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

O'Brien

July 6th, 2010
5:26 pm

AJ,

I think its too much of a risk to wait until the trade deadline to move Jamal. If we trade him now, I think there are more teams that will be interested, and whichever new piece we get will have training camp etc to get into the pentangle offense.

Plus Jamal’s value is high right now. Also, I dont want us depending on a different person for bench scoring in February, and trying to mix and match Al with our new big man in February. Do it from the start of the season so everybody is on the same page.

O'Brien

July 6th, 2010
6:50 pm

Melvin,

Celtics are scheduled to meet with kwame brown tomorrow.

I hope Hawks don’t wait around for shaq only to be turned down (which I think we will). Because by then all decent big men may be off the market.

Big Ray

July 6th, 2010
8:26 pm

Melvin

July 6th, 2010
8:37 pm

OB,

I have a strange feeling that the Hawks are going to be shut out of FA bigs…

O'Brien

July 6th, 2010
9:05 pm

Melvin,

I dont think we’ll be shut out of FA bigs. I think we’ll end up signing a guy like Johan Petro (who Sund drafted back in Seattle) or somebody’s thrid string center.

I think Sund needs to make a trade though, because if he signs a big, that gives us 11 players who could deserve time.

PG – Teague, Bibby
SG – JJ, Jamal, Jordan, Mo Evans
SF – Marvin
PF – Josh, FA Big
Center – Al, ZaZa

Thats 11 guys. And we know the Hawks are not going to play 11 guys, especially when 4 of them are best suited at one position (SG).

Melvin

July 6th, 2010
9:23 pm

OB,

If Petro is the best big we sign then that’s just like being shut out. I’m sure Joe was not referring to Petro or a player his caliber when he said he’s going to help recruit…

O'Brien

July 6th, 2010
9:43 pm

Melvin,

For the record, I think it was Joe’s agent who said he would help recruit. We are yet to hear a word out of JJ. And as quiet as he is, I have my doubts as to whether or not 1) he will really help recruit or 2) he will be successful recruiting.

My impression of JJ is people recruit him to play with them, he does not recruit people to play with him. I hope I’m wrong.

Melvin

July 6th, 2010
10:19 pm

From the Huffington Post Report on 7/6/10 (The Arn Tellem interview):

“For his next act, Joe plans to actively recruit other top free agents to Atlanta, a place not unlike his hometown, where he feels comfortable and appreciated.”

vava74

July 7th, 2010
6:01 am

I had a vision:

We will end up with Rasho Nesterovic’s last remains as the bulky C off the bench.

Big Ray

July 7th, 2010
7:30 am

O’brien

I get the feeling JJ could care less about recruiting. He’ll sign his contract bright and early tomorrow, then fade back into quiet solitude until training camp. As for acquiring a big man of worth, I think I see a trade coming. I’m not sure how else it will happen, and I have a feeling that Shaq ends up in Boston if Lebron leaves Cleveland. I doubt he has any real desire to come here. Dallas won’t give up Haywood without exacting an uncomfortable price, and Haywood would probably like to stay there.

Melvin

I don’t believe anything any agent has to say. It’s always coming at an angle. “For Joe’s next act…” For Joe’s next act, he can average 20+ppg in the playoffs next season. Leave the recruiting to people who care about it and can lay out some $$ terms..

Big Ray

July 7th, 2010
7:31 am

VaVa,

I laughed at that…too funny…then I realized you may be clairvoyant, and I started crying…

O'Brien

July 7th, 2010
7:50 am

Big Ray,

Co-sign. For an impact guy to come here, he would probably have to take less money. And since JJ did not take less money than what he might have gotten on the market (like what Dirk did, and what Paul Pierce did), how is he supposed to convince somebody to take less money to come here? Plus with his quiet nature, I just dont see him doing much recruiting (or being successful at it).

Shaq to Boston or Cleveland makes sense, so unless we sign JO, I think Rick’s best move is to make a trade for a big man. And even if we sign JO, we should still be trading.

As for JJ, what I would like to see from him on the court, is a commitment to defense. Although Josh got criticized a lot last year, I have seen JJ take plays off on defense too, and then turn it up when he wants to.

He was carrying most of the offensive load, and handling the ball a lot, so maybe he was saving himself. But assuming he doesn’t dominate the ball on offense and becomes more efficient, I would like to see a commitment to playing defense capable of all NBA defense.

As a team, we need to improve our defense in the paint, and defense on the perimeter. Teague and less switching should help, but I think JJ is also capable of playing better and more consistent defense.

Melvin

July 7th, 2010
8:19 am

I hope Joe is trying to do some recruiting. Heck, even I’m trying to recruit for the Hawks. I saw Jermaine O’Neal in Red Robin during the NBA Final game 5 and told him I wanted him to sign with the Hawks. Of course he was on the phone, so he smile and shook my hand. Don’t worry guys, I have peoples that has direct contact with him. I’m going to put in the word for the Hawks again….

Melvin

July 7th, 2010
8:22 am

The word this morning is that Bosh will sign with the Heat and the Heat has interest in Haywood/Felton. If the Lebron doesn’t go to Miami then I can see the Heat signing Haywood and possible Felton. That would be a pretty tough lineup with Beasley and Wade… The Hawks better get moving b/c the Heat and Wizards could be very improve next season and we know the Magic will be tough as well….

Melvin

July 7th, 2010
8:26 am

Sund, give this guy the whole MLE so we can have a true Big…

“Not that he’s a player that the guys have spoken to, but this all brings to mind a conversation I had with Jermaine O’Neal back in February about this very thing. O’Neal just wrapped up the final year on a gigantic contract that paid him over $20 million in his final year.

“I’ve talked to so many guys who have been around this league and done some really great things—and I don’t want to say any names, but everybody’s saying the same thing… they’re talking about going somewhere as a crew to have that opportunity,” O’Neal said.

In other words, the idea that there are players willing to give up paychecks for a chance to win isn’t as far-fetched as some may think.

“I’ve experienced a lot of things in my career,” O’Neal continued. “I’ve had my own shoe, national commercials, All-Star games, USA teams, big contracts—and I don’t feel validated because I haven’t had the opportunity to play for a championship. That’s all I’m worried about right now.”"

kwooden1

July 7th, 2010
9:18 am

Melvin I’m still good with doing a S&T with a team that is under the cap to sign Jermaine. (or even Shaq after thinking about it last night) I think the S&T will allow us to give some more money to Jermaine or Shaq and also allow us to upgrade at another position without having another body on the roster. I would like to S&T Marvin and/or Evans, then bring back Chills.

GO HAWKS!

Melvin

July 7th, 2010
9:46 am

KW,

Do the Hawks have anything the Heat may want? If I’m correct, i think the Hawk would have to send back almost equal salary in a S&T. Not sure if the Heat would be interested in taking back salary for a guy who they have no plans in resigning.

kwooden1

July 7th, 2010
9:55 am

Melvin please correct me if I’m worry but I think Jermaine is a true FA and can sign with anyone. So I think the HAWKS just have to find a team that is under the cap like NJ, or NY and get them to sign Jermaine then we do a S&T with that team. I think NJ or NY could use a young guy like Marvin and wouldn’t want to keep an old guy like Jermaine.

Melvin

July 7th, 2010
10:02 am

KW,

Not sure about that. I will let CBA guru’s Nire or MannyT answer your question.

O'Brien

July 7th, 2010
10:05 am

Melvin,

If Chris Bosh signs outright with Miami for 5 years $97 mil (instead of SNT), then they should have enough money for 2 solid free agents (and if I was Miami, I would stay away from LeBron). They still need a shooter though.

I still like Chicago. I would go after Carlos Boozer and a shooter (Kyle Korver or Ray Allen maybe) and still have the money to add another solid piece.

kwooden1,

I think it will be very complicated trying to find a S and T partner for free agents like JO and Shaq. I just dont think our players have enough trade value for a team under the cap to accomodate us.

I think Rick needs to make some trades, preferrably using Marvin, Bibby, Mo Evans, and Chills (and Jamal if necessary).

Astro Joe

July 7th, 2010
10:25 am

OB, so we have a 53 win team full of players (and contracts) that no one wants? That seems strange. Miami has virtually 0 players and JON and Bosh failed together in Toronto. Would Miami take Zaza? Yeah, I think they would. Bibby? Maybe in a Jason Terry role. I would NOT trade Marvin for the remnants of JON. But Zaza and Mo? That would allow us to give JON close to $7M.

Just because Joe doesn’t speak to the media or provides locker-room leadership, it doesn’t mean that dude is friendless. He’s played in 4 ASGs and participated in the Olympic try-outs a few years ago. He’s played for 3 different teams. My guess is that he does in fact have some relationships with guys across the league. No, he won’t recruit a $10M player to take a 50% pay cut (exactly who is able to do that?) But can he convince JON who shares the same agent to join the Hawks? Did Tellum already begin those discussions with JON when he made that statement?

Astro Joe

July 7th, 2010
10:33 am

Childress + Zaza + Mo for JON + Dorrell Wright + Joel Anthony. If you make that deal, the Hawks could add some filler for <$1M each and be done. The 3 new guys become our bench frontcourt to pair with Jamal and Bibby/Teague. And Wright would definitely push Marvin (he played quite well last season) and we'd have a lot of flexibility across the frontcourt. Miami gets 3 guys who are ready to play a suppoting role immediately. Zaza & Chill could start with Bosh on the frontline.

O'Brien

July 7th, 2010
10:56 am

AJ,

I didn’t think about Miami, but they would make sense, especially since they have JO’s rights. And JO does share agents with JJ, which always helps.

On a 53 win team, everyone contributes (players and coaches), but the main reasons were JJ, Jamal, Josh and Al.

So who wants marvin, unless they are dealing from a position of strength, or getting rid of a player (or contract) they dont want?

I Dont think Miami wants Zaza for $4 mil when they can sign Joel Anthony for $2 mil.

Either way, my point to kwooden1 is teams under the cap will find better deals with other teams (IMO) than they will the hawks.

MannyT

July 7th, 2010
11:18 am

If you ask the basic question – what’s in it for me? Why would a team with cap space, S&T a player to another team? The closest I can get is to move a player to a different conference. It makes it easier to win in your conference, but you may sacrifice some revenue when that guy comes to town (once vs 2 or 3 visits)

S&T normally involves the team that has Bird rights for the player. No real advantage to doing a S&T to move a player if you do not have his Bird rights (unless you are so against another team that you see it as a way to screw them over. I don’t think you see that happen in such a visible way from a team perspective.)

MannyT

July 7th, 2010
11:22 am

Looks like Miami will be a stronger team. Looks like Toronto may be weaker. If Miami is strong enough to move past the Hawks, that would be the difference between a 3 seed and a 5 seed (using this season as a comparison.) That doesn’t factor additional free agent moves by all the teams that have cap space and lose out on LeBron.

This will be a tougher season unless there is an out of the blue deal for LbJ to go West. Cleveland will drop hard & fast, but his new team will likely rise above the Hawks in wins.

O'Brien

July 7th, 2010
11:27 am

MannyT,

I think Chicago still has the cap space to become a stronger team as well.

I know that we have been waiting for some news on Drew’s coaching staff. Well, it is being reported on Indy website that Lester Conner will be LD’s lead assistant. From indystar.com;

Lester Conner landed on his feet pretty well after not having his contract renewed by O’Brien last month. Conner is expected to sign a three-year contract to be coach Larry Drew’s lead assistant down in Atlanta. Conner will coach Atlanta’s summer league team in Vegas.

Who is Lester Conner you ask? From wikepedia.com;

Conner began his NBA coaching career in 1998 as an assistant to Rick Pitino for the Boston Celtics. He also was twice the assistant coach in Milwaukee for head coach Terry Stotts, leaving after Stotts was fired following the 2006-2007 season.

Conner credits current Indiana Pacers head coach Jim O’Brien for his start in coaching.[3] and has worked under O’Brien on three separate occasions. The first was with the Boston Celtics from 2001-04.

The second was as associate head coach for the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2004-05 season. In June, 2007, Conner moved to Indiana, to once again work for O’Brien and the Pacers.

If Connor is indeed the hire, I must say I’m not impressed by his resume.

Tech First

July 7th, 2010
11:36 am

ALL DO RESPECT TO MR. SUND LAST OFFSEASON YOU DONE A GREAT JOB DRAFTING TEAGUE EVEN BIGGER JAMAL CRAWFORD THIS YEAR ATLANTA FANS WILL LEAVE GIVING JOE JOHNSON 12.6 PER GAME IN THE PLAYOFFS DOES NOT ADD UP TO 120MILLION DIRK GOT 4 YRS 80 MILLION PIERCE GOT 4 YRS 61 WE SHOULDOF OFFER JOE 5 YRS 101MILLION AT MOST 1MILLION MORE THEN THE HIGHEST PAID FREE AGENT AND SO FAR THATS AMARE 5 YR 100MILLON IN NEW YORK DIRK PLAYED IN A FINAL PIERCE 3 FINALS ONE RING JOE CANT LEAD A TEAM PASS THE SECOND ROUND AND TO GIVE JOE 40 MILLION MORE THAN DIRK OR PIERCE IS A NOT GOOD MANAGEMENT I SPEAK FOR ALL ATLANTA FANS WE DONT WANT JOE TRADE HIM TO NEW YORK FOR DAVID LEE AND ANYBODY WE ARE THE ONLY TEAM TO OFFER A MAX DEAL OTHER THAN WADE AND LEBRON JOE IS NOT IN THE SAME BALL PARK AS THESE GUYS MAKE ATLANTA HAPPY TRADE JOE TAKE A LOOK AT THE PISTON THEY HAVE PCS TRADE JOE FOR RIP AND A BIG ANYTHING JUST DONT BRING JOE BACK WE HAVE SEEM HIS LEADERSHIP AND ITS NOT WORTH 120MILLION 0-8 IN THE SECOND OF THE PLAYOFFS.

chuckw/deadjournalist

July 7th, 2010
11:39 am

just a though … the hawks have matched up pretty well with d-wade and bosh in the past. but if lebron signs with the heat – as the rumor of the minute is suggesting – it would seem that childress’ value to the hawks would increase because he has the length and ability to chase/defend the wings. childress should have been the hawks’ version of t. prince … and still should be.

Astro Joe

July 7th, 2010
12:04 pm

If LeBron returns to the Cavs, it will likely be for 3 years. He won’t have another big time FA joining him (Mike Miller, maybe, but not exactly big time). I think that he is headed down to Miami.

Meanwhile, Mo Williams, Varejao and Jamison aren’t exactly chump change. They should (at least) make the playoffs, somewhere in the 4-6 range).

kwooden1

July 7th, 2010
12:18 pm

MannyT, O’Brien

The HAWKS need to be creative and explore all options. In terms of JO its my understanding that it takes 3 yrs to get Bird rights and Jermaine has only 2 yrs with Miami. It looks to me that Jermaine is a true FA and can get the same money anywhere, but more money with teams that are under the cap, except for S&Ts. We need to be one of those teams that figures out an S&T. I believe the only way for the HAWKS to get either O’Neal is to pay more than the MLE.

MannyT

July 7th, 2010
12:31 pm

If LbJ returns to Cleveland, I think they finish in front of the Hawks. They still have the MLE and folks will want to play on his team. They can get something for the guys they are willing to trade.

W/o LbJ, Cleveland is free…free fallin’.

The Miami problem isn’t Bosh & Wade, it’s that they will attract some above value “others”. It’s those others that will likely cause the Hawks problems. To be on the fast track for a ring would a minimum salary guy come here, play w/LbJ or go there! We finish 3rd in that race.

@OB–I think if CHI & NJN lose out on LbJ, they can become winners in the long run, b/c they can get some quality replacements for less. Instead of 2 max players, they might get 3 good players. Add 3 of Boozer, Lee, Miller, Jefferson, JO’Neal, Shaq to one of those teams depending on need. Both already have strong PGs and a solid big man so the money allows them to be competitive quickly if they want to spend now.

MannyT

July 7th, 2010
12:37 pm

JON Bird rights followed him to Miami. They have his rights unless they renounced them (which they may have to sign Bosh.)
http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q25

If you want the Hawks to get creative and get a big, think trade…possibly 3 way where we move either Jamal (b/c of talent AND expiring contract), Josh (talent and big, but tolerable contract), Marvin (if you are willing to accept lesser value due to unfavorable trading contract) or Bibby (magic beans trade and Sund has found a village idiot).

Those are your options aside from a Chills S&T.

Melvin

July 7th, 2010
1:13 pm

Astro,

Looks like I’m not the only person who wass not impress with Daniel Orton. From Hoopsworld:

“Daniel Orton – When you’re a first round pick, everyone expects you to be nervous or get off to a slow start. They know your game is going to be raw, especially when you’ve been labeled as a project that still needs a lot of development. But there is no excuse for Daniel Orton’s lack of production in the first two games.

Many have made the leap from believing he’s raw to saying he doesn’t belong on the court. Players and media alike have said that he’s one of the worst players and he just doesn’t seem to get it out there. After the worst possible debut on Tuesday, Orton came back on Tuesday to post 2 points on 0-6 shooting, 2 rebounds, and one block.”

Melvin

July 7th, 2010
1:16 pm

At least 20 teams are going to regret not drafting Lance Stephenson… I hope Jordan Crawford can play….

“vLance Stephenson – After shining on day one, the Lance Stephenson show continued on Tuesday. The Pacers as a whole struggled to find their shot but Stephenson was the lone bright spot offensively, scoring 15 points on 7-10 shooting.

He feels very comfortable at this level and believes that the spacing and speed of the game benefits him. Paul George’s stat line was impressive (10 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 steals) but it was Stephenson who turned heads for the second straight day and kept the game from turning ugly.”

O'Brien

July 7th, 2010
1:16 pm

If I’m Orlando, I would be calling Utah about a sign and trade (Boozer for Bass and Gortat). Because if you give Howard a traditional front court presence, and move Rashard to SF, I think that will take some of the offensive pressure (and double teams) away.

If I’m the Knicks and I lose out on LeBron, I’m calling Golden State about a sign and trade of David Lee for Monta Ellis.

I’m looking forward to Friday, after the LeBron circus is over, to see other teams start making moves.

Dan

July 7th, 2010
1:17 pm

Yes sign Jermaine O’Neal and Sean Livingston!!! Our big and our point guard. I actually like Livingston at point if he is healthy

Melvin

July 7th, 2010
1:19 pm

Oh well, Wade and Bosh is a done deal. Just saw their interview with Mike Wilbon on ESPN… I hope the Hawks are working the phones b/c this division just got tougher.

Melvin

July 7th, 2010
1:21 pm

OB,

I hope one of the those teams on Friday that’s making moves is the Hawks. We can not go into next season with the same top 8 players and expect to be a better team.

Astro Joe

July 7th, 2010
1:55 pm

Melvin, dude played like 50 minutes of rkentucky the entire season, he won’t need to do much for another 2-3 years for Orlando. And regarding your last comment, don’t forget, we now have a competent coach.

OB, I agree. And if not Ellis, the Knicks should try to grab Arenas. We know that Arenas can handle the NYC media… and his health shouldn’t be anymore of a concern than their new $100M player. Assuming he stays healthy (and away from guns) Arenas is the perfect player to ignite the NYC fan base.

O'Brien

July 7th, 2010
2:22 pm

Orlando has Howard and gortat, so orton isn’t going to get much PT anyway, (unless somebody gets injured), so Orlando can take a chance and wait on him.

I hope hawks are prepared to Make moves quickly though, because with so many teams with cap space I think dominos will start falling on Friday.

I hope hawks make a move early, because the longer we take, the more likely we will have to settle for leftovers.

AJ,

Arenas is another good fit. Them trading Arenas for Lee could be beneficial for the hawks, especially if they want Chills.

They could take chills and bibby, and we take Hinrich and one of their bigs.

Astro Joe

July 7th, 2010
2:22 pm

Manny, I know that you’re not interested in making predictions, but I think the Cavs make the playoffs… comfortably, without LeBron. I don’t know how you’re defining a big fall, but they won’t become the Knicks.

Astro Joe

July 7th, 2010
2:56 pm

OB, the info I saw on the Hawks website a few days ago suggested that Drew would be coaching the summer league team. I don’t really care who does it, I’m sure Drew will be there to watch his young guys. Strange, though, that Connor may be coaching the team when they start playing in less than one week and there has yet to be a formal announcement. But then again, they haven’t announced the players yet either.

I kind of recall Connor as a supposed defensive specialist when he played in the league.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/connele01.html

Astro Joe

July 7th, 2010
3:04 pm

OB, did you see this about Connor? Sounds like he’s an assistant who previously had different opinions from his boss. Sound familiar?

http://blogs.indystar.com/pacersinsider/archives/2010/06/conner_to_retur.html

O'Brien

July 7th, 2010
3:26 pm

AJ,

after reading that, I’m Starting to warm up to Connor LOL.

I like the fact that he spoke up and made a change when he had the opportunity. And If somebody asked Drew how much of woody’s coaching style would he be using, he would probably say “not a whole lot” too.

Hopefully connor’s defensive coaching will be more technical than ‘guard you man or else’.

Astro Joe

July 7th, 2010
3:38 pm

Stan Van Gundy is my new idol. Talk about “keepin it real”? This is the most honesty we’ve heard from a coach in, well, like forever! And I agree with virtually each and every word.

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_magic/2010/07/stan-van-gundy-will-not-watch-lebron-james-espn-announcement-special.html

Astro Joe

July 7th, 2010
3:40 pm

OB, yeah, I thought that you (and Melvin) would like that. Let’s hope that Drew allows him the chance to shape this team (unlike Woody provided to his previous assistants).

Melvin

July 7th, 2010
3:56 pm

Astro,

I enjoyed both links. Again, I think LD is ready to be a head guy. Good thing for him, he gets a team that’s very talented and not in rebuild mode. As for SVG, I agree with everything he said. From the free agent circus to Lebron staying in Cleveland. I can’t see him turning his back on that city (state). I think he really wants to deliver a championship to his home. If he does that in Ohio, he would become immortal…

Astro Joe

July 7th, 2010
4:55 pm

Wow, Bulls sign Boozer.

O'Brien

July 7th, 2010
5:05 pm

AJ,

I like the Bulls signing of Boozer. What I dont like is $16 mil per year. Wow.

I can’t help but wonder if David Lee would have been a better option (younger and no injury) for $12-$13 mil (which is what I think he will get). Plus that would have hurt the Knicks.

Melvin

July 7th, 2010
5:14 pm

That was a good pickup for the Bulls. I expect to see them sign a shooter next. I’m glad to see them go after Boozer, hopefully that would take them out of the O’Neal sweepstakes…