Archive for July, 2009

Vacation visions

Might a Smith family reunion (of sorts) be in the works for Joe and Josh (no relation) this season with the Hawks?

Might a Smith family reunion (of sorts) be in the works for Joe and Josh (no relation) this season with the Hawks? Time will tell. The Hawks are working on it, though.

THE OPEN ROAD - I’m not supposed to be here right now.

Seriously. I looked it up. Vacation is meant to be “leisure time away from work, devoted to rest or pleasure.”

But the phone doesn’t stop ringing because you want it to (next time, we all need to go on vacation together … or at least at the same time).

After being off the grid (mostly) for an entire family reunion weekend, I’ll admit that I’m a bit foggy on some of the details about what went on in Las Vegas for Josh Smith at the USA Basketball mini-camp and just about any other hot debate that’s gone on around here the past few days (and for the record, I’m told that despite a tepid performance in Saturday’s scrimmage, his time with the USA B’ball folks was a rousing success because it allowed quite a few people that weren’t familiar with him other than …

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Hawks courting Joe Smith?

Joe Smith gave the Hawks all they could handle as he and his Cavaliers swept the birds out of the playoffs in May. The Hawks are in the process of recruiting him to help solidify their frontline rotation.

Joe Smith (32) gave the Hawks all they could handle as he and his Cavaliers swept the birds out of the playoffs in May. The Hawks are in the process of recruiting him to help solidify their frontline rotation.

HAWKSVILLE - Who said the Hawks were done chasing big men this summer?

You didn’t hear it around these parts, at least not officially (from me).

Barring a last minute change of plans, veteran big man Joe Smith is scheduled to visit town on Wednesday, according to two of my best spies. And the Hawks are not out of the running for Ben Wallace, who has yet to agree to terms with Detroit (though, one of my best spies up north insists that it’s just a matter of time before Wallace returns to the Pistons).

A 6-10, 225-pound veteran of 14 NBA seasons, Smith showed he has plenty left in the tank against the Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals, averaging 4.8 rebounds, 3.3 points and 1.2 blocks in a little over 21 minutes per game. He’s got that “old man” strength that …

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Where’s the beef?

Is Garret Siler a potential solution to the Hawks' big man issues? The answer could come this week during mini-camp at Philips Arena.

Is Garret Siler (left) a potential solution to the Hawks' big man issue? The answer could come this week during a mini-camp at Philips Arena.

HAWKSVILLE - One by one, the big names have come off the board.

And each time they’ve chosen some place other than the friendly confines of Hawksville to pursue their big man endeavors.

From Rasheed Wallace (Boston) and Marcin Gortat (back to Orlando) to Brandon Bass (also to Southeast Division rival Orlando), Antonio McDyess (San Antonio), Chris Wilcox (Detroit) and just about anyone else you can think of, most all of this summer’s coveted free agent big men have found homes outside of the metro area.

The Hawks have flirted with all of them and more, but outside of the return of Zaza Pachulia, the importance of which should not be ignored, the Hawks have been unable to secure a commitment from another big man, thus far.

With the start of mini-camp today and with guys like Earl Barron, Chris Taft and rookie Garret Siler all set to …

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Mini-camp invitees

Hawks rookie point guard Jeff Teague will make his on-court debut with the Hawks in a mini-camp next week at Philips Arena.

Hawks rookie point guard Jeff Teague will make his on-court debut with the Hawks in a mini-camp next week at Philips Arena.

HAWKSVILLE - While most of the rookie/free agent attention is focused on the happenings in Las Vegas, the Hawks don’t have a summer league entry in Sin City.

Therefore, the only chance we’ll get to see rookie point guard Jeff Teague in action this summer is during the Hawks’ mini-camp next week at Philips Arena (it’s not open to the public, sorry, and is barely open to the media – we get to see the last half hour of action everyday, which usually consists of cats shooting free throws and trying half court trick shots).

There is good news, though. Intriguing news, even, when you consider who will accompany Teague on the floor during these mini-camp workouts.

If the (tentative) invite list I glanced at today doesn’t change between now and Monday, recent second-round picks Sergiy Gladyr (last month) and Cenk Akyol (2005) will also be in town for the …

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The breakdown

The Hawks finally scratched their seven year itch and moved on the David Andersen ... by moving him to Houston for cash, considerations and a future second-round draft pick.

The Hawks finally scratched their seven year itch and moved on 2002 draft pick David Andersen … by moving him to Houston for cash, considerations and a future second-round draft pick.

 

HAWKSVILLE - Things are moving so quickly around here these days, you might mistake this for a regular NBA offseason.

It’s been a long time coming for the Hawks. But for the first time in years, certainly in my years here, things are moving at a fast and furious pace that I think we can all appreciate.

Trades. Free agent signings (and re-signings). It’s all going down before mid-August, which is a welcome change to the Hawks’ recent past, when summer transactions always seemed to stretch into fall.

But in the interest of our collective sanity, can we please cease and desist the needless attacks on Josh Childress (here, on Twitter and everywhere else)?

He’s moved on for another season – back to Greece if you haven’t heard. We can joust about him next summer, when it might actually mean …

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Childress is headed back to Greece

Josh Childress is headed back to Greece for a second season.

Former Hawks swingman Josh Childress is headed back to Greece for a second season.

 Josh Childress is going back to Greece.

  The former Hawks swingman said he is returning to Olympiakos for the 2009-10 season and will not opt out of his contract and return to the NBA.

  “I still have some unfinished business to tend to,” Childress said by phone early Tuesday morning. “I definitely have unfinished business in Greece.”

  Childress had a Wednesday deadline to notify Olympiakos of his intentions to either come back for a second season overseas or return to the NBA.

  A restricted free agent this summer, Childress said his representatives spent the past two weeks in discussions with the Hawks and several other teams about potential sign-and-trade deals that would have allowed him to return to the NBA this season, but could never get the Hawks to sign off on any of the proposed deals.

  “At the end of the day it’s a business,” Childress said. “I was in basically the same …

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An ensemble cast II?

Mike Bibby has played the role of ringleader before on a rising young team in the NBA ...

Mike Bibby has played the role of ringleader before on a rising young team in the NBA …

HAWKSVILLE - Mike Bibby has been here before, at the controls of a team loaded with talent and options, a team still trying to rise up the NBA food chain.

He joined a loaded Sacramento Kings team in July 2001 and pushed them over the top. The Kings put together a league-best 61-21 season his first year and made the Western Conference finals, losing to the eventual NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Before Mike D’Antoni’s 7-Second Phoenix Suns there were the Kings, known back then as the “Greatest Show on Court” (a title actually bestowed upon the team the year before Bibby arrived, but upheld marvelously during Bibby’s prime with the franchise).

With a core group that included not only a young Bibby, but also veterans like Vlade Divac, Chris Webber, Doug Christie and up and coming talents like Peja Stojakovic and Hedo Turkoglu, the Kings had a roster primed to lead a franchise …

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Still a work in progress

Marvin Williams doesn't have a new deal yet, but it should be a slam dunk with both sides clear on the parameters for the Hawks' restricted free agent forward.

Marvin Williams doesn't have a new deal yet, but it should be a slam dunk with both sides clear on what it's going to take to get it done.

HAWKSVILLE - The word spreading around the NBA summer league in Las Vegas is that Marvin Williams and the Hawks have agreed to terms on a new deal (so say our friends at hoopsworld.com).

That would be news to Williams.

“Somebody is lying to them,” Williams said via text message Sunday afternoon. “That’s not true.”

As reported here last week, the Hawks are working hard to get something done.

But it’s not done.

Not yet.

In defense of the folks at HOOPSWORLD, their headline (”Marvin Williams gets his deal”) reads much stronger than the actual text of their item, which clearly states that “sources” told them that the sides are “close” to a new deal.

It makes sense that they heard that. Everybody in this business has sources.

Still, when asked Sunday afternoon if the sides had a deal in place,  Jim Tanner, who represents not only Williams but …

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Let’s make a deal

The King of Deals would be proud of NBA general managers this summer, what with all the deals going down in free agency.

The original "King of Deals" (that's Monty Hall for all you mid-80s babies) must be proud of NBA general managers this summer, what with all action in free agency.

HAWKSVILLE - Is your head spinning?

Are you still trying to sort through all the dips, dives, twists and turns of this NBA free agent frenzy (which so far has lived up to that moniker in every sense of the word).

I know the Hawks haven’t gone crazy and done anything wildly splashy, much to the chagrin of some of you. But plenty of other teams seem happy to oblige the fantasy basketball bent in all of us.

Just reading about this four-team deal spearheaded by Dallas and Toronto to bring Shawn Marion to the Mavs and allow the Raptors to snag Hedo Turkoglu (among other benefits) should be enough to satisfy your thirst for pure craziness in the NBA summer.

Monty Hall should be hosting this stuff.

It’s a genius deal by all involved, if you ask me. It’s a just reward for the folks willing to dive into these deep, …

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Super Tuesday

The Hawks are the midst of trying to negotiate deals for both Marvin Williams (left) and Zaza Pachulia, two key free agents needed to help the Hawks keep pace in an improving Eastern Conference.

The Hawks are the midst of trying to negotiate deals for both Marvin Williams (left) and Zaza Pachulia (center), two key free agents needed to help the Hawks keep pace in the constantly improving (and I mean by the day) Eastern Conference.

HAWKSVILLE - NBA free agents can put pen to paper Wednesday, consummating deals that have been in the works for days (and perhaps even longer for some).

The heavy lifting for the Hawks, however, comes a day early.

Hawks general manager Rick Sund is on his way to Washington D.C., where he will sit down with the representatives for three of the Hawks’ key free agents (Marvin Williams, Zaza Pachulia and Josh Childress) to hammer out the details of at least a couple of potential deals.

With Mike Bibby’s new deal needing only signatures, the Hawks can devote all the attention and resources necessary to the aforementioned players, and yes, that includes Childress (whose saga might not play out until after the July 15 deadline he has to either …

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