Atlanta Hawks: Etan Thomas on ’short list’ for Hawks

Hawks interested in Thomas. (nba.com)

Hawks interested in Thomas.

Jorge Sierra at HoopsHype.com reports the Hawks are close to signing free agent center Etan Thomas. Hawks assistant general manager Dave Pendergraft confirmed the team had Thomas in for a workout but said Thomas is one of a handful of free agents the Hawks are considering.

“He’s on a very, very short list,” Pendergraft said. “We were pleased with the workout.”

Pendergraft declined to comment on the other candidates for Atlanta’s 13th roster spot. But he said the team likes its options and is “not in a leftover situation” in its search for another center.

“We are very satisfied with who we’ve got under contract and we are looking to see who can accentuate that other position,” Pendergraft said.

Thomas played for the Wizards when Hawks coach Larry Drew was on Washington’s staff. Thomas averaged 14 minutes in 23 games for Oklahoma last season after injuries limited him to 26 games for Washington in 2008-09. He missed the 2007-08 season after undergoing open-heart surgery and has played more than 50 games just three times in eight seasons.

Listed at 6-foot-10 and 260 pounds, Thomas is known as a tough, physical post player who plays with high effort. But his numbers at 82games.com from last season and 2008-09 show that opposing centers lately have been productive against Thomas. Thomas’ block percentage, rebounding percentage and defensive rating have slipped in the last two years.

Thomas has the reputation for being a team leader, though he famously got into multiple fights with former Wizards teammate Brendan Haywood.

– It’s still possible forward Pape Sy will join the Hawks for 2010-11. Sy is set to report to camp for French club Le Havre but the Hawks and Sy’s representative are still talking to Le Havre about a buyout of the final year of Sy’s contract.

Atlanta selected Sy in the second round of the draft in June.

MC

271 comments Add your comment

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
9:22 pm

Great news! Hope we get Etan!

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
9:23 pm

First! Oh my. I’d like to thank my family, friends, and all of the people who were so supportive who made this happen…

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
9:26 pm

On a more serious note – a few weeks ago under another blog, I detailed Etan.

He’s not as bad as it may first appear – with Open Heart Surgery, Blown Knee etc.

Drmaryb informed us that the open heart surgery he had performed was not that bid of a deal.

The consensue is he is the only buy in the NBA with bigger biceps than Dwight Howard. An avid peacenik, I like him alot. The dude is real, has attitude, smart, and would be a good pick up for the Hawks – Again, hope he signs with us…

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
9:27 pm

“Bid” should be “big” in the above post

Did I add he’s a brute – and way better than RandMo – so the Hawks have automatically improved.

AJ - Fire

August 28th, 2010
9:29 pm

Congrats Steve W – Wish it had been me

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
9:30 pm

Sb Nation scouting report on Etan:

“Assets

* A powerful presence in the paint. Brings constant intensity and hustle as a rebounder and shot-blocker. Takes high-percentage shots.

Flaws

* Doesn’t have a lot of low-post moves on offense. Isn’t much of a shooter from the floor or free-throw line. Has had some major health issues (including needing open heart surgery).

Career Potential

* Defense-first center / spot starter”.

AJ - Fire

August 28th, 2010
9:30 pm

MC –
any via trade options involving big men…….seems like the Hawks are working steathly on big man options, or is that me being an optismistic fan?!?!?!?

Najeh Davenpoop

August 28th, 2010
9:31 pm

Etan Thomas was a very effective defensive center a few years ago. He hasn’t really played much since returning from his heart surgery, so it remains to be seen whether he can contribute significantly, but even if he puts up the very pedestrian numbers he had last year, he’s still better than Collins and Powell.

Michael Cunningham

August 28th, 2010
9:35 pm

@AJ-Fire: they are looking for a big man. if they sign a free agent center i would think that’s it, especially if they bring Sy over.

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
9:35 pm

Stats compare very favorably to Jason Collins – probably a slight upgrade on Collins

Michael Cunningham

August 28th, 2010
9:36 pm

@Najeh: i liked Thomas before all the health issues. he really works hard in the paint and doesn’t back down.

Najeh Davenpoop

August 28th, 2010
9:40 pm

“Stats compare very favorably to Jason Collins – probably a slight upgrade on Collins”

My stats compare favorably to Collins.

drmaryb (*_*)

August 28th, 2010
9:42 pm

From HoopsHype Player Profile:

.36 Etan Thomas Minnesota Timberwolves
 
Very strong post player… Chiseled body frame… Fierce rebounder and shot blocker… Very limited offensive ability.

Position: PF
Born: 4/01/78
Height: 6-10 / 2,08
Weight: 260 lbs. / 117,9 kg.
College: Syracuse ‘00

Attended the Booker T. Washington HS in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
 Played college ball at Syracuse until 2000.
 Selected by the Dallas Mavericks as the 12th overall pick in the the 2000 NBA Draft.
 Traded to the Washington Wizards in February 2001. Has been playing there ever since.
 Traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in June 2009.
 Traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in July 2009. Traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves later that month.
 Voted to the Big East Conference 1st Team in 1999-00.
 Voted Big East’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1998-99 and 1999-00.

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
9:45 pm

Najeh – That was great

MC – Any word on the others on the short list – Boone, Skinner, Elson etc.?

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
9:47 pm

.7 Blcks per 14mpg last year
2.8 RPG

But he is an intense beast inside – saw some of him with OKC last year, and liked what I saw.

JeJe

August 28th, 2010
9:50 pm

Other teams are getting LeBron and Amare.

We resigned Joe (who wouldn’t even take a paycut) and resign and sign scrubs

GOOD JOB SUND!

A+

drmaryb (*_*)

August 28th, 2010
9:52 pm

Etan’s Guns!

Man, dude got AK-47’s. Shoulders look like Karl Malone and Dwight Howard.

How do you grow arms like that? Collard Greens & Pig Feet?

drmaryb (*_*)

August 28th, 2010
9:59 pm

MC

Could Drew play Etan and Collins together against Orlando for dramatic effects,
since Etan is a PF? Twin Towers against specific match-ups, when Josh and Al rest? Or, play Etan at center straight up when Al comes out?

I like the possibilities with the size of this man!

Rev in Tampa

August 28th, 2010
9:59 pm

Underwhelmed

ryan

August 28th, 2010
9:59 pm

Hey Cunningham does this that Marvin and Bibby are on there way out plus will this move Al Horford to PF .

JoBjo

August 28th, 2010
10:00 pm

only if he cuts the locks!

UGA

August 28th, 2010
10:04 pm

From what was left, i thought Etan or Boone should be the choice. I would be very happy with Etan, we may need someone willing to fight in the locker room to get some toughness going

Steven A.

August 28th, 2010
10:05 pm

I think Alonzo Mourning is still available ASG/Rick Sund, he’s only 40 years old and a “Major” upgrade
over “cornbread Collins and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
10:11 pm

Last time we talked about Etan a couple of weeks ago, someone asked – Why should I be excited about Etan?

Reply – His name is not Randolph Morris!

Being cynical for a moment – Celts get Shaq with the vet minimum
We get Etan (maybe)

Bobcats get Kwame Brown for the vet min.
We get Jason Collins

Pistons get Tracy Mac with the vet min.
We get Josh Powell

OK – cynicism is now out of the body – let’s go ahead and sign Etan and play ball!

The Truth

August 28th, 2010
10:14 pm

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
10:16 pm

At least Etan can shoot FT’s better than Kwame, Boone, or Shaq

This guys no Dampier, but for what he is, he’s pretty good – and further away time wise from his injuries also, always a good sign.

ryan

August 28th, 2010
10:17 pm

I will take ET its better than nothing he was a roll player for the Thunder why they gave the Lakers hard time .

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
10:19 pm

Drmaryb – Remember Micheal Cage with the Clips, then the Nets? Etan’s guns make his look like water pistols

Bill Cosby had a great segment making fun of Cage’s shoulders – they were huge, but Etan’s overall arms are massive.

Maybe he scares Dwight?? (I’m joking people)

drmaryb (*_*)

August 28th, 2010
10:22 pm

Ryan

It remains to be seen how many minutes Etan can play?
I say nurse him for the play offs, like Doc did KG & Sheed.
Just put him in situations for now and monitor his game shape and minutes closely.

Al should see most of his minutes at Center still. Al is an All-Star center.

Rev in Tampa

August 28th, 2010
10:27 pm

SteveW, it was I who asked you why I should be excited about Etan Thomas. I’m still not excited.

robdawg08

August 28th, 2010
10:34 pm

Hawks scouring the bottom of the barrel for a center to help compete with Magic,Heat,and Celtics ? Laughable. Freakin’ funny !

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
10:37 pm

Rev – I’m not either – but if Ken S can be a positive thinker with everything he’s got going on, well, may as well make the best out of a mediocre situation.

His name is still not Randolph Morris, so that’s a plus right there.

His agent is Arn Tellum, same as JJ’s – Sund be careful…

He did go to Kenya with Mo’ Evans in ‘07m, so their probably buds

Writes on the Huffington Post – been reading his blogs, very thoughtful usually.

He’s no Shaq, Carmelo, Troy Murphy, or even Dampier – but if he becomes a Hawks – I’ll be rooting for him like crazy with some irrational belief that he can somehow muster the strength to stop Dwight Howard “just this series” or “just this game” or “just these next 2 minutes” etc.

Being a fan makes you delusional – that’s why “fan” is short for “fanatic”.

Grandad

August 28th, 2010
10:37 pm

Anytime an organization brings in a players noted for being a
team leaders it tells you something. LD evidently is bringing
in veterans that are cut from a specific mold;
[Josh Powell, Jason Collins, & now Etan Thomas].
The more I see & hear of & about Larry Drew,
the more impressed I become.
Thomas & Collins will add more to the team with their
intangibles than they will on the floor.

Evidently Sy will be on the team.
Also, possible trade…..
-or-
we carry more than 13.
I still say there will be a trade.

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
10:39 pm

Etan Thomas vs. Udonis Haslem would make for good UFC.

drmaryb (*_*)

August 28th, 2010
10:40 pm

SteveW

Etan is 32 and mad as hell!
Dampier is 35 and soft as hell! Like a Soft-Serve from McDonald’s!

You can’t coach that size and strength. All, he gotta’ do is stand there and swing them locks like a predator! That should scare Dwight and the ball boy!

Rebounds and Blocks! Sign him up! Coach and Medic just gotta’ play Eþan smartly that’s all. He’ll be fine, the heart is repaired!

Let’s Ball! All, we wanted was some BEEF! We already got the lettuce, mayo and tomatoes – Cheeseburger got the Buns!

DC Hawk

August 28th, 2010
10:42 pm

Can you say underwhelmed? Is this even worthwhile Hawks news? We havent had a good GM since… Wait, Hawks have never had a respectable GM. Can we get some new owners thats wants to win? Is Mark Cuban looking to own another team?

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
10:42 pm

Grandad – Don’t you think they may bring Sy over for the D-League, if their able to get him?

Agree with your comments – Powell – 2 rings the last 2 seasons – Kobe’s best friend, Practice guru.

Jason Collins – Starting Finals experience, Stanford grad, great locker room guy

Etan – Punched Brendan Haywood out a few times (How does this square with his peace activist work? Just wondering)

dstdeelite

August 28th, 2010
10:44 pm

Wow….Seriously? Really? Wow

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
10:45 pm

I like Etan – for the 3rd or 4th string Center, he’s quality. He is what he is.

robdawg08

August 28th, 2010
10:46 pm

Maybe Thomas can elbow Dwight in the groin ? Otherwise Dwight will use him like a cheap maxi-pad on a menstrual ho…

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
10:48 pm

Drmaryb – I beg to differ – Damp is far from soft – 7.2 rpg in less than 24MPG – 1.4 Blocks per game, again, playing less than half the time – good numbers

But Etan is a beast, and as you said, you can’t coach beastiness…Again – Damp is a rotational guy – Etan is a 3rd or 4th string Center – 3rd string PF – 2 different roles

bigdave

August 28th, 2010
10:50 pm

flashes of ‘Cuse days right here.. though im afraid they’re behind him.. if he can be the goon and laundry man that ZaZa is hyped to be then im pleased. @ least he catches and finishes.. from the circle too.. eew.. Scola..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p5tztQcxrs

bigdave

August 28th, 2010
10:56 pm

goodness.. just look @ how quickly Durant notices recognizes the double and gets rid of it (quick) to a big who has opened up looking too finish.

Kevin is gonna be a good one for a long time..

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
10:57 pm

Haywood pulled out a couple of Etan’s dred’s in this fight evidently.

Since the fight – Etan – Open Heart surgery and blown out knee

Haywood – 6 year 55million dollar contract with Dallas

Guess Brendan won after all

Wizards Suspend Thomas for Fight
Haywood Involved in Scuffle at Practice

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 10, 2007

Washington Wizards centers Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas were involved in a fight during practice yesterday, marking at least the third time over the last two seasons that the two have traded punches.

Late last evening, the team suspended Thomas two games for “conduct detrimental to the team.”

Haywood and Thomas, who have been sharing a starting role and minutes all season, also clashed following practice on Nov. 2. And Haywood was benched one game for throwing a punch at Thomas during a practice last season.

According to one source with knowledge of the incident, yesterday’s fight interrupted an otherwise normal practice and occurred in front of members of the Wizards’ front office, including President of Basketball Operations Ernie Grunfeld.

The two were jostling for position near the basket at one end of the court, the source said, when one of Haywood’s elbows connected with Thomas. Play then went to the other end where Thomas, who believed the elbow was intentional, shouted at Haywood and threw a punch. Haywood responded with punches of his own and the two continued to trade blows until coaches and teammates broke them up.
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Haywood was not available for comment, and Coach Eddie Jordan declined to comment when reached by phone.

“This is a team matter which has been handled internally,” Grunfeld said in a statement. “Etan will miss the next two games and return after the all-star break. We will have no further comment on this issue.”

According to a team source, Thomas was warned after the Nov. 2 fight that he’d be suspended if it happened again. When told that details of yesterday’s incident were out, Thomas acknowledged it and provided his version of what happened.

“The entire situation doesn’t make sense,” said Thomas, whose minutes have fluctuated since he returned after missing 13 games with a sprained ankle. “I am trying to find my rhythm after missing a month with this ankle injury, trying to put together some decent games, feeling good to be a part of everything that the team is accomplishing, and this cat decides to hit me with a cheap shot during practice and I reacted. I could have turned the other cheek. I guess I didn’t.”

According to Thomas, Haywood was not happy following Wednesday’s 110-83 loss to the San Antonio Spurs because he played only 21 minutes 12 seconds. Thomas, who is averaging six points and 5.6 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per game, played 22:31 against the Spurs.

“San Antonio just beat us by what seemed like a hundred but I guess all that matters to him is he didn’t get the minutes he thinks he deserves, so he’s mad, which results in a displacement of anger,” Thomas said. “What does he think, that throwing a cheap shot at me is going to keep him on the floor? Bottom line, I’m not putting up with any garbage from Brendan Todd Haywood, but at the same time, I do feel bad and upset with myself for allowing him to bait me.”

Thomas said he hoped that he and Haywood could put the latest incident behind them and focus on helping the Wizards. Wednesday’s loss to the Spurs was one of the worst of the season, and the team has lost three out of four since forward Antawn Jamison went down with a sprained left knee.

The Wizards host Portland tomorrow and play at Philadelphia on Wednesday before the all-star break. Thomas will miss both games.

“Hopefully he’s gotten the message and we can continue this season peacefully,” Thomas said. “We can be competitive without being enemies, it just doesn’t have to be like this.”

*

Rev in Tampa

August 28th, 2010
10:58 pm

The only upside to Thomas – His massive arms to throw tremendous elbows at Dwight Howard:

Horford, Zaza, Thomas, Collins = 4 Centers
Fouls until disqualification = 6
4 * 6 = 23 elbows to Dwight Howard’s cranium
23 instead of 24 because Horford will need to finish the game.

Actually, I like the hard-work ethic that Thomas brings as well. But it makes me more excited about what I am feeling from Drew than Thomas. Drew also brought in another hard-work guy in Powell. Starting to see a theme…

tyger

August 28th, 2010
11:00 pm

Errr….correction Etan Thomas is 0-3 vs. Brendan Haywood

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
11:01 pm

Actually, it was there 2nd fight that Haywood body slammed Etan, and pulled his hair out

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
11:04 pm

Etan’s neck can withstand 14 consecutive punches to the face from Haywood any day…

Etan is a beast – sign him and go on with life.

Grandad

August 28th, 2010
11:04 pm

Rev in Tampa

It’s all in how you look @ things.
If Etan were expected to come in & play 18 min a night,
then everyone should be disappointed.
However, that will not be his role.

The team is virtually set #’s 1-10.
-unless-
a trade of course.
-so-
these signings for spots 11-13;
they’re more about chemistry, leadership, veteran savvy,
being good teammates, & in some cases…surrogate coaches.

Just tryin’ to cheer you up.
I actually like the signing [provided it occurs]
very much. I’ve always liked Etan.
The worst thing about it;
SteveW & I actually agree on something.
-Therefore-
I haven’t felt this conscience-stricken
since that time I hugged a referee.

SteveW

August 28th, 2010
11:06 pm

Rev – Horford can’t elbow Dwight in the head, he can only reach to his sternum.

I’m joking – everybody stay calm