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

darrell starks

June 5th, 2009
10:57 pm

Since philly wants joe that bad give us iguodala and dalembert for joe and the 19pick now i would take that deal in a heart beat.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

June 5th, 2009
11:01 pm

STARTER ACIE, IGUODALA, MARVIN, JOSH, HORFORD
BENCH FLIP, MO, CHILL, ZAZA, DALEMBERT
RESERVE WEST, SOLO.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!

Ariose

June 5th, 2009
11:16 pm

Doc, Amen man. Marvin is solid….even though I disagreed with it at the time, but Sheldon has to be the stupidest pick of All-Time in Hawks History. How can you leave Brandon Roy and Rudy Ga on the board like that? He should’ve been arrested by Fulton County police for that one heheheh…

I defenetly think we should invest in this guy for the cheap though:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoiaKH1pptM

Tons of potential, about the same size as Chills and he will come for the minimum. He also jumps out of the Gym. Heim and Smoove on the wings during a fastbreak is redunkulous.

darrell starks

June 5th, 2009
11:19 pm

IF We traded joe for iguodala and dalembert no nba team will be able to keep up with us the hawks athleticism would be so awesome that every game would be sold out.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

niremetal

June 5th, 2009
11:42 pm

Hoops,

Josh won’t be a BYC player after July 1, so the deal will work then.

Darrell,

Uh…no. Unless we’re getting a mega-star, JJ should be untouchable. You don’t trade three-time All-Stars without getting more than that in return. Iggy is just 2.5 years younger than JJ and has a long-term max contract. You don’t acquire that type of player unless you’re positive and he’s a star.

Also, the salaries don’t come close to matching. Dalembert makes $11.4M next year and Iggy $12.2M.

Ariose

June 5th, 2009
11:47 pm

Two Slam Dunk champions on one Roster? Hmmmmmm…..

I.Mus, What up!!!!!

I Like Heinrich too but I’d be just as Happy with Patrick Mills at 19. When you’ve got Kobe and Chris Paul calling you one of the fastest players they’ve seen in a while you KNOW it’s serious. I mean did you see USA Vs. Austraila. What about St. Marys Vs. Davidson in the NIT semifinals? He gave Stephen Curry the business 26&12 to Currys 22&4 and they were guarding each other the entire game.

I’ll pass on Earl Clark though. I think that’s a wasted pick if we pick him. We can get Gerald Green for even cheaper and he’s twice as Athletic and the same size. None of those Louisville seniors stood out to me. The only guy who is nice to me on thet squad is Edar Sosa…..that kid has potential. Besides we still own the rights to ANOTHER SF(Chills). I think pick #19 will eventually be narrowed down to Mills,Ellington,Lawson, and Hansbrough by Sund in that order…..or whoever is left on the board at that point. But you never know with the draft…..crazy things happen, we may get super lucky for once, sund may pull a Danny Ainge and get us two all-stars(unlikely) lol. Clark is about the same size as Hansbrough isn’t he? 6′8-6′9. He would probably have to transition to SF, just like Hansbrough would probably have to. Thats why I say we just get Green, he’s played the position his entire life/jupps out of the gym.

Doc, I got the extended version just for you lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiCUNirJOFc

Ariose

June 5th, 2009
11:50 pm

J-Somoove/G-Green in 09-10!!!!!!!!!

Tha Hilghlight Factory is Back Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

G-Man

June 6th, 2009
12:14 am

Ariose, Marcus Thornton is also a name I am hearing about at the 19th pick. He is one of two players we have actually worked out with the other being terrance williams. I’m wondering if sund thinks joe is expendable (philly trade) because management considered thornton to be our shooting guard of the future. They said he scored just like joe (the good version) and his favorite player is joe. Interesting for sure.

cp

June 6th, 2009
12:47 am

Ariose I like Green too but his skills are not as good as Clark in my opinion. Green still has shaky handles which causes him to settle for way too many jumpers instead of attacking the rim. Clark is almost 6′11 with a long reach and wingspan. Gerald is the better athlete and probably hits the 3 better but that’s about it. I was watching Green this past season and he still looks lost on defense and once again settles for the j because his handle isn’t strong enough . Talented kid who I would love to have on the roster but overall I think Clark has more skills and will be a lot better defender. I truly hope we don’t take Thornton at 19. He is a small sg who can be had in the second round. I hope Sund has not pulled a BK and already gave a player a promise that can be had later in the draft. I would take Terrance Williams over Thornton in a heartbeat. Hell I would take the kid from Xavier over Thornton.

Ed

June 6th, 2009
2:50 am

Grabbed off the internet

Scattered Rumors

•Q Score Up: Players who are being mentioned more and more in a positive light by NBA teams we speak to: B.J. Mullens, Tyler Hansbrough, Rodrigue Beaubois, Josh Heytvelt, Jack McClinton, Jeff Pendergraph, Omri Casspi

•Q Score Down: Players who are being mentioned more and more in a negative light by NBA teams we speak to: Earl Clark, Terrence Williams, Ty Lawson, Eric Maynor, Damion James, Tyler Smith, Wayne Ellington

A Tribe Called Quest

June 6th, 2009
4:14 am

If the Braves can trade away hometown/veteran heros, we should feel no holding back if we want to trade Smoove for Bosh/Amare

A Tribe Called Quest

June 6th, 2009
8:49 am

I’m gonna write this a few times during the summer, but it really annoys me that every summer all I read is that Solomon, Chillz, Marvin, Smoove, and Horford (last year) all look chiseled and bulked up, yet in the fall when we see them they all look wiry and rail-thin. 2 years ago we read about how Marv raved about how amazing Chillz looked and how much bigger he was…LOL. Every year I read that Solo has put on 15 pounds of muscle…Where? I read about Smoove looking like a bulk of chiseled mass last summer…LOL

Come on Sekou…you’re killing us

Sautee

June 6th, 2009
9:31 am

Niremetal.

Re: “Unless we’re getting a mega-star, JJ should be untouchable. You don’t trade three-time All-Stars without getting more than that in return.”

OK Nire, what was your take on newkid’s idea of trading JJ (and maybe #19) to the Wizards for Caron Butler, Javelle McGhee and the #5?

I don’t know that the Wizards would do it, though newkid made a decent case.

Is that enough for JJ?

I.MUS WRITE- INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY

June 6th, 2009
9:46 am

OMG!!!! Tribe Called Quest- I swear you took the words right outta my mouth. Report after report about nothing……. I guess this summer were going to hear-
” Josh is really developing a 3pt shot”
“Solo is working out and his body is the mirror image of Dwight Howard”
” Acie Law is really starting to look like CP3″

I mean give us something useful like when can we expect Speedy Claxton to be a former Hawk or Y we wait til mid august to start looking at free agents…. Jeezuz

Sautee -Im so hot on that trade I wish we had the front office to make those type moves happen. That would be sweet -

I.MUS WRITE- INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY

June 6th, 2009
9:51 am

By the way Gerald Green is a very athletic guy, i just dont think he has it between his ears to be sucessful in the NBA…… A yung’n with that type athleticism doesnt get cut outta no where there has to be sumthing else going on…… I would rather have him than Gardner,Morris,Speedy

darrell starks

June 6th, 2009
9:58 am

Nire why wouldnt you trade joe for iguodala and dalembert me i can see us making that deal not only that iguodala contract is only a avg 12mill a year for the next 4years dalembert would give us that big man that we needed so bad specialy him coming of the bench to match up with some of the big teams that we will be playing.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!

Ariose

June 6th, 2009
11:37 am

Maybe guys. All i’m saying is, because he hasn’t done anyhing in the NBA yet he can be had for the Minimum(700K) and he would be a great insurance policy to have at the end of the bench. If he turns into something, great. If not, then if Mavin or JJ ever goes down with an injury again, he can step in off the bench for a few games. Signing Green doesn’t impede our ability oto draft Clark or whomever else you guys want.

He’s a lot cheaper than haveing (5.6mill)Speedy Claxton at the end of he bench in a suit……and a lot more capable than R.Morris if pointed in the right direction i’m sure. Woody has been dealing with projects througout his whole tenure as our coach. He will stil have his vet’s. I just think that Woody will know what to do and what to demand from Green in order to make him a more disciplined player. You know, he’s ONLY 22. At his price, I think it’s worth the risk.Sign him to a 2-3 year minimum contract and see if we have a diamond in the rough. That’s all i’m sayin’…….

Melvin

June 6th, 2009
1:27 pm

Ariose,
I wouldn’t mind us signing Green for the cheap. I definitely rather him sitting on the end of our bench than Gardner, Hunter and Morris. I will give Speedy a pass b/c I believe he was healthy enough this season to contribute if given the opportunity (but thats another story).

Nire,
I see this horse is still breathing…

I already agreed with you and Astro Joe that the Bulls would seek more than expiring contracts for Hinrich (what else is there to agree on?). My last post to you acknowledge that and was written from another perspective. Hence, when I said “what would be their next best logical move”. However, you only see things one way and thats from your perspective. Since you insist that the Bulls will hold on to Hinrich for a better player and it’s reported the Bulls are looking for a big man that can score in the low post, please provide me with the five teams (that you speak of) thats in need of a starting PG (w/a 9.5 mil contract) that has a low post big they could send the Bulls.

Melvin

June 6th, 2009
1:41 pm

Not so fast (Lee Corso voice). Don’t overlook the Carolina guys according to CNNSI.

“Hansbrough, Lawson rising on draft charts?

Several high ranking personnel people are telling HOOPSWORLD that we have far too many unproven guys ranked too high and that we are not giving enough consideration to those players in this draft class that are proven – pointing specifically to Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson as players that will go much higher than expected. The point most talent evaluators were making is that when push comes to shove NBA teams still draft winners over prospects and that assuming Hansbrough and Lawson drop into the late teens and twenties might be foolish given the NBA’s track record for drafting proven collegiate talent over bright young stars, especially those teams that are one player away from serious compitetion they are more likely to go with guys that played deep into March and April.”

cp

June 6th, 2009
1:45 pm

Trust me Ariose I wouldn’t mind having the guy on our bench either. He has all the talent in the world he just hasn’t put it all together yet. I would rather have him than Mario. Green and Moon would be two guys I would look at and bring either one in depending on the size of the contract. Hopefully getting released by a few teams has forced Green to work on all aspects of his game rather than being able to use his athleticism to get by. He still has a chance to make it because like you said he is only what 22.

niremetal

June 6th, 2009
1:50 pm

Melvin,

I said I had named 5 teams that have point guards that they overpaid for (Udrih, Tinsley, Ridnour, Gibson, and Speedy), not 5 teams with decent big men, although I’m sure there are a few. But as I said, I’m done with this argument. But you’d be a lot more persuasive if you bothered to read my posts before you responded. You’ve been setting up straw men throughout this thread.

niremetal

June 6th, 2009
2:11 pm

Sautee,

No. I lived in DC up until 3 weeks ago, and saw lots of Wizards games this year. Caron Butler is older than Joe, less distinguished, and less talented. I certainly wouldn’t mind getting McGee, but I’m not remotely close to being impressed with him. He was a garbage time player this year, but that translated to a decent number of minutes for him simply because the Wizards were so bad and got blown out so often. He’s athletic, but he shows zero interest in playing defense and has poor fluidity to his offensive game. I honestly was more impressed with Solo than I am with him.

In any case, as I said – you don’t trade away a 27 year-old 3-time All-Star who is the franchise player on a 47-win team if the best you’re getting back is a 28-year old 2-time All-Star (who wasn’t selected in the most recent year) who can’t stay healthy for a full season and who is the second or third best player on a team that peaked at 43 wins. I know people around here sometimes like to say “JJ isn’t a franchise player” but Caron DEFINITELY is not a franchise player. He’s never been the go-to guy in Washington even when he is healthy. This year, he was the second-best player on a team that won 19 games. People say Butler is underrated, but I don’t think that’s true. He has skills, but he’s never had to be the focus of the offense because of Arenas (when healthy) and Jamison (who IS underrated).

And the #5 pick doesn’t change the logic. If you’re a playoff team that still has room to improve, you don’t improve by trading your best player unless you’re getting something even better in return. I think trading JJ for Caron would put us back in the lottery, because I don’t think Caron is remotely capable of being the first option on a playoff team. McGee definitely would not be an improvement over Horford at center, and no one we could draft at #5 would make up for the loss of production we’d suffer elsewhere.

niremetal

June 6th, 2009
2:17 pm

And to anticipate one reply – I realize that you weren’t suggesting that we bench Horford for McGee or anything like that. My point was that McGee is not capable of being a starting center. At this point, I don’t think he’s an upgrade over Solo – and if Solo wasn’t deemed good enough to spell Horford, I don’t see why McGee would be either. If we’re looking for a guy to log significant minutes at center, he’s not the guy to look to.

Melvin

June 6th, 2009
2:25 pm

Nire,

I should have mention that my first post was in response to your post at 7:26 which you said “We can’t get Hinrich without trading Josh. There’s just no other way to make the numbers work”. During the time I was playing with the trading machine, you came back with your 2nd post at 7:36 (with other ways to acquiring Hinrich) prior to me responding to you 1st post (clear as mud, huh). I think the timeline may have cause some confusing. However, I noticed how you didn’t address/suggest which teams you think would provide the Bulls with the big man in return.

niremetal

June 6th, 2009
2:37 pm

Just so people don’t think I’m just hating on the Wizards…

I do really like a few of the guys on their team. Jamison is one of the best offensive players around…he doesn’t play defense as hard as I like, but he buckles down when he needs to. Mike James was like their version of Flip before he got hurt. Songalia always plays hard, and is a guy who would make a nice piece off the bench on a contending team. Crittenton still doesn’t play like a floor general, but I love his size and potential.

My favorite by far is Dominic McGuire. He has a lot of Mario in him – his motor is always running while he’s out there, especially on D. He’s big enough to cover most SFs and quick enough to stay with guards. He’s always crashing the boards and doing the little things. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him slip under the radar and appear as a key bench player on a contending team in a couple years, a la Bowen and Battier.

I just moved (back) to Philly after a 2-year absence, so I haven’t seen a lot of games in the post-Iverson era. I’m sure I’ll have thoughts on their players going forward. I also watch a lot of Blazer games on League Pass thanks to my Portland-native girlfriend, and there isn’t a player on their roster I wouldn’t want the Hawks to acquire if the price was right…

niremetal

June 6th, 2009
2:40 pm

Melvin,

They don’t need to offer a big man. They just need to offer something that is potentially of even minimal value to the Bulls – be it a lottery draft pick, a rotation player, or something else. Speedy and Mo probably would not be rotation players on the Bulls (the Bulls are already overstocked at the perimeter positions with Rose, Salmons, Deng, Tim Thomas, and probably Gordon). The Hawks also are not likely to be in the lottery next year, so there are about 15 teams that could “outbid” us simply by virtue of being a worse team. If you’re really curious, you can check out HoopsHype and find some teams that have rotation players with expiring contracts and/or decent big men. I gotta get back to work, and I’m not gonna be goaded back into this argument again.

Ken Strickland

June 6th, 2009
2:48 pm

OBRIAN-We have to consider what’s best for the Hawks and what’s acceptable to MWoodson, since he’ll definitely be the HC next season. Sund was obviously unable to evaluate and appreaciate the versatility, efficiency, maturity and overall value of JChildress, who Woodson relied on heavily. Therefore, can we expect him to do a better job of assessing the talents and value of MWilliams, ALaw and SJones?

Also, until we know who’s decision it actually was to rehire Woodson last yr, and retain him this yr, we can’t know what Sund is in a position to do. Remember, the BKnight fiasco demonstrated the SASSG’s willingness to take decision making power away from the GM and function in that capacity. As fans, and we can only hope Sund is equally as astute, we have to look at Woodson’s history and realize drafting a PG isn’t necessarily the best way to go, either for the team or the enfortunate rookie PG we draft.

There’s nothing that shows ALaw isn’t as talented, if not more so, as any of the PG’s coming out of this yrs draft, especially the ones that will be available when we pick. SINCE MGT HAS DECIDED NOT TO FIRE WOODSON, THEY NEED TO GIVE HIM WHAT HE WANTS, AND/OR THINKS HE NEEDS TO TAKE US TO THE NEXT LEVEL. WE ALL KNOW HE PREFERS A VETERAN PG THAT CAN SHOOT WITH RANGE. KHinrick’s contract is front loaded, so his salary actually decreases over the next 3yrs. If we sign Ridnour, we end up with another rent a PG, since this is the last of his current contract and we need stability at PG. If we can get JJack, that would be fine, as long as Woodson doesn’t view him as negatively and misuse him the same way he seems to have viewed and misuseed ALaw, SStaudamire and SJones.

MY STATEMENT TO BOTH SUND AND THE SAASG IS THIS. SINCE YOU’VE MADE THE DECISION TO COMMIT TO MWOODSON AS HC, GIVE HIM WHAT HE WANTS AND NEEDS TO BE MOST EFFECTIVE WITHIN HIS LIMITED AND FLAWED OFF/DEF. I want the Hawks to become consistent winners and consistently improve and get to the next level. The only way that will happen with Woodson as HC is if wee remake the current roster to fit his limited coaching ability, old school style of OFF/DEF and way of dealing with players.

Bottomline, whether we fans like a certain player or players means nothing as far as the Hawks style of play and ability to win or go to the next level is concerned. The only thing that matters is which player or players HC MWoodson likes. We’ve all seen what happens to those players he doesn’t like, no matter how much talent and/or potential they might have.

Sautee

June 6th, 2009
3:09 pm

Nire,

I’ll disagree, based mostly on finances.

This past season:

Butler $9M 20.8 pts. 6.2 reb. 4.3 assists

Johnson $14.2M 21.4 pts. 4.4 reb. 5.8 assists

Looks to me like they are getting a LOT more bang for the buck with Caron. Not bad for someone who is “less distinguished, and less talented” than Joe Johnson.

And when Jamison was out, Caron DID carry the team, so imagine if he had more talent around him. He plays tougher defense than Joe and I’ve never seen him take possessions off. Can’t say the same for our captain.

In the current economic crisis the teams that get the most production for the money will pass the ones who invest too heavily for the return they get. The one caveat to that is teams who already have invested in an established superstar.
I KNOW that you (at least somewhat) agree with that premise, from your posts about avoiding the Dampiers of the world, and from your wanting to hoard Horford because of the production we get from him for a rookie contract.

I say that $14.2M ($14.9 next year) is too much to pay for the stats JJ is giving us. Particularly when lesser paid players are giving similar stats.

It’s amusing to me that you think losing JJ automatically puts us in lottery land. Do you REALLY think that little of the rest of the roster? Or was that hyperbole?

And how is JJ SOOOOOO indispensable when he disappeared in the playoffs? Three trips to the All Star game didn’t seem to help him then, did it?

For $14.2 M, I’d like a player to at LEAST play up to his season average in the playoffs. None of the Hawks did that, but Joe is our captain and supposedly our leader. And as you said he’s more distinguished and more talented than Caron.

Oh, and I would have McGhee off the bench and NOT starting in Horford’s place.

I’d let Bibby walk and get a Jack or a Sessions and use the #5 on a future point guard. Or keep Acie and trade the pick and get more veteran depth.

I doubt that the sky would fall if we traded JJ.

But I’m sure you’ll tell me how it would. ;-)

I.MUS WRITE- INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY

June 6th, 2009
3:22 pm

Nir- Our first option gave us 11 points a game thru the playoffs. Caron would be okay with this team….. key word being (team)-with JJ on another team it would force the rest of our guys to step up. Caron Avg. over 20 a game -just say’n he’s a capable scorer.

Then with the#5 pick we could go Tyreke Evans or possibly rubio if he slips………\

You are really stretchn it with the SOLO over Mcgee thing….. Mcgee is 21 Solo is 25 -this was the guy’s first year -he’s only going to get better. When we played Washington in March he either started or played well over 20 minutes…… Results 18/11/2 and thats against our starters….
The guy gave Al and josh some problems in the post -granted its a small sample size -he is alot better than Solo right now.

Evans,Butler,Mcgee> JJ

Melvin

June 6th, 2009
3:47 pm

Sautee and Ariose,

I wouldn’t mind seeing the Hawks adding Caron to play alongside Joe and without giving up Josh/Horford. Not sure if thats possible but Caron is truly a bargain at 9-10 mil a year and he may be Washington only trade asset b/c Jamison and Arenas contracts are outrageous.

Melvin

June 6th, 2009
3:57 pm

Sorry Ariose, I meant IMUS..

niremetal

June 6th, 2009
4:10 pm

Sautee,

Ain’t got much time today, but I’ll it again: Caron Butler is the second or third best player on a team that peaked at 43 wins. JJ is the best player on a team that won 47 games. Caron is injury-prone, certainly DOES take plays off (I don’t know where the perception that he doesn’t comes from). Your statement about Caron carrying the team when Jamison is out nonsense – Jamison has missed 4 games over the past two seasons. The last time he did miss significant time, the Wiz went 4-8 without him and it was Arenas who was “carrying” them during that period (although Butler was also hurt for 3 of those games – surprise!).

Anyway, Sund isn’t dumb enough to make a trade like that, so I’m not worried.

A Tribe Called Quest

June 6th, 2009
4:11 pm

Zaza is prob. going to Cleveland.

ughhhhhh

niremetal

June 6th, 2009
4:19 pm

And as for the comments about JJ in the playoffs…uh, ok. I could see you making an argument that he’s expendable if he was healthy, fresh, and we won despite him playing badly (or if we won with him out hurt). But he was playing hurt, exhausted, and the team played like $hit. When JJ doesn’t play at his best, the Hawks have a lot of trouble winning. Don’t see how that makes him expendable. And I’d love to see you use similar logic to tell me why Butler is a better player. How is the second or third best player on a mediocre to bad team who is OLDER than JJ going to be an improvement?

And now, I’m done until after the French Open final. See y’all Monday. Go Federer!

O'brien

June 6th, 2009
4:19 pm

Sautee, nire

To comment on the Butler/JJ discussion. Keep in mind that although JJ averaged more points, rebs, assists, he also played 539 more minutes than Butler, and JJ also took 335 more shots, plus the offense goes through JJ almost every single time. In my opinion, the average is a wash (maybe Butler plays more consistent defense, but JJ has to guard quick PG’s too).

My concern with that trade, is that:
1) JJ is a SG, Butler plays SF (although they’re similar size)
2) I’m worried about Butler staying healthy.

Did you guys read Sekou’s article about Zaza? Zaza said after the Hawks achieved their goal of making it out of the first round, they didnt know what to do next. I was disappointed to hear that, because our goal should be to win a championship (as unreal/unlikely as it might seem).

boohooyah

June 6th, 2009
4:31 pm

r u guys serious about trading jj for caron butler? that just plain dumb, butler goes on the dl every time he takes a piss and only scores 20 cuz the other team is worried about shutting down jamson or agent zero when hes healthy. there isnt a 20 point guy in the league who gets more open looks then butler. at least jj knows how to fight through a double team i wouldnt mind getting igguodala for jj but butler? hell no

Ariose

June 6th, 2009
4:44 pm

Nire, I agree theres no way we give up JOe unless we get someone who is on his level. McGee and Butler are not. They both contributed to over 50 losses on the season.

Waht if Joe was ON during these playoffs? Would we even be havin these discussions? Have you forgotten about the Boston series? 20 4th quater points, and Smoove was just as clutch hitting evey outside jumper he attempted during our him victories in that series’. Josh was decent this year but joe was off. When a team can’t afford for ONE guy have an off-night that just means we need more weapons, not dithcing the player who had a few bad games. Remeber Marvin and Al being injured also contributed to Joe not being able to get into any kind of a rythym. Without those threats on the floor at 100% it was easier for defenses to focus moe attention on Joe.

How many 30pt games did Joe have on the season? I’m betting it’s close to or over 20. If you saw the Spike Lee joint “Kobe doin’ Work” Kobe said that he pouposefully deferred to his teammates in oreder to get them going and make them threats so that the defense couldn’t commit to loading up on Kobe. Our offense isn’t like that though. Optios 1-3are JJ and the 4th option is Bibby. Our first few plays of EVERY GAME is a pindown for JJ, while everyone else just watches. No ball/player movement or anything.

Woody is just making the oppostions job easier by running EVERYTHING through Joe. Personally I wouldn’t allow a SINGLE PLAY to be run for Joe until the second half of EVERY GAME. Remeber when he wasjust a spot up shooter in Pheonix? He led the leauge in 3pt FG% (45% from three to be exact).

Getting rid of Joe it’s not the answer. If Joe go traded. I would PERSONALLY find Sund and the ASG(With my mob of angry Hawks fans of course) and let them know what I think about that.

Hoops

June 6th, 2009
4:52 pm

FREE AGENT RESEARCH!

I had some time this afternoon, so I did some research on available free agents after July 1 that I would be interested in. You may have other FA’s that interest you that I did not include. Here’s my list by position ranked for my preference:

PG-Devin Harris, Ramon Sessions, Flip Murray
SG-JR Smith, Ben Gordon, Gerald Green, Dahntay Jones, Morris Almond
SF-Ron Artest, Trevor Ariza
PF-Drew Gooden, Brandon Bass, Chris Wilcox
C-Zaza Pachulia, Marcin Gortat

These four restricted FA’s in the PF position interests me: David Lee, Carlos Boozer, Linas Kleiza, & Charlie Villanueva. Marvin Williams as a SF.

I know this group is not as strong as the ‘10 FA’s, but there are some really great players available if the Hawks are willing to deal! Anybody got any thoughts on this group and the possibility of the Hawks signing any of these players?

Sautee

June 6th, 2009
5:06 pm

Nire,

For whenever you return,

I never, ever, said Butler was a better player. But I think he gives the Wiz a lot more at $9M than Joe gives us at $14.2M. Remember the very first thing in my post was “mostly on finances”.

I don’t think you even have an argument if we’re talking about who got more production for the dollar. And THAT was my point.

It wouldn’t have to be Butler, but there are a lot of folks out there giving numbers close to JJ’s for a lot less than $14.9 (this coming year).

I’ll look it up and return, but my argument is totally based on production / contract. And I think Joe was underperforming this year based on what he was paid relative to the league. If I’m wrong, you’ll get a mea culpa.

O’brien,

Understand that I’m not advocating that particular trade, but exploring the idea that with limited funds, the organization should be obligated to see where they are paying too much for the production they are getting.

And THAT should be resolved BEFORE we re-sign JJ, if we choose to.

Samuel

June 6th, 2009
6:17 pm

I missed the post but: I “would” do the Butler,McGee for JJ trade. McGee looked really good to me this year and Butler is pretty much even with JJ. I really can’t see Washington being that stupid!

cp

June 6th, 2009
8:22 pm

Sautee brings up a great point. Look I like Joe but there are players who can give this team the same production for better value. Joe is going to want more money his next contract but I don’t think he is worth it. Joe is a good player but he is not a star. He is a second option. Its probably a few guys who could come in here and put up better numbers than Joe if everything was ran through them too. I wouldn’t be mad if Sund was exploring some trade options for Joe. There is no guarantee he wants to stay here and to be honest Woody has worked the guy so much it might be better to explore a trade now for a younger guy and some picks. I just don’t see Joe getting any better and I can see the injuries mounting with the way he is used here.

darrell starks

June 6th, 2009
8:30 pm

I wouldnt make that trade joe for butler and mcgee first of all butler is 30 years old and you do not want to build around a player thats 30years or older unless he is a primetime super star.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!

Sautee

June 6th, 2009
8:31 pm

“I just don’t see Joe getting any better and I can see the injuries mounting with the way he is used here.”

Great point, cp

G-Man

June 6th, 2009
8:33 pm

Did you guys hear that Jeff Teague strained his MCL? Do you guys think this is a sign that he needs to return to wake f.? How far do you think he will fall if he doesn’t drop out of the draft?

Sautee

June 6th, 2009
8:36 pm

Starks, I’ve got news for you. Butler is exactly 16 months older than JJ.

So I guess by JJ’s next contract, he’ll be “too old” to build around. eh? Unless you consider him to be a “primetime super star.”

darrell starks

June 6th, 2009
8:38 pm

Iguodala is a beast thats only 25years of age thats only going to get better and the sixers want joe in the worst way plus they are trying to trade dalembert and we need a big man bad so joe for iguodala and dalembert right now because we dont no what joe intention are after this season coming up.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

June 6th, 2009
8:42 pm

SAUTEE dont get me wrong i like butler i just dont think he that player that can get us to the next level.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

June 6th, 2009
8:51 pm

Sautee how do you feel about this team
STARTER ACIE, IGUODALA, MARVIN, JOSH, HORFORD
BENCH FLIP, MO, CHILL, ZAZA, DALEMBERT
RESERVE SOLO, WEST.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!

Astro Joe

June 6th, 2009
8:56 pm

Here’s some breaking… the “second fiddle” on most elite teams ALSO make max contracts. If we want to become an elite team, then paying Joe a max contract is appropriate, even if we want him in the role of Robin. Anyone here think that Gasol or Rashard Lewis make $10M/year? This team isn’t an automatic playoff team so to only analyze performance based on the playoffs is illogical. We have to evaluate who gets us in the post-season.

Sautee

June 6th, 2009
9:16 pm

starks, until I see that we re-sign Flip and Zaza and convince Chills to come back, I can’t even judge it. Not enough info. This isn’t fantasy leagues. (and no accusation there)

And nor do I see Butler as a player who can take us to the next level. By any means. I’m just musing about the investments we have made and what kind of return we’re getting. We currently lack quality depth. If we could get similar production at ANY position for nearly a third less money, we’d have more to spend on quality veteran bench players. Nothing against JJ. I’m a fan, but he’s very expensive. Only slightly less than LeBron, DWade, Bosh, and Melo.

Only he’s NOT giving what they are.