12:01 a.m.

Both Rasheed Wallace and Marcin Gortat are on the Hawks' free agent hot list this summer.

Both Rasheed Wallace (headband) and Marcin Gortat (skinband) are on the Hawks' free agent hot list this summer. The NBA free agent negotiating period began at midnight.

HAWKSVILLE - It’s 12:01 a.m., do you know where your No. 1 free agent target is.

And No. 2, and No. 3 and on and on.

The Hawks do.

The Hawks’ front office staff was still working late Tuesday night in anticipation of the midnight start to the NBA’s free agent negotiating period.

Everyone knows about the Hawks’ (quasi-internal) targets – Mike Bibby, Zaza Pachulia and Flip Murray are all unrestricted free agents while Marvin Williams, Solomon Jones and Mario West are all restricted free agents, as is Josh Childress (who remains under contract with Greek power Olympiakos, though he has an opt out that he must exercise by July 15) . But there’s more going on that just that.

After year’s of failing to grab the attention of the league’s best free agents on the market, the Hawks are suddenly in the mix for some of the most coveted players on the market, per several of my most well placed sources around the league.

“The only thing missing all these years was a winning team,” a former Western Conference executive told me Tuesday night. “And now that they’ve got that. So they’re going to be in the mix for guys if they want to be in the mix. Half the league lives in Atlanta [during the offseason] anyway.”

I remember a couple of years ago when Gary Payton was traded to the Hawks in a package deal and he wouldn’t even set foot in the city, apparently a 26 or 30 win team didn’t appeal to a veteran player hunting a title.

Jamal Crawford’s reaction to coming here in a trade last week was complete 180 from Payton’s thanks-but-no-thanks stance. 

I have a feeling that the Hawks’ pursuit of the likes of Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess and Marcin Gortat, all big men my sources tell me the Hawks will have made contact with by the time you finish breakfast.

It’s the kind of free agent busy work that I never heard about in previous summers. Times have changed. And clearly for the better if you’re a Hawks fan.

Still, there’s so much work to be done this summer. Presumably, the opinions around here on what the Hawks should do with Bibby, Zaza and Flip have ranged from the semi-reasonable to the absolutely preposterous.

It seems clear that in a free agent climate that will be short on monster deals and full of teams looking to stretch their available dollars, the Hawks will have an extremely hard time retaining all of their guys. Tough choices will have to be made, as will alternate plans.

Maybe Hawks captain and All-Star Joe Johnson knew a little more than he let on last week when he ended our conversation with this, “Whatever we do this summer, we have to do it right,” he said. “We have to do it big and we have to do it right. Because we’re not going back to those losing seasons and watching the playoffs. We’re not going back there.”

544 comments Add your comment

Mel on a car phone

July 1st, 2009
12:32 am

Reggie

July 1st, 2009
12:32 am

Sekou

I would love for the hawks to get Antonio McDyess. PLEASE GET HIM!!!!!

Also what is the latest on Josh Childress

Jody

July 1st, 2009
12:32 am

I wonder who the Hawks main target(s) outside of their own free agents will be? Time will tell I guess.

Mel on a car phone

July 1st, 2009
12:33 am

Sekou,

Do you think the Hawks will attempt to sign Paul Millsap?

OZINATL

July 1st, 2009
12:33 am

Let’s just hope Sund is more proactive than previous GM’s and actively pursue their targets (if we are to be believed they have particular targets in mind – which would be a new era for Hawks).

OZINATL

July 1st, 2009
12:35 am

Don’t think the Hawks would be able to get Millsap.

Libid21

July 1st, 2009
12:39 am

Ron Artest is on the top of my wish list this summer. Sekou, have you heard anything about him?

Hoops

July 1st, 2009
12:41 am

RealGM says that Childress is most likley to come back to the Hawks. WOW! That would really change things for the Hawks. Bibby and Flip would be gone for sure if they are not already! Marvin could really be a sign & trade possibility if the Hawks were to get Chills back.

j

July 1st, 2009
12:41 am

Hey Reggie, why do you want Antonio Mcdyess? He is an aged veteran who was cut from the Nuggets after he was traded there by the Pistons. He resigned with the Pistons (nobody else wanted him), and he had a mediocre season on the Piston’s bench. He would in no way whatsoever help our hawks club, except maybe mentoring younger guys. Glad you aren’t the GM

Aaron

July 1st, 2009
12:44 am

No one wanted McDyess? Did you stop reading the sport section that week?

Hoops

July 1st, 2009
12:45 am

Sekou,

If the Hawks are pursuing Rasheed, McDyess or Gortat, do you interpet that to mean that they do not expect to re-sign Zaza?

Joe's place Joe speaking

July 1st, 2009
12:46 am

Why would we look at Antonio Mcdyess or whatever his name is!!!?? He’s been playing like 30 years ( exagerating ) and he’s like 40 ( exagerating )!!!!! Seriously this guy has passed his prime and there is NO way him being our ” Big ” pickup would get us a division title let alone the conference finals!! He used to be good back in Denver days but now is too late!!

Sekou Smith

July 1st, 2009
12:46 am

I don’t think Millsap is a reasonable target (my favorite phrase for NO).

Hoops

July 1st, 2009
12:48 am

Sekou,

Have you heard any buzz about the Hawks being interested in Devin Harris?

Reggie

July 1st, 2009
12:49 am

because the Hawks need leadership. Antonio Mcdyess can still play he averaged 9 points , 9 rebounds & shot 51% so he can still play. he can hit the Mid range jump shot & he defends. HE IS PERFECT FOR OUR TEAM!!!

Darkhorse

July 1st, 2009
12:49 am

Sekou-Just had to come over from the Thrashers blogs and say way to blog man! You’ve been on it tight. Good luck to the Hawks making some FA noise for once, in a good way, over the next week or so.

Please send some of that enthusiasm from you and the Hawk’s front office over to Waddell and the Thrashers. FA starts tomorrow at noon for the NHL, but I’ll be shocked if any big names come here yet. Need to win some, as you said about the Hawks above.

Sekou Smith

July 1st, 2009
12:49 am

Insurance Hoops, I’d call it insurance. And I just think that the Hawks have maybe seen the light after the playoffs and realized that they need more quality players to fill this roster out. I’m sure they are facing competition to re-sign Zaza, so they have to be prepared for the reality that he might not be back here.

Haven’t heard a word on Artest. Can’t imagine the Rockets can afford to let him go anywhere given their current predicament.

Neki

July 1st, 2009
12:50 am

@Hoops, I havent seen any rumors about Chill coming back yet, do you have a link?

@Sekou-sama, So how long do you think until Atlanta get somebody signed and who is going to be that person?

Sekou Smith

July 1st, 2009
12:51 am

Hoops, where are you getting this stuff my man. Devin Harris? No. And I don’t know who is floating rumors about Josh Childress playing for the Hawks this season. While I’d love to see it happen, I don’t see any way it gets done. I don’t see any way.

UGA

July 1st, 2009
12:54 am

I wanted McDyess since the season was over. I know someone that went to BAMA with him and says he is an awesome, humble guy.

I’m concerned with losing ZaZa and Flip. I do think Bibby and Marvin are back.

Is Sund looking at any of his former picks? Nick Collison, Ridnour, Johan Petro, Earl Watson

UGA

July 1st, 2009
12:56 am

McDyess averaged 9 and 9 per game last year, he knows the Woodson system and would be that veteran we need in the locker room. Also, he’d be GREAT for Smith.

Hoops

July 1st, 2009
12:57 am

Sekou & Neki,

On RealGM they have a list of the most sought after FA’s and have listed the teams that they are most likely to sign with. They have Chills most likely to sign with the Hawks. I know that does not mean that it will happen. I was just reporting what I had read. Maybe wishing a little also!

Ariose

July 1st, 2009
1:02 am

Sekou, Fabricio Oberto??? I mean if we can’t get Gortat, that is…

Sekou Smith

July 1st, 2009
1:07 am

I hear you Hoops. It’s good to want things. :)

None of the aforementioned “former picks” of Sund’s in Seattle have popped up on my source radar. But if there is one that I’d be willing to talk about if I was the Hawks, it’s Damien Wilkins. He’d provide quality depth at the 2 and 3 for a fantastic price ($3.3 million this season in what will be he last year of his deal).

niremetal

July 1st, 2009
1:08 am

I’d take Oberto over Gortat. Oberto’s bball IQ is about 40 points higher. But Oberto isn’t a free agent.

niremetal

July 1st, 2009
1:09 am

Sekou,

Any word on Varejao?

Neki

July 1st, 2009
1:10 am

@Hoops, I dont think that Chill will never be in Hawks uniforms again, he will be probably get SnT for a big or something else.

I think that Atlanta should try to talk to Jason Kidd, I know that he is up there in age but he can be a leader and teach Teague how to be a good PG in the NBA.

Sekou Smith

July 1st, 2009
1:13 am

Sorry Nire, haven’t heard AndyV’s name mentioned with the Hawks.

niremetal

July 1st, 2009
1:15 am

Dang. He’s one of those guys that I find annoying now, but I’m sure I’d love him if he played here…

Herschel Talker

July 1st, 2009
1:19 am

This entire discussion is irrelevant. The Hawks are irrelevant.

charlie V

July 1st, 2009
1:22 am

UGA

July 1st, 2009
1:22 am

If the Hawks backcourt was Joe, Bibby, Crawford and Flip, along with Teague, is that a crowded backcourt or not?

UGA

July 1st, 2009
1:27 am

If we keep Marvin, would Wilkins be an upgrade over Mo Evans?

I keep reminding myself how many games we won with Mo in the lineup plus we beat Miami w/o Marvin. However, a healthy Marvin would have meant no Game 7 with the Heat and not being swept out.

KevinA

July 1st, 2009
1:27 am

Anakin, who knows what Crawford will do. All teams have a pecking order. JJ is the man, if Bibby is gone I think Marvin, Josh and Al will let Crawford know where he sits. After twenty thirty games the respect and pecking order will change. If he just starts off jacking up jumpers, he will find himself on the bench. If he can come in and drive and kick to his teamates, sky is the limit. We will know soon enough.
Any time you add a major piece, the flow of the team will change.

Ariose

July 1st, 2009
1:28 am

UGA, it’s a FREAKING AWSOME backcourt thst’swhat it is lol. Crowded or not. We can match up wih ANYBODY at the guard positions if we get everbody back. We will be an WALKING NIGHTMARE for opposing teams…..I LOVE IT!!!!!

KevinA

July 1st, 2009
1:29 am

UGA Flip and Bibby are gone

UGA

July 1st, 2009
1:29 am

I like it too. We just need that other BIG to go with them.

Hoops

July 1st, 2009
1:32 am

KevinA,

“If he can come in and drive and kick to his teamates, sky is the limit.”

Something that Bibby cannot do. Crawford could be a very important addition to the Hawks!

niremetal

July 1st, 2009
1:37 am

Um…Bibby seemed to do just fine driving and kicking this year.

niremetal

July 1st, 2009
1:39 am

Well, distributing, not “driving and kicking.” He’s more a Mark Jackson model than a Steve Nash model. My point is that Bibby still does just dandy as a distributor.

HawkKingBibby

July 1st, 2009
1:43 am

We need a cheap post scorer and I know one who is in great physical shape for the 1st time in a long time: ANTOINE WALKER

Ariose

July 1st, 2009
1:44 am

From Hoopsworld:

Damien Wilkins will not opt out of his contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

[...] sources tell me the Hawks will have made contact with by the time you finish breakfast. Source: Do you know where your No. 1 free agent target is? | Hawks Blog Wow, I would love to have any of the 3. If I had to choose, Gortat because he is gonna be the [...]

Ariose

July 1st, 2009
1:45 am

Najeh Davenpoop

July 1st, 2009
1:52 am

Dear Lord, I hope Antoine Walker’s name is never mentioned in connection with the Hawks again. He is probably one of my least favorite Hawks of all time, right there with Peja Drobnjak.

Ariose

July 1st, 2009
1:52 am

Leon Powe did not get a qualifying offer frim the Celtics. Obviously thier making a run at ‘Sheed and Powe has questionable health….and he’s kinda unathletic/undersized…

Najeh Davenpoop

July 1st, 2009
1:55 am

If Powe can come back from his injury he can help any team in the post. I’m guessing with the injury concerns he probably would come pretty cheap too. Wouldn’t mind the Hawks making a run at him.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 1st, 2009
1:56 am

I have never used Twitter before today, when I started following sekousmith01. Don’t let me down Sekou, keep those updates coming.

Neki

July 1st, 2009
1:58 am

Oh noes u didnt, Antoine Walker!?!?

That is okay, Antoine can somewhere eles, beside we need to get a big first and try to resigned rest of our guys.

GARY

July 1st, 2009
2:22 am

FIRE MIKE WOODSON