Another Joe, another Smith?

Foes a year ago, Josh (left) and Joe Smith (no relation) will team up on the Hawks' frontline this season.

Foes a year ago, Josh (left) and Joe Smith (no relation) will team up on the Hawks' suddenly improved frontline this season.

HAWKSVILLE - There’s room in the Hawks’ locker room for another Joe. And certainly enough room for another Smith.

And if the early reports are true, ESPN’s Ric Bucher reported it first Friday afternoon, veteran power forward Joe Smith will indeed be joining the clan in the ‘ville on a one-year deal, possibly as early as this week.

The Hawks aren’t confirming or denying anything, per their policy on all free agent matters this summer. Sources indicate that Smith has indeed agreed to join the team but that no deal has been finalized yet and nothing has been signed. But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that barring a last-minute catastrophe, this deal is going to get done.

It’s the answer to many questions for the Hawks up front. Smith is the veteran, spot up shooter, rebounder, locker room leader and wise voice for youngsters Josh Smith and Al Horford (in particular) the Hawks have been looking for. His addition will give the Hawks a solid two-deep depth chart up and down the lineup, leaving three to four roster spots up for grabs for the likes of Randolph Morris, Garret Siler, Othello Hunter and whoever else shows for training camp.

Josh Smith, Horford and Zaza Pachulia will be happiest about the elder Smith joining the fray. They need the assistance, on every front. They were without a veteran assist last season, a deficiency that was magnified during the playoffs against Joe Smith’s old team (Cleveland), which disposed of the Hawks in four games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

A versatile 6-10, 225-pounder, Smith plays bigger than his listed size. He always has, dating back to his days at Maryland, when he dominated the competition on his way to becoming the No. 1 pick in the 1995 NBA draft. This is yet another summertime coup for the Hawks, who have bargained shopped their way back to the fourth spot on the Eastern Conference food chain behind Cleveland, Boston and Orlando (last year’s order but not necessarily the pecking order for this season). Seriously, for all the cash spent in other places, the Hawks used a prudent, cost-conscious approach to bring back the core of a 47-win team, while also adding two key veterans in Smith (pending the completion of his deal) and Jamal Crawford, not to mention promising rookie in point guard Jeff Teague.

Joe Smith isn’t an acquisition on the level of Rasheed Wallace (Boston), Shaquille O’Neal (Cleveland), Vince Carter (Orlando) or even Hedo Turkoglu (Toronto) for that matter. But he’s exactly what the Hawks needed at a position of critical importance. He’s also a fantastic insurance policy at an even better price, should injuries to Smith, Horford or even Marvin Williams become a factor the way they did last season, when all three of the Hawks’ young frontcourt studs missed considerable time last season with injuries.

So with basically all the heavy lifting done now, how do you rate the Hawks’ summer to this point? Good, bad or something else?

519 comments Add your comment

lal909

August 15th, 2009
11:11 am

best off season for the hawks!
any word on Flip! Sekou

John

August 15th, 2009
11:13 am

outstanding!!!

John

August 15th, 2009
11:13 am

Enter your comments here

MO Zack

August 15th, 2009
11:13 am

When the deal goes through it will be great.

Anakin Joe

August 15th, 2009
11:17 am

No doubt, this would be (to use Woody’s favorite word) HUGE. And if Joe Smith does indeed sign, I’m predicting a fantastic DPOY-claiber season from Josh Smith.

Stephen

August 15th, 2009
11:20 am

I would say it the same as the other big teams but with less of a gamble. We know what we have and just got better

Bill

August 15th, 2009
11:27 am

If Joe Smith signs it helps the Hawks get closer to the Big 3 in the East. It will still be a difficult task to finish 4th in the East without a big Center that can help Horford and move him to Power Forward at times. Good move for the Hawks, let’s support them BIG this year.

Anakin Joe

August 15th, 2009
11:29 am

While I won’t care too much who we sign once Joe Smith is in the fold, I’m NOT a big fan of Gerald Green. He does nothing to improve this team’s IQ. I’d stick to the guys who know the core, coaches and scheme… like Hunter, Mario or Gardner. I also like Mike Wilks, I just don’t remember if his short tenure as a Hawk was with Woody or Stotts. Let it be, let it be.

Mike

August 15th, 2009
11:32 am

Woody should have 10 guys he can rely on every night (assuming Teague is the player we think he is). If he can spread playing time out accordingly during the season then guys like Joe and others should be a lot fresher come playoff time

niremetal

August 15th, 2009
11:34 am

I agree with Stephen. Assuming this pans out, we have improved ourselves as much as the Big Three (except, possibly, for Boston) but at less of a risk. A trusted veteran who provides leadership, skill, and toughness? As Sekou said, Joe Smith fits the bill perfectly.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

August 15th, 2009
11:34 am

This has shaped up to be a really great off season – here’s to a healthy, 50+ win season.

niremetal

August 15th, 2009
11:35 am

Wait, I can hear Clyde coming…

“How does this help the fact that Horford sucks? Sund should have traded for Sean Williams instead.”

dos hawkquis

August 15th, 2009
11:37 am

I am going to go out on a limb and say that the Hawks will, I repeat, WILL get the 3rd seed this year!! You heard it from me first. As a matter of fact, I think that 1-4 is a toss up. Hear me out: Cleveland has Shaq, past his prime. Lebron in the final year of his contract. I am sure that he will be asked about his status as a Cavalier, nightly. Boston is a year older with the BIG 3. Orlando will definitely have chemistry issues losing Hedo and gaining Vinsanity. Hawks are the only stable team with no real issues.

GO HAWKS!!

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

Mike is back

August 15th, 2009
11:40 am

I think the Hawks had a great off season…I think RandMo and Siler are locks at this point…so I’m hoping Othella Hunter is given another shot.

Chris

August 15th, 2009
11:43 am

Great addition I’m excited everyone else made big moves we made moves that I call intelligent and they added to what we already had. In my mind Sund is already GM of the year he kept all free agents except Flip we should win more than 47 games and will shock people again we will be in the top 3 Lets go Woddy coach them up!!! One more big man hopefully the guy out of Agusta state who is a space eater I’m looking forward to it.

moboman

August 15th, 2009
11:45 am

Good aquisition. Would like to see Siler make the team in the developmental mode.

404atlhoops

August 15th, 2009
11:47 am

I’m pretty much in agreement with everyone else on this blog about the Joe Smith signing. It’s a good move for the Hawks. Once Leon Powe signed with Cleveland, it was almost a foregone conclusion the Hawks would get Smith. I would still like to see the Hawks get one more legitmate 6′9.5″-6′10″ big guy i.e Johan Petro. Then this team will have some real depth in the paint.

brohawk

August 15th, 2009
11:48 am

I think this will be a great move for the Hawks. Joe can spell guys at 3 different positions if needed. Had we had a guy like this last year in the playoffs, Cleveland wouldn’t have had such an easy time against our front line. I also believe Hawks can challenge for the 3rd seed if everyone stays relatively healthy. I think Orlando will slip. Vince Carter is great but he cannot provide the versatility that Hedo did in Orlando. I see chemistry issues with that team all season long. It’s gonna take a while for those guys to mesh. Here’s to a great season in Hawksville!

GO HAWKS!

RealSquawk

August 15th, 2009
11:56 am

is it really this early?
Does mike woodson still have a missing space on his board next year?
Does this mean no more excuses?

Anyway yeah this is some of the best work this offseason. And now i think are win total will go up to the 50’s. yeah i do.

Ariose

August 15th, 2009
11:56 am

Grade?

A-

The Minus is for tossing Flip, IDK what you say, it’s not smart, Regardless of Teague.

As long as Slier and RandMo come back, we will have a very deep and underrated front court crew.

Woody can go a few different ways with the rest of the bech. Cenk Akyol is still waiting on he Hawks b4 he makes his decision on Europe(I say we trade him) Then theres Korolev, I like Rodney Carney, and It can’t hurt to bring G.Green to camp either….Sundiata Gaines could be a cnadidate for that 3rd PG spot(I hope nire doesn’t lecture me for that on heh). Either way, things are looking good in Hawksville so far.

Ariose

August 15th, 2009
12:01 pm

RealSquak, Yes *Thanks the Lord* that’s exactly what it means lol! No more BS from Mr.Potato head. GET IT RIGHT OR GET OUT! IT’S PUT UP OR SHUT UP TIME BWAHAHAHA!!!!

OH HOW I’VE WAITED FOR THIS SEASON, YESSIR!!!!

:TWISTED:

Ariose

August 15th, 2009
12:02 pm

OOPS LOL, I meant

:twisted:

Truth-serum

August 15th, 2009
12:02 pm

Joe Smith may be a decent player be hes not the center the Hawks need. The Hawks need a center!

Hms

August 10th, 2009

11:53 am

Whether you have the confederate flag or not, Im not clear. I do know that you have a bubba mentality. Apparently you have not been to subway lately or you would see pictures on the wall behind the counter of the POT SMOKING,BONG WIELDING, VIDEO POSTING OF DRUG USAGE, swimmer Phelps, being marketed by subway. In case you have lost the truth, let me help you, its been less than four months since he posted videos of bragging of his marijuana usage. Imagine if that had been Tiger Woods or lebron James? Would this have been a close case four month later?

My question to you is, are we allowed to talk about the 500lb gorilla in the room? Should I do like others and sell my values to live in a uncle Tom cabin? Does ignoring the double standard make it acceptable? Is it possible to discuss racism without you spewing denials? This is a red neck news paper in a red neck state featuring a red neck blog site, which spews hatred for woodson and vick While ignoring Roger Clemems, Phelps and A-Rod-

Get real!!!

As for your bragging about being a Klan Man, well it’s a free country, Hate on.

Truth-serum

August 15th, 2009
12:05 pm

niremetal

August 15th, 2009
11:35 am

Horford has limited offensive tools, is playing out of position, and is mediocre over all.

Truth-serum

August 15th, 2009
12:06 pm

Where is FLIP?!?!?!?!

Bailer

August 15th, 2009
12:07 pm

As i have said many times, I dont know a lot about basketball. I do know when a club is doing its damnest to put a solid team on the floor for the Atl. fans. I hope the fans really turn out.

UGA

August 15th, 2009
12:12 pm

What is the latest with bringing in Jason Collins or a Johan Petro for a workout? Did it ever happen?
What about Jason Hart?

Finally, what a good deal with Joe Smith.

CaliHawks

August 15th, 2009
12:19 pm

Nice move gettin Joe Smith. He should be able to help in tha frontcourt and help keep a beter rotation of players so 2 give the hawks more rest for the season something the hawks didnt really have last year was a good bench past mo, flip and zaza.. morris is raw and hunter i dont remember him in a game . the only one that did get playin time was soloman jones and he was ok at best.. Joe Smith can only help these young hawks players with veteran leadership and just overall experience .I remeber him being a good rebounder and can score a lil bit and distrub a few shots comin his way.. GM Sund as done a great job this year keep tha team 2gether and addin a few pieces without goin over board for lets say a shaq or vince carter. Because there outta there prime and would just be a waste of good money that could be spent next year on big name free agent or to keep Joe Johnson.. Either way the hawks shold be competive for alot more years to come and that should say alot of team that has just been dismal most of this Decade….

truly1

August 15th, 2009
12:24 pm

Great offseason with no risks Sund gets an A flip will be an after though once crawford gets going. Woody has no more excuses. No one can say we dont have a bench. If coached correctly we should win 50 games and be ok come playoff time barring any freak season ending injuries.

cp

August 15th, 2009
12:26 pm

Give me Hunter, Siler, and Gerald Green. I like Carney but I think Green would be cheaper. I just don’t see any room for Mario. I like his energy and all but Green is 6′8, can play the 2 and 3, can hit the j, and is athletic as hell. I think he has improved a lot since his time in Boston. I read an article about how hard he is working this summer on all aspects of his game. I like Mario but I would rather have a guy like Green who can at least knock down a jumper and finish at the rim.

Ariose

August 15th, 2009
12:27 pm

LOL@ Sekou getting out-scooped ;-)

Ariose

August 15th, 2009
12:34 pm

Cp, it’s either hunter or siler, I doubt Woody takes them both. I would go with Siler if that’s the case. But who knows, Maybe hunter will make the squad. BTW Mario will probably come back. Woody will choose him over Hunter, I think.

I’m not saying this will happpen, just trying to think like the Wood man.

dos hawkquis

August 15th, 2009
12:36 pm

ARIOSE,

Why are you still clamoring for Flip? Bibby, JJ, Crawford, Teague, Mo Evans are on the “1’s and 2’s” there is no room for Flip. The 1mil that you would waste on Flipper could be used to acquire a big. Don’t get me wrong. Flip was valuable last year, but I don’t think that he is “better” than any of the aforementioned players. He may be better than Mo, but Mo was under contract.

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

"Hometeam" Brandon Leak

August 15th, 2009
12:38 pm

O'Brien

August 15th, 2009
12:57 pm

Once Joe Smith signs, the Hawks will have earned an A this offseason. And Woody will have no excuses about depth/injuries/PT.

PG – Bibby/Teague
SG – JJ/Crawford
SF – Marvin/Mo Evans
PF – Josh/Joe Smith
C – Al/ZaZa

That is a very productive 10 man rotation. Adding RandMo, Siler, and a backup SF (Gerald Green, Rodney Carney etc) would give us 13 players, and 50 wins should be achievable (barring injuries).

However, one potential problem is Woody and his substituion patterns. I hope he is able to adjust depending on the game/score/player.

BrittishAnger

August 15th, 2009
1:03 pm

Most impressive offseason I’ve seen in a long time, *Sekou*, though I’m still tempted to bring in a Siler along with Randolph to ensure that depth and to build a deeper, meaner team (something Woody will do this season, or he will lose his job).

Blast

August 15th, 2009
1:04 pm

Great news, if Joe Smith does sign on. Especially for the veteran’s minimum? Folks on this blog were clamoring for Sund to pay Joe Smith 3/4 mil a year, but for Sund to land him on a minimum one year deal? Can we say COUP?

If we get Joe, that gives Woodson, as Sekou said, a solid 10 man rotation.

Bibby/Teague
Joe/Crawford
Marvin/Mo Evans
Josh/Joe Smith
Horford/Zaza

Throw in Siler, Hunter and other scrubs and Hawks are set to go. Woody, no more excuses. Can we say 50+ wins?

Go Hawks. Get Joe signed on, and maybe Tribe Called Quest can get some peace.

niremetal

August 15th, 2009
1:05 pm

Ariose,

I’m with Dos Hawkquis on this. I know Flip’s your boy (same as Salim was), but it would make no sense for him or for us. From his perspective, he just came off the best year of his career and he’s not getting any younger. He needs to find a place where he’ll be in the rotation and have a shot at another good season, or else he’ll slide back to journeyman status for the rest of his career. Here, there’s no guarantee that he’ll get any PT at all with Bibby, Crawford, JJ, and Teague all needing to get minutes in the backcourt.

And from our perspective, it would make no sense rotationally to sign Flip unless he were willing to sit on the end of the bench until someone gets hurt (which would make zero sense for him for the reasons I gave above). Any minutes he gets are minutes that could have gone to Teague. It’s that simple. If Sund wants to guaran-fracking-tee that Teague wastes away on the bench like Acie did, then signing Flip makes sense. Even as it stands, Teague probably won’t be playing more than 12-15 minutes per game. If Sund wants Teague to have a shot at developing, he definitely should not sign a guy who will cut those minutes even more.

And that doesn’t even get into the finances – Flip isn’t a Bird free agent, so we’d have to use part of our mid-level to sign him, and I say we’re better off saving that money in case we need it to sign someone in March/April (a la Drew Gooden from last year).

Beck

August 15th, 2009
1:07 pm

A+ moves this off-season. We need an insurance guard for the long haul but this team is well balanced.

rainman

August 15th, 2009
1:07 pm

Hey Sekou, the reason that I’m always asking your opinion on various subjects is that I know you have a much greater understanding of the NBA, and the Hawks in particular, than I do. Now, if I had a direct line to Sund or Woody, they could probably answer my questions if they chose to tell the truth.

Anyhow, If you have the time to answer a couple of the following questions — I would appreciate it.

– Ownership – How and when do you see this issue being resolved once and for all? Assuming the ‘Spirit’ aquires uncontested control of the Hawks, do you feel they have the money, desire, and competency to build a championship franchise?

– Do you think Woody can be an upper-echelon NBA coach?

– How would you project the development of Al Horford and Josh Smith over the next two years?

– Your opinion on Teague, and how you see the minutes at point guard divvied up this season. Will Crawford play significant minutes at point?

– Should we have a ‘hack a Shaq’ set ready when we face the dominate centers? Let Siler or Morris use their 6 fouls in a rotation with Al and Zaza.

– Your opinion on the situation with JJ. When do you think the best time to negotiate an extension would be? What do you think would be ‘fair’ in terms of years and dollars?

Sautee

August 15th, 2009
1:13 pm

Sund did exactly what he SHOULD have done this summer. We are only ecstatic because we are used to a less efficient way of doing things.

Finally, we have competence. Woo hoo.

RealSquawk

August 15th, 2009
1:19 pm

As much as I would like to see flip back in the rotation he is either going to derail the development of Teague or be unsatisfied with his playing time.

Let us not down play the effect Joe Smith will have on Josh Smith. Joe Smith could really help Josh play more consistently and focus on the little things.

niremetal

August 15th, 2009
1:22 pm

Ernest

August 15th, 2009
1:24 pm

Assuming this move will happen, Sund should get an ‘A’ for his work this offseason. It will be interesting to see if the media give Sund that same credit and love that Dmitroff has gotten for the Falcons? Gotta ask Sekou to make sure he gets Sund his props.

I agree with the 1st 10 slots that have been listed above. RandMo will probably get one since he is under contract. I think if 13 are kept, Woody would go with Mario (who can give a few minutes at 1 & 2) and Hunter (minutes as 4). If we keep 14, Siler could get that slot if he shows enough during training camp. Otherwise I would guess on a true point guard then a 3/4 player.

Native Son

August 15th, 2009
1:29 pm

Honestly folks, I was pretty damn ecstactic when I thought he’d signed with Cleveland. Now you’re saying he’s signing with the Hawks. DAMN! DAMN! DAMNNN!

Please, can’t we just let OLD Joe fade away, like his never was a #1 pick game.

And folks, this might be the greatest public service announcement, you will ever read.

PEACE, From The Native. (Let’s face it. Woodson only wants players that he DOESN’T have to coach. Washed up. or not.)

kwooden1

August 15th, 2009
1:30 pm

I’ve stated that I like Flip and it would be great to have him, but for his sake I hope he goes somewhere he can play more and get paid more. I deserves Mo’s contract, if not 1M more per year. He’s probably going to have to go to Europe to get the kind of money he deserves. Crawford for Flip is an upgrade, just like Bibby for (guys 1,2,3,4) was an upgrade.

If Sund finalizes things with Smith, then he gets a solid A- for this summer. The only way he could have done better was a trade. There was nothing else realistic out there, except things that would have blown up the team. (trade JJ, Horford, etc) The only player that thought realistically could have come and I would take over were Smith was Bass. Sund did really surprise me with the trade for Crawford, that was an excellent move!

Sund, finish the play and then have a great summer!!

GO HAWKS!!

cp

August 15th, 2009
1:40 pm

Yea Ariose you’re right he could take Mario over Hunter. The only reason I think he would take Hunter and Siler is because you can never have too much size. I just don’t see Mario making this club this year. I saw some guards during that mini camp that look to have more skills than Mario. I would take the Lucas kid over Mario.

A Tribe Called Quest

August 15th, 2009
1:49 pm

How the heck did it take us 4 weeks to come to an agreement on a 1 year veteran minimum deal?

Did no one else want Joe?

Ramon

August 15th, 2009
1:53 pm

Sekou, Steve Aschburner gave you huge shout out! Congrats!

Whopper Dawg

August 15th, 2009
1:55 pm

Actually makes a lot of sense, which in the not too distant past you couldn’t say that often about the Hawks, but is now becoming more commonplace, Way to go.