Atlanta Hawks: Shaq’s options come into focus

Would Shaq chase another one of these with the Hawks?

Would Shaq chase another one of these with the Hawks?

Chris Tomasson of FanHouse reports that Shaq’s first choice is to play for the Spurs and he wants a two-year deal. Shaq would take the mid-level to play in San Antonio but his “preference” if he joins the Hawks would be to play for more, according to Tomasson.

Sounds like Shaq might be trying to drive up the price for his services. If the Hawks wanted to give him more than the mid-level, they’d have to work out a sign-and-trade with the Cavs. I’m not going to speculate on those scenarios because I don’t know that the Hawks are willing to pay Shaq above the mid-level (or if they even plan to make an offer at this point) and don’t see any deal that would make sense for the Cavs.

I talked with another hack the other day and, just for fun, we tried to come up with some teams that fit Shaq’s criteria:

1. Spurs: Shaq likes Gregg Popovich and the feeling is mutual. Shaq has ties to the area where he attended high school. The Spurs have no clear starter to play alongside Tim Duncan and have the core to make one final run at a title. The only potential wrench in this pairing is the Spurs apparently have set aside their MLE for Brazilian center Tiago Splitter.

2. Mavericks: Shaq likes Mark Cuban and the feeling is mutual. Assuming they can’t sign free-agent Brendan Haywood, who is said to be looking for big money, then the Mavs will need a starting center unless they want to go with Erick Dampier.

3. Hawks: Shaq has told friends he is open to playing in Atlanta, which can offer him a major role off the bench if not a starting spot. The Hawks don’t look to be title contenders at the moment but they are expected to make more moves to improve the roster. If the Spurs go with Splitter and the Mavs re-sign Haywood, then the Hawks would seem to be the next-best option for Shaq.

(UPDATE: Haywood reportedly re-signed with the Mavs, moving the Hawks up to No. 2 on my supadupa, rock-solid list of educated guesses and somewhat-informed speculation. HT to blog commenter Sawyer.)

We ruled out Cleveland since there’s been no indication that either side is interested in a reunion. The Nuggets already have plenty of big men so can’t see where Shaq would fit. We also ruled out the Heat, Lakers, Magic and Suns because Shaq has been there and done that, with “that” meaning burn bridges on his way out of Miami, L.A. and Phoenix and publicly feuding with Orlando’s Stan Van Gundy.

Even if LeBron decides to go to Miami, I don’t see Shaq joining them even if he will take the minimum. Shaq’s relationship with D-Wade cooled near the end of their run and Shaq blasted everyone from the Heat’s coaches to their trainers after he was traded to Phoenix.

Boston might have been a possibility for Shaq but it looks like Jermaine O’Neal is headed there (Atlanta also has discussed signing J.O.). Plus, Shaq probably wouldn’t be a good fit for the Celtics anyway since they already have so many strong personalities and an established identity.

It’s still early in the process, but depending on how everything shakes out it looks like the Hawks have a pretty decent shot at signing Shaq if they decide to make a run at him.


98 comments Add your comment


July 8th, 2010
1:29 pm



July 8th, 2010
1:30 pm

Let’s hope we find a replacement for Collins and Morris off the bench as big men. Looking at the free agent listing for big men, there should be enough ‘quality’ for a 15-20 minute player that can also provide low post scoring. This could help open options for the slashers. I like ZaZa but he does not provide that enough for us.


July 8th, 2010
1:30 pm

Sign and Trade…offer up old Marv and we’ll see if we can sign someone better!!!


July 8th, 2010
1:34 pm


July 8th, 2010
1:36 pm

MC you are really the man. great job! you just keep ringing them up. good radio presence as well. heard you the other day thanks to a link by astro.


July 8th, 2010
1:42 pm

How about a s & t of Chills for Shaq and DWest?


July 8th, 2010
1:42 pm

Haywood just re-signed with Dallas. If the Spurs use the MLE on Splitter (which is the right move IMHO) Shaq’s best and maybe only option would be a deal with us. Guess we will have to wait and see

Luke Cage

July 8th, 2010
1:45 pm

Still would like to see a shooter, someone like a Kyle Korver. Also MC, what would it take to get McGee from the Wizards, love that guys athletic ability, not for a scorer but a guy that rebounds, blocks and catches alley-oops.

Luke Cage

July 8th, 2010
1:46 pm

Also 8th lol, my highest ever!!!


July 8th, 2010
1:47 pm

haywood signed w/Dallas.. 6yrs, 55mil, according to Yahoo Sports

Mr. Phil

July 8th, 2010
1:49 pm

If I were the Hawks and had any interest in Shaq (and I don’t) I would wait a little bit. He seems to think he is still in a position to mark demands. I would wait until we are one of the last playoff teams with any interest and then sign him to a deal worth a good bit less than the MLE. That and make sure he rides the pine.

Chip Shot

July 8th, 2010
1:52 pm

i dont see the spurs going older. Shaqs only option is ATL. Boston signs Jermaine O’Neal, Mavs Re-signed Haywood. Spurs will probably sign a little bit younger Brad Miller.


July 8th, 2010
1:54 pm

Yeah, wait until everyone else passes on Shaq and then he comes here for peanuts.


July 8th, 2010
1:55 pm

Why..Shaq? I would prefer Naz Mohammad. He would be less of a distraction and a better shot blocker. We don’t need a dominate center, we a big sold center to compliment. We are a very good team

Shaq is more a CIRCUS ELEPHANT now, than a player and I DON’T LIKE THE CIRCUS.


July 8th, 2010
1:58 pm

Like I said . . . if he’ll come here for the MLE, this is a no-brainer. I’ve posted all the numbers people needed to see yesterday. He is still a top 15 center in Offensive PER amongst centers Defensively, he’s in the top 5 in Defensive PER amongst centers.

If he’s willing to come off the bench to help this team, what more could you ask?

He knows that we can’t pay him more than the MLE, unless we sign and trade for him. And in a sign and trade, you DO NOT trade any core piece whatsoever . . . not even Marvin. We have Evans’ replacement in Jordan Crawford. We have a guy in Childress that for all indications, doesn’t want to come back here.

Those are the 2 you offer up to Cleveland. If they don’t take that, give him a deadline to take the next Thursday. If he doesn’t decide to come here by then, pull the offer off the board, and pursue other people.

Like I’ve been saying for a few days now . . . this is a NUCLEAR ARMS RACE. The East, all of a sudden, is LOADED. The Cap and Luxury Tax is 2 million more than what it was projected to be. There are no other big men that we could bring in, that would have the overall effect that a Shaq would have on this team.

With Orlando, and now the New Big 3 right in our damn division, we need to do something to at least try to counter act what they’ve done.

Take a chance ASG.


July 8th, 2010
1:58 pm

While JJ’s massive contract sucked all the air out the room, all the other teams are making moves in free agency in the East. I’m just thinking that the Hawks are maintaining while the other teams are gaining.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 8th, 2010
2:00 pm

$11 million per year for Brendan Haywood. Holy sh-t this market is f-cked up. He’s getting paid the same as Smoove. Good thing there’s a lockout next year or else Horford’s agent would be asking for the max.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 8th, 2010
2:04 pm

“you DO NOT trade any core piece whatsoever . . . not even Marvin. We have Evans’ replacement in Jordan Crawford. We have a guy in Childress”

Marvin is a core piece and Childress is not?

If Childress was willing to take Marvin money to start at SF for this team, Marvin’s azz would be getting shipped out, even if I had to trade him to Olympiakos for a lifetime supply of tzatziki.

JoJo the Godfather

July 8th, 2010
2:08 pm

Offseason plan # 234,587:

Trade Bibby, Evans and draft pick to Wizards for Kirk Hinrich.

Trade Marvin to Golden State for expiring deal of V. Radmanavic.

Sign Josh Childress on a 3 to 5 yr deal.

Use the bi-annual on a 2 yr deal for Josh Boone.

Save the last active roster spot and MLE for a free agent that might fall (Shaq???).

Hinrich / Teague
Johnson / Ja Crawford / Jo Crawford
Childress / Radmanavic
Smith / Boone
Horford / Pachulia

This team is $4M over the luxury tax threshold before adding the last couple players, but has $17M in expiring contracts…Defense from the starting 5 should be improved…If Radman can re-discover his 3-pt shot, there’s some good firepower off the bench as well.


July 8th, 2010
2:10 pm

Rufus . . . Nazr Mohammed is NOT a free agent. While he would be a better addition than Shaq, the facts are that he is NOT AVAILABLE. And Charlotte is NOT trading that dude for some of our scrubs.

And how about THIS RUMOR . . .

A possible trade could be in the works that would see :

- Michael Beasley and Jared Jeffries to CHARLOTTE
- Tyson Chandler to HOUSTON
- Lebron to MIAMI ( for the MAX )

So if that’s the case, even CHARLOTTE just became a little big stronger and deeper. And it shows you just how much Charlotte thinks of Nazr, than they do Tyson.

Nazr will be a good pickup NEXT SEASON. But for this season, he could very well be Charlotte’s starting C or PF, regardless if Tyson is traded or not.

Dirty Bird Zone

July 8th, 2010
2:12 pm

I also like signing Brad Miller for 15-20 mins a game. We need more big bodies to deal with Orlando.

True Atlanta Fan

July 8th, 2010
2:13 pm

Shaq will ruin the locker room, hell if the hawks are going for old washed up centers I’d take Ben Wallace over Shaq. And we could get him for $825,497 and you know ASG would love that! Haha


July 8th, 2010
2:13 pm

Yea the i don’t think Spurs going older because they have rising star in D. Blair who is there main focus Denver is another possibility but the best fit for Shaq is Atlanta because he knew Larry Drew out in L.A.

steve brown

July 8th, 2010
2:14 pm

Tired of all this crap. A team beats the individual almost every time. Team chemistry is critical and the Hawks got to 53 wins without it. Let’s focus on an improved roster, improved chemistry and taking another step forward. This free agent crap is strictly about the money and in these times it makes me puke. The NBA players, coaches and management better pray that the people don’t wake up one day and say enough of supporting this BS.


July 8th, 2010
2:15 pm

Najeh . . I personally don’t consider Josh Childress a part of this team anymore. The guy hasn’t played for us in 2 years. While he was great to have off the bench, his presence here was proven to NOT to be vital to our success.

Would he help us this year? Of course. Could he help us more than Shaq would? That’s definitely a toss-up. But our need for a big is greater than our need for another wing.

Chill is dead to me.


July 8th, 2010
2:17 pm

With news of Jermaine agreeing to sign with the Celtics along with a 4 team (Hou,Char,Tor,Mia) trade. We can cross JON and Chandler off the Hawks FANS wish list of bigs….


July 8th, 2010
2:17 pm

If Childress is a starting forward on any team, his short comings would be magnified.

He is an excellent role player. He is a great person for any team. But if he started, you had better have shooters at other positions. His jump shot is one ungly mug.

JoJo the Godfather

July 8th, 2010
2:19 pm

Charlotte seems like they’re using the old BK plan…acquire as many 6′7″ – 6′9″ guys you can get (Cap’n Jack, Wallace, Diaw, Jeffries, Beasley, T. Thomas with Diop & Muhammad at C)…I’m not worried about that team until they find somebody that can shoot the basketball consistently or has a legit post up game…Been down that road before.


July 8th, 2010
2:20 pm

And I’ll post what I posted in the other thread yesterday.

DEFENSIVE PER ( based on Hollinger’s formula to rate players ) – CENTERS ( based on 48 minutes )

Top 10:

Oden: 13.2
Howard: 13.8
Big Z: 13.9
Shaq: 14.2
Okur: 14.4

Bogut: 15.9
Joel Anthony: 15.9
Camby ( POR ): 16.0
N. Mohammed: 16.1
Duncan: 16.1

11 – 20

Zaza: 16.3
Horford: 16.5
K. Thomas: 16.5
Perkins: 16.6
Haywood: 16.8

N. Collison: 16.9
R. Wallace: 17.0
Dampier: 17.0
P. Gasol: 17.0
Dalembert: 17.0

The rest

Miller: 17.1
M. Gasol: 17.4
Noah: 17.5
Nene: 17.6
Turiaf: 17.6

Przybilla: 17.6
Bynum: 17.7
Hawes: 18.2
Chandler: 18.2
Gortat: 18.2

R. Lopez: 18.2
Jefferson: 18.5
Bosh: 18.6
Darko: 18.8
Kristic: 18.9

K. Brown: 19.1
J. O’Neal: 19.2
Dav. Andersen: 19.4
Hayes: 19.5
Kaman: 20.1

B. Lopez: 20.3
D. Jordan: 20.4
Hibbert: 20.8
Ben Wallace: 21.0
Biedrins: 21.8

Okafor: 22.2
Lee: 22.2
Spieghts: 24.5
McGee: 24.8


July 8th, 2010
2:21 pm


what I can’t understand is why would other teams help the Heat with their salary cap situation so they could acquire Lebron????? Not only are some of today’s superstar players are soft but some of these owners are just as dumb…


July 8th, 2010
2:24 pm

OFFENSIVE PER ( based on Hollinger’s formula to rate players ) – CENTERS ( based on 48 minutes )

Top 10

Bosh: 28.4
P. Gasol: 28.1
Duncan: 27.7
Howard: 27.2
Oden: 25.9

Lee: 25.1
Bogut: 23.0
Bynum: 22.6
B. Lopez: 22.5
N. Mohammad: 21.9

11 – 20

M. Gasol: 21.5
Nene: 21.4
Horford: 21.3
Noah: 20.6
Shaq: 20.3

J. O’Neal: 20.3
Jefferson: 20.2
Speights: 20.1
R. Lopez: 19.8
Kaman: 19.2

The rest

Camby ( POR ): 19.2
Dalembert: 19.0
McGee: 18.9
Okafor: 18.4
Hibbert: 18.3

Haywood ( DAL ): 18.2
B. Wallace: 17.8
Okur: 17.6
Perkins: 17.0
Gortat: 16.5

R. Wallace: 15.8
Dampier: 15.8
Krstic: 15.6
Hawes: 15.5
N. Collison: 15.4

Turiaf: 14.9
Biedrins: 14.9
Zaza: 14.7
Miller: 14.7
Darko: 14.6

D. Jordan: 14.4
Chandler: 14.2
Big Z: 13.7
Dav. Andersen: 13.7
Hayes: 13.2

Przybilla: 12.8
K. Thomas: 11.3
Joel Anthony: 11.2
K. Brown: 9.2


July 8th, 2010
2:25 pm

And for all of you people who rag on Horford, these numbers show just how good that guy is. He’s not “great”, but he is damn good.

JoJo the Godfather

July 8th, 2010
2:26 pm

dap…what are Childress’s shortcomings besides not being able to create his own shot?…in a ball-motion offense that should not be a big deal…Chills shoots a higher % from 3 than Marvin, rebounds at a higher rate, and finishes around the rim at a much higher rate…He’s an upgrade over Marvin for sure.


July 8th, 2010
2:29 pm

Northcyde.. I thought NAZ was a free agent.


We should offer ZaZa and Mo for DeSagana Diop, He would offer the size off the bench and we keep our MLE. They both have 3years left on there deals and he is a legit 7ft and 280. He may need a change scene.


July 8th, 2010
2:29 pm

Breaking News:

Brendan Haywood sign with Mavericks for 6 yrs, $55 million

Jermaine O’neal sign with Celtics for 5.7 million exception

Two more gone….

Mike is back

July 8th, 2010
2:30 pm

Northcyde, CMON MAN…baD fEET Nazr…butter than Shaq…nall dawg!!!!!!!!!

U DON”T remember when Nazr played for the Hawks…he use to hope around with them bad feet. lol

MC, I know you wait to our guys play before you start covering Summer League play…but that daaaam Damion James…ain’t skip a beat for three straight weeks…he drop 30 on the Magic last night…just saying. lol


July 8th, 2010
2:30 pm

Melvin, I agree.

But these owners are so afraid to lose something for nothing. Or they’re looking at it from a standpoint to possibly upgrade their team a little. Or probably most of all, they want to shed payroll.

A team like Houston needs a center, any center, because of the uncertainty of Yao. They can’t be legit with 6-6 Chuck Hayes playing center for them ( although that guy does battle against the big guys ).

But if Jermaine O’Neal got a 2 yr – 12 million deal ( basically the MLE ) . . and Brendan Haywood gets a 6 yr – 55 million deal . . we may have to go 2 yrs – 14 mill to get Shaq. Either that . . or wait him out for a little, to see if he really wants to play again . . and play for a team at least in the mix like us.


July 8th, 2010
2:33 pm

It’s funny though. A lot of people on this blog thought that we’d really have a shot at some of these players for MLE money. But guys like Salmons and Haywood both signed for more than the MLE. And some of the other guys that people wanted, will to.


July 8th, 2010
2:36 pm

Mike . . this isn’t 2002 though. It’s 2010. Nazr was damn good for Charlotte last year for what they were asking him to do. He is by far Charlotte’s best big man.

LOL . . I probably would take Shaq over Nazr though, simply because Shaq is such a big presence in the middle.


July 8th, 2010
2:38 pm

Not being able to create a shot is a shortcoming for a small forward in the NBA. Usually “shooters” come from the SF position.

He is widely recognized as a great role player.

That was my point.

I want him but I would not pay him the starter’s pay that he wants. And so far, no one else is.


July 8th, 2010
2:40 pm


In your earlier post, you mention, “been down that road before” referring to not enough shooters on the team.

That was my point, not being a “shooter” at the SF position is a shortcoming.

JoJo the Godfather

July 8th, 2010
2:43 pm

Chills will get somewhere between $5.7M – $8M a year from some team…I’d take him as a starter at that rate…Defend, rebound, and knock down the open 3.

JoJo the Godfather

July 8th, 2010
2:47 pm

Dap, my scenario had Hinrich & Childress as starters (both can hit the wide open 3), and Joe Johnson at the 2…It also had Ja Crawford, Jo Crawford & Radmanavic off the bench…How many shooters do you need?…Someone has to play D on the perimeter (Hinrich & Childress).

The Real JC

July 8th, 2010
2:51 pm

Whether Shaq is slightly more or less productive than another center option we could get with the MLE is really secondary to what he brings in terms of name recognition. He’s a 15-time All-Star, a four-time NBA champion (3-time Finals MVP), a pop culture icon and a name that casual sports fans recognize. He’s fun to watch, he can promote the team and will keep celebrities and VIPs coming to games, even when the Lakers, Celtics or Cavs aren’t in town.

The argument that people will stop coming once they realize Shaq isn’t what he used to be is only valid for serious fans, many of whom will have already purchased season tickets or ticket packages. Casual fans usually don’t keep up with stat sheets and want to see him play to say that they have. It’s like going to a Lynyrd Skynyrd or a Beach Boys concert – you go more to say you have than to see an amazing show.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 8th, 2010
2:57 pm

5 years, $35 million for Travis Outlaw.

Good news is that Marvin’s trade value just inched up, but bad news is this gives Childress the leverage to ask for upwards of $8 million a year.

Hawk n the Ham

July 8th, 2010
2:58 pm

The Highlight Factory, located right smack in the middle of downtown Shaq-lanta!!


July 8th, 2010
2:59 pm

@ MC

It’s not believed that Shaq would play with hawks for lesser money, but considering he wants to go to a winning team and he has alientated the majority of title contenders, think it could happen?

And are you certain hawks really looking for another center? I ask cause they are going fast, so i’m thinking they most be looking at someone thru sign and trade. Heard anything on that front…?


July 8th, 2010
3:01 pm


Great work! The Hawks need a 5 man. My top 3 possibilities would be Haywood, Shaq, & J. O’Neal. Haywood just resigned with the Mavs and I think J. O’Neal will go to the Celtics or the Heat. So, if I’m right, how do we get Shaq? If he wants more money than the MLE then the Hawks will need to S & T with the Cavs. I would offer the Cavs Marvin @ $6.7M or if it took more, then I would add Evans to that offer. That would make the combined total of contracts to $9.2M. That should get Shaq, especially after losing LaBron, the Cavs are going to need a SF.

Next, the Hawks need to replace Marvin if the Shaq S & T works. You could keep Childress or you could see what you could get by a S & T for Chills. Washington has expressed an interest in Childress. His QO is $4.8M. Do a S & T with Childress to the Wizzards for JaVale McGee. The salaries don’t work because his is only $1.6M, but the Wizzards are under the cap so the deal would work.

Now, the Hawks need help @ PG. Use the Bi-Annual and sign Shaun Livingston. He could compete with Teague and that would be a great combo with Bibby as insurance.

The last move that I would make is to use part of the MLE to sign Matt Barnes. With the L. tax now @ $70M, with these moves, the Hawks are still under the L. tax!

Look @ this line up:

SG-Crawford/J. Crawford

I think that this line up gets you to the FINALS!


July 8th, 2010
3:15 pm

2 of the top 26 went thru our fingers in nazr and pryz. that said zaza and al by the numbers are not so bad on defense. add shaq to the mix and we have the top 3 of 12 from last year. n’cyde i hope the asg are listening and shaq is willing at mle. dont know of another solution to keep us competitive for a championship.

before folks get misty eyed about jon going green, he ranked 36. that us hardly what we need by the stats. he is now joining the old bunch who are more and more feeble. where is the young blood to mix in there?


July 8th, 2010
3:16 pm

Why would anyone in Atlanta want Shaq? He’s 38, averaged 12pts, 6.7 boards and is long past his prime. He was paid 21 million in 2010 for those numbers? Please. Lebron made 6 million LESS than Shaq last year. Atlanta doesnt need to draw fans, they need to win and Shaq isn’t the answer.