Old, cheap, and tough.
Sounds like a bag of brand X beef jerky that’s been left out on the counter for over a week. Or maybe it’s just what the doctor ordered for the Atlanta Hawks. Perhaps “old” and “cheap” are not the words one would ideally want to use in describing the Hawks most recent free agent acquisition, but if “tough” still fits, we’ll be happy that Etan Thomas is now aboard. The 6′10″ center/power forward was certainly known for his toughness when he was on the court, prior to all the health problems. Can he regain some semblance of the bruiser and rebounder he used to be, or will he turn out to be another minimum salary vet that is past the point of contribution? We know Etan will work hard, as he has always done. The question is whether or not he’ll work effectively. If he’s effective, he can have a number of positive effects on the Hawks. He could be an upgrade (or a motivation) over Jason Collins, who wasn’t of much use last season. He could also be a perfect practice partner for a group of Hawks big men that needs to learn some toughness, as Hawks center Al Horford has lamented on more than one occasion. Speaking of Al….
More Fan Insight
The whispers are that the Hawks will be looking to offer Al Horford a contract extension pretty soon. I guess that means Rick Sund is off of vacation now. For a guy who never gets in a hurry, he sure locked Joe Johnson up pretty quick, making us wonder how fast he’ll move with Al. Will he make an offer such as the one Josh Smith got (and turned down) roughly a year before he became a restricted free agent? Or will he get a more serious “We don’t want you to be thinking about anything but remaining a Hawk” type of offer? Big time Hawks fan and avid commenter/blogger Astro Joe pontificates on the subject even further, and writes the following in an email conversation:
“Hey, for all of the debate about offering Horford a contract extension in the next few weeks, how about this… should Al accept a contract extension in the next few weeks? Al said something to the affect that his teammates quit during the playoffs, should he wait and see if his team plays with more resolve before agreeing to another 4-5 years surrounded by quiters? How about his request for a center? Should he sign now and accept that he may be locked into the pivot for 90% of his court time or should he try to leverage his contracts status by demanding someone other than Etan Thomas/Jason Collins? Does he want to see how his new coach pans out before adding his Juan Hancock to the contract?