Atlanta Hawks: Camp chatter

Emptying the notebook . . . .

Some observations and chatter after two open practice sessions at Philips Arena:

– The Hawks haven’t offered Shaq a contract yet. There’s still the open question of what kind of role he’s willing to accept on his new team. The Hawks also are said to be looking at Brad Miller, Ilgauskas, Kurt Thomas, Kwame Brown and Anthony Tolliver.

Johan Petro was a possibility before he agreed with New Jersey on a three-year, $10 million deal. That should give you an ideal that it’s still a seller’s market for centers.

L.D.’s summer plan for Teague:

“What I told him is basically I am going to turn him loose. I want him to be himself. I don’t want him to be concerned about making mistakes and missing shots because I have all the confidence in the world in his ability. He can break the defense down, he can get into the interior of the defense. He knows how to make plays. He is just one of the guys on our team with that breakdown ability. I want to allow him to be himself and play carefree and go out and have fun. No restrictions for him.”

– Teague will make his summer league debut but already seems hip to the difference between that and the real thing. “It is totally different when you play with guys who have been in the league a while. It makes the game a whole lot easier for you. But the summer league, it’s just going out there and showing what you can do. Show that you have the ability to run a team and play at this level.”

– He’s ready to be turned loose: “I think that’s the easiest way to play when you are with guys you are not familiar with. Just get up and down. Start getting stops and push it. The offense that we run, it is kind of complicated. You know guys are not going to remember it when they get in the game and start going one on one.”

– Teague on L.D.’s offense:

“I can’t really explain it. It’s kind of like a Princeton motion offense. Everybody is going to get shots, everybody is going to get touches. You can do everything out of it. You can get down-screens, pick-and-rolls. It is kind of a unique offense. It is perfect for our team. We’ve got a lot of guys who can handle the ball on our team and it gives them a chance to show what they can do. And you also get to move the ball. We didn’t get a lot of movement last year and that was something that hurt us. The offense makes it where that isolation thing is not there anymore unless you get it at the top of the key and the shot clock is winding down. Then you have some players who are really good in isolation like Joe. He’s going to add to the offense and have plays like that. But most of the time it is movement, back screens and cuts, posts for Smoove and Al and pick-and-rolls.”

Pape Sy (pronounced “Pop See”) is getting positive early reviews. It seems he really did kind of come out of nowhere–he said he didn’t work out for any other teams, though Milwaukee had some interest.

– Pape said he played both guard positions in France. So how did a 6-7 French kid become a point guard? Credit his mother Fatim, whom Pape said coaches youth players in France. “When I was young I wasn’t really tall. [But] my dad is taller than me [so] my mom knows that I would be tall. So she [taught] me how to handle the ball and after that I grew.”

– Pape is legitimately 6-7 and quick with long arms. Those are the tools for a good defender and Pape also seems to have the tenacity for it. “He’s a good defender,” L.D. said. “Ask Jeff Teague. Took [the ball] from him. [Teague] got a little lackdasical with the ball and he just took it from him. He’s a gritty defender. He’s got good size, he’s got long arms and he’s got an aggression about him. You can’t be lax around him.”

– Chances are Pape and Sergiy Gladyr are headed back to their European teams next season, Le Havre in the French first division and Bàsquet Manresa of the Spanish ACB League respectively. Both players have a year left on their contracts. The Hawks could buy out their deals but they have no plans to do so. “Now is not the right time,” said Hawks assistant GM Dave Pendergraft. “We brought them over here to get experience. The game plan is for them to learn the system and get them some exposure to some NBA-level players.”

– Sergiy can really shoot it. “[Spain] is a perfect place for him,” Pendergraft said. “It is a good league, arguably the second-best league in the world, and he gets to play.”

– L.D. on Jordan Crawford (how’s JC2 for a nickname?): “This kid has speed, he has quickness, he can make shots. He does a great job reading the defense. I see him being a real good plus to us because the kid can score. He has that uncanny ability with scoring, whether out on the perimeter or getting to the basket. He finds ways to score. He seems to be a pretty clever basketball player. I am excited about him.”

– L.D. isn’t turning him loose like Teague, though. He wants Crawford to get used to his likely role with the Hawks, which means being a low-volume, high-efficiency scorer. “I know he was a big-time scorer in college and I don’t want to take away his aggressiveness,” Drew said. “But shot selection is a big key at this level. I will allow him to be himself but I will be letting him know if I think it’s a bad shot.”

– Here is what Kelvin Sampson, Crawford’s coach at IU, had to say on that topic when I talked to him for a Crawford story: “Sometimes talent can be a blessing and sometimes it can be something that’s tough to handle. Talented kids have a tendency to think they can do anything. The thing I tried to impress upon Jordan was shot selection. He thought they were all good shots. He would say, ‘Coach, I can make that.’ Well, that’s fine but 1 out of 10 is probably not good enough. Give me 8 out of 10 or at least 6 out of 10.”

– Crawford looked to be winded during the two practices that were open to media. That’s no surprise since L.D. put the players through some pretty intense workout sessions and it’s doubtful Crawford has gone this hard since March.

– It looks like RandMo, James Augustine, and Alade Aminu all will get a shot to make the roster. L.D. on RandMo coming out for summer league: “I thought it was a great gesture on his behalf. Some guys who have been in the league a few years, their pride won’t allow them to play in the summer league. But he sees it as an opportunity. I tip my hat to him for that. I am going to give him an opportunity to show what we can do.”

– The Hawks have been a surprisingly slow-paced team considering their stable of athletes. L.D. said he wants to change that. “I would, with that athletes we have,” he said. “We have got guys that can get up and down the floor. We have got big men that can handle the ball. We have go to rebound to do that. And if you [run] you have got to be smart, selective. You don’t want to go crazy with that.”

Smoove stopped by Philips and watched some of the practice. What’s he been working on this summer? “I have been looking at some of my old tape. I am still studying what I need to work on. Back when I was playing and then to now, it looks a whole lot different. I always have room to grow. You will always be a student of the game as long as you play. There is always room for improvement.”

– Josh is on board with the plan to add a big. “To have somebody that can be down there and be strong and dominant, somebody that is going to rebound and finish around the bucket and catch the ball. Me and Al can take care of the rest. We could use a little more help, a little more depth. I think we do extremely well with a lot of the bigs in the league. We seem to struggle with guys like Dwight and . . . just pretty much Dwight. We need somebody who can help us with that if we have to face him in the playoffs again.”

– Like Shaq, for instance? “He definitely brings that maturity and the leadership. He definitely brings that experience we need. He has won titles. He’s been there in the postseason so he knows what it takes to win and I think he would be a good guy for the locker room.”

– Smoove on the Miami SuperFriends: “Those guys have to make it work. We have a group of guys that have been together for a long time and we know what each other likes to do. From that standpoint, I think we have the upside on them.”

– L.D. expects new lead assistant Lester Conner to help develop a defensive mentality for the Hawks. Said Conner: “They’ve won 50-plus games the last two years but when they get to the second round they kind of stumble. When you get to the second round, you’ve got to bring the toughness and energy out of guys to get to the next level. We want to pattern ourselves after the Celtics, the Orlando Magic. You’ve got to play defense. If they don’t buy into that, it’s going to be the same thing. Our job as a staff is to get them to buy into that.”

– Conner will coach the summer league entry while L.D. observes.

– I’m out, blog people. Hope all of that info whets your appetite for a minute. I will check the comments later but right now a brotha needs a breather.

MC

326 comments Add your comment

LEA

July 10th, 2010
8:14 pm

sounds good!!

mountain_jim

July 10th, 2010
8:17 pm

Good info MC.

NCBravesFan

July 10th, 2010
8:19 pm

Thanks for the updates, MC. Really good off season stuff – it’s much appreciated!

Rondo

July 10th, 2010
8:23 pm

HawkKingBibby

July 10th, 2010
8:25 pm

MC, Sam Amica said that trade talks between the Hawks and Cavs at the Vegas summer league are heating up and he mentioned Shaq and Mo Williams for the Hawks and Clev looking at Marv and Chills.

HawkKingBibby

July 10th, 2010
8:25 pm

Scott

July 10th, 2010
8:26 pm

I have read reports that the Hawks and Cavs are talking trade. Maybe Josh Childress will go to the Cavs and Shaq to the ATL

Ree Roe

July 10th, 2010
8:26 pm

I just saw your latest twitter entry about the Cavs bein interested in acquiring Josh Childress. Who would we look to acquire from them for Childress? Thanks for all your insight MC

-REEgistered as Roe!!!

I MUS WRITE

July 10th, 2010
8:30 pm

Just read that earlier Hawkking, I think Mo would be a nice fit if we could include Bibby. If not Maybe do a Chillz/Marvin for Moon/Varajeo

Wabe

July 10th, 2010
8:32 pm

Lovin’ what I’m hearing out of LD to this point. I know it’s early, and words don’t necessarily translate into W’s.

But, I like what I’m hearing about the offense.

I’m assuming if we’re still looking for a defensive philosophy:

“L.D. expects new lead assistant Lester Conner to help develop a defensive mentality for the Hawks.”

LD must’ve not been feelin’ Woody’s switching ways.

I MUS WRITE

July 10th, 2010
8:35 pm

I would prefer Varejo over Shaq at C. Moon is a nice Sf more than capable of duplicating Marvins numbers from last year 10.8 ppg.

Rondo

July 10th, 2010
8:35 pm

L.D. is dialing up all the right ingredients Lets just see how the finished product taste.You got to be exited about next season.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 10th, 2010
8:39 pm

Great stuff MC. Drew’s offensive philosophy and approach with these young players seems like exactly what the Hawks need.

Rondo

July 10th, 2010
8:42 pm

There is no way the Cavs will give up Varejo he is their best talent since LBJ is gone.Mo and Shaq would be just fine.This trade would be just what the hawks need and if they can sign another vetern like Kurt Thomas the hawks would have a sick squad with young atheletes and great veterns. If Sund can pull this off you fans have to view the man differently.

MaxxHawk

July 10th, 2010
8:43 pm

MC you are on fire, great blog, great read. Josh needs to work on his Free Throws this offseason

I Heart Atlanta

July 10th, 2010
8:43 pm

Man i wish they would take bibby instead of marvin then our team would be RIGHT!!!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

July 10th, 2010
8:44 pm

I’m definitely not sweating trading Marvin; like I’ve said before, anything of value for him is a good trade. I apparently have a more positive opinion on Childress than most on this blog or in the Hawks’ front office; I think starting him at SF would be a huge upgrade and a great fit for this team. On talent alone, though, the Hawks win a Marvin+Childress for Shaq+Mo Williams trade.

The only problem I have is I don’t know that Mo Williams at $9 million a year for the next three years is what the Hawks really need. He’s a good player, but it’s one thing to hold back Teague’s development for a true star like CP3 and another thing to do so for just a pretty good player like Mo Williams. Who is to say that Teague won’t be at Mo Williams’ level by the end of the season?

Also, if they get rid of Marvin AND Childress they are going to have a gaping hole at SF. I guess they can always fill that with a free agent — if I’m not mistaken they will still have their mid-level if they sign-and-trade for Shaq and Mo — but in my opinion they would be better off just trading Marvin for Shaq, signing Childress to start at SF, and leaving Mo Williams in Cleveland.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 10th, 2010
8:50 pm

“The Hawks also are said to be looking at Brad Miller, Ilgauskas, Kurt Thomas, Kwame Brown and Anthony Tolliver. ”

Kurt Thomas is the only one of those who is realistically going to give Howard any serious problems, and even he is undersized. Ilgauskas has the height and the offensive skills to help the Hawks in other ways, but he will also struggle against Howard — this is why the Cavs acquired Shaq last year in the first place. The other players on that list are not going to do much against Howard either.

Ken Strickland

July 10th, 2010
8:54 pm

I hate to say it, but everything LDrew and the players that have been interviewed say proves Woodson was holding certain players and the overall team back. Teague said LDrew told him he no longer had to look over his shoulder, or worry about making mistakes or missing shots. THAT SAYS IT ALL.

I still wish the Hawks would explore the possibility of trading Bibby, Evans and Zaza for Okafor, and do a sign and trade of Childress’ rights with Washington for JMcGee. Horford, Okafor and MGee would make an awesome, and very productive 3 headed center, both offensively and defensively.

That move would allow us to use our biannual exemption, and our MLE to sign a PG and a wing player or 2.

C-AHorford/EOkafor/JMcGee
PF-JSmith/RMorris
SF-MWilliams/MBarnes
SG-JJohnson/JaCrawford/JoCrawford
PG-JTeague/FA

After the season, we can use JaCrawford’s expiring contract to resign AHorford and get whoever else we need. I like this scenario better than signing Shaq. Why, because it gives us more options and talent for the money, and it doesn’t leave us with another Bibby situation(Shaq). And, we won’t have to visit this same need a backup center situation in another yr or 2.

If we can’t resign Okafor, for whatever reason, we can easily trade him and his expiring contract for some assets. You can bet we won’t be able to do that with Shaq a yr of 2 from now.

STEEL (Formerly VenomSpitter)

July 10th, 2010
8:55 pm

MC for Beat Writer of the YEAR

Sara

July 10th, 2010
8:56 pm

Well it’s nice to get some updates. Seems like L.D.s offense is going to be good for the Hawks. We’ll really see what it does when training camp gets hear. I’ve also read the rumors about Chills it seems he still hasn’t decided whether or not he’s coming back to the NBA. Besides a another Big Man who else are the Hawks looking for?

Section 303

July 10th, 2010
8:56 pm

I am anxious to see this offense. Doubt the Summer League will really be all that telling. Probably have to wait until preseason games tip off before we have an idea how great this new “Princeton style” offense is. I like what I hear about the movement, though.

The Cleveland trade sounds good. But, I thought Shaq was a free agent? How can Cleveland trade him? Sign-and-trade? For Shaq? That does not sound right. Love the idea of getting rid of Marvin and Chills.

femhawkfan

July 10th, 2010
9:06 pm

I enjoyed reading all the updates. From what you know about Shaq and his personality, do you think he would prefer to play with Heat OR against the Heat?

Section 303

July 10th, 2010
9:06 pm

Guys,

Here are the Hawks Summer League games on NBATV. None of the games are shown live, by the way, which is good. It means they will actually start at the listed time. Hope this helps.

7/13–vs Memphis (10:00AM)

7/15–vs San Antonio (7:00AM)

7/16–vs Bucks (10:00AM)

7/18–vs D-League All Stars (7:00AM)

MsDee

July 10th, 2010
9:06 pm

Dont know if I want to get rid of Marvin just yet, esp with this new “Princeton Style” OFFence..would trage Chills for Shaq though.

STEEL (Formerly VenomSpitter)

July 10th, 2010
9:08 pm

I agree with Ken. Woody held this team back. We should have won 60 games last year but Woody lost so many games for us with his dumb coaching.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 10th, 2010
9:09 pm

“If we can’t resign Okafor, for whatever reason, we can easily trade him and his expiring contract for some assets.”

I don’t know if you have Okafor confused with someone else, but his contract is not expiring. It has 4 years left on it at an average of $13 million per season. For a player of Okafor’s caliber, his contract is lunacy. The ONLY reason I would trade for Okafor is if CP3 came packaged with him.

STEEL (Formerly VenomSpitter)

July 10th, 2010
9:10 pm

I would really like to see Marvin in this new offense. Maybe his Duck Powers will increase.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 10th, 2010
9:10 pm

“Dont know if I want to get rid of Marvin just yet, esp with this new “Princeton Style” OFFence..would trage Chills for Shaq though.”

Funny you should say that. From reading what Teague said about Drew’s offense, the first thing I thought was that this is the perfect offense for Childress, who thrives on cutting to the basket and moving off the ball. Marvin has not shown the instincts to do this at nearly the level that Childress has.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 10th, 2010
9:12 pm

Section 303, are you sure you mean AM (as in early in the morning)?

STEEL (Formerly VenomSpitter)

July 10th, 2010
9:13 pm

The Hawks 1st summer game will be on ESPN 3

Najeh Davenpoop

July 10th, 2010
9:14 pm

“From what you know about Shaq and his personality, do you think he would prefer to play with Heat OR against the Heat?”

Based on recent history, I don’t think Shaq is going to want to play with Wade. But who knows… if it weren’t for the alleged Shaq/Wade beef, going to Miami would be completely in line with Shaq’s recent career moves.

dap01

July 10th, 2010
9:18 pm

great info MC. Keep it coming.

Section 303

July 10th, 2010
9:18 pm

Najeh, yes, I mean AM. All the Hawks games are being shown the day after they are actually played. I think there are two Las Vegas Summer Leagues. NBATV must be showing the other league’s games live and the Hawks league games on tape, in the morning.

Does that make sense? Not sure my explanation is very good.

OK

July 10th, 2010
9:23 pm

Getting sick and tired of us stashing players overseas just to save money. We need to fill the Wings NOW. We probably didn’t draft US players just so we could save money. Really irritated right now.

O'Brien

July 10th, 2010
9:24 pm

I like what I am hearing from Teague and our new assistant (Connor).

Why would the Cavs get rid of Mo Williams? Isnt he their starting PG? And if I’m the Hawks, the only way I take Mo Williams, is if they are taking Bibby. No way can we pay Bibby $6 mil, Mo Williams $9 mil, and still expect Teague to get major minutes.

Based on our pentangle offense, it sounds like Chills would be a better fit. I wonder if Cleveland would want Marvin for Shaq and Moon. I guess I would be okay with Jamario Moon and Shaq for Childress though.

Assuming Gladyr goes back overseas, that means we still need a shooter. But as we have seen with guys like JJ Redick, Kyle Korver, Mike Miller, and Anthony Morrow, shooters are expensive.

WWSD?

Section 303

July 10th, 2010
9:27 pm

OK, take it easy. I think they just want those two to develope. Gadyr and Sy were not drafted to make an instant impact. Plus, who knows, maybe they show out in Summer League and make the team?

And, remember, the Hawks tried to bring David Anderson over back in the day. He just wanted way more $$ than he was actually worth. He ends up in Houston…didn’t see the Rockets in the NBA Finals because that stiff was on their team.

No need to be irritated by handling of Gadyr and Sy. Especially, since we don’t even know if they are both going overseas or not.

ryan

July 10th, 2010
9:32 pm

It sound like Shaq wants a peace of the big 3 he already done the Kobe fued now he wants Wade and Lebron.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 10th, 2010
9:38 pm

Section 303, yeah, it makes sense, thanks.

Hoops

July 10th, 2010
9:39 pm

MC,

Great information! Thanks for the summer league scoop and the inside info on potential trades!

I like Shaq for Marvin in a S&T. I would like to S&T Chills to the Wizzards for McGee. Then sign M. Barnes and Livingston with our MLE.

That adds two bigs, a lock down perimeter defender, and a good combo guard that can back up Teague. This lets Teague grow and develop instead of putting him behind Mo Williams.

OK

July 10th, 2010
9:49 pm

Section 303,

Yeah you’re right, I just was blindsighted with rage lol. The Childress situaton along with how the David Andersen (where is that 2nd Rd draft pick?) thing went down kind of had me feeling negative about this whole overseas business.

I’m all for those guys developing, but when I see Devin Ebanks & Sherron Collins looking awesome in summerleague I can’t help but think “What if”. Especially since Miami just became a serious threat to our win total. Originally I thought at 6′7 Pape Sy was drafted to give us a real backup SF. We need real long & Athletic wings(Like Marv & Chills) to bother those guys. Mo Evans just doesn’t fit the bill. I’m all for Mo Williams trade though, I hope they take Bibby too.

Planning for the future while cultivating current success. Hopefully Rick Sunds’ patience pays off.

cp

July 10th, 2010
9:50 pm

I like what im hearing. I think its a good move to let Sy and Gladyr play at least one more year over seas then bring them over. If we can get Mo, Moon, and Shaq I think that would be a great move…….. Ken Strick, Washington wont be trading McGee… Blatche broke his foot I believe and they dont have any other bigs so I don’t see them trading young Javele. Im ready to see these summer league games.

Hoops

July 10th, 2010
9:56 pm

After checking the contracts of the Cavs roster, I would accept Shaq and Powe for Marvin. The contracts would work and that would give the Hawks the 2 bigs that they need assuming that Powe passes his physical. I would not take Mo Williams unless we sent the Cavs Bibby and Mo Evans.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 10th, 2010
10:23 pm

“Getting sick and tired of us stashing players overseas just to save money. We need to fill the Wings NOW. We probably didn’t draft US players just so we could save money. ”

I’m not happy with the Hawks trading pick #31 for cash instead of using it on a big man, but the key sentence in MC’s item on Gladyr and Sy is that each one has a year left on their overseas contracts. Presumably they will both be joining the Hawks next season after their contracts expire.

Rondo

July 10th, 2010
10:34 pm

One thing that worries me about Mo Williams is his lack of playing defense and he may feel since he played along with LBJ that he feels entitled. Will he share the ball and cooperate in LD’s new offense? Will he be a malcontent in the locker room and cause all kind of headaches for the coaching staff? Sounds good but I am a little skeptical of Mo Mo.

Rondo

July 10th, 2010
10:40 pm

CP3 is taking bad knees and all his talent to south beach with the 3 amigos.

Tb

July 10th, 2010
10:42 pm

If u want a big with size and strength that is athelic enough to guard Howard down in the post. Why not go after Kwame Brown? He is a big, who’s not a scorer but can play defense. Give him a shot

I MUS WRITE

July 10th, 2010
10:43 pm

Using our MLE on Matt Barnes/Livingston would be a good move. Then use Chillz 4.5 + Mo evans 2.5 to get Shaq

Cp i saw that Blatche got hurt so Mcgee is probably no longer an option. If we could trade Mo Evans for Ryan Hollins that would work for me. Minnestoa Just signed Darko and another C so he’s got to be expendable.

Teague/Livingston
JJ/Jamal/JC2
Marvin/Barnes
Smoove/Hollins
Horford/Shaq/Zaza

Rondo

July 10th, 2010
10:45 pm

TB the hawks already have 2 Kwames RandMo and Collins they don’t need another one

OK

July 10th, 2010
10:51 pm

Najeh, Yeah the #31 angred me as well. We could’ve drafted Whiteside andt traded him to Minnesota for Hollins. On Gladyr and Sy I was hoping for a buyout, for Sy in particular, but You know the ASG. They do need more experiece and PT though so I agree. I’m just anxious. As long as we’ve got top notch product on the floor next season i’m good. By top notch I mean a squad that doesn’t have guys named Mo or Bibby on it hee hee hee.