Childress in play?

(Former) Hawks swingman Josh Childress appears to be in play for the second straight summer as a restricted free agent. He's in Milwaukee today visiting the Bucks.

HAWKSVILLE - From Athens to Milwaukee and back to Atlanta, the name Josh Childress is being tossed around in every direction these days.

Childress is in Milwaukee today visiting the Bucks with his agent, Jim Tanner.

What that means for the Hawks is that they might get a do-over with Childress, a restricted free agent again this summer as he was last summer.

Last summer they lost him as an asset when he chose to sign with Greek power Olympiakos (for $20 million post taxes). What the Hawks didn’t lose was the right of first refusal on Childress if he decided to return to the NBA this summer.

And two of my spies have made it clear that were Childress to receive any sort of “reasonable” NBA offer (the $5.6 million mid-level exception or below), the Hawks would match it before Childress finished signing his name on the offer sheet (the aim, however, is to work out a sign-and-trade deal to appease both sides since Childress has made clear his desire to play elsewhere, per a source).

Still, no player on the free agent market has more intriguing options than Childress. He has until July 15 to decide if he wants to return to the NBA (he’d have to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract with Olympiakos). So he has a window now that allows him to gauge his current value around the NBA while also holding on to the safety net that is his lucrative contract with Olympiakos.

Childress was in Atlanta last Sunday to meet with the Hawks’ brass and made clear that he would do his due diligence in evaluating his NBA options before deciding whether to return to Greece or not. It’s smart business yet again on the part of Childress, who had drawn interest from a number of other teams (Lakers, Clippers, Cavaliers and Spurs are included in that list, according to my league spies) curious to explore the potential of him making an return to the league now as opposed to at the end of his contract with Olympiakos.

“It’s a tough free agent market right now,” a former player now working as an analyst told me by phone Thursday morning. “I can’t imagine [Childress] could do better financially than he would by going back to Greece. But you never know what might go on in free agency, so he’s wise to explore his options.”

MOSTLY QUIET ON THE FREE AGENT FRONT: Things are quiet where the Hawks’ other free agent targets are concerned. Neither Zaza Pachulia nor Marvin Williams is scheduled to visit anywhere as of right now.

Plenty of teams are interested, from what I’m hearing, but no face-to-face meetings have been set up as of yet. Williams is a restricted free agent, so it’s expected that his summer will last a little longer. Pachulia’s summer could heat up rather quickly if one of the big man dominoes on the summer circuit (Rasheed Wallace, Marcin Gortat, etc.) were to commit to a new team.

Several sources inform me that the Hawks have moved into the “common ground” phase of their talks with Mike Bibby’s camp. Nothing has been announced yet, but those sources insist that a deal is closer to getting done than people might think. I’ll be curious to see how things progress through the July 4th weekend and into early next week, when the salary cap numbers come out on the 8th.

Rumors are flying around about what teams are doing. It’s almost too difficult to keep up with it all, since there are so many different outlets reporting (fact and fiction). But my man Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo! Sports does as good as job as anyone at keeping his finger on the pulse of what’s happening out there. Check out his latest buzz.

RECESSION? WHAT  RECESSION?: While most of us working class folk are struggling to make ends meet during these tough economic time, there is a segment of the population that’s doing just fine. Check out some of the NBA players on Sports Illustrated’s list of top “ballers” in sports.

Steve Francis should be your new hero, since he clocked $20 million last year without playing a single second of basketball. How’d that song from the 90s go, “I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller.” Dang skippy!

NORTH OF THE BORDER: Both Cousin Doug up in Toronto and my man Ken Berger of CBSSPORTS.com are reporting that David Lee has become the object of the Toronto Raptors’ affection now that it appears Hedo Turkoglu could be headed to Portland.

Turkoglu agreeing to a deal could open the floodgates for guys like Williams, especially, considering Charlie Villanueva’s deal with Detroit (5-years, $35-$40 sounds reasonable, though it raises some issues for the Pistons, per my man David Aldridge of TNT) has already set a benchmark for players of that ilk.

Stay tuned folks. There’s no telling where this free agent roller coaster goes next.

642 comments Add your comment

Sam

July 2nd, 2009
12:23 pm

1st. Trade Childress to the Lakers if Ariza doesn’t sign with them. He would fit in perfectly as a replacement. Childress for Luke Walton and a future draft pick?

G-Dot

July 2nd, 2009
12:24 pm

Whats up Sekou! I was wondering if you heard any news on the Hawks bringing back Flip.

Sekou Smith

July 2nd, 2009
12:28 pm

Nothing yet on Flip G-Dot. Remember he was on his way to Russia last year when they snagged him late in the process. So while I didn’t expect there to be a rush for him from a ton of teams this summer, I expected a little more buzz early. The Hawks are still in the midst of trying to sort through what to do with both he and Bibby. There’s a serious logjam in the backcourt if you try and bring both he and Bibby back.

Rick Sund

July 2nd, 2009
12:33 pm

I understand everyone’s concern about Bibby.

But let me assure you — as I seek to delve into this “economic pie,” Bibby’s financial security is one of my chief concerns. I will certainly overpay for him, if it means he will stay with us. Having scoring guards is a top priority for this team. Josh Smith and Al Horford are the best power forward and centers in the game, so I see no reason to add backups for them or to upgrade at those positions, as they will most certainly play 48 minutes a game each this coming season.

Best,
Rick

Rommel

July 2nd, 2009
12:33 pm

Trade Childress and Marvin to the Raptors for Chris Bosh. How do you feel about that trade Sekou? Our lineup would then be:

PG- Bibby/Crawford/Teague
SG- Johnson
SF- Smith
PF- Horford
C- Bosh

Sam

July 2nd, 2009
12:35 pm

Totally off topic Sekou, but what is Detroit doing? How are they going to get Rodney Stuckey, Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Charlie V all on the floor? Just looks like too much of the same thing to me. Instead of resigning Bibby, could Iverson be an option at PG for the Hawks? He would be an excellent teacher for Teague because they seemingly play the same style ball.

Johnny Hazeltine

July 2nd, 2009
12:36 pm

I hate to think this way, but I think the Hawks would be better off with a penetrating PG, and not resigning Bibby.

~ SAM,
I don’t think the Lakers would give up Walton. We’d probably be stuck with Sasha!

shresee2

July 2nd, 2009
12:41 pm

Sekou, why do you think Childress does not want to return to the Hawks? Is it because the talks did not go so well last year? If we do a sign and trade with the Bucks what do they have to offer that would compliant the hawks? Could they do a sign and trade with the lakers for Ariza? What quality big men are out there that would come here and for a price not breaking the bank. Would the Hawks do better and just try to resign Zaza.

Sam

July 2nd, 2009
12:41 pm

If Sasha’s contract isn’t outrageous, I might still do it. Perhaps we could get Jordan Farmar. What are we losing by trading Childress? It’s not like he is helping us any.

Sekou Smith

July 2nd, 2009
12:52 pm

Rommel, if folks don’t think Horford can play center why would Bosh be able to. I like Bosh, but he’s not the answer answer at center that you think.

I don’t know Sam. I’m a bit perplexed by what the Pistons are doing, too. They’ll have some PT issues to workout, for sure. I don’t Iverson as a good fit here. Not at all.

shresee2, I just don’t think Childress sees a future here anymore. That ship sailed last summer, and I think both sides see that. If you can sign and trade him for quality parts, that’s a bonus. I don’t know what the Bucks could send that would work. I’d maybe take Gadzuric, since he’s a quality big that could help fortify the frontcourt rotation. Ariza’s not restricted, so he can’t be signed and traded. And honestly, as far as quality big men that are affordable, I’d argue that Zaza is the one of the best bets.

Mychelfromatl

July 2nd, 2009
12:52 pm

Woooow…this is starting to get good!!

Volman

July 2nd, 2009
12:55 pm

Rick Sund= Clyde.

We can tell by your blatant mocking of Al Horford at the center position.

Give it up!

niremetal

July 2nd, 2009
12:55 pm

Oh dear lord, please keep Vujacic as far away from here as possible. He’s a defensive sieve who makes Glenn Robinson look like Mother Theresa in terms of his willingness to share. He is the absolute last thing we need on a team that already has Crawford, JJ, and (probably) Bibby – three shoot-first guards.

Daniel

July 2nd, 2009
1:00 pm

Sekou- I totally agree with you on ZaZa, everyone is falling in love with Gortat, and honestly I don’t see him being any better than Za.

I really don’t understand why Childress would want to come back to the NBA this year. I get why he is visiting teams, smart move to keep his name on GM’s radar, but he is not going to get near the money in the NBA as Greece, and if he waits until next year he is completely free. So what advantage does he gain by coming back now?
Or is he just that ready to get back in the States?
Or is he concerned that with next years free agent market he would get totally lost in the shuffle?

Daniel

July 2nd, 2009
1:01 pm

as far as the Hawks are concerned if they can get anything for Childress it is a win, because we are more than likely going to lose him for nothing.

ILL-logical

July 2nd, 2009
1:04 pm

Josh Childress’s feelings toward the Hawks stem from his relationship with Woodson during his tenure here.He felt that he should have been starting ahead of Marvin and wWoodson did not. Of course Mr. Sund’s actions and statements during last year’s negotiations did not help.

This a recurring theme that our media does not want to address: Woodson’s propensity to p#ss players off; players who have the talent to advance the Hawks fortunes but are constained by personality politics. And it definitley inhibits the taems ability to attract top flight FAs.

Think about it for a minute: after several seasons of having the worst record of any proffessional sports coach, the Hawks make the playoffs in successive years but in a vote by press and peers,Woodson gets ONE vote for COY.Something just isn’t right; after all Atlanta was “voted” one of the top 10 locations in a recent poll concerning desirable cities /teams for NBA players. Yet our recent FA signings include a guy on his way to play in russia after being on 6 teams in 7 years; a career journey man and a refugee from Warrirs. Maybe there is another explanation but I can’t figure it out?

livinglegend

July 2nd, 2009
1:05 pm

Sam, Allen Iverson is a shell of his former self. I would rather bring Bibby back than deal with Iverson on our team. Same thing goes with McDyess, R. Wallace and another late 90s-early 2000s all star that is on the market. These names sound intriguing but these guys don’t have much game left to speak of. They make sense in places like Cleveland or Boston but they would be asked to contribute more than they have left in the tank should they come to Atlanta.

DSS82

July 2nd, 2009
1:07 pm

Sekou,

Im assuming the reason we’re not heating about the Hawks going after any free agents that played for other teams last year is that there trying to shore up all the free agents that played significant minutes fir them in 2007-2008.

With that said, if they do sign Bibby, Zaza and Marvin is there any reason to be optimistic with the Hawks roster coming back intact and having another year under their belt in Woody’s system, but a team that also got manhandled in the second round? Especially with the improvements most experts forsee taking place in Boston, Cleveland, and Detroit.

MannyT

July 2nd, 2009
1:10 pm

If Chills is ready to come back to the NBA, but not the Hawks, it sounds like an opportunity to get a backup big man in a sign & trade. However, we would have to make that known to Chills agent in time for this to happen before he has to make his July 15 decision on his Greek contract.

Seems like a good opportunity to snag young talent off a decent team like the Lakers (Mbenga & Powell), Portland (Outlaw), or Phoenix (Lopez)

…or another opportunistic move like getting Okur or Boozer from Utah so they can clear salary for Millsap. Sure it’s a 1 yr rental, but at least they would be in the building and available to contribute.

I like Chills and his scrap collector offense, but if we can get better and step away from the annual tender, I’d work with him.

BWAF

Aaron

July 2nd, 2009
1:11 pm

Sekou, Ariza can in fact be sign-and-traded because the Lakers own his Bird rights.

Also, the Hawks need to get on the phone and call the Clippers. This scenario is exactly like the Al Harrington one from a few years ago. The Hawks can move Childress to a team that needs him and not have to take back much salary. No other team above the cap can offer the Hawks such a great deal.

There’s even a chance the Hawks could dump Randolph Morris in the process. With Childress being from California, I’m tempted to call his agent myself.

Sekou Smith

July 2nd, 2009
1:14 pm

DSS82, in the Hawks’ defense, they were beat up by the time LeBron and his crew got their hands on them. So I’ll give them a pass in the second round. The Hawks haven’t made a move to challenge the top three but I don’t know if they’ve been caught by the pack in back of them yet.

Daniel

July 2nd, 2009
1:15 pm

Sekou- what are your thoughts or info on why Chilldress would want to come back this year?

HawkKingBibby

July 2nd, 2009
1:16 pm

Sekou Chills is a byc player so the Hawks cant take back Gadzuric for him. Maybe Joe Alexander or a future 1st? The Clippers are a good fit because they just got a huge trade exception in the Randolph trade. DeAndre Jordon would be cool if they go for it. If not maybe a draft pick. Then again getting a lottery protected pick from the Clippers may take a long time to pay off, lol.

mountain_jim

July 2nd, 2009
1:19 pm

Rommel – You would trade Marvin and Chills for a one-year Bosh rental?

RamblinRed

July 2nd, 2009
1:19 pm

Sekou,
Do the Hawks have any interest in Jarrett Jack. He is a restricted FA, but rumors are that IND can’t afford to pay him much (Bird wants to split his mid-level) and it seems like he could be had for $4-5MM yr. I think he would be a strong fit in Atlanta, and would likely mesh well with Woodson. He is a very good defender (which Bibby is not) and while not the shooter Bibby is, the Hawks brought in Crawford and Jack shot a resepctable 37% on threes and is money from the line (85%). He would be younger and cheaper than Bibby.
He is also good friends with Bosh. I like the Bosh idea by the way. He is not a C – he is a PF, but I would put a 2-man frontcourt of Bosh and Horford up against just about anyone. Horford would be my C in that scenario. I think that is where he should play anyways.

KevinA

July 2nd, 2009
1:20 pm

1 1/2 years ago this some blog was ready to toss ZaZa away. Now we have many wanting to toss Marvin. We need to show love to Chills (Woody/Sund on their knees).

Crawford is the odd man out. How long to the Hawks have to keep him before we can use him to make a deal. We should trade him away for nothing. At his salary he has 0 value.

9 million off the books opens up a wide range of possibilities.

Trade experts please chime in.

mountain_jim

July 2nd, 2009
1:22 pm

I will say again on this blog that I think overpaying for Bibby for too long, if that’s what happens, is a mistake. His defense at PG was too weak, killing us inside where our defense at C is also too weak.

mountain_jim

July 2nd, 2009
1:25 pm

Yes RamblinRed – I would like to see some Jack interest before giving up the farm to no-D Bibby.

KevinA

July 2nd, 2009
1:26 pm

How much playing time did Solo get. If ZaZa is so good why would a FA big want to come here. Are we really talking about a ZaZa up grade? I don’t see Josh or Al losing minutes. Solo is good for what he is paid and will stay with trash minutes.

UGA

July 2nd, 2009
1:27 pm

Sekou,

How about Francisco Elson and Kurt Thomas from the Bucks, 2 veteran bigs?
Or if things fall through here, maybe Ridnour?

Also, if Flip leaves and we keep Bibby, how about Bobby Jackson from Sacramento (who use to back up Bibby) or CJ Watson from the Warriors (restricted free agent)?

Thanks!

Dan23

July 2nd, 2009
1:30 pm

This team changed when Bibby got here. Went from a team with young talent to a team who could make noise in the playoffs (and did). I think that Chills could be a great addition into the rotation, as one of the problems that we had was our depth. He is a terrific on ball defender of the 1,2, or 3 and offensively gets his points on the baseline like noone I have ever seen. He would fit nicely, especially at the mid-level.

Daniel

July 2nd, 2009
1:31 pm

mountain_jim- nobody wants to overpay Bibby. Do you really think that Sund does too? 2-3 years at 5-6 mil is what I think most people are looking at. Is that too much too long for you?

Hawksfanatic

July 2nd, 2009
1:36 pm

Sekou you are KILLING me. Just because Ariza is unrestricted doesn’t mean he can’t be involved in a sign-and-trade. Al Harrington was unrestricted a few years ago with us and did that stop us from doing a sign-and-trade with him?

And to Aaron, Bird rights have nothing to do with a sign-and-trade. They are nice to have when doing SNT, but not necessary. The only real stipulation with a SNT is that you can SNT your own free agents and cannot use the MLE, LLE, or Disabled Player Exception.

SB

July 2nd, 2009
1:36 pm

Sekou………………. If the Hawks can’t work things out with Bibby. Is their any way you can see the Hawks sending Chill’s to the Bucks for Luke and their 2010 1RST round pick?

G-Dot

July 2nd, 2009
1:36 pm

I was wondering how much money we have to spend before we sign anybody. I figure the total is around 20 mil. Am I right on that # Sekou.

shresee2

July 2nd, 2009
1:37 pm

Sekou, do you think personality issues with Woodson is a concern. I know you are around the team a lot and may not want to comment but if players do not want to come here is just because we have been losing for so long, is it our system or what? Bibby did say at the end of last year he loved the city and the coaching staff but is is because he is a veteran and know what is expected and woodson is harder on younger players, what would this mean for teague? Will teague be able to contribute successfully next year with the over crowding in the back court? Do you think if Bibby is signed he may be moved to SG? All these players are going to want to start, how is this going to work out for Crawford and Bibby? Will the Hawks be able to pick-up quality bench players to get the rotation maybe a strong 9 or 10 and let Gardner, Hunter and Morris go? What reserves are out there to help them consistently, what about players that weren’t drafted like the big man from Augusta State, he maybe a upgrade to Morris.

Wabe

July 2nd, 2009
1:38 pm

Bosh has one year left on his deal…

Mountain Jim said it best – you’d essentially be renting Bosh unless he restructured his deal first.

On top of that, the Hawks aren’t going to make any blockbuster deals. Before they moved anybody, they’ll wait and see how this team looks with the new additions they have. Even after that, they’d settle for steady progress year in and year out – they don’t seem like the club that’ll make the blockbuster deal to get them over the top of the mountain until they’re a bit closer to the top of the mountain…

And if I guarantee they’ll be extremely hesitant (no matter how close they are to a title) to ever mortgage their future to pursue a WIN NOW player. So guys who keep throwin M.Williams and J.Smoove into trade rumors, I SINCERELY DOUBT IT’LL EVER HAPPEN.

So the Bosh’s and Amare’s – it’ll never happen…

jhan

July 2nd, 2009
1:39 pm

I remember last year at this time people were saying that Philly & Miami would be much better than us because they signed Brand & O’Neal. How did that work out?

Remember how we were screwed because Chills was not going to play? Funny how we got 10 games better with him not playing.

I’m of a mind to believe Orlando will take a step back next year. I like Vince Carter – he is a better individual talent than Hedo – but is he a better fit than Hedo? Can you give the ball to Vince & know that he will make the correct plays down the stretch? Maybe/Maybe not.

If Boston keeps their squad intact & Garnett comes back healthy then they will definitely be better next year.

Cleveland – will they be better with Shaq? How is Lebron going to make his moves in the lane with the big fella camping out? Do you play Shaq on the perimeter to open up the lane? Will anyone guard Shaq more the 8′ from the basket? If you take Shaq out to open up the lane who will guard Howard?

I’m not sure why so many are so freaked out about other teams “making major moves towards the title” while the Hawks do nothing. Other teams are making moves but are they truly getting better?

[...] of the Hawks and may be visiting as a negotiating ploy, but it’s something to watch.  According to Sekou Smith, the aim may be to work out a sign-and-trade.  Could this be the deal that ships [...]

SB

July 2nd, 2009
1:40 pm

For every one yelling about depth. We didn’t have depth problems at Point guard, Shooting Guard or Small forward. These are the spots Chill’s plays in. Our depth problems came in at PF and C, Chill’s plays neither.

Wabe

July 2nd, 2009
1:40 pm

But I could actually SEE Bosh being somewhat realistic..

Stoudamire – would never happen.

Mitch

July 2nd, 2009
1:42 pm

Sekou:

Thanks for your response to my Devin Harris question. Because the Nets were willing to part with Harris for the #2 pick, and because they acquired PG Rafer Alston in the Vinsanity deal, I was thinking the Nets would still listen to offers involving Harris.

My thinking is on a par with some of my friends here that the Hawks need a PG who can break down the defense to score or dish. Crawford can score some off the dribble, but he’s not great at dishing the ball in traffic. Harris can do both and is excellent at both.

The issues with Bibby are his defense and, at times, his out of control passing, where inexplicably he forces the ball into traffic. Sure, he’s great at hitting the threes, sometimes in key situations, and he does throw an occasional great pass…but…the fact that the Hawks don’t have a legitimate threat in the post, makes it all the more important to have a point guard who can get into the lane and distribute the ball to men left open from the help.

Rommel

July 2nd, 2009
1:45 pm

Ok Sekou, what about this trade instead? Marvin and Crawford to the Clippers for Chris Kaman. Yes he is a little injury prone, but if he is healthy, he could really bolster our lineup. Plus, the Clippers already have a ton of big men so I am sure they would not mind departing with Kaman. Since we would lose Crawford, resigning Bibby would then be the main priority.

PG- Bibby
SG-Johnson
SF- Smith
PF- Horford
C- Kaman

Mitch

July 2nd, 2009
1:46 pm

So let me throw this out there to everyone:

Would you make this deal? Or is it too far-fetched?

F Josh Smith ($10M per) for G Devin Harris ($7.8M per through 2011-2012).

Johnny Hazeltine

July 2nd, 2009
1:49 pm

Don’t expect much of anything in return for Josh Childress.

A bench player, and maybe a 2nd RNDer, that’s about it.

Sam

July 2nd, 2009
1:49 pm

EVERYONE, STOP WITH THE DEVIN HARRIS GARBAGE! Why on Earth would the Nets make that deal? This is not fantasy basketball.

Ariose

July 2nd, 2009
1:50 pm

Having PT issues is A GOOD THING LOL. THAT MEANS YOUR LOADED!!!! TEAM USA STYLE!!!!

jhan

July 2nd, 2009
1:52 pm

Woody’s current offense has no place for a drive & dish PG – see Acie Law. Woody needs someone to bring the ball up the floor, set a pick for Joe & then move to an open spot for a potential jumper.

Why trade/sign another square peg & try to jam it in the round hole?

Johnny Hazeltine

July 2nd, 2009
1:52 pm

As for Bibby, anything more than $10-$12M/2 years will be too much money.

Ariose

July 2nd, 2009
1:54 pm

Honestly, if I were the coach of theis ballclub, a mirror image of team USA would be my aim. Throwing waves of players at you in five minute spurts, that way no one gets tired and whoever is on the court is always perfoming at the highest level. If we bring everyone back and add someone like Gortat or Channing Frye, I beleive we will bave the weapons to play that brand of basketball.