With Shaq off to Boston here’s a quick epilogue as it relates to the Hawks:
I’ve been told that Atlanta wouldn’t budge on giving Shaq a starting nod over Al, who is after all still only 24-years old and an All-Star. Shaq believes he will get the starting nod over Jermaine O’Neal in Boston as Kendrick Perkins rehabs from his knee injury.
Atlanta also wasn’t willing to pay Shaq more than the minimum and that was a sticking point for him. He didn’t want to sign for the minimum when the Hawks had their bi-annual and mid-level exceptions available because of the perception that would create–as in the Hawks could have paid him more but didn’t. That’s not the case with Boston, which had neither of those exceptions and so could only give him the minimum.
The big guy still has his pride.
The Hawks thought Shaq could help them and would be a good risk at the minimum salary despite his history of negatively effecting locker rooms and tending not to respect coaches who aren’t Phil Jackson or Pat Riley. It could have been a potential headache for L.D., who already has a lot to deal with in his first gig as a head coach.
So that’s that. . . .
The Hawks still are in the market for a center (I’ve still heard nothing to indicate they are seeking a wing) and they have veterans Francisco Elson, Brian Skinner and Josh Boone on their radar. Not so much Kwame Brown, who is thought to still be seeking a deal for more than the vet minimum.
Beyond those options, I also could see the Hawks waiting to see if any centers shake free as teams buy out vets when training camps open. They also might consider bringing some young center prospects to camp and give them a month to earn the 13th roster spot. There is some interest in Garrett Siler but he’s got a lot to prove after a bad showing at Summer League.
There’s still about two months until camp opens so there’s still time for moves to be made. But that 13th roster spot will remain open for now.
– Hawks assistant GM Dave Pendergraft has emerged as an early candidate to become Denver’s top basketball executive. Pendergraft also is one of several candidates for Phoenix’s GM job.
The Nuggets let go of VP of basketball ops Mark Warkentein earlier this week.