Still talking about Joe!

I promise, this is the last time you'll have to see this picture of Joe Smith wearing a Cavaliers uniform here. Next time, he'll be wearing the same uniform as Josh Smith.

I promise, this is the last time you will have to view this picture of Joe Smith. Next time, he'll be in the same uniform as Josh Smith.

HAWKSVILLE - More than a month has passed since the Hawks’ interest in Joe Smith was revealed to the world in this space.

I doubt any of us thought it would take this long for the resolution to come. I mean, school has already started. The Michael Jackson autopsy is done (someone’s going to jail for this one). The NFL season is upon us. Cash for Clunkers has come and gone. College football is just days away.

And still, we wait for Joe Smith to be signed.

But I believe the day has come. Today has to be Joe Smith Day in Hawksville. It has to be. If things play out the way they are supposed to my name will be intact – check the Twitter feed for my name-change challenge – and we should be able to move on from this saga and back to whatever else we amuse ourselves with this time of year.

And speaking of amusement, if you haven’t seen this extrapolation of the Hawks’ ownership situation, you need to. I understand how someone might try and make the move from “we’re not selling” to where this article took the conversation, but it seems like a stretch even to me. And we all know I’m not afraid to go off the deep end every now and then.

While we’re on the subject of the deep end, I had a great seat at the Dream-Sparks game Sunday at Philips Arena. It allowed me to view the crowd from just about every direction. Josh Smith, Billy Knight, Shelden WilliamsLorenzen Wright and many others were in the building. Josh has shed some weight since I last saw him. He said about 10 pounds. It was noticeable. He looked slimmed down from when I saw him working out in the gym at McEachern High in early July. He said he’s been working all summer on every facet of his game, particularly his mid-range game (those jumpers everyone wants him to take instead of the 3-pointers that cause so much cringing). He’s worked out mostly here in Atlanta, which is a departure from previous summers, when he spent most of his time in Houston.

Wright, who finished last season on the roster in Cleveland, is in a unique situation. He’s job-hunting, so to speak, and an intriguing possibility for the Hawks since he still has a residence here in town. Another veteran big man in that same situation earlier this summer, Theo Ratliff, was also at the game Sunday. The Spurs snapped him up before the Hawks could get to him. But Wright is the kind of physical, veteran big that could fit exactly what the Hawks need in a 12th or 13th man for this upcoming season.

My philosophy is that a team can never have too many big men. It’s clear the Hawks’ cupboard isn’t overflowing in that department, and hasn’t for some time. But now is the time to stock up, especially with every contender in the Eastern Conference loaded up front.

Some of you probably chuckled when you read that the Celtics scooped up Shelden. You were probably thinking back to his days with the Hawks and assuming that he’s an odd fit there. Not me. I think it was a shrewd move for the Celtics to go out and find a serviceable big body for an excellent price, even if he doesn’t play a whole lot this season. It always pays to have that part of your team secured.

If you don’t believe that, scan the rosters in Boston, Orlando and Cleveland and start counting big men. You can go five deep on each team. The Celtics start with Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace and Kendrick Perkins and round out the rotation with Big Baby Davis and Shelden. Orlando starts with Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis (who is a bit of a tweener but forces one of your bigs to guard him at 6-10) and Brandon Bass and round out the rotation with Marcin Gortat and Ryan Anderson. Cleveland starts with Shaquille O’Neal, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao and rounds out the rotation with JJ Hickson, Darnell Jackson and Leon Powe (not to mention a dude named LeBron James who can swing over and play minutes at power forward if ever needed).

The Hawks enter the season with a group that starts with Josh Smith, Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia and round out the rotation with Joe Smith and Randolph Morris.

Again, the more quality big bodies (you can debate the quality of one guy over the other all day long) on your roster the better.

428 comments Add your comment

Cowa

August 25th, 2009
1:56 pm

Sekou, thanks for the update. Before, you mentioned Petro as a big the Hawks were looking at as well, but you don’t mention him here. Is he on the back burner now, and are teh Hawks headed after another big (I’m ignoring the LoWright reference above, as I’m assuming that one will be available for a while)?

JSS

August 25th, 2009
1:58 pm

No two words to entertaining LoWright: “He** NO!!!

Willie Coyote

August 25th, 2009
2:03 pm

Add Siler and Hunter to that mix and your front line should have adequate depth. since those two guys are still raw, they won’t be counted on for major minutes but could be available for spot duty here and there.

Stevengilley15

August 25th, 2009
2:08 pm

Exactly. As I was saying in your colleague’s Mark Bradley’s blog, we needed a player like Joe Smith to add a body to bang with. Not to mention he has a jumper and can spread the floor. He is not elite or heaven sent but he helps our front-line!

Good news on Josh Smith. We are expecting improvements each year!!

I.MUS WRITE

August 25th, 2009
2:08 pm

We better not sign Blo Wright……. 7ft baffon/practical joker
Joe Smith ??? Give that man an ultimatum,sign this contract or we’re pulling it off the table u dam premadona. Jeezuz we’re courting Joe like he’s KG or sumthing.

Here we go again…Smoove is slim and he’s putting in work on his midrange game yada yada yada, I’ll bet his first shot of the season is a long 3 that will tear a whole in the back board WELL DAM!!!!!!
Dont believe the hype man he will be basicly the same player- Athletic freak with below average fundamentals………

Did I mention HELL NO TO BLO WRIGHT

Stevengilley15

August 25th, 2009
2:11 pm

Willie thats true but if Woody doesnt develop, trust and play the bigs whats the point of having them..?

Ernest

August 25th, 2009
2:13 pm

Given the 5th big man would get a fair share of DNP-CDs unless there were opportunities for mop up minutes, LoWright could be a good addition. He knows the players and reportedly was a good locker room guy. He’d be more expensive the a Siler but at least you know what you are getting.

If the Hawks could sign Siler and send him to the D-League, that gives them the opportunity to better evaluate him against NBA lite talent. I think there are still too many unknowns about him.

doc

August 25th, 2009
2:13 pm

please sekou, say it aint so. popcorn man back to suck more moolah from this franchise. still see his sorry azz laughing at the hawks as the cavs tore them apart under manned and all. no class, not professional enough to get it done the first time as a hawk except showing his azz by cutting up zaza, and roughing up rookies by pouring popcorn in two rookie cars and telling horford he couldnt ride an elevator. if he took some of that moxie on the court then fine. unfortunately, on the court, he went as soft as his popcorn does when it sits out for more than 2 minutes.

cp

August 25th, 2009
2:29 pm

Lo Wright? Are we calling up Priest Lauderdale too? Just say no to L-O. Once again give me Joe Smith, Siler, Hunter, and Gerald Green. I know Mario is the hometown kid but if he hasn’t added a jumper or learned to dribble, then give me the guy in Green who has shown he can put up double figures in points if given the opportunity.

Willie Coyote

August 25th, 2009
2:39 pm

**Stevengilley15 **, I hear you. It has been a given these past few years that Woodson won’t play his full compliment of players (some are benched justifiably I might add) but here’s to hoping things change and people learn from past mistakes. Woody needs to give people a chance and when these guys get chances, they need to make a statement and not dog it (RandMo).

Brownie

August 25th, 2009
2:43 pm

Bring back Koncak!

Melvin

August 25th, 2009
2:45 pm

Sekou,

Tell Sund to Just say NO to Lorenzo “Popcorn Popper” Wright. Give me Stromile Swift before him….

blonju

August 25th, 2009
2:55 pm

Please don’t tell me Lorenzen could be on our team!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (again) he has no bball skills at all – he’s just a large man – Big Ups to Joe Smith though – he will definitely help this team .. seiko, what about Sean Marks or Melvin Ely ?? i’m sure they’d both sign for the vet-min – and they’re much more nba capable when compared to l-wright or RandMo… Thanks for the updates as always & we’ll hold you to the name change if Joe Smith isn’t inked today + what will we call Joe Smith when he’s here? can’t call him “Joe” or “Smith” – he needs a nickname..

Mystikal

August 25th, 2009
2:57 pm

Hey SEKOU,

From your ears, any chance of us signing Siler and sending him to the D-league? Or think that would be too much of an unnecessary expense. I also think we need a backup small forward but know after first 10 rotation spots hardly anyone will see the court. Oh yeah any leads on the probability of them trading Mo and Rand for a player? I believe you mentioned that a week or two ago.

Melvin

August 25th, 2009
3:03 pm

blonju,

Maybe we should yell “Yo Joe” (in the spirit of GI JOE) everytime Joe Smith does something well. Better yet, maybe we should call him GI Joe an Atlanta Hawk hero. Since he would be the 1st quality FA signing for the Hawks since Joe Johnson.

The Truth

August 25th, 2009
3:20 pm

Sekou

I assume when this drama is finally over, you will have acquired the knowledge to explain what exactly took so long. I can’t what to hear the details. I mean did signing JJ take this long? I can’t remember; but signing Joe Smith to a vet minimum contract seems unusually long compared to his peers. What was (is) the issue; did he really want to play here; was it money, longer term, or things like relocation package or complimentary tickets to give to family members? Please, inquiry minds want to know.

blonju

August 25th, 2009
3:23 pm

G.I. JOOOOOOOOOOOE, a real atlanta hawk hero!

swatguy

August 25th, 2009
3:24 pm

Jones, can Marvin swing to PF(he’s bigger than Josh and maybe Al too) in a pinch? Will JLucas the younger find himself at training camp? Are the assistants set?

SWAT Native

August 25th, 2009
3:25 pm

Sekou,

I also went to the Sparks game Sunday (my first WNBA game) and had a great time. I sat a few rows behind Theo Ratliff but didn’t get a chance to say anything to him.

I just realized that if the Hawks sign Joe Smith, I guess both he and Smoove would have to have their full names on their jerseys. As for Lo Wright, I guess I maybe could look forward to seeing all the fine suits he’d wear on the Hawks bench all year.

Dan

August 25th, 2009
3:28 pm

I really would not have a problem signing Wright. He may not be that great, but he could eat some minutes for our frontline. Be nice to see the Hawks sign him (or someone like him, or both) and have some decent depth on the team for once.

No more wasting roster space with the Thomas Gardners of the world. Need guys that can at least go out on the floor and play 5-10 minutes a game, if needed. Wright could handle that..

BA

August 25th, 2009
3:28 pm

Kind of had a feeling that doc wouldnt go for a reunion tour with the Wright Stuff.

O'Brien

August 25th, 2009
3:34 pm

Sekou,

Do you think the Hawks would prefer LoWright instead of Petro or one of the Collins brothers?

And is there any news/plans about the Hawks signing somebody who can play some minutes at SF? (Gerald Green, Rodney Carney are 2 that come to mind). I know that we have Mo Evans, but he is only 6′5″.

Samuel

August 25th, 2009
3:36 pm

I glad to see Josh has lost weight. he really didn’t look good with that extra weight.

Anybody>Lo Wright. Please, let’s not go backwards.

The Truth

August 25th, 2009
3:38 pm

About Siler; how many here have actually seen him play? We are talking about D-league with him already without seeing how well he match-up in training camp or even pre-season? He might surprise us. Since you can’t teach size, based on his profile he’s a load. He might exceed expectations. I, for one, will hold judgment until I actually see him play. However, it is a valid point to make that more playing time will only make him better, but if this kid is special, LET HIM SHINE.

Sekou Smith

August 25th, 2009
3:45 pm

I was just using Lorenzen as an example. I wasn’t necessarily advocating that the Hawks sign Lo Wright, though, it wouldn’t bother me if they did.

Pertro has been on the backburner for so long, I just honestly forgot about him. The Hawks better not wait too long, or someone else will grab him.

doc

August 25th, 2009
3:50 pm

yeah BA the only thing i want of rens are the diamond in his ears that go with his purty suits. could retire.

BA where you hangin bro?

JSS

August 25th, 2009
3:51 pm

All LoWright has to do is cross the Phillips Arena threshold and the IR light will start flashing! That fool has suckered us twice before! NEVER! NEVER! NEVER! NEVER EVER AGAIN!!!

Mystikal

August 25th, 2009
4:02 pm

Lock up Joe Smith

Gimme Johan Petro, Gerald Green, and Garret Siler

Good to go!

terrell barron

August 25th, 2009
4:44 pm

So we might go from Joe Smith to Lorenzen “Mr.Popcorn” Wright? Oh hell no!! ? And as far as Josh Smith goes,”losing weight and working on his jumper”?? Is he planning on moving to sf? Post moves, and more post moves if you ask me. Glad he’s in the gym though. And Shellhead’s got some nerve coming to Phillips. He stole from us for years. I dont care if Candace was in the building or not. haha

Melvin

August 25th, 2009
4:48 pm

Mystical,
I like your lineup. Petro, Green and Siler…

Let’s get Joe Smith aka “GI Joe” signed ASAP…. Get it done Sund…

kirkinga

August 25th, 2009
4:49 pm

I really really hope that Joe Smith doesn’t turn out to be the Raphael Furcal, or Ken Griffey of the Hawks’ offseason. It shouldn’t take this long to sign anyone if he wants to play here and there is an agreement on salary.

Do we know, for sure, why he has remained unsgned after the announcement? Did he feel the announcement premature? Is there another team that he still hasn’t come to closure with? Something seems irregular and I hope Hawk fans will become privy to why that is the case.

I will never, ever again, celebrate a signing, until it is just that-a signing. No more celebrating on “news” of a signing.

Meanwhile, the season is not that far away.

Go Hawks!!

Melvin

August 25th, 2009
4:52 pm

Terrel,

If Candance was your wife, you would have been in the stands two. Especially if she’s the bread winner. Wouldn’t bother me to be a traveling husband..lol

terrell barron

August 25th, 2009
4:54 pm

Melvin, Shellhead needs to have his azz in Beantown working on his game, or lacktherof. I feel ya though.

terrell barron

August 25th, 2009
4:57 pm

And Melvin, Sheldon has probably made just as much $ as she has. They make chump change in the WNBA. She’s got him in endorsements though.

Ken Strickland

August 25th, 2009
5:03 pm

I see Smoove decided not to continue working on his inside gm with Olajuwon. It makes perfect sense though. What good is having inside moves if your OFF has you floating around on the perimeter on clearouts and ISO’s. So why waste the time and money working on something you’re not going to get a chance to consistently use. I’m very interested in seeing how much of an improvement we’ll see from his midrange OFF, and if he’ll incorporate more bank shots.

I really do believe Teague and Crawford will get substantial mins, and as such, will influence the teams overall style of play. Their speed, quickness, versatility, penetrating and shooting ability will also improve our halfcourt OFF, as it were, and give us more options when we have to resort to ISO’s and one on one. Bringing our top 6 players back, adding Teague, Crawford and JSmith, along with the organic improvement we’re certain to see, will all contribute to making us a much better team this yr. I even think we’ll get a much better overall coaching job from Woodson.

Melvin

August 25th, 2009
5:08 pm

Terrell,

But she is the face of the WNBA and praised by many. Shell, may have made more money up front but she may surpass him over their careers. With her popularity, she more than likely wear the pants in that household…lol

Stating the Obvious

August 25th, 2009
5:12 pm

Melvin,

Most every married man knows that just because you bring home the bacon doesn’t mean you’re the one wearing the pants.

terrell barron

August 25th, 2009
5:13 pm

I disagree Melvin. My wife makes more and is definitely more popular than I am, but I still wear the pants. Most of the time, at least. lol!!

terrell barron

August 25th, 2009
5:14 pm

And Melvin, the #face of the WNBA” is nothing more than being the face of the UFL.

The Truth

August 25th, 2009
5:27 pm

So Shell doen’t wear the pants and is getting used,

So where is that Bill Withers tune:

I-I and I, wanna spread the news
That if it feels this good getting used
Oh, you just keep on using me
Until you use me up

A Tribe Called Quest

August 25th, 2009
5:36 pm

“The Spurs snapped him up before the Hawks could get to him”

B*llsh*t.

Not once did Hawks even pursue him. He was available for plenty of time

Stating the Obvious

August 25th, 2009
5:42 pm

A Tribe Called MORON,

If you think he would have picked the Hawks over the Spurs (where he’ll play significant minutes on a team with no true center), I’ll have some of what you’re smoking.

And if Sekou is so full of b*llsh*t, why do you bother coming here and following him on Twitter?

darrell starks

August 25th, 2009
5:51 pm

DAM DAM DAM!!!!!!!!!!!
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

doc

August 25th, 2009
5:52 pm

maybe someone can call out nire by trashing the other joe as quickly as rod comes out to play with comments about marvin.

darrell starks

August 25th, 2009
5:57 pm

ALL THIS JOE STUFF GOT STOP SHAWTY.
GO HAWKS!!!!!

jerrywest

August 25th, 2009
5:57 pm

Josh needs to realize that the most important stat for him is rebounds. He can be an all star if he focuses on that.

darrell starks

August 25th, 2009
6:01 pm

I GUEST JOE SMITH IS AND NBA GREAT PLUS TOP 50 BEST OF ALL TIME.
GO JOE SMITH !!!!!!!!!

DJ_Blueice

August 25th, 2009
6:18 pm

The Hawks waited to long to roll the dice to to get a quality big.The thing is that every team in the East had improved greatly and in order for us to improve, we need to sign players that can actually play, not just fill up a roster. We don’t need anymore has beens and never was. Joe Smith is a good move because he can score and help spread the floor. Gerald Green is still young and very athletic and can score. I don’t know why he isn’t already signed. Petro is better than Wright any day. And sign Siler already. We can contend but if we don’t have anyone behind or starters that can play quality ball, then we will be burned out come playoff time again. Our starters play too many minutes during the season. I wish the front office would use their brains a lot more. Damn pay me to get it right!!!!

rainman

August 25th, 2009
6:27 pm

Sekou — you’ve put yourself on the line and we all have added Joe to the roster. I think the other players will call him ‘old man’ or just ‘Joe’.

A couple of questions:
– This ownership thing is the never ending nightmare — I guess it’s all about green with no commitment or ability to achieve a championship. Do you see any way out of this morass?

– I feel ya on the depth in the hole. Do you know Wright? Do you think he could hold his own in spot duty? Assuming Joe is onboard, name the two other 4-5 players you would like to see on the roster — including FA’s and developmental players like Siler and Morris.

– In your opinion, is there less than a 5% chance of a substantial trade occurring?

– OK, so you know Josh — If he’s going to be the PF, maybe he should have moved the 10 lbs. to his upper body and base. Would you be willing to tell us how you think he would like to be utilized? Does he see himself more as a 4 or a 3 – or a hybrid?

Hoops

August 25th, 2009
6:42 pm

Sekou Jones,

It’s 6:42PM and there is NO NEWS about the Hawks signing Joe Smith. Does that mean that your name is now Sekou Jones?