Superman’s return!

Superman's is soaring into the NBA Finals for the first time. The rest of the league is on notice.

Superman has put the entire league on notice with his performance in these playoffs.

HAWKSVILLE - Next time I’ll listen.

In the wake of the Hawks’ being swept out of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Cleveland, people that watch NBA basketball as much and as hard as I do kept warning me that Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic would end the reign of the King (LeBron James).

No one was more vocal about it than Tracy Johnson (Joe Johnson’s uncle) of Little Rock, Ark. He warned me several times, and he actually started during the Magic-Celtics series, not to put too much stock in Cleveland’s four-game demolition of the Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The “matchups” would carry the Magic, he said. And he was right. The Cavaliers never did find an answer for Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu. I’m not sure they made a sincere attempt to find an answer.

Well, there is no answer, at least not a one-man answer, for Howard, who has stolen James’ thunder as the youngest and most promising NBA talent in these playoffs.

Tracy’s warnings went beyond the playoffs, though, extending to the Hawks’ issues in the Southeast Division – if you haven’t noticed already, there’s a big bad bully on the block now in the division and the Eastern Conference and it’s not the King (who remains the most mercurial talent of his generation).

It’s Howard.

Even worse for the Hawks and everyone else, there is no Mickael Pietrus for Howard. Pietrus effectively harassed James long enough on the defensive end to allow the Magic’s other matchup advantages to swing the series. And when given a choice between defending the Magic’s 3-point shooters or double-teaming Howard … the phrase pick your poison doesn’t do it justice.

Now, the rest of the division, the Eastern Conference and perhaps the league (depending on what happens in the NBA Finals) must figure out how to build a team capable of beating Howard’s Magic.

YOU WON’T FIND A SOLUTION FOR HOWARD IN THE NBA DRAFT. No one stacks up physically, shoulder to outlandishly buff shoulder to the former Southwest Atlanta Christian star.

And the measurements from the NBA’s pre-draft combine in Chicago made that abundantly clear. Our friends at DraftExpress (one stop shopping for all things draft) were kind of enough to compile and share this handy chart for our viewing pleasure. To say this draft is light on big bodies would be an extreme understatement.

By my count, there are only 12 players that measured a legitimate 6-9 or taller. Just 12. That’s not exactly a smorgasboard of options for teams in need. The bigger question is where have all the big boys gone?

That shallow pool of bog bodies makes the prospect of locating a quality big man in this draft extremely difficult for teams picking outside of the lottery (teams like the Hawks).

 

Chasing a big man in the draft can be a dangerous proposition. Exhibit A, Shelden Williams.

Chasing a big man in the draft can be a dangerous proposition. Exhibit A, Shelden Williams.

Still, I’m hearing rumblings that North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough is one of this draft’s risers right now. The Hawks are in need of help along the frontcourt but I was thinking someone bigger than Hansbrough. Still, if they’re on the board at 19 and have Hansbrough rated higher than any of the point guards available …. it’s happened here before folks (Shelden Williams over Brandon Roy ranks up high in the draft gaffe Hall of Fame). You know it as well as I do. NBA executives always tend to value size over anything else, to their own detriment most times.

My two favorite point guards in this draft, North Carolina’s Ty Lawson and Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn, are nearly identical in every department (a shade over 6-foot, a couple ounces over 195 pounds depending on what they ate for breakfast that day). I’m a lot less interested in their combine numbers than I am in what they do when the big lights come on. And both of these guys get it done come game time.

IN ADDITION TO THE DRAFT CHATTER, FREE AGENT AND TRADE TALK IS HEATING UP around the league. That’s always a good thing for us, since the prospect of something that’s virtually impossible always seems to generate a greater response than anything remotely possible.

The Hawks won’t be the only team scouring the NBA landscape for frontcourt help this summer. Apparently the team that vanquished them in the playoffs is in need of a little updgrde up front as well, per my man Bob Finnan of the News Herald in suburban Cleveland.

One player mentioned in Bob’s story that will no doubt be mentioned in many others as the summer drags on is Hawks reserve center Zaza Pachulia.

Every playoff team in need of a depth along the frontline is going to be interested in a player like Zaza, for obvious reasons (he has the size, experienced and ability needed to play a vital role for a contender plus he’s going to be affordable for most teams because he’ll command a salary around the mid-level exception over the course of the next three or four years – similar to the four-year $16 million deal he just finished up with the Hawks).

 

The Hawks can't afford to lose a quality reserve big man like Zaza Pachulia.

The Hawks can ill afford to lose a quality big man like Zaza Pachulia in these trying economic times around the NBA.

Pachulia’s an unrestricted free agent, meaning the Hawks will have to compete to keep him. And I’m not sure he isn’t there most crucial free agent they need to retain because of the dearth of quality and affordable bigs on the market.

I know several of the Hawks’ competitors in the Eastern Conference are interested, I’ve spoken to executives from four teams that have brought his name up in our conversations over the past two weeks.

There are other guys in that realm with higher profiles (guys like Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess, Chris Wilcox, Joe Smith and others) that are a bit of a risk compared to Pachulia because they’re older and perhaps will command a bit more money (in the case of Wallace).

I thought Pachulia was a monster bargain when the Hawks snagged him initially. The expectations were raised after his first season with the team, when he was thrust into a starting role and flourished after Jason Collier’s sudden and tragic death. Pachulia for anything near the same price right now is an equally monstrous bargain.

I know everyone is always interested in upgrading. But sometimes it’s not nearly as easy you might think to get a better bang for your buck. And whatever you think of Pachulia, he’s a good bargain for a player with his credentials.

BACK TO THE DRAFT BUZZ, the one player’s name that keeps coming up in all the conversations I’m having with people is Jrue Holiday. The UCLA point guard, who has yet to cement his draft situation by hiring an agent, is following in the footsteps for former Bruin and Oklahoma City standout Russell Westbrook.

Both players played alongside a pretty good point guard in his own right (Darren Collison) and both played in the ultra-structured system of Bruins coach Ben Howland, so like Westbrook, there’s likely a lot more to Holiday’s game that we haven’t seen yet.

Holiday’s work at the pre-draft camp, coupled with his fantastic size (6-4 and change and a solid 200 pounds) and tremendous ceiling (he’s just 18) has done wonders for his stock with NBA types. If he decides to stay in the draft, he’s all but worked his way out of the Hawks’ range at 19.

Holiday's stock is soaring after workouts and an impressive showing at the Chicago pre-draft camp.

Holiday's stock is on the rise after impressive showings in workouts and at the Chicago pre-draft camp.

 

While the buzz about Holiday intensifies, the buzz about fellow California teenage point guard Brandon Jennings appears headed in the opposite direction. A less then stellar showing in Italy this past season didn’t help the preps-to-Europe trailblazer’s cause, though I can’t imagine what anyone expected of him making that kind of transition (I’ll be curious to see if their are similar, oversized expectations placed on Ricky Rubio if his first year in the NBA is next season).

Jennings reportedly spurned an offer to work out at the Reebok Eurobcamp (their version of the pre-draft camp), sending NBA executives scurrying to find answers as to why he would pass up an opportunity to “compete” in front of the assembled brass. But what more do you need to see from Jennings to make an adequate assessment of his game?

If you need more on the draft crop, though, check out the athleticism test results from the pre-draft camp (courtesy of our friends at nbadraft.net, yet another fabulous site devoted to all things draft).

SPEAKING OF EXPECTATIONS GONE AWRY, I CANNOT BELIEVE FOLKS ARE STILL groaning about the Marvin Williams-is-not-Chris-Paul madness.

I know it hurts for some of us to do this, even after all these years, but it really is time to let go. Just throw darts at your Billy Knight poster for the rest of your life. But let it go.

And for the record, Marvin wasn’t the No. 1 pick in that 2005 draft. That honor belonged to Milwaukee’s Andrew Bogut, who has yet to distinguish himself as anything other than a wanna-be-dominant NBA big man (I’d argue that Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani is looking like a better pick these days).

Marvin’s first four years have been respectable and far from bust material (anyone seen Darko Milicic in a uniform lately? Anyone. Anyone. Bueller?).

552 comments Add your comment

Clyde

June 2nd, 2009
7:02 pm

Ken Strickland for Blogger Of The Year

Fire Woody

Jody

June 2nd, 2009
7:14 pm

Hey Sekou,

Any news on what the Hawks plan to do come draft time? I heard they would be working out Patrick Mills in the coming days. He seems like a legitimate option at 19.

smartguy

June 2nd, 2009
7:29 pm

FIRE STUPID WOODY!

Melvin

June 2nd, 2009
7:43 pm

Checkout Chad Ford assessment of Dejuan Blair. Putting him in the same sentence as DeMar DeRozan and DeMar is consider to have Vince Carter type athleticism…..

“ct indy: Pacers, any shot of getting Blair. I think he is a great fit on an otherwise soft team

Chad Ford: Maybe. The Bucks and Nets would have to pass on him. If they did, I think the Pacers would grab him. Blair showed to be a pretty decent athlete at the combine. He had a 33 inch vertical and a lane agility score that beat Austin Daye and DerMar DeRozan. “

Melvin

June 2nd, 2009
7:46 pm

Hmmm, I think Brandon Jennings would be a gift from the Gods if he drop to us at 19…..

“Mike (Tallahassee): Has Brandon Jennings now become the person with the biggest range on draft night? Where is his floor at this point?

Chad Ford: I’d say yes. As high as 4 (though that gets more and more doubtful by the day) as low as 19 … that’s a huge range. The truth is that everyone I speak with doesn’t have a great handle on him. Since NBA teams don’t scout high school as much and he played sporadically in Italy … it’s a big mystery.”

Samuel

June 2nd, 2009
7:47 pm

Cuz,

Gotta agree that if Lawson is available, we have to snag him. I gotta admitt that I don’t watch a lot of college basketball but the few games I saw this year, I think he was one of college basketball’s best college player.

I like CP3 but he looks like he may turn out to be a darker version of Steve Nash.

Yea, we need to keep ZaZa.

My take on the Finals.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/190843-the-2009-nba-finals-are-not-all-about-kobe-and-dwight-howard

braveshater

June 2nd, 2009
8:19 pm

How can you let the Marvin Williams is not CP3 fiasco die. I mean look at the Hawks, we just got swept by a total of 200 hundred points in the Playoffs, gimme a fucin break.

chuckw/deadjournalist

June 2nd, 2009
8:34 pm

theoretically, it’s a deep pg draft, but the hawks are in a dangerous position have having low-post player on the board (mullens from ohio state or mr. tar heel) that might cause them to, once again, go big over small. someone here brought up sund’s draft history of big men in his last three drafts in seattle. which brings me to the scary option mullens as the selection. tall big man with potential, but according a few articles, there is a lot of concern about his make-up.

while some of the early names at pg have moved up the board, the guy who i like, should be there at 19 (and maybe later if a trade down option became available): patty mills. mills was hurt for a big chunk of last year (wrist) but he played well at the end of the season and has international experience. small and quick, he seems like a perfect change of pace pg. but that’s what we thought about acie law iv as well …

chuckw/deadjournalist

June 2nd, 2009
8:39 pm

sekou – i know mark bradley was going to ask sund about him for his article/blog a couple of weeks ago, but what about david andersen? could this be the year the hawks finally make a push to bring him over?

Ariose

June 2nd, 2009
8:53 pm

Now Sekou, You KNOW Rasheed had Dwights number. He owned that man everytime they play. ‘Sheed may be Lazy at times, but theres nothing that fires him up like some other big man on the block claiming to be the next big bully.

Prediction: I Sheed+Horford+Zaza+Smoove+Solo=Too much sauce for Howard to handle. How many times has Smoove sent superman’s shots right back where they came from? Smoove refuses to be up-staged by his childhood buddy also. They have a vey intense “friendly” rivalry going on, and smoove by no means has played second fiddle when going up head to head with Howard….

Somebody PLEEASE throw Acue the keys so I can see how well he drives!!!! 6′3 195lbs Naismith winner? Hello????

Ariose

June 2nd, 2009
8:54 pm

Earth to Idiot!!!! A-C-I-E L-A-W!!!!!!!!!

Wake up WAFFLE MAN!!!!!!!!!

O'brien

June 2nd, 2009
9:05 pm

Great blog as always Sekou.

2 Questions for you:

1) What do you think of Orlando’s backup center (Gortat)?

I think he played well in limited minutes (defensively), and he only made $800K last year. I know his offense is limited, but if we can get a guy like Villanueva to play backup minutes at the 3 and 4 (Mo Evans takes care of backing up JJ), I think we can have Gortat for cheaper than what Zaza would cost, and Villanueva’s offense would compensate for Gortat’s soso offense, and Gortat’s defense would coompensate for Villanueva’s defensive deficiencies.

2) If the Hawks draft a PG at 19, does that automatically mean Acie is on the trading block? (I can’t imagine the Hawks trying to resign Bibby and Flip, while having Acie, and then drafting another PG, and still have Speedy on the roster).

niremetal

June 2nd, 2009
9:53 pm

Gortat will not be much cheaper than Zaza. Teams overpay for the reserves on title-contending teams. Especially big men (see: Will Perdue, Luc Longley, Ronny Turiaf, etc…)

niremetal

June 2nd, 2009
9:55 pm

And given the choice between the two, I actually take Zaza. And I think the Magic would too. Gortat is more athletic, but Zaza is tougher, better at crashing the glass, and has more offensive touch.

Melvin

June 2nd, 2009
10:10 pm

After further review, if the top PG’s are taken I say we draft Terrence Williams from Louisville…

http://www.nbadraft.net/players/terrence-williams

Sekou Smith

June 2nd, 2009
10:42 pm

The Hawks have kept their workout plans a secret from me (hey, I’m working on it but this new regime is tough to crack).

I’m not expecting David Andersen in a Hawks uniform this season, but anything can happen.

I think Gortat looks like a lot of guys that backup superstar players, he looks great in limited minutes but I’d be cautious about spending too much money on a guy I’ve only seen play (and notice I didn’t say play well) in spurts.

As far as what the Hawks will do at 19, I don’t know for certain that they’re going point guard there. If they deem Hansbrough or another big man worthy of that pick, I could see them going that route and going to work with Acie. There’s a split on Acie in Hawksville. Not everyone is convinced that he’s ready for a one way ticket out of town. And there’s some merit to not jumping the gun on moving him.

Melvin

June 2nd, 2009
10:59 pm

Sekou,

If they are not going to bring Andersen over then they should trade his rights for something of value in return. Judging from the highlights of him, I would prefer to see him in a Hawks uniform. He look very skill for a big man. As for Acie, I say Woody needs to work him into the regular rotation. As for the draft, we should pick the best player available regardless of the position… Oh yeah, bring JChill back as well…

O'brien

June 2nd, 2009
11:00 pm

Acie has not gotten consistent minutes from Woody, and he’s also been hurt a lot. I would hate for him to be traded to another team where he becomes a solid PG off the bench. But if we keep him for a 3rd season, he needs consistent PT from Woody.

If we bring David Andersen over, he would be our backup PF (and we need one). I also like Antonio McDyess (if he will sign with us).

Ed

June 2nd, 2009
11:05 pm

Sekou, do you really think Woody plays Ty Lawson. The one comment I heard about him at pre-draft camp was how small he looked. That’s enought right there to doom him with Woody, not to mention he likes to drive and dish the rock.

rms

June 2nd, 2009
11:06 pm

Hawks not smart enough enough to pull off a savy move!! They’ll probably trade their pick for a backup center

G-Man

June 2nd, 2009
11:35 pm

I agree Ed. Woody seems to only want to play point guards who can shoot as opposed to dishing and driving which is what an uptempo team like us needs.

UGA

June 2nd, 2009
11:40 pm

For the Hawks, you have to be realistic.

They spent 68 million last year on the pay roll and have 40 million invested now.

They can re-sign Bibby, Flip, ZaZa and keep Marvin (which they better do).

Then, if we can trade Speedy’s contract (and maybe Acie Law- which I’m not sure about)— we can sign a Chris Wilcox/Charlie V and get a PG like Ramon Sessions or Jarrett Jack.

We’d then have the same starting 5 of this year which got us a 4 seed, then our next 5 would be:

ZaZa, Wilcox, Mo, Flip, Sessions— much better 5!

Mike is back

June 2nd, 2009
11:41 pm

Sekou, great stuff…thanks for the update. You have given me a reason to hold out hope that Acie may be retained. I remember feeling the same way about Solo last season. I really hope we retain Acie. I keep hearing everyone mentioning Ty Lawson…but we all know Woody hates short guards.

GIVEN the context of your blog…I think it would behoove Sund to pursue a Big first and fore more. I think Hansbrough is a reach at 19th…to big a gamble on a guys that’s shorter than the Bigs we currently have on the roster. I love his energy and game, but he will definitely struggle on defense. I can easily see him getting DNPs with Woody’s switching defense. I’ll take Blair over Hansbrough any day. At lease Blair is a manchild with a 7 foot wing span.

Has Solo name been mentioned in any discussions?

Sekou Smith

June 2nd, 2009
11:43 pm

I don’t know how you’d keep whatever point guard they go with off the floor, Ed. They need a starter and a backup and they both have to get quality minutes. There’s no other way around it. The reason the Hawks are sketchy at that spot right now is because they haven’t handled their business there in the past. This silly cycle has to stop, and I mean now. I’d take McDyess on this team in a heartbeat O’brien. He’d be a great fit.

UGA

June 2nd, 2009
11:50 pm

Does Woodson have some pull maybe to get McDyess from his days in Detroit? What a great locker room guy he would be!!

niremetal

June 3rd, 2009
12:05 am

Sekou,

If Woody wouldn’t play Acie, why would he play Ty? Not being snide. I’m serious…why would it be different this time around?

Will

June 3rd, 2009
12:27 am

Just what is the deal on Speedy? I heard that they were working out a plan on releasing him. Is this true? Sure hope so as it would free up a spot for a backup point guard.

Sekou Smith

June 3rd, 2009
12:33 am

I don’t know that Woodson has any pull with McDyess. But having a pre-existing relationship can’t hurt.

And the reason Woody has no wiggle room on playing time for his point guard Nire is because there is a different front office team in place now. And Woody is going to be as vested in whatever player they pick as the GM (which was not the case during the Billy Knight era. I know for a fact that they clashed on draft picks repeatedly during that time). It’s actually the best way to do business if you’re the team, because you need your coach and GM on the same personnel page.

Speedy is outta here Will. How that happens should come into clearer focus on draft night. The Hawks have options, including packaging Speed-O’s expiring contract with other assets and moving him.

niremetal

June 3rd, 2009
12:48 am

Ah. Well that makes sense, definitely. Man I’d love to be a fly on the wall of any meeting where Woody and Sund discuss draft choices…

darrell starks

June 3rd, 2009
12:51 am

Trade the pick im tired of hearing the same excuse talking about where still young why do we continue to settle for less when it come to the sports in this city you cant win a championship unless you have batman and robin and the last i look we have nuna.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

June 3rd, 2009
12:58 am

Go get Bosh we need a young up and coming star with some in side presents who command double team in the post.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

June 3rd, 2009
1:09 am

If arthur blank was the owner of the hawks we would have kobe lebron cp3 brandon roy dwade dhoward yo ming the hole team would be nothing but stars and avery johnson would be the coach but sense we have ASG we have to nick pick on every thing because of money thats why the hawks will never win a nba title.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!

Big Ray

June 3rd, 2009
1:17 am

<em “because you need your coach and GM on the same personnel page.”

Yes, Yes, and Yes. Don’t understand why that’s so difficult for some people to understand.

Big Ray

June 3rd, 2009
1:30 am

Glad to hear Speedy is out of here. Hope he enjoys good health elsewhere, and that we get something useful out of moving him.

I have to chuckle about the idea of going forward with Law. I’m okay with him going or staying. If he goes, we will have to get ourselves another pg.

I wonder what the thinking is on Law as far as Woody vs. Sund? Are they both “on the same page?” I can only imagine what they both think as far as the draft goes.

Tyler Hansbrough is a hard-nosed, heady player. He will be a decent-to-good pickup for just about any team that gets him (and properly utilizes him).

I like the idea of picking up a pg, but we all know the usual concerns about that. We might want to start looking at a replacement for Joe’s spot. We don’t know for certain what will happen with Joe. He could test the free agent market, and any number of teams would love to have him, especially if they already have one or two OTHER solid scoring options.

If BJ Mullens is available at #19, I can see Sund falling all over himself to take him. For those of you who think Woody would’ve ruined certain other very talented draft picks in the past, Mullens is your perfect fall-guy situation, if you ask me. Mullens is as raw as a freshly scabbed knee….

Flynn and Lawson will not fall this far, I think. Both guys are “undersized”, but I think teams know what they need these days: a court general. Not only that, but there are other “undersized” guards who seem to be doing just fine. Aaron Brooks, anybody?

cp

June 3rd, 2009
1:30 am

Melvin I have been talking about Terrence Williams for a few weeks now. He can play some 2 and 3. Very athletic, can rebound, can play some defense. He could end up being what we thought Mo was going to be. Sam Young is another guy I have been doing my homework on. He is already 24 or 25 though I think so at this point he probably is what he is going to be. If the other kid from Louisville falls, Ed we should jump all over him. I just dont see us taking a pg. The guys that will be available are smaller than Law, are more uptempo type guards and we all know how Woody feels about that, and only Lawson shot a high percentage. Lawson also has a low release so I don’t know how that will translate over to the pros. This is going to be a big summer for us. We can easily slide if Sund does not handle his business.

cp

June 3rd, 2009
1:32 am

Ed Clark I think is the kids name.

Big Ray

June 3rd, 2009
1:35 am

You know, the more I think about it, the more I have to wonder just how often Sund and Woodson could even BE on the same page, especially where draft picks are concerned. How much does/should Sund value Woody’s perspective on draft picks?

Being on the same page is an easy thing to say. But who’s page are we talking about, if there is a disagreement? Does Sund say “ok Woody, we’ll go with who you think we should get”, or does he say “this is who we need, and this is who I’m picking. Play him. Develop him. Make it work.” Should there be some sort of compromise?

Perhaps Sund is committed to this relationship. Perhaps he is simply bidding his time and sharpening his guillotine blade. Who knows.

Big Ray

June 3rd, 2009
1:39 am

Darrell Starks,

If Blank owned the Hawks, this whole franchise would be different. Well, assuming he owned the Hawks and NOT the Falcons. But it would be different. Think Donnie Walsh instead of Rick Sund. Think…well, think somebody other than Woody. I’m just sayin’….But uh…let’s not smoke that stuff. We’ll only cry when we wake up from passing out and realize it was all quite literally just a pipe dream.

cp

June 3rd, 2009
1:40 am

My bad his name is Earl Clark lol. ray honestly I wouldn’t even trust Woodsons judgment on talent. This is the same guy who didn’t think highly of Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rondo, and etc.

BarkingBulldawg

June 3rd, 2009
2:03 am

I agree with let it go regarding Marvin/CP3, Sekou. Why don’t you forward the memo to some of your colleagues (namely Bradley) or was this a carefully veiled shot at him anyways?

HawkKingBibby

June 3rd, 2009
2:05 am

SEKOU YOUR WRONG THEIR IS KRYPTONITE FOR SUPERMAN AND ITS NAME IS JOSH SMITH. Ok maybe I am crazy but Smoove has had some games where he and Al have made Dwight look human. At least when he brings that Smoove swagger and wanted to dominate on defense. As for Zaza he had a nice year and I wouldnt mind him back but I dont think he is the most important guy to retain. He had a lousy year before the Boston series and I am not so certain his hustle came because he was playing for a deal. He looked useless vs the Cavs.

Ed

June 3rd, 2009
3:51 am

Now this is a Woody type of PG IMO

19) Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Teague, PG, 6-2, 180, Wake Forest, Sophomore, 18.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.9 spg, 48.5% FG, 44.1% 3FG

Inside Hoops has the Hawks making this pick

JustaThought

June 3rd, 2009
7:00 am

The draft’s not going to matter. Woodson is from the Larry Brown school of not playing/developing young talent. He teaches them by making them watch (which basicly just destroys there confidence), so whoever the Hawks draft it’s not going to matter. I know you saying I’m full of sh%t, what about Horford, JSmoove and Marvin……….well believe it or not, Woody’s not completely stupid. If the other team rolls 5 out to play, he’s smart enough to roll 5 out to match.

Reggie

June 3rd, 2009
7:54 am

Sekou

So you’re saying the reason Mike Woodson didn’t play Acie Law alot was because he didn’t want to draft him? Also how would guys like Eric Maynor & Jeff Teague fit on this team if we draft one of them?

chuckw/deadjournalist

June 3rd, 2009
7:57 am

Big Ray –

You’re point about Woodson/Sund and their ability to be on the same page is spot-on. With no picks last year and a pick deep in the draft this year, the scenario is quick a bit different that the years of picking in the top 6. Picking 19th is much more of a crap shoot. Doing some quick research, there hasn’t been an impact player taken at 19 since 2001. That was Zach Randolph. Going back 15 years, the only other All Star player taken was Jamaal Magloire in 2000 (and he’s selection was a fluke). Point being most of the guys at 19 had successful careers has role player or were three-and-done guys.

By the way, ndadraft.net’s updated mock (as of today) has the Hawks taking Tyler Hansbrough at 19.

Pete A

June 3rd, 2009
8:15 am

Great column Sekou… I’ve been telling all my basketball friends that Pachulia is the second most important free agent behind Flip. There is no backup center at that quality and price. Imagine having Ben Wallace and that contract!

There’s not alot of talk about this, but why aren’t the Hawks targeting Raymond Felton? I think he fits perfectly for Woodson’s offense as a point that hits open 3’s and isn’t the half court conduit. It doesn’t look like Carolina will match offers with Augustin on the team.

Mike

June 3rd, 2009
9:23 am

I agree with you on all counts, Sekou (especially the point about Chris Paul). The Acie situation is a real problem. He has shown flashes when he’s had a chance to play, but that hasn’t been often and he has gotten hurt. If you resign Bibby and keep Acie, when would a rookie PG play? On the other hand, Acie hasn’t been healthy enough to be a reliable backup.

As for trades, it’s hard to imagine what they could do. They do have Speedy’s expiring contract, but Joe and Josh Smith are untouchable (despite what so many people say in these blogs); Marvin can’t be traded until July even if they did a sign-and-trade; same for Josh Childress; practically everyone else except Acie and Mo Evans are free agents, and it will be hard to trade Acie with so many good PGs in the draft.

newkid

June 3rd, 2009
9:40 am

Full of nuggets Sekou. Good job!

Over the past few weeks you’ve mentioned quite ardently that Speedy is outta here. Don’t think I recall you ever speaking as definitively about a player move you suspect (for good reasons I must guess) is sure to occur. Here you’ve mentioned a draft night move involving Speedy. Is this the Sekou crystal ball, or do you have ‘higher’ information that gives you sufficient comfort to make such a pronouncement?

About the Marvin thing you appear convinced is dead horse beating, could it be that many are less concerned about that particular fiasco, and more concerned that it was a symptom of an underlying failed talent evaluation system that may still be largely in tact with our Hawks? If in fact the system and associated thought processes continue to florish in ASG land, why should we not continue to be concerned? After all, it is (was?) a talent evaluation system that produced many more failures than simply missing on CP3 and Deron Williams, isn’t it? If it’s still in place, couldn’t it just as easily continue to produce failures? If it’s changed, tell us how; then maybe we’ll leave the issue(s) alone.

You said “I know everyone is always interested in upgrading. But sometimes it’s not nearly as easy you might think…” Interesting how you structure this. So are we to pursue upgrading only if it’s easy? Why should we expect the all out pursuit of the Larry O’Brien trophy to be easy? If it’s determined that we NEED an upgrade to Zaza to advance to the next level, then whether it’s easy or not is irrelevant, isn’t it? Get it done or go away and allow someone else to get it done.

Just sayin’…

David Smith

June 3rd, 2009
9:57 am

Dag Sekou, you would have to bring up Shelden (zombie) Williams when talking about our futility in drafting a big man. The Hawks have never had much luck in drafting a good post player (Tree Rollins, Jon Koncak, and horrible Priest Lauderdale) and i hope that we will address that need in free agency due to the lack of big bodies in this years draft. Rick Sund will have to make a Thomas Dimitroff like splash this year by picking up some key pieces to keep this team winning and the Spirit group must resolve their issue with Belkin in court,

Turd Ferguson

June 3rd, 2009
9:58 am

Hawks/thugs got they butts kicked…LMAO!!