Hawks Fans: What should be Plan B?

If you’re following Atlanta Hawks news, then you’ve probably seen offers to star guard Joe Johnson for a 6 year contract, with reported totals ranging from $117 million to $124 million. One site after another has lambasted the idea of paying Johnson such a contract, stating that he isn’t worth a ”max” contract that would pay him anywhere from an average of  $19.5 million to $20.67 million per year (though we know that these contracts actually start around the $16 million mark and increase per year). Many are suggesting that the Hawks take a small step backwards by letting Joe go, and spending the money wisely on free agents that will add depth, even if if they don’t provide star power. It’s actually somewhat amusing, considering how many people didn’t believe that the Hawks would pony up the dough in the first place. Now they’re not supposed to dole it out? Take for example NBA.com’s Fran Blinebury, who counts this move as less than wise. But what of the promise by Rick Sund (and ultimately, his bosses) to increase payroll even further, by adding quality depth to the frontcourt and perhaps at point guard? Will keeping Joe at such a price make sense then? Don’t the elite teams spend a little more than most people think they should, to take a legitimate shot at winning it all? Will this help the Hawks to be taken seriously, finally? One way or the other, the offer has already been made. Either Joe takes it…or he doesn’t.

 

What If Joe Declines?

Do you get the feeling that the Atlanta Spirit Group was just barely convinced to offer Joe that massive contract? It seems that Plan A calls for signing Joe to keep that 50 win-capable team together, then opening the wallet further to enhance the team and make it a true contender. But what if Joe doesn’t go for it? What if he spurns the nearly $30 extra million and that 6th year for a change of climate and scenery? I tell you what: I think the well dries up, and the change purses snap shut. Star power is what convinces owners to spend. Star power is what helps revenue. Joe may not have great star power, even in Atlanta, but he is a star nonetheless. Stars produce on the court, and can anybody deny Joe’s on court production? If he leaves, then the Hawks (and we fans) can only hope that guys such as Al Horford and Josh Smith become bigger stars. Ownership has to hope the same thing. If Joe leaves, they may be less inclined to spend, preferring to go cheap once again in free agency, and saving money. Considering that the team has been nearly allergic to using the Mid-Level Exception and other monies, that is a less than comforting thought.

 

Suggestions for Plan B?

There needs to be a Plan B, whether Joe re-signs or not. If he stays, what should the Hawks do to enhance the team (we’ll call this Plan B1)? Everybody, apparently including coach Larry Drew and center/forward Al Horford would like to see a more traditionally-sized center brought in, and I’m inclined to believe that Rick Sund will see this through, this time around. But what about a third point guard? Is it wise to keep Jamal Crawford in mind to see some few minutes at that position, or should the Hawks stick to having him play off the ball? Would a third guard that’s capable of playing point guard hamper Jeff Teague’s growth? Would you like to see Mike Bibby moved and another guy brought in? How does Jordan Crawford fit in, and does he allow the movement of Jamal Crawford to another team, if necessary?

Another issue could be small forward. While the 6′5″ Mo Evans can pull spot duty there, he is too often a bandaid on a gash. Unless Marvin Williams improves to the point of being rock solid at the position, the Hawks find themselves average-to-inadequate at a position that is easier to fill than most. Should the Hawks seek to improve themselves at small forward by moving Marvin, or should they see how he plays under Larry Drew? Will his talent and productivity finally be maximized (and consistent) under different coaching, or have we seen all he has to offer?

Free Agency Options Dwindling

Plan B2 (if Joe declines the offer) is something we’ve already discussed, and that includes what should be done if Joe leaves. The first name to pop up amongst both fans and media has been John Salmons. If reports prove true, the Bucks have all but re-signed the talented but inconsistent veteran guard, leaving the Hawks to look elsewhere. Depending on how you look at it, that’s either a good thing or  a bad thing. Salmons would have been an easy out, but was he what the Hawks needed anyway? Perhaps gambling less cash on a guy like Anthony Morrow, but veteran talent often means more when it comes to making the playoffs, not to mention competing in them. That, and the Hawks may have preferred not to add more youth to a somewhat young team.

More than anything, the Hawks must prove to be shrewd more than they are frugal. Maybe spending a lot on Joe isn’t a good idea. Maybe it is. Maybe that’s not the issue. Perhaps Plan B spending is what will make the difference, whether it’s Plan B1 or Plan B2. Perhaps if the Hawks ownership can be convinced to spend big, then they can be convinced to spend wisely. In the end, that means trusting your General Manager implicitly. And that, my friends, means that Sund has to make wise moves. Can Sund do this?

What would you like to see the Hawks do?

79 comments Add your comment

PointguardSlim

July 3rd, 2010
3:18 pm

Get a center and move Josh Smith to the small forward position, this will allow Josh to leak out more and in the half court he will be a post up threat, al Horford to be a post up threat, and Joe Johnson will just be Joe as always.

Double Team Offense

PointguardSlim

July 3rd, 2010
3:18 pm

Get an undervalued center and play big like the Lakers do

Bee

July 3rd, 2010
3:29 pm

I would like to see the Hawks do something unconventional and go get Steve Francis… I know he’s been out of the game for about a year which means he’s fresh and I still think he has a chip on his shoulder and would put it on anybody if given the chance to play again…. believe that … and he would probably be cheap… if he is then get Dorell Wright from the Heat too… the kid can ball

steve brown

July 3rd, 2010
3:36 pm

“How does Jordan Crawford fit in, and does he allow the movement of Jamal Crawford to another team, if necessary?” Second time you mentioned this-now I’m sure there is something wrong with you!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by George Lamonte. George Lamonte said: Hawks Fans: What should be Plan B?: More than anything, the Hawks must prove to be shrewd more than they are fruga… http://bit.ly/cdbqws [...]

The Real Hawk

July 3rd, 2010
3:44 pm

We have needed a real center for years. We have needed a real small forward for years.
Move Marvin and Bibby for salary cap relief and bring in someone.

The Real Hawk

July 3rd, 2010
3:45 pm

Agree with Steve,Crawford is the real deal at the shooting guard position.

O'Brien

July 3rd, 2010
3:59 pm

good blog Ray,

If JJ stays, I think sund should trade Jamal Crawford. He is expiring, and with JJ on board, we cannot afford to resign him next year.

Also, Jamal has high trade value. Both as an expiring, and as the SMOY. hopefully Jamal can bring bench depth (preferably a big included).

And even if JJ stays, trades for Marvin should be explored.

O'Brien

July 3rd, 2010
4:05 pm

If JJ leaves, I suggest starting Jamal at SG. And I would trade Marvin for a big if possible. Bring back childress to start, and use the mid-level an bi annual to fill out the bench.

Brett

July 3rd, 2010
4:55 pm

my understanding is that we are at least a year away from anyone being crazy enough to take MW and MB and their huge contracts off our hands. Even if they would, we’d probably only get some basketballs, used gym shoes and some frequent flyer miles for them. Duck would probably trip boarding the plane and then fail the physical. Bibby’s so slow these days, he’d miss the flight all together.

Big Ray

July 3rd, 2010
5:07 pm

Steve, Steve, Steve…..,

Mentioning it is NOT the same as suggesting it, or hoping for it. I like Jamal Crawford quite a bit. I liked him before he became a Hawk. What I’m doing is keeping an open mind. Jamal is good, but there are three facts involved with him – 1) He’s never made an all-star team, 2) He’s on his 4th team now, and 3) He has an expiring contract that makes him a free agent a year from now.

Translation: He could be traded again.

Big Ray

July 3rd, 2010
5:08 pm

Brett ,

What if we gave “Duck” a pair of knee and shin pads, and Mike Bibby a couple of RedBulls?

Big Ray

July 3rd, 2010
5:10 pm

O’brien ,

I think that the Hawks should consider both options. Unfortunately, your suggestion means that like me, you have something wrong with you. I’m awaiting Dr. Brown’s diagnosis, so we can get some medication (if there is any) for this epidemic…

Big Ray

July 3rd, 2010
5:12 pm

The Real Hawk ,

Move Marvin and Bibby for salary cap relief, or just trade them for somebody who can help now?

Daddy Long Long

July 3rd, 2010
5:17 pm

I’m one who said Joe would leave, but that $120 milli on the table looks SCRUMSHISH!! WOW Really surprised, but looks like we’re in play. As a longtime Hawks fan, I watch Nique leave along with the soul of this team years ago.

I like Jamal Crawford as JJ’s side-kick, and with the stars we have watch out! Let’s Go Hawks!!

Big Ray

July 3rd, 2010
5:20 pm

Some of the latest noise on Joe Johnson:

http://ken-berger.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/11838893/22956309?source=rss_blogs_NBA

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5350787

Normally, I’d say this is posturing on the part of Joe and his camp, but the Hawks offered him a stinkin’ max contract. He stands to get a raise of roughly $5 mil more a year and $50 mil more in total, when compared to his now expired contract. What’s the hesitation? He didn’t get low-balled at all.

Huh. Maybe it truly IS about more than just money. Maybe.

[...] flying. In the NBA, the Atlanta Hawks began free …Sources: Johnson likes Knicks, BullsESPNHawks Fans: What should be Plan B?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Kevin Pelton on Joe Johnson's big offerESPN [...]

doc

July 3rd, 2010
6:08 pm

ray second link pretty iffy for labron in nyc nor any jj connection there with the queen. not sure that jj would want to be back with amare who is signed there from past history unless times and attitudes have changed.

would be surprised to see jj turn down the max and the op to be the man still in the big a. if he does he has just proven the robin theory on him and in the long run, better gone. if he is waiting to see about sign and trade to get his cake and iac cream too then so be it as it still may allow us the op to recoup on our investment and depending on the return i could say cudo’s to the asg. plan b is not pretty..

aaron

July 3rd, 2010
6:57 pm

we should try to work a sign and trade- i think thats the best option- then maybe try to get anthony morrow with the MLE

kwooden1

July 3rd, 2010
7:09 pm

Ray all indications are JJ is staying so I’m turning my attention towards getting a S&T done. I think S&T is the only way to really improve the roster, other than our own guys taking another step forward. I’m looking to pickup Jermaine O’Neal, because he has the offensive and defensive skills to really help in the middle. He also is a bench player right now and would probably embrace that role on our team. I really don’t see any single FA aquisition that will improve the roster. I think we can pickup another SF (Barnes, Brewer) that could help, but I don’t think we will be addressing the problem inside. Horford asked for really help inside and O’Neal can do that. I hope that the move of giving JJ the max helps in acquiring some top level FAs. I hate that we missed out on Bass last year. He clearly went for the better situation in Orlando.

I Heart Atlanta

July 3rd, 2010
7:12 pm

I think if Joe leaves it wouldn’t be horrible (i still would rather him stay) but if he is stupid enough to turn down 20 some million dollars to play elsewhere, this is what i feel we should do.
A. Sign Shannon Brown( just fits the whole highlight factory thing)
B. sign Al Harrington (he can help score some of the points missing from Joe)
C. Get Shaq (although he is not quite what he used to be the more i think of him the better i like the idea, he would come off the bench for only 15 to 20 min a game, and would be a great mentor to Al Horford and J-Smoove. Also makes us alot bigger in a hurry) all in all it makes us a deeper team and gives Jordan Crawford more minuites and a chance to show what he is capable of.

I Heart Atlanta

July 3rd, 2010
7:13 pm

I also forgot to mention bring back Childress

Dr, Dee

July 3rd, 2010
7:23 pm

Big Ray I believe J.J. is moving slow because, he does not want to he the No. 1 option. If the Hawks fail he stands to get the most blame(Contract). Money is one thing and peace of mind has value. A wise move would be a sign-n-trade with a deep pocket team (Dallas).
Plan B is bring in a shooter (A. Morrow) get a couple of athletic Bigs (Inan Mahinmi ufa lost on Spurs’ bench and Louis Amundson). Next, Marvin should not be made a scape goat the ball-hogging guards don’t give the man an opportunity to develope his game. Finally, bring Chills back. If any money is left bring in Ronnie Brewer and Travis Outlaw. We easily win 50 games. Bibby will bring stability to the team. Joe is only an outside shot.

J

July 3rd, 2010
7:32 pm

Why do people keep saying “lets move Josh to the 3?” Do you want him shooting even more jump shots and 3 pointers?

Raybud

July 3rd, 2010
7:48 pm

What about Tracy McGrady? Isn’t he a free agent? Would we be able to sign him for the mid level exception? He’s a talent that I haven’t seen anyone mention and he’s a free agent. We all know he has bum knees, but I still say he’s worth taking a risk on. We should also try to get a shot at heywood. I think he is an unappreciated presence in the paint.

V

July 3rd, 2010
8:16 pm

Wow…….reality check. Jamal needs to stay. JJ needs to stay. Give Teague more playing time and trade Marvin and Mike for a younger big body at Center. Some comments made here to get Tracy, Jermaine or Shaq are absurd. Also, Childress wasn’t that great when he was here. Another option for a trade to add to the core of the team and build the bench. Depth wins games. Our record was pretty good last year and the seats need to be filled in order to keep the teams ability to execute their mission. a Championship.

V

July 3rd, 2010
8:21 pm

Al Harrington……..Steve Francis……give me a break. Why not call up Ralph Sampson?

dr.maryb

July 3rd, 2010
8:47 pm

Blu-Ray

Happy 4th of July! Be Safe and Have Fun. Remember don’t drink & drive – it kills!
The Po-Po will be out in full forces this weekend. Oh Waite! You are the Po Po!

I think Joe will re-sign. IDK about Jermaine Oneal, he faded in Round 1.
But, we have to do something. I would like a Perkins or Big Baby type bid wide body,
maybe give Siler another look see – we need some weight to push Dwight off his spot and
to bother him.

Let JT0 play lights out, sink or swim with him till the trade deadline. Do someÞhing with
Chills, look at Marvin in Drews new system until the trade deadline. Not ready to give up
on Marvin just yet … Unless we can get a bona fide BIG.

i_am_soulstar

July 3rd, 2010
9:36 pm

I don’t think the consideration with moving Josh to the 3 is “Will he shoot more jump shots?” The main concern is “can he defend other 3’s in the league?” He was 2nd in voting for defensive player of the year, and that was well-deserved. But he’s just not a good perimeter defender. Great with come-from-behind help defense and playing the passing lanes, but he has inadequate lateral movement to keep small forwards from going right past him.

Tracy McGrady? When’s the last time he played a full season again? His time is up (due to injuries), he just hasn’t accepted it yet.

Steve Francis? I’d rather have Tracy McGrady.

Remarkable

July 3rd, 2010
9:42 pm

First we need a quality center. I think most agree at this point. No, I don’t believe we’ve seen the best of Marvin but it’s time to move him for a starting center and move Al to his natural position.
Second, we need to move Bibby. He is not the point guard of the future and he will only hold back young tallent and keep us from getting better. He is not what we need off the bench either. If he can be traded for draft pick(s) great, if not package him with Marvin for the center we need.
Third, if Joe agrees to the contract then we move forward with him. If not, we can use Jamal as a shooting guard or trade for a more established one. Either way, we are waiting on him for this move, but not necessarily for the other two.

O'Brien

July 3rd, 2010
9:45 pm

Kwooden1,

Bass did not choose Orlando. Orlando chose him.

He was a restricted free agent, and Orlando offered him 4 years, $16 mil. He signed the offer sheet, and Dallas elected not to match.

Most of us bloggers on here were calling for bass last year (especially AJ). And If the hawks were proactive, they could have offered him a contract first using part of the midlevel. And I’m confident bass would have signed with us.

But instead, rick sund waited around for Joe Smith at the vet minimum. And we got what we paid for.

Big Ray

July 3rd, 2010
10:03 pm

V ,

I don’t think anybody had issues with last year’s record. The performance in the playoffs? Different story…

Big Ray

July 3rd, 2010
10:10 pm

Remarkable ,

If Marvin and Bibby packaged together gets us a center, I’m good with that. Not sure how good our chances are, though.

drmaryb ,

A big wide body is good, particularly if we can’t land ourselves a 6′11″ or taller traditional center type. I’d take a Chuck Hayes if it came to that. Dude’s pretty big, even if he’s 6′7″ or so.

i_am_soulstar

July 3rd, 2010
10:31 pm

Ray,

I think Marvin, despite his mediocre performance last season, still has trade value for the same reason that Richard Jefferson opted out and that Josh Childress’ stock has gone up: There aren’t a lot of quality free agent small forwards. If only his contract wasn’t such a space filler/killer.

Still, I can see a desperate lower level team letting their imagination get the best of them, thinking that he’ll play well within their system.

And perhaps he will. But like you said, the chances are slim that we get a quality center back.

i_am_soulstar

July 3rd, 2010
10:35 pm

drmaryb,

Sink or swim until the trade deadline? I’m with it. The kid’s gotta go through some growing pains. God knows Rondo did, but they stuck with him.

i_am_soulstar

July 3rd, 2010
10:41 pm

drmaryb,

And your team being a 50+ win team and and playing like throw-up in the playoffs has a way of making you care less about regular season records and more about playoff performance. So yeah, I’m definitely with it.

[...] is Joe Johnson still sitting on his max offer?Chicago Daily HeraldNew York Daily News (blog) -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -msnbc.comall 274 news [...]

V

July 3rd, 2010
10:45 pm

B Ray

The playoffs was a huge disappointment. Marvin and Mike could have really helped change that picture if they could have averaged 10 points/game. 5 made shots. Nothing huge just reasonable expectations. I like both guys but consistency is very important. Jamal AND Joe AND Al with speed and some size in the middle and some depth on the bench can bring us a better playoff results. Asking too much……I know.

Melvin

July 3rd, 2010
10:59 pm

From the twitter of: WojYahooNBA

Multiple teams waiting for Joe Johnson to finish details on Hawks contract before making off offers to RFA Josh Childress. Big market for him.

Sund better have a plan for Chills or risk losing him again for nothing.

Jerry West

July 3rd, 2010
11:04 pm

Joe leaves, I try to get a trade exception and use it to go after Rip Hamilton. If he walks for nothing, I probably still try to acquire Rip with Jamal and Mo.

Regardless of what happens with Joe, if GS is really interested in Marvin, I’d trade him for Biedrins. Mo would make the salaries match, but if Joe leaves and I still want Rip, might have to get creative to make it happen.

O'Brien

July 3rd, 2010
11:27 pm

Jerry west,

I like the Marvin and mo Evans for biedrins idea.

Even if we keep Marvin, we need to bring in a backup SF who can challenge Marvin for the starting position. Matt Barnes, Damien Wilkins, somebody, anybody.

I wish we could have gotten Chris Douglas Roberts from the nets. Milwaukee got him for a future second round pick.

Another Guy I like from the nets is Josh Boone. He can play spot minutes at both PF and center.

I also like Craig smith formerly of the clippers. 6′7″, 250.

John

July 3rd, 2010
11:36 pm

OK, seriously…why do people insist on wanting Josh Smith at the “3″???I can’t even comment anymore on what a horrible idea that is…HE CAN’T PLAY THAT POSITION!!!! Also, people need to stop the delusion of Childress coming back…he can’t make it any more clear than he already has, numerous times, that he WILL NOT PLAY IN ATLANTA. He does not want to be a Hawk again.

Jerry West

July 3rd, 2010
11:48 pm

Barnes would be ideal. Might cost a bit too much depending on how the roster shapes up. For cheaper guys I like James Jones, or like you mentioned Damien Wilkins.

Raybud

July 4th, 2010
1:01 am

@V….wouldn’t Tracy McGrady add depth? I’m not looking at him as a starter. Hell, the way Marvin is playing, a bad back/knees McGrady would probably be a +. We all know that when McGrady is healthy, key word being healthy, he’s a top 10 player in the league. Age and injuries has caught up with him, but we need him to be good, not great. Thus, being the reason he’s on the bench. If we can get him and maybe one other “use to be superstar” on our bench, things could pan out.

Brandon

July 4th, 2010
1:01 am

To be a championship contender they need to R\resign Joe and Mo Evans. Pick up eithier Brad Miller or Ben Wallace this summer and by next year’s All star break trade Marvin Williams, Mike Bibby, a role player and a First round draft pick for Carmelo Anthony.

Raybud

July 4th, 2010
1:06 am

@Brandon….hmmmm….I like the way you think!!

Raybud

July 4th, 2010
1:09 am

@John, as much as I like J-Chills, you are absolutely right. He has made it obviously clear that he no longer wants to be in Atlanta. Hawks should trade him and get as much as they can for him. Rumor has it that he wants to go to the Wiz. I think he would probably be the most attractive trade bait on our roster.

Melvin

July 4th, 2010
1:31 am

From WojYahooNBA twitter:

Johnson’s been focused on completing Atlanta deal and sides have been working out various terms. Bulls and Knicks have long since moved on.

Melvin

July 4th, 2010
1:42 am

OB,

How many wing players do the Bucks need? Salmons, Maggette, Redd, Delfino, CDRand Darington Hobson(R). I guess it’s safe to assume they won’t be resigning Stackhouse. Heck now that I’m looking at their roster they have a slew of bigs as well. Bogut, Ilyasova, Luc Mbah a Moute, Larry Sander, Jerome Jordan, Tiny Gallon, Primoz and maybe Kurt Thomas..

kwooden1

July 4th, 2010
9:46 am

O’Brien, that may be true about Bass, but we don’t really know if the ASG didn’t put the same offer on the table. Even if they did are you really confident that he would have taken it? I’m going to go with the opinion that in terms of RFAs, they are in the drivers seat in terms of where they want to go. They have an offer on the table from their current teams and they could also have an extension available from their own teams. They also have all the teams under the cap, but usually that isn’t a lot of teams especially last year. So really RFAs were looking for MLE money and that is the same for every team. Bass was a high profile RFA, so I’m sure he had the same money from several teams. It looks to me that he went with the team that had the best chance to win.

That was a long winded way of saying we need to position ourselves as the best team available for the quality FA to consider. I agree that the ASG has to be aggressive, so I hope they aren’t waiting for JJ but putting something together to get us J. O’Neal. I don’t know if there are any other available centers that can make us better right now.