Archive for June, 2010

Atlanta Hawks: Coach countdown

In the latest tangential, incremental update on the Hawks’ coaching search, Byron Scott tells Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News that Avery Johnson is the favorite for the Nets’ job. (Love how they managed to get Phil Jackson in that headline, too.)

ASG honcho Michael Gearon Jr is back in town. Mark Jackson is in town to meet with the owners today. Larry Drew interviewed yesterday. Dwane Casey is waiting. That might be about it for the final candidates.

So who do you want? AJC wise guy Jeff Schultz likes Johnson but was nice enough to ask for your input, too.

I went on 790 The Zone yesterday and was asked which guy I considered to be the frontrunner for the position. I answered the way no one seems to want to hear nowadays: “I don’t know.” I could have speculated that it’s Casey because of his ties to Sund, which seems to be the thing to do. Of course, a couple weeks ago Johnson was all the rage, with some media declaring him the favorite before the Hawks had even …

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Atlanta Hawks: ASG vs. Russian mogul for Avery Johnson? (UPDATE: Mark Jackson gets a shot)

Might take a lot of cash to get him. (AP Photo)

Might take a lot of cash to get him. (AP Photo)

(Friday update: Mark Jackson will get a chance to convince Hawks owners he should be the next head coach. He’ll have some work to do to persuade everyone in the Hawks’ hierarchy he can do the job with no prior coaching experience but it’s significant that he will get to make his case. Part of Jackson’s pitch includes this 2008 academic study on successful NBA players also doing well as coaches.)

When the Hawks started their coaching search it looked like Avery Johnson was the hot, big-name candidate. As it turns out, Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau seems to be the key horse in the coaching carousel.

Now that Thibodeau reportedly turned down the Hornets and favors Chicago’s opening, it looks like Johnson is the favorite in New Jersey. When Johnson’s name first surfaced with the Hawks, the perception was that they wouldn’t spend the money to hire him. The Hawks dispute that notion, but if they really want Johnson they might have …

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Atlanta Hawks: Attention on centers

Can Haywood really be had for the mid-level?

Can Haywood really be had for the mid-level?

The Hawks say they are looking to free agency instead of the draft for frontcourt help. At this point it’s not clear if that need supersedes their desire for a starting-caliber point guard (in case the Jeff Teague thing doesn’t yield immediate fruits) or wing player (in case J.J. bolts in free agency). This is especially the case since the returning frontcourt (Al, Josh, and Zaza) might be a stronger group than the returning backcourt (Bibby, Jamal, Marvin and Teague).

But since the draft doesn’t look like it will yield a big man who can contribute now at pick No. 24, and Jason Collins and Randolph Morris both are free agents, the Hawks will need a center one way or the other. Let’s assume they won’t go the vet-minimum route this time and will actually use their mid-level exception to seek a starting-caliber center (neither assumption is safe, but let’s just say both are plausible). What kind of center could the Hawks expect to …

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