Hawks bits and pieces

Hang in there, Hawks fans. We’ll make it through this summer yet (or so I keep telling myself, anyway).

While things seem fairly quiet in free agency, and that would be for all NBA teams at the moment, a few tidbits are floating around that may prove to be a useful diversion for a minute or two. As we discuss those, I keep thinking about the missing Lorenzen Wright. Missing persons cases more often than not are either a false alarm, or they don’t end very nicely. But some do. And I hope that this is one of those where “all’s well that ends well.”  Peace and blessings on his family, who I’m sure are sick with worry. These kinds of things never seem to matter to people until they hit close to home. Again, I hope this ends well.

 

Tough Times

As much noise as we make about adding size and toughness to the roster, do we bother to consider that adding toughness doesn’t always mean adding a body? When the official announcement of the signing of former Lakers forward/center Josh Powell finally came down, one of the catch phrases was that he “adds toughness.” Well, if the Lakers say he’s a good guy and a good addition, I’ll take their word for it, at least to an extent. After all, Powell hasn’t played many minutes in L.A., so we don’t have a lot of visual evidence to review (other than some youtube clips) for confirmation. But what about the guys who were already on the roster? Can’t you add toughness….by simply becoming tougher?

If you ask me (and you didn’t, but guess what?) toughness is a state of mind. The body can be willing and able, but it’s no good if the spirit is weak. Avid Hawks fan and blogger Northcyde is one of the foremost fans calling for two of our key guys (Al Horford and Josh Smith) to play a lot tougher, as the success of this team depends heavily on that. Realistically, that can be the key difference between competing at the highest levels, or struggling to do so. Look no further than last season’s first round playoff series. The Hawks struggled mightily when Al Horford allowed himself to get out-toughed by Kurt Thomas, and Josh Smith allowed Ersan Ilyasova to out-hustle and outplay him for stretches at a time.

So what can the Hawks do to get tougher? What are Josh Smith and Marvin Williams doing to get tougher. Those are two guys who could really have an impact on the game if they bring it with more force. In fact, that’s the one thing that can really optimize a lineup of long, athletic players. Without it, much is wasted.

How does one change one’s mindset? Different people have different methods. And sometimes the body has to be brought up to speed with the mind. The idea is to be tough all the time, not just when backed into a corner and forced into “fight or flight” mode. Well, it seems one Hawk is going to give it a go in the offseason.  As noted on NBA.com (on the Atlanta Hawks official site), backup center Zaza Pachulia has added to his offseason regimen, and the results might be more than just better conditioning, footwork, and overall stamina. It might just result in a tougher approach to the game. All I can say is watch out Kevin Garnett! I still love that moment in Hawks history…

 

The “other” Star Guard

According to ESPN.com, Hawks super sub Jamal Crawford would like to discuss money matters. He wants to remain a Hawk, and I’m sure any Hawks spokesperson would likely state that they would like to keep him around. And while Jamal has been around the league for a decade (and been with several teams), he may as well get comfortable wherever he is sitting. After all, things don’t tend to happen around the front office at lightning speed. Especially if they don’t really have to. The question is, do the Hawks want him to finish out his career in Atlanta? Might they see him as a two way asset, or has he proven himself to be indispensable? Jamal seemed to fit in pretty darn well, and that is not likely to change under new head coach Larry Drew. But, if the Hawks are very slow or otherwise noncommittal to signing him to an extension, what might it be an indication of? Of course, a number of theories could abound. Understandably, they may be more focused on preparing an extension offer to Al Horford. Or, they may have other moves up their sleeve. You just never know. But, for the sake of the sanity of blogger Steve Brown, I won’t mention one of the most obvious and talked about (by others, not just me) possibilities.

In the meantime, I wish I could be an invisible fly on the wall in training camp. If for no other reason than to watch Jamal Crawford playing against Jordan Crawford. That would have to be a fun matchup, no?

560 comments Add your comment

Big Ray

July 30th, 2010
11:27 am

Heh…so much being made over what has been said/quoted, and what has not. Two words:

Plausible Deniability.

It is the bane of fans and reporters alike, and the manna from heaven for any that are in diplomatic situations.

Rev in Tampa

July 30th, 2010
11:30 am

SteveW and Niremetal, THANK YOU! I read this blog, first of all, to fuel my zeal for the Hawks. I have also come to enjoy the diverse personalities represented. But I also read it to observe and score the debate. Your jousting last night and into this morning was very enjoyable. Congratualtions and feel free to tear into each other regularly.

Melvin

July 30th, 2010
11:33 am

Rev in Tampa,

We ran out of Card Girls between round for Nire/SteveW debate last night/this morning… lol…

SteveW

July 30th, 2010
11:36 am

Drmaryb – I couldn’t agree with your post more, on all counts best I can tell. The only 2 guys left that may have an impact on our season and postseason – Shaq, if healthy, fit, and a good attitude to win a ring or two more before he’s done, and

Kwame Brown – if we think we can develop him, which every team trying to do has failed so far. But at least he’s another athletic big man that can keep up with Dwight’ size and strength.

Astro Joe

July 30th, 2010
11:43 am

Assuming we only have 1 roster spot left, I vote for Chris Hunter or Travis Diener. But I would prioritize another big over a PG. At least those 2 guys could easily provide 2nd-unit quality if pushed into service and will likely accept the salary associated with a back-of-the-bench player.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=3962

SteveW

July 30th, 2010
11:47 am

The Truth – good to hear.

I think a good article by Mark, Micheal or Jeff would be – “What did the Hawks do with the 3m. made on Draft Day”. Interview Rick Sund – he’ll either say – “We’ll use it if we feel we can better the team”, or “ASG lost 20m last year, and this is too help recover their losses.”

My point is as a fan, and I disagree with Ken Strickland on this, is we are close to being a contender, and with the right piece (maybe Shaq?) we can win it all. Look at the scenario’s:

What if Wade goes down with an injury? Or he and LeBron get into a fight, and one demands to be traded? I don’t think LeBron and Bosh without Wade are going anywhere with the team assembled around them currently.

What if Shaq and ZaZa give Dwight fits, JJ plays like a champion, and no more Barnes to hound him – Teague bothers Jameer – and we beat the Magic?

Read Boston’s blogs – the team they fear the most in the East is the Hawks. They feel their “D” can shut down anybody else, but they can’t keep up with our athleticism. 4-0 last year (and I know they took the regular season off).

All I’m sayin’ is, it seems you said you’d spend the cash – please don’t get Jarrod Collins, Alade Aminu, Hendrix, to win this thing – basically we’re replacing RandMo (hopefully) with this last signing – get the piece – and ASG makes a ton of money on a better team – and the fans get this thing rockin’! All I’m sayin’ guys

SteveW

July 30th, 2010
11:50 am

Astro Joe – would take Josh Boone over Hunter if we want another smallish Center type – both 6-11 240

SteveW

July 30th, 2010
11:53 am

Sekou says he’s having a get Shaq rally in August for the Hawks fans…..

niremetal

July 30th, 2010
12:05 pm

Astro,

I like the idea of Diener offensively – he’d be pretty good at running the offense Drew is setting up, I think. But defensively? Eesh.

Earl Watson would be nice for a Mo Evans type of contract, but I doubt he’d bolt for less than the full MLE (which he isn’t worth, I think). Rafer Alston would be nice situationally, but he was unable to beat out Chalmers and Arroyo in Miami last year and caused problems when he decided he wasn’t happy with his role. Ironically, the most realistic solution might be Acie Law, whose defense was the one consistently solid thing about him, if memory serves.

At SF, would it be worth it to take out a flyer on Joe Alexander? He crapped out in his first couple years in the league big-time, but he has the size and athleticism to guard the 3 and 4 and should be able to get some cuts to the basket if the offense goes as planned.

Honestly, I’m starting to like the idea of using the TPE to get a piece straight up, because the free agent list at the 2 positions where I think we most need depth (SF and PG) was weak to start with and just depressing now…

niremetal

July 30th, 2010
12:12 pm

If Hinrich were available, swapping Jamal (or Bibby and Mo) for him would be my ideal trade. Hinrich would be, I think, the ideal PG for this team with Drew’s system. But something tells me that not even the Wizards are crazy enough to have a backcourt featuring Arenas, Wall, and Crawford, nor would they be willing to take on Bibby’s contract for next year. *sigh*

The Truth

July 30th, 2010
12:18 pm

SteveW

As much as I would like for us to win the “Shaq-stakes”; I just don’t believe the Hawks has the wherewithal to pull the deal off based on past history. In other words, I won’t be attending Sekou’s party. My expectation of Shaq’s destination is more inline with this bleacher report.

Teams that have shown significant interest include the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, and Atlanta Hawks. My guess on where Shaq will sign? The Boston Celtics.

O'Brien

July 30th, 2010
12:25 pm

nire,

Hinrich and Bibby both have 2 years left on their deal, so that would be a wash. I like the Mo Evans (expiring) and Bibby for Hinrich deal.

northcyde

July 30th, 2010
12:30 pm

Niremetal . . . what I’m about to say has been said by others.

When you see everything that has gone on this offseason so far, I have to come to the conclusion that the ASG firmly believes that everything was Woody’s fault, and that we don’t need a personnel upgrade. Not even a minor one.

It’s a dangerous mindset that they’re taking, in my opinion. If for some odd reason we get off to a slow start ( slightly above .500 record at Christmas and well behind Miami and Orlando ), the rammifications of that could be devastating.

There will be a lot of finger pointing going on by the media, the fans, and possibly by the players themselves.

And if the acquired players turn out to be non-factors ( which I believe they will, regardless of our record ), you now have to seriously start questioning this organization’s scouting ability, its ability to get the free agents they want to sign, and its commitment to build a championship caliber team.

And it all goes back to costs and our so-called loyalty to our “core”.

And I think it’s an ego thing going on here too. They want to prove that it was all Woody’s fault. Shoot, they may as well bring back Joe Smith or Mario or Othella Hunter.

niremetal

July 30th, 2010
12:35 pm

O’Brien,

Actually, Bibby + TPE for Hinrich would work too, assuming that the TPE can be used in combination with other players’ salaries (Coon’s FAQ says no, but most other sources I’ve found say yes). That would be super-ideal…

Najeh Davenpoop

July 30th, 2010
12:46 pm

I hate this time of year — we have been reduced to drawing up multi-paragraph analogies to help explain what MIGHT be going through the mind of the most non-proactive GM in the league. Why did Sund sell the pick? Did he intend to sign players? Did he want to sign a big man? Did he intentionally only target big men who shoot under 45% for the season? Did Michael Gearon have a mansion foreclosed somewhere? Who framed Roger Rabbit? How many licks does it take for Lil’ Kim to get to the center of the… never mind. Bottom line is the offseason is basically over for this team and they are prepared to go into next season (and possibly beyond) with this basic core of players.

Sund and the DASG’s motivation for their actions is not really relevant — certainly not enough to dedicate multiple blog posts to this topic. The important thing to draw from their actions over this offseason is that they are not serious about filling out this team’s roster with the kind of quality depth that will give them a realistic shot at even contending for home court in the first round, let alone a title.

SteveW

July 30th, 2010
12:50 pm

According to Sund, and last years team, our last signing will be a big – unless we decide to carry 14.

We are still almost 3mil. below luxury tax line….

The Truth – probably right….sigh

Najeh Davenpoop

July 30th, 2010
12:50 pm

“And I think it’s an ego thing going on here too. They want to prove that it was all Woody’s fault. ”

I agree with the rest of your post completely, but if this is actually true they are even bigger idiots than we all think. What better way to stroke their own egos than to show Woody what a real coach can do with this core, which was assembled by… oh yeah, the guy who beat the DASG to the “Fire Woody” idea by two years.

The DASG and Rick Sund have managed to make Billy Knight look like a proactive visionary this offseason.

niremetal

July 30th, 2010
12:54 pm

Northcyde,

I agree with what you’ve said. I think that ASG came to conclusion at some point that Woody was the cause of all the Hawks’ problems. I agree that is a risky mindset to take. I also agree that if the Hawks backtrack this year (or even fail to improve in the playoffs), there will be a lot of anger directed at ASG. And frankly, I can’t blame them. Standing still is something people are more used to seeing from teams that have made the Finals already, not from teams that have hit a brick wall in the first couple rounds of the playoffs. The last team to win it’s first title after a year in which no major personnel changes were made was the ‘99 Spurs, but they had 2 Hall of Famers on their roster. On paper, certainly, the Hawks don’t have that level of talent.

I guess my thing is that I think the Hawks are far better than they look on paper and also think that the Hawks’ issues last year began and ended with the coaching. Now notice that I didn’t say “Woody,” but rather “the coaching.” I think that, for the reasons I said last night (4 All-Star or near-All-Star level players + 4 on-any-team rotation players puts the Hawks in elite company) the Hawks have the firepower to win.

I keep looking at who we could have gotten with the MLE this summer, and kept finding that I’d put our current front 8 ahead of anyone we could have gotten for the MLE in the depth chart. The only real exception I can think of is that I think Matt Barnes (who we probably could have gotten for the MLE) would have leapfrogged Mo Evans in the rotation – but honestly, I don’t think it would be by much if Marvin and Joe stayed healthy. The difference between Barnes and Mo certainly wouldn’t be enough to win a title.

And then there are “shake-up” trades. I pitched the idea of trading Josh in a sign-and-trade for one of this year’s elite free agent PFs (Bosh, Boozer, Amare, or Nowitzki), because I think that our biggest single shortcoming on the floor has been a lack of a consistent scoring presence in the post (a problem that can’t be solved with an MLE signing). People on this blog seemed to scoff at the idea, and it didn’t happen anyway. With Josh’s trade kicker, it might have been a non-starter anyway. (It was telling that the one player Cleveland reportedly was interested in getting in a Shaq S&T was Marvin, not Josh; a $12M trade kicker can do that, I’d imagine.) Even then, I said I was ok with losing Josh because I thought Horford could step up and fill most of the help defense void that Josh would leave – but that’s far from certain, obviously. In any case, any trade of Josh would be a risky move.

By and large, though, I still am of the opinion that we can’t know how good this team would be until we have the right coach. The departure of Woody, in my view, opened up such an opportunity. I wanted an assistant from Utah, Portland, or Boston to take the top job here, but Drew sounds like he fits the bill too if he walks his talk and gets buy-in from the team.

But the Hawks’ course of conduct this summer – hiring Woody’s assistant, giving JJ the NBA’s biggest contract, and making only the minor-est of roster tweaks – is essentially betting the farm that the problem was entirely with Woody. That will be a tough sell if the Hawks flame out quickly in the second round (or sooner) again.

drmaryb (*_*)

July 30th, 2010
1:06 pm

Unless Mr.Woodson could lace them up still and shut down Dwight, he is NOT the reason t
Hawks got pummeled. We were too damned small at the Center position. We h NO answer then
and we have NO answer now!

Nothing has changed! You can’t coach Heart and Energy, our team does NOT have those two ingredients on their roster!

Some one asked earlier if Josh had professionalism he would be Bosh?
What was that about? Professionalism is a sign of maturity – and that is where Josh is lacking, besides his jumper and FT’s! Hopefully, he is working on “Growing Up” from his Play-Off beat down and Summer to reflect on it. Josh has Upside Potential, whereas Bosh has none!

To compare Josh and Bosh? (Hey that rhymes) I’ll take all that Josh does now + what he can do tomorrow … All week long!

Re-fried Beans – Gives me Gas!

Re-Tool this team ASG! Do it Now! No Thanks! I’ll keep my $200 – Thank you very much!
Why don’t you put $200 down on a Center (Shaq) and see IF, he will take Lay-Away payments!
Punk!

Astro Joe

July 30th, 2010
1:10 pm

There is no such thing as a perfect player at roster slot #13. So it comes down to what skill set you need (or can live without). Diener can shoot and protects the ball. If he were pushed into the 2nd unit, I think that is what you want. I don’t see Earl Watson accepting a 3rd PG role. Rafer Alston couldn’t earn time on a Miami squad that desperately needed good PG play. I suspect that he is done (even if he doesn’t yet accept that).

I called for a good-sized back-up SF during the season, but my guess is that Jamal will play less minutes at PG in Drew’s offense and so Joe will likely spend more time at SF. I’d rather have someone like Hassell who will accept a defensive-stopper role than Alexander who will likely foul Granger, peirce, LeBron to death. But overall, I’d use #13 on a 4/5 before any other position.

Is Josh Boone a UFA? I thought he was an RFA? He would have been far better than Powell, I assume we couldn’t afford him as he is so much better than Powell that it isn’t even worth debating.

Virtually any deal that returns Hinrich will appeal to me. Same with Jarrett Jack. But those trades kind of “change the subject” as I was addressing spot #13. Hinrich falls into what I was hooing all summer would be “an improvement of our top 8 players”, pardon me if I’ve lost all faith that we are still looking to make that happen.

kwooden1

July 30th, 2010
1:15 pm

northcyde You make a very good point about the ASG and Woody. Everything clearly wasn’t Woody’s fault and they shouldn’t expect a dramatic change, just because he’s gone. I also think that they’re statements early on (including Sund’s) about needing change were some what of an exaggeration on their parts. Whether any of us believe significant change needed to happen or not, they didn’t believe it. Significant change requires moving a core player, and the ASG/Sund never really wanted to do that. I think they could have stated up front that a culture change more than a personnel change needed to happen. I never saw any rumors about good trades for our core guys, so I can only assume that either Sund said he never would trade those guys or other teams didn’t want to play the game. nire had some good trade suggestions in June, but guys like Amare, Bosh, Lebron, Wade, etc never seemed realistic. The media seemed completely shocked that the ASG offered the max to JJ, so I would have to assume again that most outside sources see the ASG as small spenders. Which effects how FAs view the HAWKS.

Overall, what I’m saying is that we might have expected to much this summer from the ASG, in terms of reshaping this team. Clearly this is a good team, but we all want a great team. Unless the ASG somehow convinced another Star to S&T to come here, we weren’t going to get significantly better by acquisition this summer. Our only real option is to improve from within, which is what should have been stated early on by Sund and the ASG. Something like, “We like our core, but we feel that a culture change is needed to take the next step. We plan to make changes accordingly.”

Astro Joe

July 30th, 2010
1:27 pm

Heaven knows I wasn’t in the interview, but if Drew said to the ASG something like “I can make it easy on you guys, We don’t need major changes or to exceed the luxury threshold, the personnel is here. We just need a change in leadership and culture. The right offense and the right amount of accountability. And I can deliver that at a bargain if you hire me”, then that may have been the sales pitch that closed the deal. I hope Drew is right. The ceiling appears to be the same to me (2nd round playoff exit) and now we may have to get there as the 3rd team in our division. That’s a much tougher road to travel.

If nothing else, I hope that Drew’s offense excites the city so that the ASG sees an improvement in revenue. If they can sell tickets at a higher price (without having to use so many promo offers to entice folk to show up), then he would have done a big portion of his job. While I understand the challenges of improving a 53-win team, I am utterly shocked that nothing has been done to improve a bottom third ranked home attendance franchise. Unless, again, that business plan is warapped up in the pentangle offense.

niremetal

July 30th, 2010
1:27 pm

Astro,

Actually, I think Josh Boone is absolutely godawful and worthy of zero consideration. You are playing 4-on-5 whenever Boone is on the floor offensively. He’s also one of the few players in the NBA who has, in my view at least, gotten worse instead of better each and every year in the league, on both ends of the floor. I would have rather had us dig up Priest Lauderdale than sign him. No, not exaggerating.

Johan Petro, Robert Swift, the ghost of Mark West…anyone but Boone…

niremetal

July 30th, 2010
1:30 pm

While I understand the challenges of improving a 53-win team, I am utterly shocked that nothing has been done to improve a bottom third ranked home attendance franchise.

Of course, being bottom third ranked in home attendance makes it pretty tough to have the money to improve the team more than marginally. Again, if you look at NBA in past years, the cause and effect has always run from “deep playoff run breakthrough” to “spending more money,” not vice versa (unless you’re LAL/NYK/BOS).

Rev in Tampa

July 30th, 2010
1:41 pm

Now that Collins has been signed and there is one more roster spot to fill, I would like to know how money do the Hawks have to spend before they reach the luxury tax (not including the 3 million for the sold draft pick). Can anybody help me out?

drmaryb (*_*)

July 30th, 2010
1:54 pm

Rev

It seems like the bigger question is how much NOT to spend versus how much available to spend!
At this point, to get Shaq, we would need to:

Trade
Dump Salary
S & T

We are beyond spending money at this point – if that makes any since?

Clyde

July 30th, 2010
2:20 pm

The same squad that got blown out in every game in the second round last year is coming back for another season.

Ken Strickland

July 30th, 2010
2:31 pm

I’ve read a lot of complaints about who the Hawks signed and/or didn’t sign, and how much they spent on a 4 time All Star and/or how much they won’t spend on an egotistical, over the hill Shaq. I even read complaints about new HC LDrew from Clyde, after campaigning for yrs to FIRE WOODSON. We also have those who insist on calling Sund and the ASG stupid and incompetent because they won’t waste money signing certain players certain fans want.

Well, I happen to think Sund and the ASG are playing it smart. It’s always easy for fans and bystanders to spend someone else’s money, or demand they spend money they don’t have. The luxury tax limit at $70.307M, and the Hawks are $2,751,188M under the luxury tax limit after signing JCollins and JPowell. The Hawks are only obligated to pay $854,389 total for both players.

If we reach the trade deadline and see we need only one key player to win our division and become title contenders, we could easily afford to add a player. At the trade deadline, the salaries of players acquired in trade are pro rated. Therefore, the Hawks might be able to acquire an affordable center like JPrzybilla or NMohammed for half the money it would cost now.

1-NMohammed–SALARY $6.88M, PRORATED SALARY-$$3.44M.
STATS: MPG-17.0, PPG-7.9, RPG-5.2, BPG-.70

2-JPrzybilla-SALARY $7.40M, PRORATED SALARY-$$3.70M.
STATS: MPG-22.0, PPG-4.1, RPG-7.9, BPG-1.4

If we sign NMohammed at the trade deadline, it would put us approximately $1M and $1.26M over the luxury tax limit respectively. That $1M could come out of the $3+M we got during the draft.

I certainly prefer this situation to foolishly committing our MLE to Shaq, which would put us over the luxury tax limit for the next 2yrs. In fact, signing Shaq to the MLE($5.8M)would put us $3.04M over the luxury tax limit. Hell, the luxury tax cost for taking on Mohammed and Przybilla’s pro rated salaries combined($1M+$1.26M=$2.26M) would be $.78M less than signing Shaq now. JUST FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

drmaryb (*_*)

July 30th, 2010
2:38 pm

* IF that makes any sense

SteveW

July 30th, 2010
2:39 pm

Rev in Tampa – we are about 2.8 mill under the luxury tax threshold currently

Niremetal – I think you just committed the logical fallacy of of leaving out part of a statement to make your point:

“Gearon said that he thought Joe Smith and Jason Collins were mis-/under-utilized by Woody” This is what you said.

“… veterans Joe Smith and Jason Collins should have played bigger roles IN THE ORLANDO SERIES.” This is what Gearon said – not under-utilized by Woody period, but only in the Orlando series, unless you can find another quote you haven’t yet used in this discussion.

BTW – really appreciate your knowledge of the game, personnel, coaches etc. – Even if we sometimes disagree.

Not sure I would have wanted Barnes for the MLE – Jermaine O’Neil maybe? But he’s gone now. I don’t rule out Shaq yet – or Kwame, Boone, Tolliver or a trade for that matter…Sund may shock us.

SteveW

July 30th, 2010
2:42 pm

Don’t know where we’ll shake out – I know we were the only team in the playoffs last year that weren’t in luxury tax territory, but last I checked, we were pretty high up there in salaries for 2010-11 – Of Course the Magic, Lakers, Celts etc real big spenders, as well as the Mavs.

SteveW

July 30th, 2010
2:44 pm

Ken Strickland – good post! Way to do homework – Nazr may be a good fit for this team with toughness down low.

Ken Strickland

July 30th, 2010
2:51 pm

CLYDE-suppose you had a vehicle with an engine that skipped and underperformed, but it never failed to get you where you wanted to go, except it couldn’t handle the freeway. Instead of getting rid of the vehicle, you decide to have the engine totally rebuilt.

It’s certainly the same car and engine, but certain adjustments and upgrades have eliminated the problems that caused it to UNDER PERFORM, and now the car performs flawlessly. Since it’s been made to perform much better, and even though it’s the same car, wouldn’t you say it’s a much better car?

Astro Joe

July 30th, 2010
2:55 pm

nire, but weren’t you the one saying that they have increased their payroll ranking this summer? I’m trying to understand a business plan that increases the payroll ranking without a clear path to increase the revenue. Generally speaking, teams spend more when there is a reason to expect additional revenue, right? Rather that be in additional home playoff games, more regular season sellouts or more corporate sponsors. Will the summer transactions of the Hawks likely lead to any of those things? Heck, if we don’t secure at least a 4th seed, there could conceivably be a decrease in home playoff games in the coming season. 3 (max) in the first round and 3 max in the 2nd round. The ASG have had 6 home playoff games in the past 2 years. Maybe that is why Sund was quoted as being hopeful that the Hawks maintain a top 4 seeding, which again, I think is quite improbable as the likely 3rd team in their division.

Regarding Boone, yes he’s an awful offensive player but relative to Powell, I’d take Boone.

Sautee

July 30th, 2010
2:58 pm

SteveW,

about this Al Horford quote:

“We’ll see,” he said. “If the time is right. It is something that I will have to talk to my agent about. I know that the priority for the team was to re-sign Joe. We will see what happens the rest of the summer as far as the free agents if they are trying to get anybody else.”

To which you said:

“- Al only wants to come back if we get good FA’s – he was not talking about vet minimum guys – you have to have 13 players per league rules – can anybody say “Uh-oh”?”

Steve, are you taking a leap of faith here? The way that I read that quote was….

“I’m not about to put myself in front of what we need to do as a team therefore I’ll wait until they have done their off season business before I worry about my re-signing”.

Can you see that as another way of interpreting his comment?

In my mind there was NO implied threat in what Al said. NONE.

We can disagree, but I believe you are reading more into that quote then Al EVER intended.

Just my 2 cents.

Grandad

July 30th, 2010
3:07 pm

Clyde

“The same squad that got blown out in every game in the second round last year” is also the same team that:
defeated Boston 4 X, the same Boston that was 12 mins give or take from
being the World Champeens. Granted we did not beat Boston in a play-off setting, however, it proves the Hawks possess the raw material.
Do they need to add more talent? Yes. [constantly] That’s what good teams do, they don’t idle.
My point:
Too much is made of the Orlando series.
Countering by argueing 4 wins v Boston is likewise counterproductive.
The answer lies somewhere in the midst.
Now
My belief is Sund has never had an original thought.
GS most likely aapproached him about the Jamal trade.
[they GS wanted to rid themselves of Jamal so badly.......]
The roster can still be improved if another team accidently
wants [Marvin] for exp they are gives us something we need [Melo, ha].
Two thoughts: [been on my mind]
*Josh Powell = addition by intagibles.(don’t just look @ his #’s)
*Jamal = He wants to be here. That means -ALOT- We need to keep him around. Wanting to be here means he wants to be a “Hawk” + Teammate!

SteveW

July 30th, 2010
3:11 pm

Sautee, you could very well be right and hope that you are. In the flow of the interview, coupled with what he said about needing an impact Center to be any type of a contender in the East – and knowing he just switched agents to JJ’s agent of Arn Tellum – it just looked like a veiled kinda threat to me – but maybe I’m just misreading it.

I hope we offer him the max of 5 years – 83m, and then hope he stays healthy. 23 year old All-Star Center – except for Dwight, not too many guys Horford can’t compete with. Bynum/Gasol/Odom? Ming when healthy? A healthy motivated Shaq?I’m sure there’s probably more, but it’s a short list. He hung with Duncan pretty tough this year – probably better than Bogut – more upside.

O'Brien

July 30th, 2010
3:14 pm

One thing I liked about Boone is whenever we played the Nets, he seemed very active on the glass. And unlike Powell, Boone can actually play spot minutes at PF and Center.

Ken S,

One good thing about the Hawks going into the trading deadline this season is the TPE, because that would allow them to get a player without giving up a player, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

The problem for the Hawks (imo), is we are stacked in the backcourt (JJ, Jamal, Mo, Jordan, Teague and Bibby), but thin in the front court. We need to even things out somehow if we want to take the next step.

Grandad

July 30th, 2010
3:18 pm

Lord have mercy:

*[[they are gives us]]something we need*
*[[they give us]] something we need*

**inta[n]gibles

SteveW

July 30th, 2010
3:19 pm

About that 3m – don’t think I have a beef with Sund personally – I think he’s done phenomenal since he’s been here – he may have missed on Childress but,

1) He stole Jamal Crawford from GS – and anybody that says that trade just fell in his lap, well it could have fallen into a couple dozen other laps, but didn’t. Best move since the Phils stole Roy Oswalt from Houston – what were the Astros thinking?

2) He signed 3 quality vets for the minimum in Joe Smith, Jason Collins, and a gamble on a young big in RandMo (ok, maybe not so quality there). Best you could get for vet min. bigs with playoff/finals exp. probably.

3) Appears to have drafted fairly well

4) Resigned all our FA’s we had to have last year – and I think Woody kind of made him in a sense sign Bibby

5) Marvin had a bad back in ‘09 – I think he is being wise in not factoring in last year too harshly.

6) Made a good call on Woody in all aspects

7) Somehow made selling a 1st pick money and still got us a 1st pick – that’s a tremendous business mind right there
He may bomb later – but he’s been good in my book – only MC and he it appears knows for sure, but if he said he was gonna spend the 3m from draft day on a vet big – I just wanna hold his feet to the fire – but no personal beef.

SteveW

July 30th, 2010
3:21 pm

On 2) above should add in ref. to RandMo “and tried to develop a young big”

SteveW

July 30th, 2010
3:24 pm

O’Brien – good observation on Boone – 5rpg in only 16mpg – that’s 10 boards per 32 min. – better than Horford. Horrid free throw shooter however. And he is only 26 or so – so maybe Gattison could help him.

niremetal

July 30th, 2010
3:26 pm

Astro,

I think the owners slightly increased payroll slightly because they expect slightly increased revenue. I think that ASG seems to have always taken the view of “if we win more, they will come.” In their view, the best way to increase the number of Ws and therefore the number of $s was to replace Woody. If the Hawks win the same or more games in the regular season and make a deeper playoff run, it’ll be worth it. If not, it won’t be.

The payroll increase was slight, which makes sense because the team’s attendance went down but overall ticket revenues probably went slightly up because of the increased ticket prices. The main mode of improvement the Hawks seem to be banking on is a coaching change.

O'Brien

July 30th, 2010
3:30 pm

Steve W,

Maybe its hindsight, but I don’t think Sund should have given Woody the 2 year extension when he did (right after the last GM tried to fire him, and the ASG offered said GM a 1 year extension).

I think he should have brought in his guy, and then he would have time to evaluate the players (especially JJ, Bibby and Marvin who were going to be free agents soon) under a different coach.

Also, I see no reason for giving Bibby a 3rd year guaranteed. He was old and getting slower, and the market would not have given him 3 years (even Andre Miller had to settle for a 3rd year team option).

I give Sund credit for the Flip/Mo signing too.

Astro Joe

July 30th, 2010
3:52 pm

nire, it seems strange to place your revenue growth plan (assuming that more wins translates into more revenue) into the hands of someone whom you value at the low end of his peers. That continues to be my disconnect with this whole thing. Putting all of your eggs in one basket is always a bad idea, but to give the basket to someone who gets paid less than all of his peers? Well, I’m not sure that in today’s financial markets, that plan would result in a loan approval from the average bank.

Astro Joe

July 30th, 2010
3:54 pm

OB, I don’t think Sund has the power to hire/fire the coach. Maybe he will in the future, but IMO, he hasn’t had it during his brief tenure with the team.

niremetal

July 30th, 2010
3:59 pm

Not for nothing, O’B, but:

1) Andre Miller is 2 years older than Bibby
2) It really does amount to a 2-year guaranteed contract in some respects, since Bibby now provides us with a significant expiring contract that comes off our books next summer. This year, Bibby needs to have value as a player. Next year, he will have value even if he goes out injured for the year because he’s an expiring contract.
3) Even if you don’t buy into that, Bibby will only be making $6.2M next year, which is just above the current MLE, which is based on the average NBA salary. Even his harshest haters would have a tough time saying that Bibby is not at least “slightly above average” for an NBA player given his outside shooting ability and continued aptitude at running screen rolls and (no matter how many times people selectively forget the number of times he does this) his ability to initiate the fast break. Hell, his outside shooting alone makes his contract less than horrific looking, even if we don’t use it as a trade chip next year.
4) Even if you disagree with all that…maybe hindsight is 20/20 for some, but I know that I didn’t expect Bibby to drop off as much as he seemed to this past year even in terms of production. I got the impression that he got bored in Woody’s “offense” (ie giving the ball to Joe or Jamal then getting out of the way), but maybe that’s just me.

niremetal

July 30th, 2010
4:06 pm

Astro,

I have no idea what you’re talking about with “someone whom you value at the low end of his peers.” If Sund (or ASG for you conspiracy theorists) thought that Drew was the best man for the job, then what does his salary have to do with it? Would you prefer that ASG needlessly pay Larry Drew more despite the fact that he was willing to work for less? Or does the mere fact that Larry Drew is (reportedly, btw – coaching contract terms are almost never disclosed) making less money than most/all other coaches conclusively prove to you that they do not “value him?” If so, that’s absurd. Basic supply and demand, Astro. You pay someone as much as you need to pay them in order for them to come work for you, and no more.

Also, like most coaching contracts, I assume that there are substantial bonuses built into Drew’s contract based on different performance benchmarks (eg team wins 50 games; gets top 4/2/1 seed; wins round 1, round 2, ECF, Finals; named COY; etc). At the end of the day, Drew might end up getting paid quite well if the Hawks do well. Certainly, that’s the way I would have structured the contract.

Astro Joe

July 30th, 2010
4:09 pm

Bibby was forced to the bench in late/close game situations because of Jamal’s big play ability and inability to defend. The previous coach couldn’t put two non-defenders on the floor so someone had to sit. The previous coach sat Bibby. I’m not certain that will happen with the next coach, as I suspect that he may value a floor general in those late game situations more than the previous coach. That theory, plays into the other reason I felt Jamal would have been traded earlier this summer. A large expiring contract for a SMOY who may not have the same opportunity to utilize his skills? Sounds like trade bait to me.

Seems to me that Bibby performed fairly well the last time he played in a motion offense. Granted, he’s maybe 5-6 years older than he was back then. But I wouldn’t write him off quite yet.

niremetal

July 30th, 2010
4:15 pm

O’B,

I totally agree with you re: Sund should have not re-hired Woody back in 2008. I’m still pissed about that decision.