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 opt out of his contract with Olympiakos to return home and to the NBA. David Andersen, another player on the Hawks’ shopping list, has the same clause in his Spanish contract).

Folks keep asking what’s the latest on (All THE HAWKS’ SUMMER TARGETS)? So here’s a rundown, early on a day I’m dubbing Super Tuesday, of where things stand with the key players (and for a sobering look at just how crazy free agency is working this summer, check out this dagger from ESPN Insider and Alpharetta’s own John Hollinger):

MARVIN WILLIAMS: Using Charlie Villanueva’s deal in Detroit (5 years, $40 million-range) as your guide, things should get much easier to decipher in the curious case of Marvin Williams. With a qualifying offer of $7.5 million, we’re not talking about anything out of the ordinary her for a guy that’s proved to be a valuable starter the past three years. Finding another 6-9 starting small forward that fits the way he does on this team will not be easy, despite all of the suggestions around here to the contrary. Respected and prolific colleague Mark Bradley has suggested many times that if any of the Hawks’ remaining building blocks was expendable it was Marvin. But as I look across the free agent landscape, I cannot co-sign that theory. Not with the free agent moves/trades that have gone on in the Eastern Conference since draft night. Not with Hedo Turkoglu in Toronto now and Vince Carter in his old spot in Orlando. And not with Villanueva in Detroit and the addition of Rasheed Wallace in Boston. The length the Hawks used to their advantage across the frontline with Williams, Josh Smith and Al Horford is more critical than ever. Even in one of the many proposed sign-and-trade deals offered up around these parts, I don’t see the Hawks adding the piece that could take Marvin’s place on this roster (in fit, size and temperament … three crucial factors that Marvin brings that go largely unnoticed by the public). The Hawks have made clear their preference for Marvin to remain a part of the core of this team and I see no reason why that shouldn’t happen. I can’t see any scenario where he is not a part of this team in the future.

ZAZA PACHULIA: Much has been made in the past 72 hours about Zaza’s impending departure and his being replaced by Andersen, or a combination of players that includes the Australian big man. Slow down with that one. Sources tell me that while initially things didn’t look too good with the offer that was presented to him by the Hawks, the sides are working their way toward more agreeable terms (we’re talking slightly north of the $16 million over four years he signed for the last time he was a free agent but decidedly south of the $33 million over five years Marcin Gortat is expected to receive from Dallas). And in an Eastern Conference littered with bigs like Dwight Howard in Orlando, Shaquille O’Neal in Cleveland and now Wallace, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins in Boston (and that’s just on the teams that finished ahead of the Hawks in the standings last season), that’s a good thing. Because the Hawks can ill-afford to lose a player like Zaza. He’s the only real bruiser on the roster. He’ll set a hard pick and has shown he’s not afraid to mix it up with the likes of Garnett and Howard. And while I’m not heavy into the stats that seem to guide so many people’s opinions about players, I do believe that some numbers tell a far different story than what the heart and mind can. There were six regular season games and three playoff games during the 2008-2009 season where Zaza played 30-plus minutes. He averaged 9.8 points, 10.1 rebounds (and 4.1 offensive rebounds) in those games. That means when he was needed to play above and beyond his pay grade, Pachulia delivered.

JOSH CHILDRESS: Like Andersen, Childress would do better financially (at least in the next year or two) by returning to Greece for another season with Olympiakos. But if he’s intent on returning to the NBA this summer, and there are indications that he would indeed love to return, things could get tricky. Childress has already visited Milwaukee. And the Bucks could present him with an offer sheet and gamble that the Hawks might not match it (fat chance). The obvious solution for both sides would be a sign-and-trade deal (the starting salary for Childress wouldn’t even be the full mid-level of $5.6 million, though the total contract would be nearly $31 million over five years). The Bucks have all the necessary tools to make something like that happen. Whatever happens, the Hawks need to close the door on the Childress saga that began last summer during his first round of restricted free agency. His jersey number was given away last summer (to Mo Evans) in a way that should have signaled the end of his time with the Hawks to all of us. I know I’ve spent much of the last year plotting hypothetical scenarios in which he could return to the Hawks. I realize now, finally, it’s just not going to happen. So if there is any way to salvage a player (Bruce Bowen has been mentioned) and a possible second-round draft pick out of the deal, the Hawks could finally walk away from the entire mess with some measure of satisfaction.

Resolve two of the three issues above by July 15 and the Hawks will have made some serious headway into a summer that’s long from over. The roster still needs filling out. And that might not come until much later in the summer and possibly even training camp, where a hungry free agent pickup like Mario West won roster spots in each of the past two camps.

The Hawks will still have the resources to chase down another big man (or possibly two) to fill out the rotation, which is still in need of fortification. But the heavy lifting starts today in D.C.

636 comments Add your comment

Dos Hawkquis

July 8th, 2009
11:02 pm

‘POOP,

I would not call Solo a “big.” Let’s call him… a “slim.” The Hawks have 2 Bigs-Horford and ZaZa and 1 Slim-Solo.

I applaud Sund for being fiscally responsible.

“I don’t always watch basketball, but when I do, prefer the Hawks. Stay hungry Hawks fans!”

Ken Strickland

July 8th, 2009
11:02 pm

As much as I hate some of the boneheaded things MWoodson does and has done, I hope he earns a contract extension. It would indicate the team showed improvement over last yr, which would mean we had a very good season. I also have a feeling Solo will be back on the bench. He’s a RFA, and I don’t think teams will offer him a contract the Hawks can’t easily match. He can also accept a one yr tender and become a UFA after the season. I think he’ll work hard and continue to get better and stronger, like he did last off season.

As far as Marvin is concerned, he’s a starter and teams know we don’t have a realistic replacement for him. Therefore, they know the Hawks will likely match any offer made to him, like we did with Smoove last yr. I really feel better about the Hawks. With Crawford and Teague, we’ve increased our speed, quickness, shooting and penetrating ability as well as our ability to pressure the ball. And just as important, both players are healthy and/or pass the Woody acceptance factor. GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

niremetal

July 8th, 2009
11:04 pm

My sleeper free agent is Adonal Foyle. He was lost in the Magic’s frontcourt rotation this year, but he is a tough, smart player who can grab boards, block shots, and has gained a rep as a solid locker room presence. He perfectly fits the bill of someone who could play 10-15 minutes per game to round out the frontcourt rotation.

darrell starks

July 8th, 2009
11:07 pm

Wilcox and zaza together of the bench would be scary on the boards.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

Wabe

July 8th, 2009
11:11 pm

I know the man hasn’t officially signed,

but no1’s answered whether they’ve ‘officially agreed’ on 4 years/19 million or is that dollar amount not 100%?

Because there are other numbers floating around.

John

July 8th, 2009
11:12 pm

Who is this Sekou guy? And why is everyone seeking his approval? Facts-
Hawks are 4th best in the division, and not even close to # 3,. Fact- Hawks need a big guy to rebound to compete. Fact- The Spirit Ownership has choosen to retain certian players, gteat because you need to have certian players. Fact- In order for the Hawks to compete w/ the big guys, they need a center, or a good rebounder off the bech. Morris ? from what I have seen is not the guy. Fact- HawkS need to retain the rsoet and get a rebounder to compete. I am sorry this this puts a damper on your future…

Dos Hawkquis

July 8th, 2009
11:12 pm

CONSPIRACY THEORISTS?

In my 5:06 post, I suggested that Stern was “up to something” in order to get the superstars to stay put next year. Well here is a story suggesting that:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/basketball/nba/07/08/union.upset.ap/index.html

“I don’t always watch basketball, but when I do, I prefer the Hawks. Stay hungry Hawks fans!!”

The Truth

July 8th, 2009
11:18 pm

Here is our center lineup:

1) Al Hordford- 6′10″ 245 lbs – under contract
2) ZaZa Pachulia- 6′11″ 275 lbs – agreed to new contract
3) Randolph Morris- 6′11″ 275 lbs – under contract
4) Solomon Jones – 6′10″ 245 lbs – tendered offer made
5) Garret Siler – 7′0″ 291 lbs – Schedule to report to Hawks Camp

What you see is what you get. Can we get to the next level?

Hawks number 1 fan

July 8th, 2009
11:30 pm

Flip is my favorite player… i got his jersey last year and i dont get why they would try to push him out of the spotlight of being out bench player! HE WAS HUGE IN THE HEAT SERIES! no one remembers him dropping 23 in the playoffs of the bench… bibby coked during the playoffs like always and Flip stepped up! GET FLIP BACK! GET MARVIN BACK! LEAVE CHILDRESS!

Ken

July 8th, 2009
11:41 pm

Hey Sekou,

It is great to see the Hawks on the ball early this off-season with Crawford signing, Teague in draft, now re-uping Bibby and Zaza early. I think it’s a good sign of things to come next season. I feel good about us gettin Marvin resigned, so do you not what other big they may be going after? Channing Frye, Chris Wilcox,?

John

July 9th, 2009
12:02 am

Obi-Wan Kenobi-Sekou

Can you tell us, with the force, how the Hawks can keep up with the other teams in our division? To me, the other teams have upgraded. The Hawks w/ the ATL Spirit have shown they are increasing the cap to keep the core players. Am I wrong that the Hawks need a rebounder to compete? May the force be with you.

SB

July 9th, 2009
12:17 am

John…. you seem to have you opinions mixed up with facts.
The Hawks are not 4th in their division, 4th in the conference maybe. But not 4th in the division.
Their standing in the division and Conference depends on if you see Vince Carter as an upgrade in Orlando. At this point in Vince’s career I’m not so sure he is. Don’t get me wrong, he is a better player than Turk, I just don’t know that his skill set fits Orlando as well. Turk can be a deadly catch and shoot player at times, Vince is more of an isolation player. Don’t think Orlando is getting the Vince Carter of his youth. Factor in what they gave up in the trade, Loosing Turk and Gortrat in FA, Sorry dude I don’t think they improved. The Hawks ( if they keep or get something of value for Marvin) are right their with Orlando. Clev and Boston may be out of reach for the time being.
You are right they do need at least one more big. So one of them was a fact.

Ariose

July 9th, 2009
12:44 am

Shout out to Louis Williams(fellow South Alum). Went by my old HS(South Gwinnett) and he was holding his annual youth B-ball camp up there.

niremetal

July 9th, 2009
12:48 am

Co-sign SB. But you neglected to mention two other facts he got way off:
1) We gave Bibby a $9M per year paycut and gave Zaza a $500k raise. Tell how that’s “increasing the cap to keep the core”
2) For the millionth time, WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO MENTION THE JAMAL CRAWFORD TRADE WHEN EVALUATING THE HAWKS’ OFFSEASON TO DATE? Has the modern world so addled people’s brains that their attention span doesn’t even last two full weeks anymore? My goodness.

Sund gets an A-/B+ for the offseason to date. I’d give him an A but for the fact that he hasn’t signed another big man to fill out the frontcourt, although I don’t knock him too much for that because our first priority during that first week HAD to be re-signing our two big unrestricted free agents, which we did (and at a damned good price). Here’s another way to look at it:
1) Before the offseason started Mike Bibby was generally ranked as either the #1 or #2 (behind Andre Miller) free agent PG available and Zaza was ranked as one of the top 2 centers available (along with Gortat…top 3 if you count Sheed as a center). So it’s not like there were major upgrades at those positions there for the taking, and we managed to keep not one, but both of them – again, at VERY reasonable prices.
2) We’re only a week into the offseason and the only big men we’ve lost out on are Sheed (who sure as hell wasn’t coming here over Boston), McDyess (same, but w/San Antonio), Gortat (same to a lesser extent, but w/Dallas), Varejao (who got a contract from the Cavs way bigger than the Hawks could offer him), and Chris Andersen (who I’m guessing had his heart set on returning to Denver considering that he signed for less than the mid-level to stay there).
3) We drafted a PG that basically is – at worst – a replacement for Acie’s “place in the rotation.”

Sekou said in his first free agency blog we were getting in touch with McDyess, Gortat, and Sheed within hours after the free agency period opened. We can’t blame Sund if they decide to go elsewhere. And we should be glad that no other team swiped Zaza or Bibby away from us.

Gooden, Millsap, Mikki Moore, Wilcox, Nesterovic, Foyle, Big Baby, Bass, Joe Smith, Powe, and Frye are all still on the market. My guess is that we’ll land one of those guys. But for right now, I join the chorus of all those who say that the offseason so far has been a resounding success.

Mr. 360

July 9th, 2009
12:54 am

Trade…

Marvin Williams, Maurice Evans, and Randolph Morris for Marcus Camby and Al Thornton.

LINEUP:

Bibby/Teague
Johnson/Crawford
Thornton/Childress/West
Smith/Camby/Jones
Horford/Pachulia/Morris

niremetal

July 9th, 2009
12:58 am

And PS – did the Cavs really just sign Varejao to a $50M contract? My goodness. Talk about bidding against yourself. That shows how desperate they are to have some insurance for the inevitable injuries to Shaq and Varejao. But $8.3M per year is a hell of a lot to pay for a guy who will be 27 when the season starts and probably will never be a full-time starter. They basically just priced themselves out of the free agent market for next summer.

niremetal

July 9th, 2009
12:59 am

* inevitable injuries to Shaq and Ilgauskas.

niremetal

July 9th, 2009
1:11 am

And link of the day:
http://blog.nola.com/hornetsbeat/2009/07/new_orleans_hornets_quietly_pl.html

Looks like the Hornets were targeting Zaza but he stayed here for way less than the mid-level. Good to see.

Ariose

July 9th, 2009
1:48 am

nire, I know lol. Almost no one else could have offred him more lol.

blue hawk

July 9th, 2009
2:38 am

I like our “potential” line up that includes both Josh Childress and David Andersen.

If ever David Andersen is brought over, he’ll the most offensively skilled bigman on the team. Definitely a nice complement to Smoove, Hoffa and Zaza.

I don’t understand why Sund is wavering on David Andersen, the guy is a proven baller (as much as some guys think that the European leagues are not up to par) and has delivered in big games.

I’m sure that this guy’ll be a bargain big. (If Woody doesn’t waste his ‘resources’ at hand and starts coaching with a brain)

Teague – Bibby – Crawford – JJ – Smoove – Hoffa – Zaza – Evans – Childress – D. Andersen – RandMo – Mario West – Marv

Make the move on David, he’s already 29 yrs old. People keep calling Bibby old and he’s just 31. That’s 2 yrs away for David.

Bring some OFFENSIVE POISE in the paint, all our bigs have offensively is their athleticism.

Ariose

July 9th, 2009
2:40 am

Huh? The Raptors signed Anthony Parker…..Good Pickp.

….GERALD GREEN(800k!!!!!)

Ariose

July 9th, 2009
2:41 am

I hope Bibby is seriously working on his footwork this offseason….

A Tribe Called Quest

July 9th, 2009
2:53 am

Nice signings so far by Sund…He now MUST find some bigs to backup ZaZa. I would get Wilcox immediately (SAS is doing a great job so far–just got McDyess).

If this team is going to compete in the next 2 years, we really need Smoove and Horford to take their games to the next level. That means spending hours in the gym adding muscle as well as working on their post moves and shooting. Smoove needs to develop a consistent jumper (no more 3s) and Horford’s post game is not very good right now.

Do those 2 things, and this team should compete pretty soon

A Tribe Called Quest

July 9th, 2009
3:29 am

*not to backup ZaZa, but to help ZaZa backup Horford. Horford must stay healthy too.

This team needs to on a whole try stay healthy this year.

I predict LeBron is too arrogant to take an extension now and will cost him dearly next year when the cap sucks

A Tribe Called Quest

July 9th, 2009
3:32 am

Tribe’s Wishlist:

1) Smoove to develop jumper, post moves, post defense
2) Horford to get bigger and do the same things listed for Smoove besides the post defense
3) Bibby to lose about 8-10 pounds and get thinner and quicker
4) Joe to trust his teammates more
5) Crawford to do the Shake N Bake more this season. Haven’t seen him do it for 2 years or so
6) ZaZa is to keep being ZaZa
7) Woodson to TRUST HIS ROOKIE PGS. I swear Woodson wouldn’t trust a 23 year old John Stockton because he’d be too young of a PG

jj

July 9th, 2009
4:30 am

I was wondering if the smaller cap for next year would cause Chills to rethink about his waiting for next year to be a FA?I would think he would try to get something done this year don’t you think?

doc

July 9th, 2009
6:41 am

i am not sure but when i described the destruction and difficulty experienced after a sprained ankle i was making excuses for josh smith. here is an article that if you read will illuminate those of you that have pooh poohed it. it stress’s the notion that most of our balance comes from the ankle and is lost when it is sprained. it also reinforces the notion that once one sprains an ankle if one doesnt rehab it aggressively one is prone to have it happen over and over. can anyone see this in horford or josh and that is big money there? because it is thought of in everyday terms of oh it is just a sprained ankle folks miss the rehab necessary. if you have had a sprain pay heed as you may have already had the over and over simple little twists that seem to be little setbacks but are indicators of something much greater.

here it is if you care to check it out. there is also a notion of how important maintaining balance is in aging something all of us will be interested in no matter what age you are now. check it out:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/08/how-to-fix-bad-ankles/?em

yup nire, quite a run by sund thus far. seems he has an early august vacation to catch. to somehow get marvin in the fold, maybe a david anderson type and a big banger and he gets an a, throw in the disposition of chills for some kind of asset and the guy gets an a+. throw in flip to keep several here happy and he is over the top.

Mike

July 9th, 2009
7:16 am

Sekou, any word on any other targets the Hawks might have to add some depth in the front court? They probably can’t afford a legit center besides Zaza, so I’d like to see them go with somebody who is very athletic to fit their style of play. Both Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox fit the bill, and probably won’t be all that expensive. Any chance they have enough money left after Marvin to go after a guy like that?

Thanks.

dap01

July 9th, 2009
8:21 am

Sund has done an excellent job. Looking at the Hawks, we could use a banger down low. Anderson would be great from an offensive standpoint.
We could also use a shooting forward to be an offensive force for the bench.

Are there any of Sund’s previous attempts at center that my be worth a look for a very low price (SENE, others)?
Anyway so far, so good.

Daniel

July 9th, 2009
9:04 am

Wow! 4 years at 19 mil? I am shocked! Way to go Sund. Honestly, I thought Za was going to get closer to 22-24 mil. We have saved some money there. Now, if we can get Marvin done in the 7mil range we are off and running. Assuming, David Anderson would get 2.5 mil., we would still have almost 5 milion to sign ANOTHER free agent. I can’t believe how professional the Hawks look this off season. I think I need to reassess what is possible in terms of another front court big.
I really didn’t think we could get a Bass/Wilcox type and bring in Anderson, but we sure could.

Now, this still leaves the whole Childress matter out there. I would imagine somehting is going to have to get done in the next week, because after the 15th Josh has to let Olympiakas know his plans. He has to get it done before then or he loses basically all of his bargining power with the Hawks.

Good job Sund, and ASG for that matter. (I can’t believe I just wrote that)

Sekou Smith

July 9th, 2009
9:27 am

New blog up folks. This one has too many pages to scroll to get to Nire’s latest. Ha. Move on over.

Anakin Joe

July 9th, 2009
9:33 am

nire, I’m with you on Adonal Foyle.. I’ve been wanting him with the Hawks for several years. I recall that he choose Orlando because of the relatively short flight to his Carribbean home. I also understand that he is a terrific practice player for Dwight Howard.

While I’m no huge Solo fan, I’d bring him back before bringing in Chris Wilcox. Wilcox is thicker but he isn’t much of a banger nor defender. At least Solo puts effort into his defense, has a very soft touch on his shot and is a far superior shot-blocker to Wilcox. Oh yeah and should come at a lower salary.

I wish we could steal Josh Boone from the Nets for Mo Evans… but that’s not going to happen.

doc

July 9th, 2009
9:36 am

kirk, didnt think i would have to say it but you were right on my andruw jones, one of my favorite players. i am so glad to have seen this am that he homered on three trips to the plate and is now considering being a first baseman. i didnt think he would have helped here and since he has such a good relationship out there with their batting instructor he might have bombed here, just the same great to see his success. i do think he is the type of guy where too much money gets in his head and he just wants to play without all the hype and pressure. hope it continues.

ALSO KIRK, look out or we might have too much expectations if sund continues this roll, if you catch my drift. ;-)

jase

July 9th, 2009
10:49 am

Any news about david andersen sekou and j chill

jase

July 9th, 2009
10:50 am

any news about david andersen and j chill sekou

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