Las Vegas–Made it to Sin City for Atlanta’s Summer League opener vs. Memphis. I hear there’s a severe heat warning for Wednesday and Thursday so I guess that means I will be forced to chill in the casino’s A/C for long periods of time. It’s all about sacrifice.
Before I get to the game, let me address the Chills trade, which is still pending as he gets clearance from FIBA. I know my blog people are not happy with the deal–neither is the AJC’s Mark Bradley–but it requires some context.
The first thing to remember about a sign-and-trade is it takes a lot to make it happen. The teams have to agree to the trade, the player has to be willing to join his new team and the new team has to reach contract terms with the player. It turned out Phoenix was the only team where all of these factors aligned with Chills.
From what I’ve heard, the other teams interested in Chills weren’t willing to meet his price, so that narrowed the potential trade partners for the Hawks. Then Phoenix stepped up with a big offer that the Hawks probably wouldn’t have been willing to match. The Hawks apparently did a good enough job of making the Suns think they might match it that they got them to send a second-round pick and earned a trade exception (the amount of which will depend on Chills’ first-year salary).
So the Hawks, with little leverage, got something for Chills when they very well could have received nothing. The fact that Chills wasn’t getting the kind of offers he wanted until the Suns came through tells you his value just wasn’t that great with NBA teams. The Hawks made the only deal they could under the circumstances.
Now we’ll see how they make use of the exception, which will be good for one year from the official date of the trade.
– OK, one more thing before I get into the game: It’s looking like Shaq still wants too much money for the Hawks. That suggests he wants a deal that starts at more than the mid-level exception. The Hawks would have to do a sign-and-trade if it wants to pay him more and so far there’s been no indication they are willing to do so.
Grizzlies 89, Hawks 85 (Box Score)
– It was a pretty good effort from the Hawks considering that they’ve only been practicing together for three days and Teague is the only guy certain to be a rotation player next season. Memphis, meanwhile, had been practicing for several days and send out NBAers O.J. Mayo, Sam Young, Darrell Arthur and DeMarre Carroll.
– If JC2 keeps this up, then maybe he gets in the rotation, too. After a slow start, Crawford was impressive while scoring 16 points. There were no signs of the pre-draft concerns about his ability to adapt to playing off the ball as he was very crafty floating to open space on the floor. And JC2 also proved to be a willing and effective passer.
– “He played well,” Teague said. “He just plays. He doesn’t have a position or anything like that. He just plays. He can make shots and he’s a good passer as well. I guess people underestimated his ability to pass the ball. He’s a very good passer. I like playing with him a lot.”
– Most impressive was that pass Crawford whipped to Richard Hendrix under the basket for a dunk. There also were a couple times where Crawford’s quick outlet passes led to fastbreaks. Give him those hockey assists.
– Teague is supposed to stand out in these kind of games and he did. He played fast but under control, finding open space to get to the basket and always looking for his teammates.
– L.D. wants to play at a faster pace, and Teague and Crawford can help with that. Can you imagine a lineup with those two pushing the pace, J.J. floating to the corners for catch-and-shoots and Smoove and Al going hard to the basket? Jamal can fit in there somewhere, too.
– Sergiy Gladyr can shoot it but he was overmatched on defense.
– Hendrix was better in the second half than the first. He’s got a solid build and knows how to use it.
–Pape Sy seemed bothered at times by the tight D. He has to learn how to create space with his body. But, like Hendrix, he looked better after halftime.
– Alade Aminu looked good finishing around the basket. He’s more finesse than power, a quick leaper who runs the floor well.
– I didn’t see any defensive switches but lots of show and recover. Can’t lie, it was kind of weird to see guys in Hawks unis play straight-up D.
– Hard to evaluate the offense with so many new players trying to figure out how to play together but I noticed lots of down-screens, ball reversals and drive-and-kicks. The ball didn’t stay on one side very long.
– The Hawks got handled on the boards 38-27, with only James Augustine doing good work among the bigs. He’s got legit size but lacks body control.
– RandMo didn’t show much except the usual tendency to foul a lot. He should stand out in this kind of game the same way as Teague.
– I’m out, blog people. Gonna see if I can find a place where they stay on soft 17s.