HAWKSVILLE - While we wait for this week’s transaction(s) to be completed, why don’t we dive into a quick game of True or False-Hawksville style.
True or False, Joe Smith is going to sign with the Hawks?
True. And it could happen any day (if you haven’t leaned by now how critical that phrase is around here, I can’t help you). So what’s the hold up? Well, these contracts don’t work themselves out magically. They have to be negotiated and fine-toothed by agents and attorneys and whoever else has a stake in them. It’s not rocket science on this one, a one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum (of $1.3 million). I’d tell you to be patient and that things will work out but you’ve been doing that for weeks now. Again, the deal could be finalized any day now, so stay tuned.
True or False, the Hawks are interested in adding Jason Hart to their point guard mix?
False. It was reported somewhere that the Hawks were one of three teams in the running to add the veteran to their mix. I’ve since found out that someone got it twisted. The Hawks were never in the market for Hart (or any other point guard they were interested in adding). They’ve got Mike Bibby, Jeff Teague and veteran safety net in Jamal Crawford. If the Hawks were going to add another 6-3 point or combo guard to their mix they could have retained Flip Murray rather than hitting the free agent market for someone else. And before you ask, no, they do not have designs on bringing Flip back (that’s right, no more FlipMo Squad references around here).
True or False, the Hawks will add another veteran big man or two in addition to Joe Smith?
True. And we’ve already discussed two guys in particular, Johan Petro and Jason Collins, that could be in that mix. And that doesn’t include rookie behemoth Garret Siler, who will be on the Hawks’ training camp roster. But all of those reasonable fears about this team’s size and depth on the frontline could be wiped away with the addition of any two of these aforementioned larger humans.
True or False, the Hawks’ ownership feud is officially over?
Not exactly true or false. But things took a decisive turn with Monday’s court ruling in favor of the seven-man Atlanta/Washington, D.C., contingent. The options for the other partner, Boston-based Steve Belkin, were mapped out in today’s paper. One more option Belkin has that wasn’t listed: he can just walk away from his initial investment in the teams. He wouldn’t have to pay the $25.8 million in cash calls he’s missed during the litigation but he would also have to forfeit his 30 percent ownership stake. It will be interesting to see where things go from here.
True or False, the Hawks will sign Joe Smith before Joe Johnson agrees to a contract extension?
True. Barring a sudden change in the tone I’m hearing from folks in the know, Mr. Smith will definitely beat JJ to the punch on this one. In fact, no one seems to know which way JJ is leaning since the Hawks extended their offer for an extension. We’ve already talked about the figures (4-years, $62-$64 million range). It’s a huge decision and JJ has time, it’s not like he has to decide this minute. So I didn’t expect his process to be sped up just for our sake. If nothing shakes (one way or the other) by the start of training camp … then it might be time to start wondering what the heck is going on.