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 something.
In closing, however, both sides did the right things. Childress couldn’t in good faith turn his back on the kind of money he’ll make with Olympiakos this coming season for a sub-mid-level deal in either Milwaukee or Charlotte, cities that haven’t sniffed the playoffs lately (ever in Charlotte’s case). The Hawks did the right thing in not losing an asset like Childress for a player (be it Kurt Thomas in Milwaukee or Raja Bell in Charlotte) that doesn’t offer much value beyond an expiring contract. They were right to demand more in exchange for a player in his prime (Childress is just 26), be it a future draft pick or cash or something else. The Hawks remain the (NBA) team with leverage where Childress is concerned, and they’d be wise to hold on to that leverage as long as possible.
Moving on, there was this afternoon’s mild surprise that the Hawks traded David Andersen’s rights to Houston for a future second-round pick, cash and future considerations. That could be counted that as yet another shrewd and calculated move by a Hawks team that has made many this summer, so long as Andersen doesn’t turn out to be the second coming of Luis Scola.
Andersen’s 29 and a longtime pro of consequence in Europe. He’s hardly prepared to surrender his ability to earn more money in Europe for a situation in the NBA that won’t allow him to recoup his losses in a fit to his liking. With the Hawks he would have been stuck behind Zaza Pachulia in the rotation, his only real opening for playing time coming if someone else suffered a serious injury (I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like an ideal set up to me).
In return, the Hawks snagged not only a future second-round draft pick to replace Andersen, they also collect cash believed to be in the amount of $2 million, which comes in handy as this summer goes on (and they continue to scour the free agent landscape for big man help). After years of sitting on their assets it’s time the Hawks started cashing in a few of these chips (Cenk “Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-a” Akyol is the next international talent the Hawks must evaluate, to see if and when he might be ready to help the cause).
This is a win for Andersen as well. He should have a clear path to playing time in Houston, provided the Rockets work out a deal to free him from his contract with FC Barcelona. With Yao Ming’s injury situation and the departure of Ron Artest, the Rockets will have to reinvent themselves on the fly (if any coach is capable of coming up with something, Rick Adelman is the man to do it).
It’s just nice to see the Hawks immersed in routine summer business for a change, stuff that doesn’t involve them squandering assets the way they did when guys like Antoine Walker, Al Harrington and Tony Delk moved on without the Hawks getting much of anything in return.
Think about it, had someone told you this time a year ago that the Hawks could get a player of Jamal Crawford’s caliber for Acie Law IV and Speedy Claxton you’d have jumped on that without hesitation.