Assorted notes for the slow part of summer . . .
– Word is Dave Pendergraft, Atlanta’s assistant general manager, is a candidate for Phoenix’s GM job under Lon Babby. And Steve Rosenberry, Atlanta’s director of pro personnel/college scouting, is expected to join Portland’s staff, where GM Rich Cho is looking for assistants.
Rick Sund confirmed the interest in both guys today.
“I see that as a positive,” he said. “As our team is getting good, other teams are after our executives. Steve and Dave have done a great job in their roles here.”
– It’s possible the Hawks will take 12 players to training camp. The Hawks are being patient, which is their M.O. under Sund, so I could see them letting guys fight for that final spot in camp instead of signing a guy now and being locked into that roster. A trade for a center also isn’t out of the question, but considering their reluctance to break up the “core” it means a major deal isn’t in the plans.
– It’s come to this for Shaq: Go on a medicore late-night show and sell yourself to teams. While on Jimmy Kimmel’s show to promote his reality television show, Shaq gave a shout out to the Celtics.
I think everyone knows Shaq is the best available center but he’s basically contracted his market in half with his baggage and money demands. Miami, Orlando, or the Lakers are out of the question. That leaves Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Atlanta and Boston from among the teams likely to finish in the top eight (swap in San Antonio if you prefer).
NBA.com’s David Aldridge thinks Denver, size-deficient like the Hawks, could be a good fit for Diesel. He also says Shaq “would likely be a better fit with a veteran team that wouldn’t put up with any nonsense.” I agree, and the Hawks still are not that team.
– Maybe Shaq really is chasing the money. In his mailbag, the Plan Dealer’s Brian Windhorst says there’s something to those Shaq-to-Europe rumblings. But he also leaves open the possibility of Cleveland re-signing Shaq for up to $7 million and later trading him to a contender “desperate to match up with the Lakers or Magic.”
I suppose that would include Atlanta since getting a fourth center apparently trumps adding a second real wing.
– I hear some of you calling for a defensive-minded wing, and I hear you on that. For all the hand-wringing about center, L.D. will have some options in his frontcourt with combinations featuring Al, Josh, Zaza, Powell and Collins. But on the wing he’s looking at Marvin, J.J. and Mo. That’s, in order, a some-timey starter, a guy already doing heavy lifting at shooting guard and a guard who seemed to lose his jumper late last season playing forward.
Yet whenever I bring up Atlanta’s need for a wing, I’m always told the team feels set there and is focused on adding another 5. So I won’t waste time making a case for why a guy like Rodney Carney might be a good, cheap pick-up because he fills a need and actually might play significant minutes.
– L.D. plans to play a “big” rotation against big opponents. Woody was reluctant to play Zaza and Al together but L.D. apparently is willing to do so while also regularly including Collins in that “big” rotation instead of keeping him planted on the bench. The Hawks believe that possibility has Twin motivated for next season.
This also seems to indicate that L.D. will loosen up Woody’s typically-tight rotation.