Atlanta Hawks: Summer reading: Al, Jamal, Etan and Pape

It's looking like No. 15 comes before No. 11.

It's still looking like No. 15 comes before No. 11.

It still doesn’t look like the Hawks are going to offer Jamal Crawford the kind of long-term contract extension he’s looking for, and it still looks like an extension for Al Horford will be GM Rick Sund’s priority when he returns from vacation.

The Hawks can offer Horford an extension that starts in 2011-12 and is worth up to $82 million over five years. The deadline for a deal is Oct. 31.

The incentive for the Hawks to offer Horford the extension is to prevent him from becoming a restricted free agent next summer and signing an offer sheet they’d have to match to keep him. Signing Horford to an extension now would provide cost certainty. It also would provide security for Al, who would get a big-money deal without doing the RFA song-and-dance.

But the uncertainty cuts both ways for the Hawks. The next CBA could be more favorable to owners, and the maximum offer sheet available to Al next summer could be significantly less than $82 million. The same could be true were Al to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2012.

The potential risk for the Hawks in skipping the extension and letting the market dictate Al’s worth is he might become disgruntled. But I doubt that would happen, as Al seemed to understand it’s just business when I talked to him last: “I really can’t get too caught up in that. I really just have to go out and play. If something happens and I get an extension, great. If it doesn’t, I just have to keep playing and keep getting better.”

The money train just keeps on rolling for the Hawks, with each expenditure maintaining their proverbial “core” but squeezing their resources and roster flexibility. They paid Bibby and Marvin last summer. They paid J.J. this summer. They may have to pay Al now or next summer.

The AJC’s Mark Bradley calls it the increasing price of NBA success. Or, as one NBA exec joked, nothing ever stays the same for a good team because everyone wants to be paid or and nothing ever stays the same for a bad team because everyone is subject to being fired or traded.

Sund’s philosophy plays into this, too. For the most part he lets his employees finish out their contracts before offering new deals (or not). When Sund was Seattle’s GM, Ray Allen had to hit the open market before securing a deal he liked from the Sonics. Rashard Lewis become an unrestricted free agent and ended up in Orlando.

The most recent exception to Sund’s reluctance to extend vets is, of course, the maximum extension offer for J.J. last summer. But J.J. seems to be an exception to Sund’s general rule. Sund has been consistent in his belief that J.J. is a franchise cornerstone whom the Hawks couldn’t allow to walk if they hoped to maintain their momentum. ASG was on board with that sentiment and J.J. got his max deal this summer.

Sund is a Crawford fan, too, and why shouldn’t he be? Jamal made him look smart for swinging that trade, and while it’s not like the Hawks gave up much to get him, it was no sure thing Jamal would work here. It did work–so well, as it turns out, that Crawford had a big year and now is angling for one last big contract. Success is expensive.

As for Jamal’s value on the trade market, I’m told at least three teams inquired about his availability before the pay-me-or-trade-me news came out but were rebuffed by the Hawks. I’ve got to think Sund will try to re-establish those talks now and listen to any other offers that come in. I know there’s some sentiment to just deny Jamal the extension and have him report to camp (and he would), but would it be a good look for the Hawks to have an unhappy camper?

– The Hawks are expected to sign free agent center Etan Thomas within the next few days. The one-year deal would be worth the ninth-year vet’s minimum of $1.2 million, though the league would reimburse the Hawks for any amount above $854,389.

–The report saying Pape Sy reached a buyout agreement with Le Havre is inaccurate. It still could happen, and soon, but there are some significant financial issues to work out.

– Hawks single-game tickets will go on sale Sept. 27.

MC

213 comments Add your comment

olik

August 31st, 2010
3:42 pm

Wolverine

August 31st, 2010
3:42 pm

Wolverine

August 31st, 2010
3:44 pm

ok so i Tied for First…but anyways.

MC
Its pretty obvious the Hawks cant keep Jamal and sign Horford. What are some viable options for the Hawks with Jamal….Sekou Smith mentioned packaging Jamal, Smith for Carmelo. What are you Thoughts

Rufus1

August 31st, 2010
3:45 pm

just SHOOT me

August 31st, 2010
3:50 pm

Yeah top 10!

Michael Cunningham

August 31st, 2010
3:50 pm

@Wolverine: i can’t see where Hawks would take J.R. Smith. plus, Denver already has plenty of 4s so Josh is a duplication (though he would be the best of the bunch).

just SHOOT me

August 31st, 2010
3:52 pm

I’m happy with signing Etan. He’s a decent big man. At least we’re doing something. Granted I think we could’ve done so much more. Hopefully we can at least work a sign and trade after this upcoming season for J Craw. That or perhaps resign him. Of course I would’ve preferred signing J Craw and Horford rather than giving JJ the biggest contract in the NBA. That’s just me. Looks like our team is pretty much in place. Hopefully it’ll be an exciting year. I still predict approximately 46 wins. 5th seed in the East.

Wolverine

August 31st, 2010
3:56 pm

I wonder if the Hawks would pursue trading Jamal for Tyshaun Prince, and we can worry about resigning Prince in the offseason once we move Bibby and Mo Evans.

Prince would provide some much needed perimeter defense and he is the ulitmate team player. Just a thought

just SHOOT me

August 31st, 2010
3:58 pm

T Prince is more of a wing forward than guard. That’s what I like about Jamaal. Granted Prince is a leader and would fit in well. I’d like to keep Jamaal especially considering he wants to play in Atlanta and deserves mid market value comparable to a Ben Gordon type.

Wolverine

August 31st, 2010
4:10 pm

I know this is wishful thinking but Prince would provide more defense at the SF position. Marvin Williams would come off the bench, and JC2 would be able to get more time to play backing up Joe, instead of being 3rd on the depth chart. Lets be clear the Hawks drafted JC2 to replace Jamal. No one knew Jamal would demand a trade this soon.

Pg- Bibby / Teague
SG- Joe / JC2
SF- Prince / Marvin
PF- SMith / Powell / Etan
C- Horford / Zaza / Collins
Not a championship team but definitely strong enough to get us the 4th

LKT

August 31st, 2010
4:10 pm

What about re-signing Al to a near max deal and packaging him and JC to Denver for Melo and JR Smith? This would allow the Hawks to retain Josh and his defensive/athletic prowess while moving Marvin to the bench to make way for Melo. JR Smith would be the backup to JJ and the Hawks could use the rotation of bigs (Zaza, Powell, Etan?) to fill in for Horford. Starting lineup of Bibby, JJ, Melo, Josh, and ___ seems pretty competitive to me. Would this work?

Wolverine

August 31st, 2010
4:10 pm

MC – who were the three teams that inquired about Jamal earlier this summer?

Wolverine

August 31st, 2010
4:11 pm

@LKT

JR SMITH has redflag written all over him. No Way he comes to ATlanta esp with our already fragile locker room situation.

newkid

August 31st, 2010
4:15 pm

The chump should take holiday in November, February (after trade deadline), and April; summer is time for even the most inactive GM in the league to get his work done. And he needs to discover multi-tasking.

Alsandair

August 31st, 2010
4:20 pm

The hawks need to trade Jamal Crawford for J.R Smith & sign Josh Boone instead of Etan Thomas!!!

Westurd

August 31st, 2010
4:23 pm

LKT,
Josh gets traded way before Al…….easily. Al will be something serious in this league. Josh, will just be something (Once he grows up)

ryan

August 31st, 2010
4:23 pm

If they trade Jammal i hope they don’t oopsy like they did with Josh Childress with a 2nd round pick.

Melvin

August 31st, 2010
4:25 pm

MC,

I don’t think it would be out of the realm that the Hawks could possibly resign Horford and Jamal. If Horford would agree to a slight increase(10 mil) and Jamal to a slight decrease (6-7 mil) along with not resigning Mo Evans (2.5) next season. It’s possible they could bring back both players for around the same payroll next season.

LKT

August 31st, 2010
4:27 pm

I understand JR is a headache. Denver knows this too well…and that’s why they may not be willing to move Melo to ANY team w/o JR included in the deal. True, lockerroom chemistry is a legitimate concern, but I would take that chance for the Melo prize.

BrittishAnger

August 31st, 2010
4:29 pm

Rick Sund’s clever ruse has been exposed as a two-bit sham….I’m sure he would tip his cap to our deductive abilities were he not usually bareheaded….

Etan Thomas is an upgrade over Randolph Morris (I can’t see how it could be worse), Josh Powell is an upgrade over Joe Smith (no more Joe Beast videos, thank Dobbs), and even assuming Jason Collins’ hasn’t lost a single pound, I like the way the B team is gonna stack up this season with JC2 running 12th minutes with Teague during New Jersey blowout games….This may sound overly optimistic, but considering this JC1 malarky, I figure the only way to bring forth positive news is to be positive…55 win season, Miami ain’t jacksquattery…..

Michael Cunningham

August 31st, 2010
4:34 pm

@ Melvin: “I don’t think it would be out of the realm that the Hawks could possibly resign Horford and Jamal. If Horford would agree to a slight increase(10 mil) and Jamal to a slight decrease (6-7 mil) along with not resigning Mo Evans (2.5) next season. It’s possible they could bring back both players for around the same payroll next season.”

that’s two “ifs” that involve players taking less than market value (or at least what they consider market). don’t see it happening in either case and certainly not in both.

Michael Cunningham

August 31st, 2010
4:36 pm

@LKT: “I understand JR is a headache. Denver knows this too well…and that’s why they may not be willing to move Melo to ANY team w/o JR included in the deal. True, lockerroom chemistry is a legitimate concern, but I would take that chance for the Melo prize.”

it goes beyond team chemistry. as Sekou notes in the same article, the Hawks are sensitive about their public image. they talk all the time about how they like that their guys don’t make bad headlines. JR already has a couple of those under his belt.

Michael Cunningham

August 31st, 2010
4:37 pm

@ newkid: “The chump should take holiday in November, February (after trade deadline), and April; summer is time for even the most inactive GM in the league to get his work done. And he needs to discover multi-tasking.”

i’m sure he’s still dealing with Hawks stuff. and this is definitely the deadest period of the offseason.

Michael Cunningham

August 31st, 2010
4:38 pm

@Wolverine: “MC – who were the three teams that inquired about Jamal earlier this summer?”

not trying to be coy but can’t put that out right now. sorry.

Michael Cunningham

August 31st, 2010
4:41 pm

@BA: excellent rant

Dos Hawkquis

August 31st, 2010
4:45 pm

MC, Wolverine, Westurd et al,

Technically, the Hawks don’t have to do anything with the Jamal situation. He is under contract. This is not like the NFL where a player can hold out. Jamal has the incentive to bust his fanny, to showcase his talents to other teams for next year.

Hawks need to just wait until February trade deadline and decide what to do with Jamal. I would not do anything this early.

“I usually don’t watch basketball, but when I do, I prefer the Hawks. Stay thirsty my friends.”

ant banks

August 31st, 2010
4:57 pm

let’s get off the hypothetical trades…”package bibby, marvin, and mo evans for melo, and whoever…” this is like packaging ISH for a bag of gold. be serious.

LET’S DEAL WITH REALITY. PLEASE.

Michael Cunningham

August 31st, 2010
4:57 pm

@ Dos Hawkquis: “Technically, the Hawks don’t have to do anything with the Jamal situation. He is under contract. This is not like the NFL where a player can hold out. Jamal has the incentive to bust his fanny, to showcase his talents to other teams for next year.”

sure, they could do that, but i’m not sure it would end well. see above: “I know there’s some sentiment to just deny Jamal the extension and have him report to camp (and he would), but would it be a good look for the Hawks to have an unhappy camper?”

GeeMack

August 31st, 2010
5:01 pm

Dos Hawkquis

Welcome back.

Rufus1

August 31st, 2010
5:01 pm

Trade Jamal=Kyle Korver…5mil a year player. If Jamal will take 2yr 10mil then resign him, if not, get rid of his salary.

He doesn’t play any defense. Jamal poor defense probably cost the Hawks 6pts per game when his on the floor. I also think His “Street Ball” approach will hinder the development of our young players including Marvin.

The Hawks Should Trade Jamal for Dampier, then cut Dampier. Save the 10.8 mil in salary.

Or

Trade Jamal for Prizbilla or Jamal for Billups or Jamal for Hinrich or Jamal for Tony Parker or jamal for a TRADE EXCEPTION.

I will take any of those options and be Happy….I don’t think Jamal made any difference to our win total last year. With Flip I still think we would have won 50+ game, because he was tougher on the defensive end.

The Real JC

August 31st, 2010
5:07 pm

@MC “they talk all the time about how they like that their guys don’t make bad headlines. JR already has a couple of those under his belt.”

So does Melo – dude punched (well, slapped) Jared Jeffries, got a DUI and possibly a possession charge for weed as well (might be mixing him up). I don’t think any owner would worry about Melo’s bad headlines, so I don’t see why packaging JR would be a deal-breaker.

The Hawks should take any headlines they can get.

Nash

August 31st, 2010
5:07 pm

o.k. if he has to go what about a guy like devin harris. He can score, play d, and doesn’t have issues. I’m sure Jersey would love a scorer that can excite a crowd.

Section 303

August 31st, 2010
5:09 pm

I don’t understand Jamal Crawford. I get wanting to be paid. Who doesn’t? I get he had an outstanding year last year. But, what I’m starting to question is how much he likes it here. He seems like a great guy. Does he just simply not really like the guys on the team?

I know the Hawks brag about the fact that no one gets in trouble. But, I’m convinced Joe Johnson is an a$$hole after his stupid coments and his refusal to apologize. Josh Smith is great, but he does not play hard all the time. Bibby seems like a goof. Does Jamal just hate these guys?

Can’t think of any other reason. He claims he likes it here. So, why not play out the last year of the deal? Why get traded to an unkown team? Only thing I can think of is that Jamal just does not like his teammates.

O'Brien

August 31st, 2010
5:13 pm

I dont get the logic. We give JJ maximum money, we sign Jordan Crawford, and Mo Evans stayed. That is 3 natural SGs right there.

We have 3 teams inquire about Jamal, but they were rebuffed? I can understand if the deal would not be fair for the Hawks. but if Rick rebuffed because he has no interest in trading Jamal, then I disagree with him.

Our 2 backup SFs (JJ and Mo Evans) are SGs, our 2 PGs are a second year player with little PT, and an over the hill vet, and our front court depth does not scare anybody.

But hey, it’s all good, because we currently have 4 SGs (2 ranked in the top 12) on the roster (and Sy could potentially play some SG too, so he could be the fifth).

I Heart Atlanta

August 31st, 2010
5:13 pm

I seen on NBA.com that the only way we trade jamal would be to improve our team which i hope is true….
But MC did u read the tweet by Sam Amonica(or something like that) where he said we are confident we would resign Jamal? Is he totally off base…..?

The Real JC

August 31st, 2010
5:15 pm

@Rufus – Really, Jamal didn’t affect our win total? Did you see the Phoenix game? Jamal has more buzzer beaters to win games than anyone else in the league. He might not be worth the money, but he’s at least a step up from Flip.

O'Brien

August 31st, 2010
5:17 pm

Section 303,

Jamal wants to get paid because his value is at the highest it has EVER been. 18 ppg last season and SMOY.

What if he gets hurt this season? His contract value goes down for next year. What if we get a new CBA next year? Then his contract value goes down.

Given Drew’s motion offense, the fact that Teague could see more PT, and Marvin might actually play better, Jamal’s ppg average is likely to go down. As a result, his contract value ges down.

It is in Jamal’s best interest to request a new deal.

Rufus1

August 31st, 2010
5:19 pm

Real Jc

I am saying the with FLIP we still would have 50+ games. It could be possible that Flip’s superior defensive game may have prevented the need for a BUZZER BEATER….May we just win by 4pts.

O'Brien

August 31st, 2010
5:19 pm

As for how you feel about JJ, you are entitled to your opinion. But I think you are off base.

Except for the one bad comment JJ made about the fans and not really apologizing, what else has he done in his 5 years here to make you think he is an A-hole?

terrell

August 31st, 2010
5:21 pm

Wolverine, while your’re at it, How bout calling Indy and ssing if they’d take Jamal and Marvin for Granger? lol!

Rufus1

August 31st, 2010
5:21 pm

terrell

August 31st, 2010
5:22 pm

seeing, not ssing.

Rufus1

August 31st, 2010
5:25 pm

For you Chicago Lovers

Hoopsworld top 50 players 3 Hawks in top 25 and No Bulls

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=17213

Section 303

August 31st, 2010
5:34 pm

O’Brien,

I understand everything you said about Jamal. But, even if he gets traded, he still is stuck with one year left on his contract (assuming the other team does not sign him to an extension right away). So, why the demand to leave? If he likes it here so much, why not just stay and play out the last year. A trade does not lock him into a longer contract. He would be in the same boat staying in Atlanta, finishing out his deal.

As for Joe….I stand by it. Until I hear an apology, that’s pretty much what I think of him. I took those comments personnal, as you probably can tell. Too personnal? Maybe. But, what he said still p#sses me off.

Will Leitch has a #1 rule of Fandom: Remember, the athletes you cheer for probably would not like you, and you would not like them.

jerrywest

August 31st, 2010
5:39 pm

MC – Flip Murray at vet min would be an adequate replacement if JC1 is traded. Anyone still remembers him?

Section 303

August 31st, 2010
5:44 pm

jerrywest,

I 100% agree with you. I love Flip Murray. He can come back here and play anytime. He is a true tough guy. The Hawks are in major need of those.

The Truth

August 31st, 2010
5:45 pm

MC: This statement

“It still doesn’t look like the Hawks are going to offer Jamal Crawford the kind of long-term contract extension he’s looking for”

According to who or are you being coy with us at the expense of Jamal’s imagine? Per your reference link, Jamal’s “alleged” statement came from another person with “supposedly” knowledge of the situation. Since it did not come out of Jamal’s mouth, could his desires have been taken out of context? Was this other person his agent or some close friend putting his spin on the situation? To some fans, the presentation of this story which as been duplicated many times through out the media is casting a negative imagine on Jamal so telling the story correctly is very important.

KevinM

August 31st, 2010
5:51 pm

We’re talking here about how we need to get Al signed long term…Didn’t we take that approach with Marvin as well? For a team as limited as the ASG, why would you offer more earlier than you had to?
The way the ASG thinks just amazes me.
Smoove had to go out and get an offer; once he did, we matched….now tell me why shouldn’t that have been the right approach with Marvin, who was going to be a RFA, not un.
Same for Al; let someone else make that offer.

Smoove is the only contract on this team within the core that makes sense. The rest of the core look to be paid more than they’re worth on the market or we’re just not getting the results we should be getting.

To go along with that, the indication with the upcoming CBA talks is that there will be serious downticks in the salaries offered to players……nevermind that the stupid owners created this ‘loss’ environment…another mockery.

Why should Al be signed early on? It doesn’t make sense to me. Would I risk losing him? No it wouldn’t. It would show the approach that needs to be taken for a team that won’t exceed the cap.

Jamal should be the priority if he is seen as a core player, using that term while gagging.

The was the ASG operates, would anyone be surprised to see them actually sell the Thrashers for a loss given how they handled the matters over there?

Its probably so confusing that we as fans just would not understand the big business activity of Gearon and Sund…..yeah right.

AtlSouthside

August 31st, 2010
5:52 pm

If Jamal is traded, trade him for A CENTER!!!!!!!!

Ramon

August 31st, 2010
5:59 pm

I don’t see how a Teague, Jamal, Marvin and draft picks isn’t better than Harris, Favors, and draft picks. I’d be tempted to throw in Zaza as well if Billups was coming with Anthony.