Joe’s back, five questions follow

There may have been a couple of reasons for Joe Johnson to leave Atlanta, but he ended up with around 119 million reasons to stay. Many are unhappy with the size of the contract, but the Hawks only had two choices, really. Either pay your only established star player, or go in another direction with less overall talent. The Hawks knew it. Joe and his agent knew it.  Then again, how many choices did Joe really have, that he would have been happy with? What if the Hawks hadn’t offered him the max? Where would he have gone, and been comfortable? Personally, I think it was posturing more than anything else. After all, Joe would have been second fiddle almost anywhere else he could have gone, his destiny partially (and maybe largely) dependant on somebody else. A co-star at best, and paid like one. Were there any contract offers made by other teams, or did they talk more about signing him and then getting him to recruit somebody else?  Considering things like that, it’s probably no small wonder that Joe jumped on the Hawks’ contract offer within a day or two of it being made.

We could debate the merits of what the Hawks have done with this max contract, and we probably will to an extent. But let’s examine some issues and questions that must follow his signing. As these questions won’t cover all topics on the table, do feel free to add your own.

 

 

 

1) Can Larry Drew get more out of Joe Johnson?

Maybe we’re not looking for merely “more” as much as we are “better.” Joe has proven to be a 20 ppg scorer from one season to the next, but a combination of talent and being your team’s #1 offensive option gets a lot of guys to that level. Keeping that level of performance is no mean feat, however, when defenses key on you. And despite the fact that having the ball in your hands all the time helps you to 5 assists per game, you can’t get there without the ability to make good passes. Joe gives you 20, 5, and 5 every season, but the Hawks can do better things with him. What Larry Drew and the Hawks need, is to find a way to get Joe back to the form he had in 2004-2005 with Phoenix, or his 2006-2007 season with the Hawks. In other words, put him in a position to take better advantage of the shots he gets, so he can shoot a higher percentage. If Joe shoots around 47% from the field and at least 38% from 3-point territory, watch out. We’re talking closer to 25 points per game, with even more 30+ point outbursts.  If this works out, look for it to carry into the postseason as well.

2) Is Joe serious about recruiting?

Arn Tellem is a sports agent, which puts him right up there (or down there, depending on how you view it) with politicians. His suggestion that Joe is going to recruit for the team is…well…I don’t know what word should be used here. I never knew Joe cared that much, and the idea of him helping to snag Lebron is a joke, in my mind. Who has he recruited before? Who does he talk to? With a payroll ready to burst at the seams, what’s his pitch going to be? I’m having a hard time going for this one. Not necessarily because of Joe himself, but because of where the words came from. Does Joe even know who the Hawks might be targeting, and does he agree with the acquisition of such players? Does a max contract deal include provisions for recruiting and influencing decision-making processes (I thought they hired some guy named Bob to handle personnel stuff)? I can see Kobe with that kind of pull. Lebron, definitely. Wade, even. But Joe? Maybe he’s been tabbed as Hawks pitch-man to whomever they decide to try and sign, as part of his bangin’ new contract (insert mildly sarcastic tone here). Should we even take this seriously? Maybe we shouldn’t give this another thought until we hear something from Joe’s mouth.

 

3) What about those chemistry issues?

Love conquers all. Oops, maybe that’s supposed to be money.

If I’m Joe, and there are real, live issues in the locker room, I’d be on the phone discussing that with Larry Drew. Better yet, make it a “dinner date.” Then, I’d be on the phone with my teammates. Joe is getting paid like a mega-superstar and he is the team captain. Forget recruiting, how about reinforcing the idea of buying into whatever it is that Larry Drew is selling? How about helping to forge the team into a more serious, hard-working unit? How about working with guys like Al Horford to cultivate a winning atmosphere, rather than one where serious adversity results complete implosion? Sure, this is going to be Larry Drew’s job, but team leaders have to take on a role. Joe need not be the guy sounding the rallying cry on the court, or the fist-pumping and chest-thumping rah-rah type. But he does need to be a steadying, polarizing force. Help get the guys to work hard and serious in practice, everybody already knows how to have fun and act up. Help guys to stay focused in the locker room and in the huddle. Do the behind-the-scenes glue work. Isn’t that what “quiet” guys do?

 

4) Can Marvin Williams be salveaged?

Big question. Sund and Drew have to think hard on this, because there may be a deal right around the corner where Williams would have to be involved. Can Drew turn Williams into a viable offensive option? Some say Marvin’s problems begin and end with former coach Mike Woodson. Others say that he has never had the talent to be effective. Both lines of thinking tend to be on the far end of either spectrum, and neither has anything to do with his rebounding and defensive production. It does bear noting, however, that Marvin’s shot attempts have declined since the ‘07-’08 season. And before you say it, yes, he had more shot attempts this past season (664) than he did in ‘08-’09 (622). But you would be forgetting something. Marvin played in 81 games last season, as opposed to just 61 in the season prior to that. His shot attempts per game went down by 2 per game from ‘08-’09 to ‘09-’10. Still, this doesn’t explain his frequent hesitation to drive the ball without an open lane, his awkward angles to the basket, or his pedestrian shooting from the arc. Can Marvin remain a viable part of the core of this team, or is it time to move on? Any deals that come to the table involving a bigger player to help Al Horford in the post may only serve to complicate things.

 

5) What will happen with Josh Childress?

The Hawks lost Childress’ services for two years straight, but now he wants to come back to the NBA. Or so it’s being reported. Count me among those who think Childress won’t wear a Hawks uniform again in this lifetime, but I could be wrong. There have been reports that the Wizards and other teams are interested in him. Should the Hawks try to bring him back to the fold, or should they try to move him for other players/assets? When he was here, Childress was the perfect glue guy on the court by playing smart and hustling all the time. No doubt the Hawks could use that now. However, he may want to ply his trade elsewhere. With Joe back in the fold, the Hawks should be able to get moving on this front, and see how they can make it work for them. As unlikely as it may or may not be, Childress could come back and play for the one year qualifier of $4.8 million, just to get his foot back into the NBA door. Or, the Hawks could find a way to peddle him off for something else.

 

Summer is in full swing.

219 comments Add your comment

Astro Joe

July 5th, 2010
10:24 pm

doc and Ray, so if you replace the head coach and essentially keep the players the same, are you supposed to expect the status quo? I suggested 2 more wins. 2. Surely, you don’t replace a head coach and expexct less than 2 more wins, right? Would I take less regular season wins and a better showing in the post-season? Will the blog world wait 82+ games before drawing an opinion on Drew’s effectiveness?

Ray, championship experience is how I would explain what Boston did. Those guys never doubted themselves when faced with adversity. I think we saw the Hawks, Cavs and Magic shrink when they were placed under the bright lights in the playoffs.

niremetal

July 5th, 2010
10:54 pm

Funny how Astro always forgets the small detail that NO ONE GOT HURT LAST YEAR. That had nothing at all to do with the Hawks’ win total, I’m sure.

kwooden1

July 5th, 2010
11:03 pm

Ray I understand what your saying about JJ and I agree. I think he can do that by getting to the line more, and getting more assists out of our offensive.

I saw that news about Shaq and I’m still more interested in getting J. O’Neal. I think his offensive is better and the games he played against Orlando, he held his own against Howard. (Miami always played Orlando tough) I think it will be a hard sell to get Jermaine to switch teams in division, but that is what free agency is all about. O’brien I think we’ll have to give Jermaine more that just the MLE to get him to leave Miami, that is why I suggested a trade with an under the cap team.

Nice to see the ATL in the FA hunt!

GO HAWKS

Melvin

July 5th, 2010
11:08 pm

Doc,

If all you can get for Josh is Jefferson than the Hawks should pass. Jefferson stock couldn’t be any lower at this point and Josh stock is probably sky high. I think Josh would start at PF for at aleast 75% of teams in the league. That move would be up their with the Nique trade. Jefferson numbers look good but he’s one of those guys who put up good numbers on bad teams. See Zach Randolph. Besides he and Horford do not compliment each other. Both guys occupy the same areas on the court and neither are true centers. Horford is more of a center than Jefferson and Jefferson couldnt guard his shadow on defense….

niremetal

July 6th, 2010
12:26 am

If all you can get for Josh is Jefferson than the Hawks should pass. Jefferson stock couldn’t be any lower at this point and Josh stock is probably sky high.

I might be misremembering that lecture in ECON-101, but isn’t buying low and selling high the goal?

Melvin

July 6th, 2010
12:45 am

Nire,

How would trading Al who makes more money than Josh would be buying low?

Melvin

July 6th, 2010
1:02 am

*trading for Al Jefferson

Alexander

July 6th, 2010
1:13 am

The Hawks are a joke and will never be a serious contender with moves like this. Paying Joe Johnson $109 million is just crazy. Needless to say I won’t be paying to see a single game.

doc

July 6th, 2010
9:01 am

quite a night of hoopla over at the other blog with the news of the shaq attack or sighting. i love shaq, always will and probably would like the idea of shaq at the appropriate price for the appropriate reasons with shaq ready to play a different role in his career rather than the free wheeling dealing shaq of old. just doubt it. so, i have 2 questions which would be easy for most here to answer?

who here really think shaq is going to stoop to pick up a MLE? raise your hand.

has his stock dropped that much?

those two kind of simplify the discussion, dont they?

MC has big doubts on shaq which is unusual as he usually holds his opinions close to his vest. i see similar probs unless drew has a real strong hand and a relationship with shaq already, does he? i know drew has some lakers days, were they with shaq? can he convince shaq to be the elder statesman and teach and support the continued growth of these guys or does shaq become an albatross like he did in phoenix who clearly became better without shaq?

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
9:23 am

If MC said that the guys need an AlonzoMourning type to help them get more serious (especially in practice) then I find it hard to believe that Shaq will be the voice demanding that guys start paying attention to the details. But as I mentioned on the previous blog, if this is about generating revenue AND fan interest, then I can’t knock the hustle. No doubt, the ASG will surely be able to pay Shaq’s salary from ticket sales alone.

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
9:24 am

Sekou interview from this morning… he discusses Joe’s deal and Shaq in the ATL.

http://www.790thezone.com/instantreplay/Episodes.aspx?PID=1345

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
9:27 am

nire, funny how you seemed to suggest that Gardner, Hunter and RandMo would have made a fine bench had they been developed properly. Something about an “epic collapse” as I recall.

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
9:29 am

kwooden, I agree, I’d rather have JON than Shaq.

doc

July 6th, 2010
9:48 am

shaq has been more productive the last two years than JON, who has had a hard time standing. why would you want him or is my impression misleading me. i doubt JON brings more minute per minute than zaza. shaq and the cavs were on a roll until his injury and very little was said about a problem with team chemistry all season in cav land. they were saying it was best ever and everyone was loose and playing at a win clip better than anyone other team. then came the hand injury, moving the the big i and inserting a 6 ft 9 pf in the center slot while bringing in jamison. they then tried to repair the damage in two games before the playoffs. so what went wrong? that was not shaq’s problem there. so why is shaq not capable of bring in something similar here if he accepts his role and MLE which he has to to play here? the last sentence almost makes it impossible to improbable that he appear here.

the nets or knicks will fill his coffers for fans if nothing else at whatever he wants when they end up without the guy they wanted. cuban will go after him or the bulls to support their big boys. look and follow the money if you want to see where shaq goes. just like anyone else who has the money to sppend? just not here is my guess based on the astro rule. we dont have the money needed to spend or we better get him now before the bidders come if we really want him. ultimately he goes to the best market for visibility and income, shaq rules.

niremetal

July 6th, 2010
10:06 am

Melvin,

Check the part of your post that I quoted. I would wager that Josh’s stock won’t get any higher than it is now. That’s the time to trade him, because that’s the time you can get the most for him. Having low and high “stock,” which was YOUR analogy and not mine, is different than salary. Why you changed the subject to salaries is beyond me, especially considering that I directly quoted you.

Astro,

Wow, way to fail to respond to my post. As always. My point was that Woody only obtained 53 wins because no one ever got hurt. Why change the subject to the usage/development of the bench (which is a separate subject, though also one that reflects poorly on Woody)? Oh wait, my bad. I forgot. This is you we’re talking about. The next time you respond directly to something inconvenient to your argument will be the first, and probably a sign of an imminent apocalypse.

Melvin

July 6th, 2010
10:09 am

Well, we can strike Chris Duhon off our wish list…

http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nba/news/story?id=5357340

Melvin

July 6th, 2010
10:14 am

Nire,

My point is, if Josh stock is high then why would you trade him for Al Jefferson? He’s overrated and does not compliment Horford. Besides, the Timberwolves can’t even give him away right now b/c of his terrible contract. Like Sekou said, Hawks has develop Josh and the next 3 or 4 years should be his best…

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
10:24 am

nire, let’s do the math. 53 wins with an incompetent coach and incredible health. How many with incredible health and a competent coach? 58? OK, so how many games would be won with average health and a competent coach? Maybe 52? So the range becomes 52-58? And I stated 55 above? Seems like that is within the range to me.

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
10:27 am

Melvin, obviously Duhon is going to be the 2nd sting PG at almost $4M/year. I suspect that our 3rd string PG (if we have one) will make less than $1M. Travis Deiner?

O'Brien

July 6th, 2010
10:30 am

If you’re Shaq, why would you sign with the Hawks, unless nobody else is interested. And the rumor is Boston and Dallas are also interested.

The Celtics could be w/o Perkins until later in the year, so Shaq would probably start for the first few weeks of the season. The Mavs are also a better team, and players like playing for Mark Cuban.

If Shaq waits around, maybe Houston will come calling (to backup Yao), maybe the Nets will change their mind and give him a look, maybe Cleveland will take him back if LbJ resigns, and if he goes back to Cleveland, they can pay him more money. He wil have lots of options

Either way, I think he will take his own sweet time (like Joe Smith did last year) to make a decision.
And I don’t want the Hawks to wait around for him while other players are being taken off the market.

AJ,

It’s tough to look at it like that, because other teams will not be the same as last year (some will be better, some will be worse). So just because we may have won 4 against the Wizards last year (for example), we could easily lose 2 or 3 games to them this year.

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
10:36 am

OB, so you’re saying that no one will be making pre-season predictions on wins this year? BS! Every new coach has a baseline… typically improve on last year’s performance. Drew knows that and said as much when he was hired. Obviously, there are a myriad of variables that will affect the ultimate outcome (Wizards may be better but someone else will be worse). If you’re not expecting more, then why make a change? If we sign Shaq, don’t we expect more out of the C position? Do we factor in injuries, better C play across the league, adjustments to new teammates, blah, blah, blah? Or do we say “every change is supposed to be geared to make us at least 1 game better”?

MannyT

July 6th, 2010
10:44 am

Similar to this blog–styles make fights.

In this context, it’s tricky and premature to estimate wins until you know what the rosters look like. If some of these major free agents drift to the Western conference, the Hawks look stronger. If the big free agent migration is to the East, it is harder on the Hawks. However, if the power concentrates on a few teams, that is better for the Hawks record, but worse for their playoff chances.

The 2010-11 record is a wild guess that has less to do with the coach & more about roster adjustments in the top 8 slots. Until this settles in August…it’s just show.

Speaking of show, WWE @ Philips t’night..bruthaaaaaaa

MannyT

July 6th, 2010
10:49 am

Given the current list of possibilities, I think Shaq goes to Dallas.

They would probably pay him above MLE if they can S&T.
They wouldn’t need him to be an everyday player with Haywood or Dampier starting.
They have a team that could compete for a championship.
There is enough marketing space there for Shaq to get his desired level of attention.

vava74

July 6th, 2010
10:58 am

I am still rubbing my eyes… I agree with Mark Bradley’s blog on Shaq? Shall I leave a commentary acknowledging something I never thought I would have to do or… shall consider this is just a fluke ocurrence?

doc

July 6th, 2010
11:01 am

is wimbledon over?

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
11:01 am

Manny, fair enough. Although if we choose to believe the reports, the ASG is looking to improve the team and won’t be engaging in “non-basketball” transactions. So moving a member of the core will be done to acquire another asset and not as a salary dump. Again, the changes are to support improvement and not to stay still. If you give a lawyer a better paralegal, you should expect more wins (or billable hours).

niremetal

July 6th, 2010
11:06 am

OK, so how many games would be won with average health and a competent coach? Maybe 52?

Really, Astro? You think that average health instead of near-perfect health would have only made a 1-game difference? Are you f*cking kidding?

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
11:11 am

nire, it says WITH a competent coach. Read again. Two variables, son. Two.

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
11:15 am

INcompetent/Woody + perfect health = 53 wins
Competent coach/Drew + perfect health = 58 wins
Competent coach/Drew + AVG health = 52 wins
Or said differently for the math imparied…
Competent coach/Drew – perfect health = 6 fewer wins

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
11:18 am

Where did I get the 6 for the perfect health from average health? 47 wins in ‘08-09 with Al, Marvin and Josh each missing 10+ games. And those guys played virtually the entire season last year and we won 6 more wins. So since that was done EXCLUSIVELY because of health, we have 6 wins. Seems at least like a reasonable baseline.

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
11:20 am

… we won 6 more games…

doc

July 6th, 2010
11:32 am

astro forgot a variable. was it convenient or because he thought so poorly of it? … jamal crawford. wasnt he the 6th man of the year? so can i add that to the mix if there are more injuries from your 47 games. he was worth what 4 to 6 himself as he brought this team back on his shoulders at least that many times. will he come close to what he did last year? how does that one variable work out?

it is way to early anyway to project wins as the league is still undergoing change beyond what we have done. your math cant account for all of that unless you got some kind of einstein genius formula to bring forward astro.

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
11:43 am

doc, my Einstein formula is you make a change to get better. And better should translate into wins, not where Josh Smith is positioned on the floor. We’re past the days of changing coaches in conjunction with rebuilding. And again, Drew said as much after he was hired… maybe it would make people ffel better to quantify Woody’s incompetence… as there never seemed to be any resistance to the universal truth of his ineffectiveness. So how many losses were incurred because of our idoiot coach?

MannyT

July 6th, 2010
11:50 am

If you give a lawyer a better paralegal, you get more billable hours if the paralegal works quicker. If the hours are the same, but the quality of work is better, there are no more billable hours.

If the lawyer goes up against better competition, there might not be more wins, but more visibility. (Think about all the folks that were involved in the first OJ trial. The average person probably had not heard of most of them. After the case, many of them were household names–even those that lost.)

More visibility probably led to more revenue opportunities.

Getting back to the basketball point, the Hawks could make moves to get better. If their regular competition gets significantly better, their wins may not go up. The Hawks will play 52 games vs East and 30 vs West. If the East gets better, there is no guarantee of increased wins.

Even in the effort to get better, it is a guess. Health/injuries, team chemistry, and luck can make a difference. I am not trying to give LD an out, but I do believe you need to see how the rosters shake out before the expectation game on the record makes any sense.

One easy example from this past season–the Cavs got Shaq to help them with Dwight Howard. It worked in the regular season, but seeding (and Boston) removed that matchup as a factor in getting to the finals. Cleveland did worse in the 2009-10 regular season than the 2008-09 regular season. They still had the most wins, but not as many as the year before even after making moves to improve their team.

…and your win improvement based on health seems to have ignored the blog reknown organic growth hmmm… ;-)

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
12:02 pm

Manny I hear you and I hear doc. And the two of you were certainly not the ones who were so emphatically stating that the Hawks won last year in spite of their coach. I just don’t see how you can have it both ways. Health was strong, coaching was bad. So if the roster stays largely in tact, with a better coach, then you isolate the remianing variable, which is health. Obviously, there are several other variables that will be used AFTER the fact. Heck, there could be a series of blockbuster trades in February that significantly change the “market conditions”. Some player could be accused of dating a teammate’s mother, and that could have an adverse affect on team chemistry. Zaza may retire mid-season to grow his restaurant business. The list is countless. But all things being equal, you change coaches for one basic reason… to get better. Therefore, the starting point seemingly must be 57 wins over the regular season and 2 rounds of the playoffs.

MannyT

July 6th, 2010
12:08 pm

Or you change coaches for the same reason Mario won’t be on the team this year. Management does not deem him to be worth the raise he was due to get.

O'Brien

July 6th, 2010
12:17 pm

For me, what I will be looking for, is not necessarily an increase in regular season wins. What I am looking for is how do we compete (even in the losses), and how do we perform in the playoffs.

Because if we only win 49 games in the regular season, but finish as the fourth seed, win our first round matchup 4-2, and then lose in the second round 4-2, that will be an improvement to me.

Boston only won 50 games, but they made the NBA finals. Dallas had 55 wins, but they lost in the first round.

chuckw/deadjournalist

July 6th, 2010
12:22 pm

given the option, i’d rather have brad miller than shaq. and that is not to say that i’d want brad miller. it is good and fine to add another big; but frankly, it isn’t this teams biggest need.

to me, it’s the parameter defense that needs addressing. other than howard, there isn’t a big man in the east worth his weight in salt (maybe bogat, maybe). and the “bigs” that are good in the east are playing the 4 or – like amar’e are really 4’s playing the 5. (see, horford, al.)

to me, the hawks role player needs, in order, are:

1) lock-down defender at the 1 (even if teague is an upgrade defensively, i’d still feel a lot better with another true point on the roster)
2) jump-shooter at the 2/3
3) slasher/defender wing
4) defensive/jump-shooting big man

a few names for the above:

1) earl watson, please! maybe skip if bibby gets dealt. for a 3rd options: anthony carter or anthony johnson might come back for his 17th tour of duty with the hawks.
2) flip! bell, roger mason, kyle korver, quentin richardson, j.j. redick
3) matt barnes, jarvis hayes, trenton hassell
4) miller, udonis haslem, tony battie, kurt thomas

there’s going to be value on some, if not all, these guys. some will get paid, a lot will be working for the minimum.

O'Brien

July 6th, 2010
1:32 pm

chuckw/deadjournalist,

With Duhon getting 4 years, $15 mil, and Steve Blake getting 4 years, $16 mil, I think most of the good PGs will be out of our price range.

Given our PG budget (I assume to be $1 mil or less, if we do bring in a 3rd PG), I think Shaun Livingston is worth a look (low risk, high reward), but is anyone interested in former Hawks second round pick (#37) Royal Ivey? Decent defender, familiar with some of the Hawks players, and he only made $1 mil last year.

Also, what about Carlos Arroyo or Jason Williams? I like Keyon Dooling and Earl Watson, but I think they will be too expensive, and may not be interested to be a 3rd PG.

Melvin

July 6th, 2010
1:39 pm

Danie Orton was 1-8 in his 1st summer league game yesterday. And he’s 0-3 in the 1st half of his 2nd summer leageu game today…. Good thing Orlando chose this guy before our 31st pick….

Melvin

July 6th, 2010
1:42 pm

I think the Hawks should spend the whole MLE on Jermaine O’neal. Sign Kwame or Big Ben to the vet min.

Dan Morton

July 6th, 2010
1:48 pm

I admit that I don’t understand exactly how the sign and trade deal works but could the Hawks not work a sign and trade deal with Toronto where we get Bosh and they get Josh Smith? The differential is about $7M/ yr but even if that takes us over the cap and invokes the luxury tax it still would leave us about number 8 out of the 16 playoff teams in terms of salaries. They are about the same age but Bosh is long on performance and Smith is only long on promise

chuckw/deadjournalist

July 6th, 2010
1:49 pm

O’B – I had Ivey on my list to begin with, but I’m not sure he can play more than five mins a game. Livingston is talented, but with his injury background and his height I’m not sure he’d solve the small, quick point guard problems the Hawks had defensively last year.

So much depends on who, if anyone, is moved from the Hawks roster. If everyone is around for 10/11 then Ivey, Carter, Johnson are more realistic options. Watson is a pipe-dream, but one that would be a great option if the Hawks were able to move Bibby and didn’t get a point back in return.

O'Brien

July 6th, 2010
3:05 pm

Dan,

Bosh would have to agree to come to the Hawks, and Atlanta is not on his wish list. Also, even if Bosh wanted to come here, the Hawks cannot afford to give $100 mil contract to 2 guys.

chuckw,

Thats part of the reason why I think they need to make a trade. Currently, they have 10 guys who will get PT. If they add another big, thats 11. Does anybody really expect the Hawks to go 11 deep? Not to mention they still need a backup SF (Mo Evans is not a SF).

They probably wont get a third PG anyway, because Crawford and JJ can both help out.

Melvin,

I think Kwame will get more than the vet min ($900K). Probably more like the bi-annual (~$2 mil). If we sign JO, I think we will go cheap with another big like DJ Mbenga or even Johan Petro.

BrittishAnger

July 6th, 2010
3:14 pm

Marvin should have focused on three-pointers last off-season, that was his tragic flaw this season and something that should really be considered at that argumentative level. His PPG drop is equivalent of one to two of those 3’s a game, and it allowed him to play more with the Mo Evans/Flip Murray squad because the shooters could spread the floor on the perimeter with Mo and Marv’ in the corners and Flip running the show and using the front court for screens. He opts to improve his dribble game which does nothing to really improve anything except make him a third to fifth option in an iso offense. Marvin buried himself by not keeping the three-pointers dropping and in this season’s predicament not improving it and adding a few additional hot-spots. I’m interested to know what Larry’s offensive sets will look like during the Summer League, it’s going to give us an idea of who is going to prosper in it and who is going to flunk out…

In more optimistic news, the Joe Johnson signing does pretty much Guarantee a NBA Jam lineup of J.J., Jamal Crawford, and Smoov….Warms the heart inside of my heart….

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
3:42 pm

If we sign JON, then give me a 3rd big with some bulk. Rather that be Jason Collins, Etan Thomas, Magloire or Adonal Foyle… just someone with a different body type. Also, don’t forget about that ultra-talented Patrick O’Bryant. :lol: But seriously, anyone remember how well Chris Hunter played against us last year while with the Warriors? He’s a NBDL product and may be worth an investment as a project defensive center for cheap money. I’d gladly put him on the RandMo 2-year plan.

Big Ray

July 6th, 2010
3:59 pm

Astro Joe ,

All I want is a tougher team that can deal with the bright lights and the adversity, along the same lines that Boston did. Yes, it’s championship experience that does that. But it’s also a great sideline leader, and great floor leaders.

Both Cleveland and Orlando lacked the floor leadership Boston has, and I’d venture to say that neither team had the advantage on the sidelines, either. Who holds it together for Orlando? What about Cleveland? Lebron is a great player. A great leader? Not yet. The main veteran there is a choker for life (Vince Carter). Boston has three guys who can assume the role of team captain at any time. And that team has a chemistry that has overcome a lot. We don’t have that, which was my point. I’m not just looking for it from the sideline. I’m looking for it on the roster.

My side comment to Doc was not for the purpose of disagreeing with you. It was merely acknowledging what we both knew you were really doing – complaining about the hire of Larry Drew. Again.

Big Ray

July 6th, 2010
4:04 pm

I don’t know what we’re going to do about getting another big (or two) on this roster, but I see the reports about the Hawks listening to trade offers where Josh Smith is involved.

I think it’s a good thing that they are exploring this notion. No, I don’t WANT to see Josh go, but I’ve always maintained one thought on that. If you can make this team better and more balanced, then TRADE HIM.

The idea of this team’s core has about run it’s course, in my opinion.

Big Ray

July 6th, 2010
4:09 pm

That is to say, this team’s “core” can’t be what it was advertised as 2 years ago. Cutting off any snarky comments before they get here, I never believed that simply changing coaches would be all that’s necessary to get better results out of this team. Do I believe it was a necessary element in achieving that result? Yes. But that isn’t, and never has been, the end-all, be-all. Roster changes need to be made, and they need to be serious ones.

Will they be easy? Absolutely not. And this is nothing new. We were talking about having to make choices between Josh Smith and Marvin Williams years ago. Now it’s between Al and Josh, it seems. The “core” of this team is still somewhat youngish, but I don’t think it can continue the way it has. At some point in time, you cut bait and run. As much as we’d like to see what these guys can do under Larry Drew, there are windows of opportunities that could close while we’re still “experimenting.”

It’s up to Sund to figure that one out. Good luck.

Astro Joe

July 6th, 2010
5:01 pm

Obviously, a team that hasn’t advanced beyond game 4 of the 2nd round doesn’t need to have an 8-deep roster of untouchables. If they trade Josh, I hope they get at least 2 years of someone really, really good. That excludes Tony Parker as he only has 82 games left on his deal. If they signed him to an extension, then I’d be on board. I’d also would suggest that waiting until February could make sense to try and grab that elusive big man. Maybe you roll the dice with someone like Ilgauskas to start the year and then possibly trade Jamal in January/February (especially if the pentangle offense is potent enough that we can sacrifice Jamal for a big body). Bottom line, the playoff roster doesn’t need to be set in November.

And please, STAY AWAY FROM SHAQ!!!!!!