Las Vegas–First the Shaq scuttlebutt, then the game. . .
The Marvin for Shaq sign-and-trade appears to be a non-starter. The Hawks have consistently said they like their core, and that includes Marvin. So they are not looking to move Marvin for Shaq when he’s playing under what they consider to be a reasonable contract for a starting 3 whom they still believe can blossom under L.D.
Shaq is pushing for the sign-and-trade because he wants to be paid above the mid-level exception–a person familiar with his thinking said Shaq wants something like $16 million for two years after seeing other free agent centers sign lucrative deals. Shaq also wants to start but it doesn’t look like he will get that or the money from Atlanta. In fact, after post-J.J. indications that the Hawks were willing to push their payroll above the luxury-tax threshold of $70.3 million, it’s becoming increasingly clear ASG wants to avoid paying the tax.
With their payroll at roughly $65 million, the Hawks aren’t likely to use the full mid-level exception of $5.8 million to add the minimum of three players they need to get to 13. So the challenge for GM Rick Sund is to add veteran impact players to the roster under those financial constraints. That means Brad Miller likely is out of Atlanta’s price range and they’ll have to wait and see which veteran centers are still around when the dust settles.
Unless Sund can somehow find an impact player at a bargain, Atlanta’s rotation in 2010-11 figures to look a lot like 2009-10. If that’s the case, Atlanta’s belief in its core group figures to be tested.
Spurs 89, Hawks 84
– This wasn’t a good effort for the Hawks. They got off to a slow start again and Lester Conner said he might change the lineup against Milwaukee tomorrow. Turnovers were the problem this time: seven in the first quarter, 15 at the half and 22 for the game. San Antonio recorded 17 steals, which is crazy even for Summer League.
– A rough outing for Teague, who had nine turnovers and once again rushed things at winning time. He just didn’t look all that into it at times, particularly when D-Leaguer Carldell “Squeaky” Johnson picked his pocket for a layup and blew by him for an assist on consecutive plays. “He didn’t take care of the ball and he didn’t run the team the way we’d like,” Conner said.
– It’s one thing for raw rookie Pape Sy to be bothered by ball pressure, another for Teague to look unnerved by it. “Just one of those games,” Teague said. “I think I am just going to start passing the ball up to the wings instead of bringing it up. It takes too long into the shot clock for to get the offense going . That’s how it’s going to be when I play with Joe and those guys, anyway.”
– In defense of Teague and the Hawks, they haven’t had much time to build any kind of cohesion. Conner said L.D.’s offense “might be too sophisticated for this group” because they keep abandoning the calls and freelancing. Then again, this wasn’t an opponent sending out NBAers like the Grizz did Monday. The Spurs sent out D-League free agents and led 52-36 at the half.
– The Hawks rallied again after halftime. They cut down on the turnovers and Teague, JC2 and Trey Gilder got going on offense. But the game got away from the Hawks when Teague jacked up a bricked 3-pointer, the Hawks fell asleep on D and allowed a James Gist dunk and then the Spurs got an offensive rebound on a missed free throw.
– It was another overall positive effort for Crawford., who scored 20 points while shooting 6 of 11. He didn’t draw many fouls at Xavier but earned seven free-throw attempts against San Antonio. Crawford spent some time at point guard and again showed good vision but also had a couple turnovers while forcing cross-court passes into traffic.
– Crawford’s talent is obvious. The Hawks just have to harness it. “He can score the basketball but he doesn’t know about shot selection yet,” Conner said. “That’s expected. We put him at point guard and they got into him.”
– Gilder looked pretty good on the wing. He’s got a slight build but he’s long, quick and smooth.
– The Hawks like Richard Hendrix’s physical game. He was strong on the block and also showed some pretty good footwork.
– After doing little against Memphis, RandMo came back with a strong effort.
– Sy was scratched with a sore right Achilles’. He said he injured it during the game Monday and most likely would sit out tomorrow vs. Milwaukee. James Augustine left the game due to a sprained ankle.
– I’m out, blog people.