Wanted: Role Players!

Frontcourt help like Charlie Villanueva could make a huge difference for the Hawks in the future.

Frontcourt help like Charlie Villanueva could make a huge difference for the Hawks in the future.

HAWKSVILLE – I know that the NBA hype machine would have you believe that the NBA playoffs is basically a test of wills between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

If you let the networks tell it, we’re all just bearing witness to the crowning of the king or the validation of KB24’s reign as the heir to his Airness.

Count Magic superstar center and Atlanta native Dwight Howard among those who have heard just about enough. And the AJC’s own Jeff Schultz isn’t far behind Howard in the enough is enough line.

The only problem with all the Kobe/LeBron fuss is that arguably the two most critical guys on the floor thus far in these outstanding Eastern and Western Conference finals have been Lakers’ swingman Trevor Ariza and Orlando Magic super sub Mickael Pietrus.

As well Bryant, James, Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Pau Gasol, Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu and all the other major players have played during certain stretches, Ariza and Pietrus have been just as, if not more important to their team’s efforts.

Ariza’s made two game-clinching plays to seal wins for the Lakers, both defensive gems on inbounds plays. And Pietrus has not only been a lights out shooter against the Cavs, he’s played James as well defensively as any player I’ve seen in the last three seasons – and that includes defensive stalwarts Ron Artest and Bruce Bowen.

Now I’ll admit that my theory could be the product of viewing way too much playoff basketball the past month and counting, or an excessive amount of fumes to the dome from a long weekend spent over the top of my grill. But it seems like the contributions of these two role players will have as much to do with who plays in the NBA Finals as any singular effort from a superstar for any of the four teams remaining in this postseason.

Which brings me to our favorite topic ‘round these parts … the Hawks and their roster in need of major surgery this summer (more on that below).

Folks keep telling me about who needs to go to make this team better. And I keep thinking about what they need to add to this group to get better.

The Hawks need guys like Ariza and Pietrus to complete what they started with last year’s playoff appearance and continued this season with their Eastern Conference semifinal appearance.

Flip Murray and Mo Evans qualify, as does Zaza Pachulia. But of the three, only Evans is guaranteed to be in a Hawks uniform in the fall. Not only do the Hawks need to find ways to keep Murray and Pachulia in the fold, they need to find more guys like them (or better).

That’s where the Hawks greatest improvement will come next season (save a blockbuster trade), in the sum of their parts. And those parts have to improve down the roster.

Can you imagine the Hawks with an explosive scoring power forward like Charlie Villanueva (a restricted free agent this summer with a bit of a Twitter habit) or Chris Wilcox (another free agent this summer) coming off of their bench? And not as a replacement for Pachulia but as a running mate. That’s the kind of addition that helps recast the Hawks for next season.

If you’re serious about keeping the core together and still improving your roster, which is the theme we’ve heard from the Hawks non-stop since they were swept out of the playoffs. 

DRAFT CHATTER is the favorite topic of many this time of year, and for good reason.

Draftniks everywhere have man-crushes on Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio ...

Draftniks everywhere have man-crushes on Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio ...

Spanish point guard phenom Ricky Rubio is the guy generating the most attention in the draft, for reasons good and apparently bad, per some folks.

The fine folks at TrueHoop did a bang up job detailing the luster and the risk of a player like Rubio, who is universally regarded as the best point guard “prospect” to come out of Europe in some time, and perhaps ever.

My most trusted source on all things Rubio is Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine, who has been on the Rubio bandwagon for years now. He’s the first person I can remember having seen Rubio play in person. And as best I can remember, he was the first writer to travel to Spain to interview and write about Rubio. So I’m going on his word that Rubio is going to be a star in the NBA.

“He is,” Whitaker said by phone Tuesday morning from his New York office. “The thing with Rubio is … did you see the gold medal game? He played great against Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Jason Kidd. I don’t know who else you want to see him against to convince you that he’s going to be a star.”

Lang doesn’t have to convince me. I’m willing to play along with the international charade as long as the player is as talented as Rubio (and I did watch the gold medal game. Rubio made some nice plays but he wasn’t what stood out to me).

But not everyone I’ve talked to is convinced.

“I’d much rather have Derrick Rose,” one Eastern Conference executive told me by phone Tuesday morning. “And it’s not even close in my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, Rubio is talented. He might have tons of potential. But seriously, how many times have we said that about one of these young kids and then he gets over here and we find out there are all these things about his game that just don’t add up in the NBA? That’s what worries me about Rubio. We’ve seen glimpses of him against NBA competition. It’s just like when you watch Rudy Fernandez and Linas Kleiza look unstoppable in international play and then they get to the NBA season and you realize it’s a totally different game. Rubio is going to find the same issues where his game is concerned.”

How that’s different from any other college player/prospect is beyond me. I mean, who knew Rose would be so good from the start? Actually, lots of people expected it. In fact, that’s what led the draft debate last year between Rose and Michael Beasley. There doesn’t seem to be the same sort of debate between the point guard and power forward this year (I’ve heard very few people discuss let alone advocate taking Rubio over Blake Griffin). 

others prefer a sure thing phenom like Derrick Rose.

... while others wonder if he's even in the same class as a transcendent talent like Chicago's own Derrick Rose.

“A much better gauge is a guy who has dominated in Europe and then comes over here at the top of his game, like Pau Gasol did, like Manu Ginobili did and Luis Scola did,” the Eastern Conference exec continued.” They showed up ready to play because they weren’t just prospects, they were established players and really stars over there. The bottom line is this, the way you develop young players here and in Europe is vastly different. And it doesn’t always work best for young international players over here.”

An unabashed Hawks fan, Lang barked at me over a week ago about what he wants to see his hometown team do with the 19th pick in the June draft.

His email from last week:

Rick Sund’s last three first round picks? Robert Swift, Saer Sene and Johan Petro.

I really hope the Hawks draft Toney Douglas from FSU. We need to get his name out there. Dude can shoot, drives all the time, can play the 1 and 2 and was ACC defensive player of the year. And he’s from Jonesboro. I don’t understand why more people aren’t talking about him. Coach K said this at the ACC Tournament: ”He’s my favorite non-Duke player in the country. I love that guy. I talk about him a lot to our guys. They’re probably mad at me. He’s as good as there is in college.”

THE HAWKS AREN’T THE ONLY TEAM IN THE SOUTHEAST DIVISION stuck in point guard limbo with the draft and free agency fast approaching. The team the Hawks vanquished in the first round of the playoffs is in a similar predicament, though the Miami Heat already have one proven building block in Mario Chalmers.

My main man Mike Wallace of the Miami Herald points out as much in his latest blog, shouting out Hawks point guards past and present in the process:

And it makes you wonder. Why does every other team in the league seem to have a spare Flip Murray on the roster, yet the Heat goes two seasons without one? Shaun Livingston didn’t have the legs. Marcus Banks lacked the skills. And Penny Hardaway – dare we say – didn’t have anything left other than pleasant memories of when he used to be somebody in this league.

This Magic-Cavs series is stocked with serviceable, stop-gap type veteran parts at the point that Miami either tried to get and couldn’t, parted with too soon or probably should have pursued harder when it had the chance.

Orlando has three of them: Rafer Alston, Anthony Johnson and Tyronn Lue.

How crazy would it be to see the Magic make the NBA Finals with two point guards (Johnson and Lue for those of you who have just recently joined us here in Hawksville) the Hawks shipped out of town to get Mike Bibby on their roster?

Might Jonesboro's Toney Douglas be an option for the Hawks with the 19th pick in the June draft?

Might Jonesboro's Toney Douglas be an option for the Hawks with the 19th pick in the June NBA Draft? It's an intriguing idea, courtesy of Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine.

And depending on what happens in July, Bibby could be joining them as ex-Hawks point guards.

The Hawks, of course, are in need of a starting material at the point. And that might come in the form of Bibby, if the Hawks can find a way to reel him back in from the free agent waters with the right deal, or someone else.

Speaking of Bibby, the good folks at Hawksquawk, threw some great questions my way about the team and where things might be headed. And as you can probably imagine, Bibby’s name came up several times.

We’ve discussed Bibby endlessly around here, so won’t go into detail about the tenor of the conversation they are having about him elsewhere. But I’ll share this one question and answer (and suggest you check out the rest of it on their site (which is pretty impressive, by the way):

Q. Was there a change in the locker-room demeanor since the addition of Bibby? Did he bring a playoff presence to the Hawks team? Is there any urgency (or perceived urgency) to resign Flip?

A. Bibby assumed a leadership position automatically, which is what the Hawks needed. He eased the pressure on Joe and Woodson as well, which needed to happen. And more than a playoff presence he brought a sense of accountability to the locker room, which was lacking before his arrival. He was the right personality and player at just the right time for the Hawks. It was almost like he added that “why not us?” factor to this team that wasn’t there before, a sense of they could do some things with him that didn’t really seem possible until he showed up. Flip proved invaluable this season and while I wouldn’t call it urgency, there’s certainly a need to make sure Flip is kept in the fold.

WITH SO MANY ROSTER QUESTIONS TO DEAL WITH THIS SUMMER it’s hard for me to imagine the Hawks’ brass taking too many days off between now and late July.

I know they’ve begun their predraft workouts, which unlike in years past are not open to the media. And the scaled down predraft camp has moved back to Chicago from Orlando this summer. It begins this week and runs into this weekend.

As far as the Hawks’ individual workouts, I’m not sure there will be much to talk about anyway. Astro Joe emailed a little while ago wondering if they’d begun and whether or not I’d seen anything worth talking about. I promptly relayed the story to him of Al Horford’s workout two years ago that left quite a few people scratching their heads as to what all the fuss was about.

 

Billy Knight went 1-for-2 (so far) in the first round of his last draft with the Hawks.

Billy Knight went 1-for-2 (so far) in the first round of his last draft with the Hawks.

Had the Hawks based their pick in that year’s draft on the workout alone, Horford might not have been the choice (luckily for us all Billy Knight stuck to his “gimme the best power forward type I can get at this spot” guns and made the right call).

Different teams value different things in the predraft process. Some want to see what a guy looks like on the hoof or how he tests out in various drills that have little or nothing to do with why you’d want a guy on your team.

Others want to see if he interviews a certain way, wanting to make sure they’re adding the right type of guy to their team. Me, I need to know a guy can play. And I’m positive I can tell more from watching him play in games than I can from anything he’ll do in a scripted workout.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t relay what I’m hearing leading up to the draft. After all, this is easily one of the Hawks’ most critical summers in a string of huge ones. What they do in the draft and free agency basically determines if they’re going to stay among the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference or slide back down to the playoff purgatory waters that they bathed in for years.

657 comments Add your comment

Sautee

May 26th, 2009
2:42 pm

Sekou,

Yeah, I like Toney a lot, too.

I noticed that you didn’t mention Acie. Any news of him actually being on the block?

Sautee

May 26th, 2009
3:12 pm

kirknga,

Back to the “fire Woody” thing. I wrote a loooonnnng post last night that was swallowed by the matrix (which promptly told me that I had already posted the same message, even though it never showed up even once).

So, basically I said this:

Sund’s actions (or lack thereof) HAVE to be predicated on the fact that BK tried 3 times to fire Woody and was rebuffed by the owners. Who in turn, offered BK a ONE YEAR deal.

So, if the ASG’s wisdom was to offer a ONE YEAR deal to BK, how could they argue when he leaves Woody to coach out his contract (a ONE YEAR remainder).

By the way, that was an excellent post, though your frustration was painful to read. And I’m not so sure that Woody is a dead man walking.

What if we went to the ECF next year? Could he fire Woody then?

What if Sund gave Woody marching orders on not wearing out your stars, and coming up with a patterned offense that involves the bigs? And he’s waiting to see if Woody can actually DO that?

Yes, he’s certainly seen Woody’s stubbornness. Haven’t we all! ;-)

But would/could he change if his job depended on it? (total conjecture, of course)

Melvin

May 26th, 2009
3:36 pm

Sekou,
Signed me up for the Charlie V bandwagon. I think he would be a good guy to bring off the bench. His versatility would allow us to play several different lineups as he could sub for Marvin, Josh and Horford..

G State Ben

May 26th, 2009
3:39 pm

Two role players that can be had: Matt Barnes and Brandon Bass. Like them both a ton for this team.

I love TD (from my neck of the woods) but he’s not a 1st round pick. He’s 6′2, is not terribly fast and is not a true point. Taking him over a guy like Teague, Lawson or even Darren Collison would be a huge mistake. I’d be okay with him in the 2nd but not at #19.

I have a feeling that it’s going to be a big man. Sund loves ‘em.

doc

May 26th, 2009
3:40 pm

sekou, whether people are going to admit it because of the notion of a rotation of eight, the hawks have to find a way to get more rest time for its top eight that is from a legitimate nba type players. the toll these guys are taking playing the minutes they do affect outcomes at the end of the season. so instead of 8 quality guys they have to find a way to have 10 or 11 guys that could play on any team instead of only ours. sund says something about you need a certain amount of top 12 guys at a position to be elite. we need to begin to approach that.

sign up douglas now! he took fsu on his back and nearly made some serious march madness news.

Astro Joe

May 26th, 2009
3:41 pm

Sautee, OK, I found the storyline, thanks. I think I suggested something similar a few weeks ago. Get off the fence with regard to our head coach. Choose a coach, give him a good contract and let’s play ball. If that coach is Woody, fine. If someone else, fine. But it certainly feels like they are hedging against a commitment (likely due to court crap) and I do think that can impact the on-court product.

Bloggers have ripped Woody for the lack of Acie’s development. Sekou reported that BK tried to fire Woody around the time that the Bibby trade was made, mid-February, 2008. Sekou reported in that same article that BK had made two previous attempts to fire Woody. Take a look at Acie’s game log from his rookie season. Dude GOT PLAYING TIME prior to one of his many injuries and before a third attempt to fire Woody and the trade for Bibby. Woody has had a ton of first round picks and they ALL received meaningful playing time during their rookie campaigns. So what was different with Acie? Maybe it was the sense of urgency that comes when your boss is trying to can your butt. (Coupled with the arrival od the best PG Woody has coached). Receiving a paltry two-year extension from a new boss couldn’t have inspired a wealth of job security in Woody.

If Woody is going to get better as a coach he must feel secure enough to try some new approaches that may very well fail. If he doesn’t have that comfort level, no one should expect him to deviate from a formula that has resulted in consecutive playoff appearances. Bloggers have suggested an “offensive coordinator” for the coaching staff. That idea does come with some amount of risk. Should Woody take on that risk as a lame duck coach? I can hear him in Sund’s office at the end of the year, “yeah, we took a step back but I was trying to integrate a new offensive philosophy so losing 8 more games and going from a 4th seed to a 7th seed should be acceptable”. Shortly thereafter, Sund is addressing the media as he announces the search for a new head coach.

I agree with Kirk. One way or another, Sund and the owners need to get a coach with a real contract. Time to get off the pot.

Astro Joe

May 26th, 2009
3:45 pm

Sign me up on the Villanueva and Douglas band-wagons. No thanks to Wilcox. Unless Sund offers Woody a bonus for finishing among the top 5 teams in fast break points, there is no need to bring Wilcox on board with a half-court team. I like the Bass and Barnes suggestions as well. But a bench that features Flip, Childress and Villanueva plus some minimum wage VETS (not rookies but vets) would work for me.

Atlanta Hawks Front Office

May 26th, 2009
3:50 pm

Wanted: an “All-Star” that doesn’t get…TIRED!!

Acie Law, IV

May 26th, 2009
3:52 pm

Wanted: PLAYING TIME!!!

Melvin

May 26th, 2009
3:52 pm

Sekou,

Although point guard is consider to be the strongest position in the upcoming draft, I think the next great point guard will come from the 2010 draft and his name is John Hall. Just wait until he hit the big stage next season in the NCAA’s. Watch how many teams will tank after the all-star break next season. The Kings may get the face of their franchise in 2010 draft after missing out on the Blake Griffin sweepstakes in this year draft…

Mike Woodson

May 26th, 2009
3:53 pm

Wanted: an extension…please?

City of Saint Louis

May 26th, 2009
3:54 pm

Wanted: our basketball franchise back, since you have done nothing with it in 41 years.

gwills

May 26th, 2009
4:00 pm

Hey Sekou I am new here to blog, I’ve just been reading comments for the last week or so. I totally agree with Lang on the Toney D. draft pick. I was just talking to a coworker who is also a Hawks fan about him. Even though he may not be the fastest or a so called pure point guard, the kid has what it takes and he can adjust his game. Call me crazy, but while watching these playoffs when I look at at Chauncy Billups; I see Toney D. Also, remember the knock on Billups out of college and his first couple of years in the league was that he was not a pure point guard. Just ask Chris Paul about that fallacy. I work in a clayton county middle school and I’ve followed this kid since High School. Believe me, Douglass will be better than Teague, Lawson and Darren Collison. The kid is a hard work and a gamer, Period!

Michael Gearon, Jr.

May 26th, 2009
4:03 pm

Wanted: a soul.

Malone

May 26th, 2009
4:13 pm

What is the deal with Cenk Akyol, the Turkish PG we drafted a few years back? Is he a factor in our off-season plans?

rms

May 26th, 2009
4:21 pm

Sorry guys but based on the previous draft of guys we passed on and guys we drafted its kinda hard for me to trust the coach evaluating talent. He might say a certain guy is too small or too slow or not athletic enough to play and he gets drafted by another team and plays lights out! They only got the Horford pick right by default. If he played another position besides forward they would have passed him up. Typical…..

NoleRick

May 26th, 2009
4:29 pm

As a Seminole fan and a Hawks fan, I would love to see Toney in a Hawks Uni. I hope he can provide some highlights for ATL like his brother Harry in the Falcons uni!

Astro Joe

May 26th, 2009
4:33 pm

Here’s a profile on Toney Douglas. Sounds like a good fit to pair with Joe (long term) but is not likely ready to start in his rookie year (for a team with playoff expectations). Interesting comment in his profile about him being a good match with a ball-handling, tall guard.

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Toney-Douglas-1231/

Willie Coyote

May 26th, 2009
4:36 pm

I’m glad you mentioned the “NBA hype machine” here. Seriously, can the fans of one of the playoff teams or the NBA in general just watch a playoff game and not have LeBron and Kobe stuffed down their throats during every comercial break and during the game by the commentators?

I’d like to see the Hawks keep Zaza and add some more bigs off the bench. Charlie V would be a great addition. They also need to decide if they are sticking with Acie or going in another direction.

swatguy

May 26th, 2009
4:39 pm

Role players are fine and good Sekou. But, we need the “Alpha”. I would send any two starters(except Josh) plus a #1 for Granger. That does mean Joe and Marvin for Danny Boy.

The bold strike is needed, get some fire for the Hawks Belly.
Granger is as close to superstar as any other. The price (2* + #1) is not too large.

Javaris for Acie too.

SLAM ONLINE | » Links: Floppers

May 26th, 2009
4:41 pm

[...] Hey, shoutouts to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal and to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for quoting me in their Ricky Rubio coverage of late. (And I managed to get Sekou on my Toney [...]

Big Ray

May 26th, 2009
4:42 pm

Strange.

When Sund was slowing around with re-signing Childress, then later trying to replace him, and getting Smith signed……it was all deemed the sage moves of an old, wise hand.

Now he’s doing the same thing (time-wise)with Woody, and it’s a crime. Heh…

Wilcox says he fits well in New York with D’Antoni. That means he doesn’t fit well HERE. No spank-you Mr. Helpy-Helperton. Get Brandon Bass instead.

At #19, Sund takes BJ Mullens if he’s available, and a tall European to be named later, if he isn’t….

Yes to Charlie Villanueva. He’d be invaluable off the bench, and a great plug-in to the starting lineup if Marvin is injured. Check that, he’s more than a sub. He’s an OPTION (sort of like Lamar Odom). If you don’t know what I mean by that, think harder…

Mr. Douglas seems like a good add. A reach at #19, perhaps, or would he last until we pick in the 2nd round? Either way, we need somebody that has “it.” “It” meaning that thing that makes your team’s head coach salivate at the very thought of getting that guy some playing time. No, I don’t expect such a thing with two able-bodied vets in front of him, but you want the guy to make the coach WANT to play him, when the opportunity presents itself…

G State Ben

May 26th, 2009
4:43 pm

Astro Joe, he’s not tall! He’s 6′2. Acie is 6′3.75 and under contract. If we don’t keep Acie, we have to have a vet PG. They’ll be plenty on the market in Ray Felton (RFA), Jarrett Jack (RFA), Luther Head (UFA), Ramon Sessions (RFA), Kevin Ollie (UFA) and Ronnie Price (UFA).

jhan

May 26th, 2009
4:47 pm

Joe – “a bench that features Flip, Childress and Villanueva” sign me up! Maybe add ZaZa or Gortat to the mix & we’re ready to roll.

I think Flip is a must. If we could add Childress or Villanueva that would be great. Both would be fantastic!

Big Ray

May 26th, 2009
4:48 pm

Swatguy,

The question is, does Javaris fit here? I don’t know the answer. What I do know is that the idea is to get a young “prospect” like that BEFORE he begans to PROVE, via the stat box, just how good he can be. Hawks front office hasn’t been too good with that for years. But hey, there’s always hope that this changes, right?

Either way, I see no reason for Law to stay. If he does, something’s gotta give. When he’s healthy, he doesn’t get the PT. Then he goes out injured. It may not be his fault, but the fact is, nobody’s talking excitedly about getting him back to health, back in the fold, etc. That’s never good. He’s outta here, or I’ll be surprised. I’m already speculating aimlessly about replacements, if there is to be one, that is.

newkid

May 26th, 2009
4:59 pm

Sekou, I’ll give you 2 or 3 Rubios for one John Wall. Oops, sorry he’s not available until the 2010 draft is he?

If I had the luxury of choosing between Hedo and Charlie V, you take V and I’ll gladly take the one sometimes referred to as the Turkish Michael Jordan. I’ll say again, we need to come away from the summer with at least one of two players from Orlando – Hedo or Gortat; would love to have them both.

Big Ray

May 26th, 2009
5:01 pm

I’m not hung up on a guy being 6′2″. If he can play the spot we need him to play, and has ways of making up for his lack of height, then sign him up. However, if you can get the same things out of a bigger player, then it’s obvious that you should look at other intangibles, but you go with the bigger guy (all else being equal).

Having said that, I’m not too thrilled about 6′2″ guys at the SG spot. Unless they’re coming off the bench and have the skills to get the job done, that is. Flip Murray comes to mind at 6′3″, yes?

Other than that, plenty of guys that are about that height that do well at the pg spot. Andre Miller, Tony Parker, etc.

….Luther Head is NOT a pg…

Astro Joe

May 26th, 2009
5:01 pm

Ray, as I understand, you would know a crime when you see one. I’m glad you agree. Ha!

G State Ben, Acie is gone. You know that look that players give other players who don’t play hurt? You know that look that Speedy received when he played in that Memphis game? That was the look I saw some of the guys give Acie. There are two ways to stop dribble penetration. A cheap PG who lives for playing tenacious defense or an expensive center who shuts down the lane. While I’d love both, one is easier to find (and cheaper) than the other. If Sund could trade down into the 24-28 position, I’d roll the dice with Douglas. Bring back Bibby on a 2-year deal and let Douglas be the apprentice instead of Acie.

swatguy

May 26th, 2009
5:07 pm

Big Ray,
The names coming out are suitable in my mind. Be that Sessions, Felton, Jack too.
I would investigate the possibility of acquiring Westbrook (Marvin + a 2nd) or Hinrich. GM’s may be gearing up for ‘10, but we may need to boldly move now. Consider David Anderson if Zaza is not signed. Zaza does bring needed passion. we need a bruiser down low but not a “Batista” but a Reggie Evans.
A lot of options.

Astro Joe

May 26th, 2009
5:08 pm

newkid, I feel the same way about the Milqaukee guys, Villanueva or Sessions.

Chad Ford compared Douglas to Eddie House but we know that Douglas is an outstanding defender (I think he was ACC DPOY). But if he is like Eddie House, is that significantly different than Bibby? As long as he has PG-quality ball handling skills, he could work playing alongside Joe for extended minutes. Especially if he is bringing work ethic, leadership and defensive tenacity to the team.

Big Ray

May 26th, 2009
5:14 pm

Love to have Gortat. Watching him run the floor and do what he does for Orlando is a treat.

Again, the idea is to get ahold of these guys before 1)Everybody ELSE (including the team that currently employs them) realizes they are that good, and 2)Before they get to a better team. I’ll say it again: I’d love to have Gortat. Now what makes him want to come here (other than the Magic being stupid enough to either low-ball him, trade him, or otherwise not show their appreciation for him), from Orlando?

Just asking.

Rubio might turn out to be the hottest pg from Europe since Tony Parker. Or he might turn out like Sarunas Jasikevicius. I seem to recall that guy was widely considered, aye crowned, the best guard in all of Europe. Had better credentials than Rubio, even. Helped kick our butts in the Olympics some years back.

Bottom line: He’s on his second NBA team, and has yet to average 8 points a game in the NBA. I’m just sayin’…

But hey, we’re not drafting him, so who cares?

niremetal

May 26th, 2009
5:22 pm

Ray,

In response to your post on the last blog…I don’t have the energy to go all “lawyer” on you today. But I can’t resist giving you two good paragraphs. :)

So here goes. Come on, now, $1 million per year is a BIG difference. Every dollar you spend on a player takes you closer to luxury tax land and makes it harder to package and trade that player in later years. You say that Sund only went after Flip and Mo after Childress left. That’s true technically, but Mo signed his contract with the Hawks less than 36 hours after Childress signed with Olympiacos. Do you really think Mo’s negotiations took place in less than 2 days? Of course they not. The timing of the deal with Mo is proof that Sund knew he could get Mo for $2.5M at the time that Childress came back with a final demand for $7.5M+. And even before that “final demand” was in place, I’m sure that Sund knew roughly how much he would have to spend to keep Childress as opposed to signing Mo. And he also has been around the league long enough to know that he could then pick up a solid vet like Flip Murray (or Sam Cassell or Brent Barry, etc) for less than $2M even late in the summer. Come on…you KNOW he didn’t just scramble.

And as far as trades and other teams being interested…well, that doesn’t mean jack if Childress wasn’t interested in the other teams’ offers. Remember, we had no “rights” to trade. All we could do is work out a deal where Chill, the Hawks, and a third team ALL agreed on a deal – and that means that the other team had to be willing to poney up $7.5-8M for Chill, because Chill wasn’t going to agree to the deal otherwise. The problem last year was that NO team in the NBA was willing to shell out $7.5-8M – a good $2M above the midlevel exception – for Childress. So other teams might have been interested, but if they weren’t willing to pay Chill’s asking price, their offers weren’t worth the paper they were written on.

Michael Gearon, Jr.

May 26th, 2009
5:29 pm

Jarrett Jack is overrated.

newkid

May 26th, 2009
5:30 pm

Ray, a fatalistic ‘why would he come here’ approach is perhaps just one of the afflictions besetting the ASG over the years. If the goal is ‘Larry O’brien’ NOW (why else are we even blogging?), you certainly don’t start with ‘why would he come here’. No, you go out and give him ALL THE REASONS to say ‘YES, I’m going to the ATL and nowhere else’, and you kick the butt of any GMs seeking to beat your offer. But that’s only true if your goal is ‘Larry O’Brien’ NOW and for years to come. I wouldn’t give a single cent for a GM who’s not thinking in similar terms.

Philips Arena Hotdog Vendor

May 26th, 2009
5:35 pm

Please sign some FA’s that will put butts in seats!! If we want more commercials about our team after May, we need to sign some stars, and, no, JOE JOHNSON DOESN’T COUNT!!

Ricky Rubio

May 26th, 2009
5:36 pm

I’m SORT OF a big deal…

kwooden1

May 26th, 2009
5:37 pm

Hoops, I don’t think Denver would want to do the trade, but their going to have to do something. Klieza is a restricted FA and if they’re going to be right at the luxury tax without signing him, if he gets a good offer he’s gone and they get nothing for him.. Milwaukee’s in the same boat. Teams that are in that position, including the HAWKS with Marvin might have to make trades just to get something. We will see.

niremetal

May 26th, 2009
5:39 pm

Anyone who advocates taking Douglas at #19 has gotta stop bleeding the garnet and gold. I have yet to see a draft board that has him going higher than the 5th pick of the second round. If you want him, you trade down or trade up. You don’t reach for him at #19. In any case, I’ve seen him play, and I’m not impressed. He’s a triple threat – not very big, not very fast, and not very creative. He tries hard and I like guys who leave it out there like that, but I don’t think we’re looking at the next Gilbert Arenas here. If we want him, I say we just trade our second round pick and “cash considerations” to get him.

And Sekou – Ariza did good picking off the pass in Game 1. But the one in Game 3 was not the result of anything he did. That was just a godawful pass by K-Mart, who threw it over and behind Anthony. My 10 year-old brother would have picked off that pass.

niremetal

May 26th, 2009
5:47 pm

And PS – if Douglas goes all Rodney Stuckey during the pre-draft workouts and skyrockets up the draft board, then I’ll eat my words. But until then, it makes no sense to talk about taking a guy at #19 that most people think will go around #40.

UGA

May 26th, 2009
6:28 pm

Nice article.

I was hoping we would have got Wilcox last year when he was wasted to the Knicks. Charlie V would be nice with his offense and can play the 3 or 4.

How about Antonio McDyess? He fits what we’d need and he is a veteran leader.

For the draft, we can get a good player at #19. Last year, Aaron Brooks and Courtney Lee were picked late and I think anyone would love them here in ATL.

UGA

May 26th, 2009
6:37 pm

What would be nice and cap friendly:

Trade Law (I guess).
Trade the pick.
Sign our boys back!!
Sign Sessions and Wilcox (or Charlie V)

PG- Bibby and Sessions
SG- Joe, Flip and West
SF- Marvin and Mo Evans
PF- Smoove, Wilcox and Solomon Jones (he’d be cheap)
C- Big AL and ZaZa

That’s 12 and a good 12!

bballbrain

May 26th, 2009
7:01 pm

whoever it is that writes this bulls¿t about Pau Gasol coming over when he had developed his game.,.. he was 20 year old!!!!.. Scola was drafted next to last in his year… because he had a long term contract.. so i think he ent 56 and Ginobilli was drafted 57! Get a clue!

truly1

May 26th, 2009
7:29 pm

I dont like douglas at 19 just trade up in the 2nd round to get him. I say draft the best availible. Maybe someone like daye or terence williams or whoever falls because we need all 5 backup positions. drafting daye or williams you could hopefully find joe some rest. when all fails draft lenght or/and athletism. SEKOU Can you ask woody who in the draft would he give playing time to (thats the key)? you can draft dwight howard and if you dont give him playing time he will look bad.

darrell starks

May 26th, 2009
7:30 pm

First lets clear cap space and let bibby 15million go trade 19pick let marvin 8million go because he will get that or more so we do a sign a trade on his deal throw in horford 4million and you have to throw in speedy the bankrobber 6million bibby 15million marvin 8million horford 4million speedy the bankrobber 6million thats 33million dollar all together then we can do somthing.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

chuckw/deadjournalist

May 26th, 2009
7:33 pm

This is my favorite time of year around the blog. For the most part, the band wagoners have gone and the die hards are sticking around. As much as I’m happy that blogs are doing well, it sucks that most of the in-season people sound like talk radio rejects.

A lot of interesting options this off season. While there are a lot of solid suggestions rolling around here (and there surely are a lot of options) the leadership void is still one that needs to be addressed. During last night’s game they were talking about how much Carmelo Anthony learned about the game when playing the Redeem Team. Even so, it took Billups to take the team to another level. The talent was there. (J.R. Smith has an amazing amount of talent even if he is one step away from falling off the cliff at any moment). The Hawks still need a few “play the right way” vets to help push this team to another level. If Flip and Bibby are not retained, it will be even more critical.

I’ve been watching the playoffs this year with more interest than in recent years. What struck me this year is the constitution of the teams. Both in construction and in fortitude. Watching the conference finals shines a light on the deficiencies of the Hawks roster. From the depth of veteran bench talent to the ability to get up off the deck when falling behind early. But mainly the consistent and relentless energy the winning teams have had throughout the game.

I’m one of the many that love the energy that Mario West brings to the team – and I mean no disrespect to Rio – but there should be bench players with much more basketball talent filling the roll of energizers and defensive stoppers on the roster. And with the athletes on the team, they should be moving constantly.

Yes, the team needs a defensive, slashing point guard. Yes, they need a low-post scoring option off the bench. Yes, they need a shut-down wing. I think they’d also do well by adding a jump-shooting big man that could spread the floor. But what they really need is to find all-out player who play hard and play smart.

The hardest thing to do is improve when you’re already good. The Hawks were good but still have a lot of room for improvement.

darrell starks

May 26th, 2009
7:37 pm

Trade marvin horford and speedy and the 19pick for bosh i gurantee that raptors would take that deel knowing that bosh will be gone after the year 2010.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

cp

May 26th, 2009
7:39 pm

I was shocked when Law wasn’t moved around the trade deadline. It was clear he was not apart of Woodsons plans. If you go back and look at his rookie year he was playing well until he got hurt in that Bobcats game. After that he never seemed to be the same. The problem I had with the situation is that we played guys like Lue and Aj over Law even when he came back healthy. He still wasn’t getting pt even when guys got hurt. It made no sense to me. That was the best time to groom the kid. I just hope we don’t trade him and he ends up blossoming somewhere else and we end up saying how we blew another pick on someone who plays better when they left…. I have been on the Bass bandwagon all summer. I would love to have him on this team… I see Sund taking Mullens. I’m willing to bet Mullings will be a work out warrior and might even move up on the draft board… Guys like Terrence Williams and Sam Young are also nice prospects to look at. I would rather have Williams. He can play the 2 and 3. Has long arms, can handle the rock, and rebounds like a big man. He is also very athletic.

darrell starks

May 26th, 2009
7:42 pm

Woody is going to have to be patient with acie and let him develop like doc was patient with rondo.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

truly1

May 26th, 2009
7:45 pm

so i guess you agree with me CP about the draft and I agree with you about acie law

darrell starks

May 26th, 2009
7:49 pm

The hawks 2009 team
starters ACIE, JOE, CHILL, JOSH, BOSH.
BENCH FLIP, MOE, FREE AGENT HAKIM WARRICK, SOLO, ZAZA.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!