Buyer beware!

The Hawks gambled on and won big on Joe Johnson. The Hornets didn't fare as well with their acquisition of Peja Stojakovic.

The Hawks gambled on and won big on Joe Johnson. The Hornets ... not so much with their acquisition of Peja Stojakovic. It's buyer beware during NBA free agency.

HAWKSVILLE - Don’t we get this feeling around this time every summer?

While the rest of the NBA seems to move at a breakneck pace in the summer, things here in Hawksville seem to move in that Matrix-styled slow motion, the one where is dancing on the rooftop avoiding those bullets from the agents.

It’s always bothered me in the past. But not so much now.

Not with teams (Portland) being made a fool of in their pursuit of players that may or may not push them to the next level. Toronto’s pending acquisition of Hedo Turkoglu certainly looks like a playoff-making move for a franchise that (even with Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon last year) couldn’t muster more than 33 wins. The Raptors finished third to last in the Eastern Conference, meaning Turkoglu’s addition alone (they don’t have any more free agent cash to do anything else) will have to account for their summer stimulus plan.

Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t.

But when I think about all the deals that get done in these desperate summers (the ones where there aren’t a bunch of teams flush with cash and the free agent market is generally considered thin, by historical standards) and I cringe at some of the disastrous purchases that have been made.

Remember when Chicago thought they were snatching the championship momentum from Detroit a couple years ago by stealing Ben Wallace away for $64 million? Or how about the Hornets righting their champion-’ship stock with Peja Stojakovic with a similarly bloated contract?

And we don’t even have to travel back that far. Just look at last summer, when Philadelphia thought it was remaking itself into a title contender with the acquisition of Elton Brand (who, his his defense, had his season cut short by a severe injury). I point these instances out to illustrate just how cautious a team needs to be when dipping its toes into the murky free agent waters.

That said, I’d love for the Hawks to get all their business done now and make a sizable splash while doing so. I just don’t see it happening. They are close to terms with Mike Bibby, per my sources (and that report out of Philadelphia that suggested the deal was done was not only highly speculative but also way premature – a text message from someone with knowledge of the negotiations poked fun at the report thusly, “so the deal is done, huh? That’s news to all of us still trying to sort it all out.”) on a deal that solidifies the backcourt. Beyond that, the Hawks have negotiations to tend to with all of their own free agents (Zaza Pachulia and Marvin Williams first and foremost) as well as deciding how to proceed with Josh Childress, whose NBA status will have to be decided in the next 10 days.

That’s where things get a bit tricky for the Hawks, who in my estimation have to two extremely important factors weighing in their favor.

First, they don’t have cap money burning a hole in their pocket right now. When teams do, there’s a rush to spend without taking into account the flip side that things could go terribly wrong if you don’t spend wisely (the Chicago-Ben Wallace deal seems like a prime example, but I’d dial it back to the Eddy Curry-Knicks summer as well, you’ll remember that’s the summer the Hawks hosted Curry and tried to entice him. Good thing they lost out on that one, huh?).

Also working in the Hawks’ favor is that they’re not a team desperate to crawl out of a lottery hole (though I’m sure you remember the feeling). When the Hawks acquired Joe Johnson four years ago, they were flush with cap space and that summer’s free agent crop was considered thick. They eye-balled Ray Allen first and missed out, but wound up landing the right player at just the right time to help in their transformation from doormat to eventual playoff team. Like I said earlier, maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t.

When you’re coming off back-to-back playoff seasons, the need for prudence in all matters can’t be stressed enough. One false move (or non-move in the Hawks’ case this summer) can set you back. Sometimes it can send you back as well, all the way back to Jersey for the lottery ceremony.

609 comments Add your comment

The Real Fan

July 5th, 2009
9:41 am

Get Bibby signed!

The Real Fan

July 5th, 2009
9:42 am

Oh yeah, first!!

CS

July 5th, 2009
9:48 am

#1NiqueFan

July 5th, 2009
9:49 am

Are the Hawks looking at any free agent centers? Who are the best available on the market via trade or free agency?

D-Bo

July 5th, 2009
9:55 am

It’s good to know that Bibby will most likely be re-signed. But then it’s a MUST that we sign Marvin and Zaza and I surely hope the Hawks FO feels the same way. This means Flip is out of here and I’m not going to miss him much, Jamal Crawford is a much better version of Flip that can go off for 30+ any given night. Our back court will most def. be solidified when the final details of the Bibby deal are released. We lacked scoring last year and went through a lot of scoring droughts, I like the additions of Crawford and Teague.

With that said, our frontcourt needs Pachulia and more. I look at a guy like Antonio McDyess or Brandon Bass as perfect fits, they both will get some calls from quite a few teams but they are both second tier guys in this free agent class. MLE can grab one of them, IMO.

But I guess as a Hawks fan, I should be worrying about whether the organization gets a deal done w/ Marv, Zaza before I start worrying about anything else.

Samuel

July 5th, 2009
9:59 am

Samuel

July 5th, 2009
9:58 am
Doc,

My boy Rick is cool as a cucumber. Wouldn’t it be something if he were able to sign ZaZa and Marvin+ add an additional big that can play(McDycee,Sheed,Frye).

This team is shaping up to be pretty good. Still not sure we can move up a notch in the Eastern pecking order but definately can more solidify our hold on 4th spot. If we can hold the 4th spot a year or so then we can move up after 2010. If the Cavs don’t win a ring this year, LeBron is gone and Cleveland goes back to “LOTTO” status. Boston will be another year older and KG will be more banged up. They will slip.

2011 will be our year to move up into the top 2. Our core will only be better while other teams will fall off. that’s my long term plan and i’m sticking to it.

darrell starks

July 5th, 2009
10:02 am

Sekou my opinion flip is the most important piece that we have to sign he electrified the team when he came of the bench plus he can play the 1 or the 2 position we need flip.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!

hawkfan

July 5th, 2009
10:02 am

Why is Sund not throwing money ‘Sheed? The man is a baller and we need a quality big. ASG must have 6 or 7 mil laying around….

D-Bo

July 5th, 2009
10:09 am

Jamal Crawford will give us just what Flip did, except he’s a much more dynamic scorer, ball handler, and he’s a better shooter.

And I don’t think we should throw money at Sheed. It’s obvious he wants to go to a sure-fire championship contender, which we are not. Plus his defense is no where near it was and his offense is rather inconsistent to go along with terrible shot selection. I would be more inclined to take an up and coming big like Bass who will rebound like crazy, get physical, and simply produce. Or McDyess who will give you the vet experience but he’ll give you good shots and a much more positive influence in the locker room, IMO..

darrell starks

July 5th, 2009
10:11 am

Bibby have to go i like his passionate on coming back to the hawks but he is a liability on defense, and we wonder why devin harris score 40points or why we have so many defensive break down we have to move on.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!

hawkfan

July 5th, 2009
10:12 am

I like McDyess too. Love Zaza, but we need more. Too bad we missed out on Gortat.

darrell starks

July 5th, 2009
10:13 am

D BO who was your best player of the bench last year?
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

hawkfan

July 5th, 2009
10:14 am

Way to do Darrell. Bibby is popular but just wants to shoot 3’s. Lets sign Flip for insurance and put that Bibby money toward a center…

D-Bo

July 5th, 2009
10:18 am

It depends, Flip was a bit inconsistent but he saved us in some games. I’m not bashing the guy, I’m just saying we got Flip + more in Crawford, no need to bring Flip back and add to the logjam we have at the guard positions.

To answer the question — my best bench player was Zaza because of his O-Rebounding ability and because he always provided some comedic releif every once in a while… ha.

macaroni tony

July 5th, 2009
10:24 am

Sekou

What about that report on Anderson? Did that article have some truth to it? Because if it did then we’ll have a chance to be at least 10 deep this year….

darrell starks

July 5th, 2009
10:25 am

If we wont to contend for a title we need a big who command double team in the post some one like amar’e or bosh.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

THE MOST INTERESTING HAWKS FAN IN THE WORLD

July 5th, 2009
10:29 am

SEKOU,

Alot of the Hawks fans gave Billy and Sund a hard time, but I do appreciate that neither one of them have us hamstrung to horrible contracts. Speedy’s could have been a serviceable guard, but who knew he would need microfracture surgery?

I think that our gm’s have made shrewd and prudent moves. Yes, we passed on some talent, Chris Paul and we made bad picks, Sheldon Williams. I think that we made some hits with Chills, JSmoove, Marvin, Horford.

I think that Sund is doing a great job, within his means. We have not “overpaid” for any of our talent. Everyone is harping on Flip, he made 1.5mil last year. We won 12 games with Mo in the line-up. He made 2.5 last year. Sund made a prudent move by getting rid of Speedy and Acie for Crawford.

This “nice and slow” approach may drive most of us crazy, but it keeps you from overpaying for talent

“I don’t always watch basketball, but when I do, I prefer the Hawks. Stay thirsty my friends.”

darrell starks

July 5th, 2009
10:33 am

D BO what wrong with having flip and crawford on the same team that just like saying why have lebron and kobe on the same team you can never not have enuff talent.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!

niremetal

July 5th, 2009
10:34 am

Wow…Roddick chokes with 4 set points

terrell barron

July 5th, 2009
10:38 am

Roddick just lost the match when he blew that 2nd set. Damn.

Sekou Smith

July 5th, 2009
10:41 am

David Andersen has the situatiion Chils has, his money is greater in Europe but if he wants to come to the NBA he has to go through the Hawks. He’d be a nice piece off the bench for the Hawks. A real nice piece. But a lot has to happen for him to come here.

Draft mistakes and free agent mistakes are totally different TMIHFITW (I don’t know how else to address you with a hook that long). A draft mistake doesn’t always cost as much financially but is usually much more costly in the long run when you miss out on players like Paul and B. Roy. Speedy is easily forgotten if you do what the Hawks did and get a guy like Bibby to fill the void.

Nire, I have no words for Roddick’s choke-fest at the end of the second set. The botched volley was the worst. Come on man, that’s a shot that the weekend tennis fan like me should be able to execute. Nerves comes into play in tennis as much or more than any other sport (believe it or not, I come from a tennis family).

darrell starks

July 5th, 2009
10:44 am

Flip 6′3 Bibby 6′2 Flip want just 3mill Bibby wants at least 10mill
Flip is 29 and Bibby is 31 and the list goes on i say keep flip he will be cheaper and better on defense.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

niremetal

July 5th, 2009
10:59 am

Sekou,

We’ll see if Roddick can bounce back…at least he hasn’t let Federer break his serve yet in this set. And I’d say nerves and determination are even more important in tennis than in any other sport. Sure, Federer is a remarkable athlete with remarkable skill. But so are Roddick, Hewitt, Blake, etc. What separates Federer is that he never gets discouraged and he goes after shots that every other player in the world will give up on. In that tiebreak, it looked like Roddick was surprised that Federer got to a couple of his shots. He can’t get caught off-guard like that against Federer, because Federer doesn’t give up on any ball until it bounces twice…

Reggie

July 5th, 2009
11:00 am

Sekou what is the latest on Flip Murray’s situation, I have to believe that he is gone, assuming that we sign Mike bibby back right?

O'Brien

July 5th, 2009
11:00 am

Sekou,

Any news on ZaZa? Do you know if he has been contacted by other teams (I heard the Spurs were interested)?

And do you know which bigs have been contacted by the Hawks (or on their radar)?

darrell starks,

Flip is a Shooting guard in a PG’s body. Sure, Bibby has his defensive deficiencies, but he is much better at running an offense (or whatever Woody calls it). And Crawford is very similar (actually he’s better) than Flip.

Numberonehawksfan

July 5th, 2009
11:06 am

The Hawks are moving at a slow pace but at this point, it’s better than not making any moves at all. If the speculation about Bibby coming back is right, is he coming off of the bench? Spot-up threes should be something that a bench player should provide, not at starters’ minutes. Bibby’s defensive liabilities (too small and slow or lack of desire to guard the other team’s point) put the Hawks in way too many defensive holes. This will also retard (once again a prized point guards’) development and create a log-jam at guard. You can’t make the trade for Crawford and not start him or play him starters’ minutes. I am interested to see what the Hawks are able to get for Childress who is emphatic about not playing here. Could the Hawks pull off a sign and trade for Childress or Marvin to get a power forward center type? If you re-sign Marvin, where does he fit in? This puzzle makes your job very easy Sekou, you only have to push out the questions (as every Hawks fan has these same questions) and get a lot of feedback. Thanks for keeping us in the loop Sekou.

GO HAWKS!!!!

doc

July 5th, 2009
11:12 am

samuel, got to laugh and you know why as i am agreeing with you about now. cant get too overdone here as thee is plenty of work to be done and ther is a history of asleep at the wheel. it seems the ball is rolling the right way. saving most of the comments to all is said and done in september. i am all set to enjoy some basketball here in the big a come fall in my low cost “private box seats”.

mountain_jim

July 5th, 2009
11:14 am

I believe 3 years at $20+ mill or so will be Sund’s first bad contract, if indeed that is what Bibby gets to sign. I can’t see paying him more than 12 for 2 years and really would have preferred replacing him with a cheaper Jack, thus shoring up the defense at PG and getting younger also. And Sund should be working on bigs before Bibby anyways, as they are in such short supply this season compared to guards.

terrell barron

July 5th, 2009
11:17 am

Federer is stepping his game up another notch. Andy’s in trouble.

some sense

July 5th, 2009
11:19 am

Sesou,

This is not meant to be sarcastic or derogatory…just a clarification.

PLEASE explain the wisdom of bringing Bibby back just so I, and others apparently, can become assuaged.

Not a good defender…not a great assists guy…so what is he???

HELP.

niremetal

July 5th, 2009
11:21 am

TB,

Yup. But Roddick is hanging as tough as can be expected. I want this one to go five…

terrell barron

July 5th, 2009
11:24 am

NumberoneHawksfan, if we trade Marvin, who’s our sf? Mo Evans? Please! We better keep Marvin. He’ll be playing for a contract next year. Why trade him now? If we trade anybody, it better be Chills, Evans, or Randawful Morris.

terrell barron

July 5th, 2009
11:28 am

The Lakers signed Artest for 3 yrs 18 mill. Why should we pay more than that for Bibby?

THE MOST INTERESTING HAWKS FAN IN THE WORLD

July 5th, 2009
11:33 am

TERREL,

i love that Randawful Morris!! that’s hilarious

SOME SENSE,

I guess you just moved to Atlanta in March of this year. Bibby was the reason that we made the playoffs last year and this year. I guess you missed that. Also, the reason that we bring Bibby back is because THE COACH WANTS HIM BACK!! Woody only trusts certain people with HIS job and Bibby is one that he trusts.

“I don’t always watch basketball, but when I do, I prefer the Hawks. Stay thirsty my friends!”

darrell starks

July 5th, 2009
11:37 am

O BRIEN bibby is better running what offense?
GO HAWKS!!!!!

KevinA

July 5th, 2009
11:39 am

D-Bo, Flip shot better than JJ, Bibby and Crawford last year. I think this is why Acie lost his minutes. I would resign Flip. He is cheap insurance. Sund did a great job getting rid of Speedy’s contract.

Crawford/Bibby shoot a low FG percentage and have high salaries. I would rather see Chills signed. He shoots a much higher FG%, plays better defense and rebounds. JJ is the start of most of our offense possesions so Chills can also fill in at pg. Two years ago Chills was on the floor at the end of games.

Between Bibby and Crawford we have 23+ million to play with if Sund decides to go this route. Assuming this could work we could chase Odem or another big better than ZaZA.

If we keep Bibby for a much lower salary – no problem. Seems to me Crawford is the odd man out. Could a Crawford/ZaZa trade for a quality big work? If Crawford/Bibby are gone maybe we can have playing time for Teague to developement.

darrell starks

July 5th, 2009
11:39 am

THE MOST INTERESTING HAWKS FAN IN THE WORLD beside shoot 3 name at least three things bibby bring to the table.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

doc

July 5th, 2009
11:44 am

samuel, too funny,. went back and saw the fire saban t shirt idea for clyde. if it doesnt sell in tuscaloosa i am sure it might find a market in about 11 other towns in the southeast. it might earn him another trip to rio.

real#1hawksfan

July 5th, 2009
11:44 am

Sekou, Whats up with the us going after stoudemire? I heard gil tyree last week report that stoudemire instructed his agent to get him to ATL. If thats true then the hawks have to realize that if he’s healthy Stoudemire makes us a title contender even if we have to give up my favorite player J. Smoove. We should be able to re-sign stoudemire if we have a productive season because i’ve personally heard him say say how much he loves the city and how he’d love to play here. Also do you think theres any chance dumars goes after ol’ woody? he’s a lame duck here, dumars could get him 4 cheap.

jhan

July 5th, 2009
11:46 am

darrell starks – a few things I could think of real quick:

A person our coach will trust on the court
Veteran leadership at PG
Someone who knows how to set picks properly
Someone who the players will listen to when Woody is tongue-tied
A quality vet to teach our new PG how to play in this league
A nice trade piece when Teague is ready for more minutes

Melvin

July 5th, 2009
11:50 am

Andy looks a little gimpy after that fall..

KevinA

July 5th, 2009
11:50 am

Bibby and Crawford are the only players that are overpaid at this point.

A Drew Gooden for 2.5 mil seems like a great deal to replace Solo.

real#1hawksfan

July 5th, 2009
11:53 am

Signing Bibby will be a Bad, Bad, move. Harken back to the game against the spurs when Tony Parker BLISTERED Bibby for about 40 somethin in the lane with Bibby lookin at the back of TP’s jersey. No D I think maybe 5 games of over ten assists, not to mention Chalmers, Mo williams, Delonte doggin him in the playoffs. dont do it sund, dont do it

Melvin

July 5th, 2009
11:54 am

Andy ain’t done yet…

terrell barron

July 5th, 2009
11:54 am

Roddick is showing some heart today.

KevinA

July 5th, 2009
11:54 am

Time for the 5th set.

niremetal

July 5th, 2009
11:54 am

A-Rod’s back in it…he’s showing guts today. Not used to that from him.

D-Bo

July 5th, 2009
11:54 am

[B]D-Bo, Flip shot better than JJ, Bibby and Crawford last year. I think this is why Acie lost his minutes. I would resign Flip. He is cheap insurance. Sund did a great job getting rid of Speedy’s contract. [/B]

That is true. But Crawford was called upon to shoot far more than Flip was, and same could be said for JJ – so it makes sense that Flip shot a better percentage. That doesn’t dismiss the fact that Bibby and Crawford are both better players than Flip. Bibby can run an offense, Flip cannot. Bibby can get his teammates involved, his chemistry with the guys on the court seems better, and he’s just the better player. Plus Mike Bibby put the Atlanta Hawks into the playoffs, he is a necessity. Crawford’s one of four players in NBA history to score 50+ points with 4 diff. teams, so it’s obvious who the better scorer is – that stat just speaks for itself. Last year was also by far Flip’s most productive year, I’m not so sure he could replicate that again next season.

But I’m not hating on Flip – once again, he kept us in some games for us last year but we just don’t need him when we have superior players on the roster. We can’t create a logjam, if we do in fact get Bibby signing the dotted line then we just don’t have a need for the Flipster.

jhan

July 5th, 2009
11:56 am

Was Bibby the only guy Parker torched last year? I agree that Bibby is a liability on defense but he does have value to this team. With Crawford & Teague in the mix he won’t be the only viable player at PG for the Hawks this year.

D-Bo

July 5th, 2009
11:57 am

And I have to ask this..

Do you guys think Flip freaking Murray would have defended Tony Parker or Devin Harris better than Bibby? No. Not in a million years. 1) No one can stay in front of either of those guys. 2) Flip plays less defense than Bibby. Bibby isn’t a great one on one defender but he comes up with steals and as a team, the Hawks were good defensively. So..