Atlanta Hawks: No Shaq . . . now what?

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.

MC

613 comments Add your comment

The Real JC

August 5th, 2010
5:10 pm

Big Ump

August 5th, 2010
5:11 pm

Big Ray

Good article

big al

August 5th, 2010
5:12 pm

crap cheap owners
nice possibilities

Ben

August 5th, 2010
5:13 pm

What now? The Hawks will bring back the same team as last year while every other team got much better. We will be a 4 or 5 seed at best this year. Miami, Boston, Orlando, Chicago are all better than us with their upgrades. We are pathetic if all we had to do was give Shaq the Bi-annual or mid-level to sign him. He could of been the missing piece for us this year at center but the ASG is cheap and worthless. Get ready for another 2nd round exit if not 1st round this year.

The Real JC

August 5th, 2010
5:17 pm

Really, we’re getting snubbed by Kwame Brown? Ouch.

ClassicHawks

August 5th, 2010
5:17 pm

Man Our Owners SUCK ASS! Bottom Line! Cheap, Cheap, Cheap! Shaq would of been here for the mid level exception, But Our Cheap skate owners dont want to pay the luxury tax! Man These Guys Are a Joke Of Owners! It’s seven of yall and cant make a financial commitment to win. Please ASG Go Kill Yo Self!! I hate being a Hawks Fan! I Will Buy This Team and then and only till then will this organization be ran the right way! SHAME ON YOU ASG!!

Tee

August 5th, 2010
5:23 pm

Trying to keep the faith! Shaq was not a good fit for our team (I keep repeating this to myself). I think it’s time we start focusing on perimeter defense. MC, who do you like out there?

niremetal

August 5th, 2010
5:25 pm

The money thing makes zero sense to me, since Shaq would have brought in way more money in ticket sales and merchandise than he would have cost in salary. So if that was part of ASG’s reasoning, that’s not cheap, it’s just plain stupid.

That being said, I’m not sad to see Shaq go elsewhere. At his age and girth and with his tendency to grumble about his role on the team, he probably would have hurt more than he helped. His head is as bloated as his butt, and I’m glad to see that neither of them will be in Atlanta next year.

The Real JC

August 5th, 2010
5:28 pm

So my only shred of hope for this season is that LD’s new offensive scheme is up-tempo enough to call for an undersized athletic center that can grab alleys and doesn’t have to post up that much. If we’re trying to post up and score against Dwight, Carlos, Big Z or Shaq, shoot me now.

ryan

August 5th, 2010
5:31 pm

I was watching ESPN Jim Rome they said Shaq is not a good fit either because Boston just got much slower with Shaq. Kwame Brown or Josh Boone could be good fit . But i am still boycotting the ASG .

Big Ump

August 5th, 2010
5:36 pm

MC

My mistake MC I gave credit to Big Ray. That were a very good article MC as always.

The Real JC

August 5th, 2010
5:38 pm

@ryan – didn’t Shaq challenge Jim Rome to a fight for saying that? How hilarious.

cp

August 5th, 2010
5:41 pm

So the Hawks didn’t want to draft a young big in the second round but might be willing to bring in Siler? smh. I truly don’t understand this front office. Siler is not any good. He was a nice story but dude looked horrible during the summer league. He was big and slow. Just sign Josh Boone and get it over with smh

Mark

August 5th, 2010
5:49 pm

I’m glad they realized that bringing in Shaq as a starter was a non-starter. Having watched how his time at Miami played out from close distance, I think the assistance he would have been on the floor would have been over ridden by the headache he would have been in the locker room. However, Atlanta does have a bit of a problem at center. And the #4 seed is no longer a given. In case you haven’t heard, the Heat have gotten a wee bit better. :-)

Big Ray

August 5th, 2010
5:51 pm

Big Ump ,

I was just about to say that. :) But glad to see you’re still around anyhow.

Big Ray

August 5th, 2010
5:54 pm

CP ,

I agree. Siler isn’t going to make it, but if he does….man, come on. We’ve already been treated to two years of Randolph Morris. I’d take Boone (can he stay healthy?). Elson does nothing for me and I didn’t know Skinner was still in the league, much less available.

tyger

August 5th, 2010
5:57 pm

On-line Petition for ASG to sell Hawks with Godspeed!

The undersigned, life-long fans of the Atlanta Hawks petition the ASG, NBA, NBA Governors, City of Atlanta and other significant corporate sponsors/partners to sell the franchise as quickly as possible.

In light of recent events, especially this free-agency period, it is clear that current ownership/ management do not have sufficient resources to maintain a competitive, championship caliber franchise in the city of Atlanta. That being the case, the only honorable thing to do, is divest ownership to a more able body.

Recent history shows this ownership group was flawed from the start – with owners suing owners – openly and publicly bickering over player transactions. They have not conducted themselves like owners, instead they continue to shed an unfavorable light upon the NBA. In fact, according to the Courts, they never should have come into ownership of the franchise. see victorious lawsuit by Mr. McDavid, which TBS is currently appealing.

Moreover, their very limited resources have been a source of constant and persistent embarrassment throughout the league, city and it’s fan base. They are incrementally and systematically eroding the fan base and depreciating the value of the franchise with cheap player transactions, cheap coaching hires and openly touting a pathological cheapness if left unchecked, will condemn this franchise for the near future and beyond. For example, the Hawks have not signed one free agent beyond, Joe Johnson, to a salary higher than the NBA minimum wage.

Certainly, winning 53 games and making the playoffs 3 yrs. consecutive is admirable. However, that is a by-product of the former GM Billy Knight. This current group appears to be in a “wind down” of operations prior to “foreclosure or bankruptcy.”

SAVE OUR HAWKS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!

truthspitter

August 5th, 2010
6:00 pm

what’s next? start looking for a secondary team to follow because the Hawks aren’t getting any better unless Teague is Isiah Thomas #2 and I doubt Woody could have kept Isiah Thomas on the bench because when he got those stints on the floor he would have proved too valuable to put back on the bench. I like the Blazers if healthy, I also kinda like Memphis. Both the Blazers and Grizzs have built through draft but they have legitimate Centers rather than playing people out of position.

truthspitter

August 5th, 2010
6:10 pm

@ tyger: Where is the petition?

Hoops

August 5th, 2010
6:19 pm

Not signing Shaq was a mistake, but we can’t live in the past. It’s over. It’s time to move on.

As far as what we need at this point, I’m not so sure that we should sign a 5 just to sign a 5. I don’t see any available centers that will make a difference. I would rather see the Hawks make a trade and get a good defensive SF. I just feel that Evans is too small to fill the position. We are stacked at the SG position. Maybe we can trade Crawford and Evans for T. Prince and J. Jerebko. That gives us a great defensive SF with an expiring contract and a young big. The Pistons need a SG to go with Stuckey.

jim

August 5th, 2010
6:19 pm

why would anyone want to play for ASG. New owners please. If you don’t spend … they will not come!!!!!!!!!!!! Same for the braves.. spend some money.

Big Ump

August 5th, 2010
6:21 pm

Big Ray

Thanks. One thing about you Big Ray we don’t always agree with each other but we always respect each other. I wish some of the others can pick that up from you.

ryan

August 5th, 2010
6:24 pm

Rise up enough is enough and time for change end this dictatorship ASG now i hear two Atlanta billionaires gave to charity why can’t one them buy the Hawks .

Reginald

August 5th, 2010
6:24 pm

MC

I still dont understand why the Hawks aren’t looking at trades. I know they’ve said that they dont want to trade the “core” pieces, but did management not see what happened with them against Orlando in the playoffs. The Hawks need to add a impact bigman & the only way that probably happens is through a trade

Reginald

August 5th, 2010
6:29 pm

MC

also is Erick Dampier someone that the Hawks could look at if the Bobcats waive him?

ryan

August 5th, 2010
6:40 pm

I don’t now why the Hawks wont trade for anyone they want find the cheapest player that is why they signed Powell and Collins the ASG does want to do anything for fans.

Buddy Grizzard

August 5th, 2010
6:46 pm

The real jc…

The Big Z? Really? You think All Star center Al Horford, one of the top 5 centers on the planet, is afraid to post up Big Z? Or Boozer? Not known for his defense. Al Horford didn’t get embarrassed by Howard in the ORL series… our perimeter defense did. Woody got embarrassed for not being able to coach at an NBA level.

Loserville USA

August 5th, 2010
6:49 pm

Why waste money if your team has no chance.

The Real Hawk

August 5th, 2010
6:53 pm

What is that because of money we will be a worse seed then last year!

Section 303

August 5th, 2010
6:57 pm

I’m proud of everyone who has posted on here so far today. Almost 30 replies to Michael’s blog and not one person tried to rationalize that Garret Siler would be a good pick up. Good job, everyone!

Najeh Davenpoop

August 5th, 2010
6:59 pm

“now what?”

48-34, 5th seed, first round loss.

Najeh Davenpoop

August 5th, 2010
7:00 pm

That’s not because the Hawks are going to be a worse team — chances are they will be better than last year’s team — but because they will finish no higher than 3rd in their own division, which prevents them from finishing any higher than 5th in the conference.

cp

August 5th, 2010
7:01 pm

Big Ray its just frustrating…. I don’t know if Boone can stay healthy but I do know he is better than Cheeseburger Collins. … And why does Teague have to be Isiah #2? All we need Teague to do is play good perimeter d, score around 11 a night with about 5 to 6 dimes and limit his turnovers. Most importantly is the perimeter d because we got none from Bibby. Teauge needs to be solid we have enough scorers. Some of you cats on here are crazy with your expectations for a player..

Michael Cunningham

August 5th, 2010
7:02 pm

@Tee: “I think it’s time we start focusing on perimeter defense. MC, who do you like out there?”

this is the list i came up with back then, though it’s shortened considerably since: http://blogs.ajc.com/hawks/2010/07/07/atlanta-hawks-nine-free-agents-who-can-play-d-cheaply/

Michael Cunningham

August 5th, 2010
7:02 pm

@Tee: “I think it’s time we start focusing on perimeter defense. MC, who do you like out there?”

this is the list i came up with back then, though it’s shortened considerably since: http://blogs.ajc.com/hawks/2010/07/07/atlanta-hawks-nine-free-agents-who-can-play-d-cheaply/

Michael Cunningham

August 5th, 2010
7:03 pm

@ Reginald: “MC I still dont understand why the Hawks aren’t looking at trades. I know they’ve said that they dont want to trade the “core” pieces, but did management not see what happened with them against Orlando in the playoffs. The Hawks need to add a impact bigman & the only way that probably happens is through a trade”

they will look at trades but the “core” philosophy will drive those discussions.

Michael Cunningham

August 5th, 2010
7:04 pm

@ Reginald: “MC also is Erick Dampier someone that the Hawks could look at if the Bobcats waive him?”

i haven’t heard him mentioned.

kgbsfinst

August 5th, 2010
7:06 pm

A little off the subject, but I need to know. I listen to Bill Simmons on his podcast and he has hinted on more than one occasion that Something happened between LeBron and the organization, something that ESPN wont allow them to talk about. Does anyone know what this rumor us?

Buddy Grizzard

August 5th, 2010
7:12 pm

kbgsfinst just google delonte west gloria james

ryan

August 5th, 2010
7:15 pm

My guess is LeBron was unhappy with the Jamison deal and that they went after Tom Izzo and not John Caliparri .

Swami

August 5th, 2010
7:31 pm

Shaq no big deal anymore. Hawks get number 3 seed last year without him. They re-sign JJ, they still good. Division very tough with LeBron and Bosh in Miami, D-Howard still in Orlando. But Hawks no need Shaq.

I Heart Atlanta

August 5th, 2010
7:45 pm

O well Shaqs fat anyways, MC whats your prediction that happens next to our roster………….. and did Powell pick a number yet? Thanks ahead of time

Mike is back

August 5th, 2010
7:45 pm

MC, thanks for the low down on Shaq…what Shaq said made since…don’t ask me to be a back-up and sign me for the cheap…we are talking about a guy with four rings and a MVP…and your the Hawks…Dang…just pay the man and close the deal.

It almost insulting to even mention Siler…when you just passed over three promising young Bigs…that were much further alone in their development. The Hawks would be better off giving Aminu and Glider a shot before you waste time on Siler. At this point…just get one of the best available Vet Bigs left…and quit wasting time.

If the Hawks would commit to signing Josh Boone…like someone stated earlier…they can still get a good Big that can help the team. He made have his health issues…however, he is a guy that plays with hustle and desire…every time he hits the floor…Zaza is a better scorer…but Boone is a much superior offensive and defensive rebounder.

You’re going to try to sign him for the cheap anyway…what’s the risk? He doesn’t command a lot of touches on offense to be effective…that’s another plus…I agree with CP…Boone would be a GREAT CHOICE!!!

Rev in Tampa

August 5th, 2010
8:04 pm

Najeh, I think you are a bit premature in making the 48 win pediction. It is another way of saying that the Hawks will take a step backward. The Hawks obviously have other moves to make. (And I am not talking about the scrub who will fill out the 13th spot).

If the Hawks only add a scrub at 13 they will be better on paper than they were last year. They are a young team that is a year older. Teague will play better defense than Bibby. And they will not play the iso-Joe or the switching-D because they will not have Woodson as the coach – which is the most important reason they are better than last year.

The only unknowns are Teague’s offense (specifically his turnover-assist ratio) and LD’s coaching ability. I like what I’ve seen from LD so far.

There is lots of time for the Hawks to evaluate & trade. Patience is the word.

Mike is back

August 5th, 2010
8:12 pm

Tyger, that was sensational…superlative commentary on the major disappointment that is the ASG.

bird

August 5th, 2010
8:14 pm

Why would there have to be a budge? I thought the whole point of bringing Shaq in was to move Al to the 4?

Rev in Tampa

August 5th, 2010
8:20 pm

Bird, having Shag at 5 would make us weaker because it would put Josh on the bench if Al moves to 4.

Rev in Tampa

August 5th, 2010
8:31 pm

General Patton said that fixed fortifications are testimony to man’s stupidity. This applies to Shaq’s rear end

K-Dogg

August 5th, 2010
8:35 pm

Man yall crazy if yall dont think we needed Shaq b/c fro one the main reason we could not beat the better teams in the east last year was b/c our frontline was too small; Shaq does not slow Boston down b/c their fast break is Rondo by his self and Garnett running down the lane and Paul P and Allen waiting for the kick out 3 so Shaq will not eb a factor like Perkins was not on fast breaks. Naw im with the new coach not wanting him b/c he is scared he will treat him like doo dooo but you know what as a coach you have to sit down and talk to him or earn your strips all of these players could tune him out if they wanted to on the cool!! Man dont even bring in those bum bigs left on the market just go after the best offensive player on the market now willing to take 2mil and be done with it 48 wins and 1st round 7 gmaes and 2nd round sweep predictions a person could make some money if they took those odds to vegas!!!!!!!!!

K-Dogg

August 5th, 2010
8:40 pm

I said all along you have to play Al at the 4 vs Dwight, Bynum and teams with true 7′0 bigs and those otehr teams you can get by with him playing center. Its not like we have not seen this fro two years now i dont see why fans are the only ones seeing this. If they want to be small play small we were one of the best teams in the L last year in fast break points otehr wise blow the team up b/c their is no way in h*** this team can win it all even though we have as much talent as anyone in the L. This team sucks and whats so bad when things start to go south this year during the season i know them idiots going to trade JC and his exipring contract which will be even dumer then anything we have not done this offseason and then our bench will suck again!! If you think of all the things not to do with this team it will tell you what they do i finally figured it out after all these years!!! i still cant beleive we signed Collins again after he spent a whole year not in shape that to me makes no sense to re-sign Alvin the Chipmunks big brother!!!!