NJ – Johnson / ?
4. Cleveland – ?
5. Chicago – Thibbedeau / ?

What the hell is going on here?
5 Chairs & a shallow coaching talent pool … Why is that? Where are the choices people? We may as well let Lary Drew take a shot … Why not & go with familiarity & stability from the unstable inside.

O'Brien

June 5th, 2010
10:46 am

Doc,

I guess it bothers me a little bit too that the Guy wants to be a head coach, but doesn’t want to spend the time as an assistant. Shouldn’t you do whatever you can to make yourself more marketable and more experienced?

And who would his assistants be? Now if he was bringing Jeff vanGundy as an assistant, i would think about it. But in the meantime, Let someone else give him his first job.

One of nire’s guys, Monty Williams is the new hornets coach. And I think thibodeau will be the bulls head coach (they say thibodeau wants to wait until after the finals to decide, plus he has the nets as a possible option).

Maybe hawks will name their coach this week.

Big Ray

June 5th, 2010
11:25 am

I don’t know what’s funnier:

Interviewing a guy with ZERO coaching experience for the SECOND time, or the fact that the guy the ASG didn’t want to hire (Chris Grant) as GM is now GM over the team that Danny Ferry just left…

dr.maryb

June 5th, 2010
11:47 am

Blue-Ray
(Clear Point)

Man, this WHOLE off-season is funny.
From LeBron’s “What was that about? & Who cares? – Larry King interview, all the way down to – “Where is the Coaching pool?”

Where are the real coaches at? Why are we discussing – M. Jackson & Larry Drew? Everyone wanted to Fire all their coaches, now all the GM’s are under the spot-lights & scratching their azzes!

As though, they didn’t foresee they would need a new coach?

O'Brien

June 5th, 2010
1:19 pm

Big ray,

It will be interesting to see what Chris grant does. Who do they hire as coach, what do they do if lebron leaves?

Rick sund has similar issues (coaching hire, what to do if jj leaves). But he is under much less pressure.

Does it bother anyone that we are the only team interviewing mark Jackson? are the other teams scared off by his lack of experience?

doc

June 5th, 2010
2:47 pm

,no it is one more indication the ASG is that much smarter than everyone else boo boo, i mean o’b.

O'Brien

June 5th, 2010
6:30 pm

Bulls have named thibodeau their coach. Hornets have Williams.

That leaves nets, hawks, cavs and clippers. Nets and cavs might be waiting to talk to Phil Jackson (money is no object for nets owner,and cavs owner will pay Phil to increase the chances of lebron coming back) .

I’m surprise I haven’t heard much about the clippers and their opening. Anyways, hopefully hawks will name their Guy this week.

doc

June 5th, 2010
9:33 pm

well OB, the good news is we still have three to pick from as our guys havent been stolen from us yet. ;-)

O'Brien

June 5th, 2010
9:56 pm

Doc,

I think nets will end up with Avery Johnson. So we will choose between Casey and mark Jackson. I think Casey gets the job eventually

vava74

June 6th, 2010
5:32 am

This delay explain the following IMO:

Sund wants people and JJ to think that we are making a push for Avery.

He has already agreed with Casey which profile is average but can be explained as a trusted choice.

Mark Jackson is just for the purpose of having a smoke screen.

Astro Joe

June 6th, 2010
10:35 am

One good thing about Mark Jackson is that he may be able to secure some really good assistants. I was thinking about someone like Antonio Davis who I think lives in the ATL area and was a former Pacers teammate with Jackson. Derrick McKey always played the game with intelligence, I wonder if he has any coaching interests. Doc was successful coming from the booth to the bench in part because he hired a really strong staff in Orlando. Sund may need to feel like Jackson’s staff is better than the suggested staff of the other coaching candidates to ultimately offer him the spot.

Big Ray

June 6th, 2010
10:42 am

Good point, AJ

O'Brien

June 6th, 2010
10:46 am

Agreed. And truth be told, I was never impressed with Woody’s assistants. Speaking of Mark Jackson though, there is a good read on a interview he did with nbafanhouse.com. Maybe someone can post the link. Some excerpts:

“I think it depends on who’s doing the hiring,” Jackson said. “I think you’ve got great examples of it, just like any other hire. And then you have examples where it didn’t work. Doc Rivers was hired with no experience, and he’s as good as it gets as coaching goes.”

“It’s important to surround yourself with people who are as smart or smarter than you, and who will put you in a position to be successful. And that makes sense to me, whether it’s a brand new coach or a veteran coach”

“I think for any coach, the challenge is to keep it fresh,” Jackson said. “That’s any coach. To make sure the message doesn’t get stale. To get your team to play hard all the time, and to compete.”

Melvin

June 6th, 2010
11:03 am

If Sund decides to go the inexperience route, I hope his HC hires at least one former HC on his staff. Like Brooks did with Mo Cheecks. Speaking of Cheecks, Thibodeau is trying to recruit him to join the Bulls staff. Cheecks would have been my pick to take the reigns in Hawksland…

O'Brien

June 6th, 2010
11:07 am

Melvin,

Another assistant Thibodeau is looking at is Eric Musselman, another former head coach.

O'Brien

June 6th, 2010
11:20 am

Melvin,

If you wanted the guy to take over the reigns in Hawksland, the least you can do is spell his name right.

It’s Cheeks, not Cheecks lol.

Melvin

June 6th, 2010
11:38 am

OB,

You got me….

doc

June 6th, 2010
11:39 am

yeah, i posted earlier and maybe on the other site a coach may need first to be a communicator, then hire assistants right and then be smart and able to change on the fly. not saying jackson cant do those things and we all know he shows good communication skills and maybe can think quickly on his feet to keep it fresh as if he didnt he would be off the air quickly. he certainly is smart enough to know what needs to happen on the floor as he has his chops there.

still, doc wasnt totally successful in his first job. most arent except maybe the best in phil. mark jackson wont be a bad hire is my guess. the safer hire to me is casey. the lightening rod is avery. since i am a little averse to electricity i would favor not doing the ben franklin thing and hoisting up a kite to see how strong the charge is.

the delay in hiring may affect who is available as assistants. so let us giterdun my boy rick.