Atlanta Hawks at Jazz: Wilkins stays, hopes to stick around

Salt Lake CityDamien Wilkins fulfilled a dream when he got to wear a Hawks uniform like his Uncle ‘Nique. He didn’t have one in his locker tonight after being the team waived him.

The fact that he’s still here with the Hawks indicates how much he wants to wear it again.

“They gave me the option [to stay],” Wilkins said. “I wanted to be around the guys and show them how much I wanted to be here and how much I’m committed to the team. We’ll see what happens.”

By waiving Wilkins today the Hawks assure he won’t be on the roster on Jan. 10, when his contract would become guaranteed for the rest of the season. The Hawks could sign him (or any other free agent) to a 10-day contract once he clears waivers in a couple days.

L.D. said the Hawks “certainly could use another wing” especially with Marvin still on the injured list. He said re-signing Wilkins is a possibility.

“I thought he did a really good job for us,” L.D. said. “You always leave your options open to bring him back. We’ll explore what the opportunities will be out there. There is still a possibility we could bring him back or we could look elsewhere and bring in somebody else.”

Wilkins said the Hawks made a “business decision” and he understands it. Atlanta signed him on Dec. 3, the day after J.J’s surgery, and Wilkins knew that his time could be up now that Joe is back in the lineup.

L.D. asked Wilkins to be a physical defender and Wilkins said that’s what he tried to do for the Hawks. He played 170 minutes over 13 games had memorable stints checking LeBron and Durant.

“This is always where I wanted to be,” Wilkins said. “Wearing this uniform was the greatest thing for me in my career. It was fun.”

The Hawks now have 14 players on the roster.

Pape Sy sighting

Pape Sy visited the Hawks locker room before the game and was met with enthusiastic greetings from his teammates (many of whom playfully pronounce his name with a long “a” so it rhymes with “tape”).

“It’s good to see them,” Sy said.

Sy said his back is feeling good but he doesn’t have his legs yet after playing in two games for the Utah Flash. He hadn’t played since Summer League.

“I’m trying to get back in shape,” he said. “I’m trying to work to get back in Atlanta.”

Do it again?

The game tonight has a familiar feeling as the last time the Hawks were in this building. Remember they’d blown an 18-point lead at Golden State the night before they beat Utah here for the first time since 1993.

The Hawks didn’t lose at Sacto last night but the shaky ending marred what otherwise was a strong performance. The bench guys let the Kings back in it at the end, and now they have to lift the Hawks tonight.

“We really rely on our bench, especially when we play back-to-back,” Drew said. “Last night had guys log a few minutes, so it’s going to be a key for our guys off the bench to be ready and prepared to play. We really feel like we have a solid bench; we just have to get more consistency with them. Last night we didn’t have the consistency. But I believe in our bench. I believe every guy can get the job done and tonight it’s going to be important.”

MC

272 comments Add your comment

Freshfromatl

January 5th, 2011
8:51 pm

JeJe,

Calderon makes 9m
Bibby makes 5.5m

Bibby + ZaZa = 9.81m
Calderon + Dorsey = 9.85m

Mario

January 5th, 2011
8:52 pm

Let’s Go Hawks

Freshfromatl

January 5th, 2011
8:55 pm

Sautee,

The rumor is from RealGm. I was reading in the Raptors forum where I saw the rumor posted by one of the mods for the site (It’s also worth mentioning that mods on that site do not post, nor allow random rumors to be posted, so take from it what you want). Here’s the link:

http://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1081440&sid=ba7aa151fa28e828a131e385c04c47f3

Astro Joe

January 5th, 2011
8:57 pm

Hopefully, he’ll be back next

Hopefully, Sund will sign Damien to a modest but guaranteed contract once the new CBA is completed in the summer. It would be great to have another player who is passionate about wearing the Hawks uniform (and passionate about defending).

RaJaH

January 5th, 2011
8:59 pm

Does Calderon defend better than Bibby enough to make the Hawks better?

Will Sevidal

January 5th, 2011
9:00 pm

What do they mean by stay? As in, “practice with us and not get paid and hope someday we’ll sign you”?

Follow me on Twitter. :)

Ron

January 5th, 2011
9:01 pm

Millsap is out tonight. Elson will start in his place.

Will Sevidal

January 5th, 2011
9:05 pm

I was looking forward to Horford matching up with the shorter Millsap instead of Jefferson tonight, but looks like that won’t be happening. Oh well, any injury to them helps us.

Freshfromatl

January 5th, 2011
9:05 pm

RaJah,

In short, no, he doesn’t. But if the Hawks can cover (most of the time) for Bibby’s mis-matches on defense, they can definitely cover for Calderon’s. The knocker is, Calderon is a much better penetrator than Bibby and has a shot that is just as good. He would be a big upgrade over Bibby on the offensive end. However, many people has forgotten about him because he has been on those terrible Toronto teams.

JeJe

January 5th, 2011
9:06 pm

SO WHY EXACTLY WAS DAMIEN CUT?

WTF DOES BUSINESS DECISION MEAN? THAT ASG WILL SAVE $40 BY SIGNING HIM ON JANUARY 11?

SMDH

Will Sevidal

January 5th, 2011
9:11 pm

It’s always nice to see Joe hit his first shot. Hopefully there will be more of those coming tonight.

O'Brien

January 5th, 2011
9:13 pm

From the previous blog;

Ken S, Sautee,

If the Hornets are going to be moved (or sold), the new owner would definitely want CP3, because he is a top5 PG, and their most marketable player.

If they traded CP3, how many fans would go out and watch them?

And I’m with Sautee. If the Hornets want to trade CP3, they will want expiring contracts, young players and or draft picks.

For example, the rumor is Denver wants multiple first round picks for Melo, despite the fact that he is about to be a free agent and is definitely leaving Denver.

honest_abe

January 5th, 2011
9:13 pm

dump mo to some team willing to have him and then sign and give damien some more pt!

O'Brien

January 5th, 2011
9:13 pm

Nique said “2 blocked shots on that position; one of them was by the backboard”. Good stuff Nique

O'Brien

January 5th, 2011
9:15 pm

“2 blocked shots on that possession”.

Glad JJ made his first shot, but I love Rajah Bell as a defender. Damien is the only guy on our team (or used to be on our team) who I think loves to play defense.

Josh only likes to get blocks.

hbcuclassics

January 5th, 2011
9:21 pm

HBCU Classics All-Americans 2010

Defense

LB Keith Pough, Howard

LB Dejuan Fulghum, Tx Southern

LB Cliff Exama, Grambling

DL Kenrick Ellis, Hampton

DL Brandon Peguese, Hampton

DL Derrin Nettles, Morehouse

DL Christian Anthony, Grambling*

DL Malcolm Jenkins, Elizabeth C.

DB Moses Ellis, Prairie View

DB Prathon Wilkerson, Albany St

DB Kejuan Riley, Alabama State

DB D’Vonte Graham, NC A&T

http://www.hbcuclassics.com

Rev in Tampa

January 5th, 2011
9:25 pm

Hawks are looking energetic tonight. Its good to be on the other side of the ‘no energy’ issue.

Rev in Tampa

January 5th, 2011
9:28 pm

2 fouls on Josh in the 1st quarter. Will he sit and will the lead disappear

terrell

January 5th, 2011
9:29 pm

Big lineup is best lineup by far. Bring Marvin off the bench with Jamal permanately. Great start, but we all know nothing matters until the 4th qtr with this team. NO LEAD IS SAFE.

terrell

January 5th, 2011
9:31 pm

When Jamal is hot, his shots dont even hit the nets. Just “swish”. lol!

Rev in Tampa

January 5th, 2011
9:32 pm

Are the Hawks playing so great or the Jazz playing so bad? I believe both are happening

Rev in Tampa

January 5th, 2011
9:32 pm

Jamal is making himself indispensible

Melvin

January 5th, 2011
9:34 pm

Good 1st qtr by the Hawks…

Rev in Tampa

January 5th, 2011
9:34 pm

terrell, it looks like its just you an me. Where is everybody else. They are missing some of the best basketball I have seen the Hawks play in some time.

drmaryb (*_*)

January 5th, 2011
9:35 pm

Do yall still like Maurice Williams?

Virtually their entire roster is up for sale. Jamison, Varejao, Mo Williams and Hickson have the most trade value. I think you’ll see major changes in Cleveland in the next few months. I actually think the Cavs believed that they had great role players and that without LeBron they’d all step up and become one of those teams, like the Pistons, that played well without a true star. Now they know better. ESPN.com

Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Trade  |  share  

“It’s weird, because honestly at first I just wanted a place I knew I could call home, but unfortunately (an extension) didn’t work out,” Crawford explained after scoring a season-high 31 points on 10-of-17 shooting and dishing out seven assists on Tuesday night. “But now, I’m excited about my future and whatever the summer will bring. … Now I get a chance to pick where I want to go.” FanHouse.com

Atlanta Hawks, Jamal Crawford  |  share  

“(The labor situation) doesn’t really scare me anymore honestly, because there’s nothing I can really do about it,” he said. “I just have to be patient and see however it shakes out and make my decision.” FanHouse.com

Atlanta Hawks, Jamal Crawford  |  share  

“It’s completely wide open,” he said when asked how he’ll look at the Hawks in free agency. “At that point (in the summer), we would’ve had a whole year to discuss it and it didn’t work out, so at that point I’d be completely open.” FanHouse.com

Melvin

January 5th, 2011
9:35 pm

LD doesn’t trust Teague to guard Ronnie Price. My goodness…

O'Brien

January 5th, 2011
9:35 pm

Rev,

I dont think Josh’s 2 foul rule is the same as Al’s 2 foul rule.

As for the game, Hawks are making shots, and are more energetic. Since this is the second of a back to back, can we keep it going?

I think eventually, Deron will try to take over, because his guys are missing shots.

terrell

January 5th, 2011
9:37 pm

A Josh Powell sighting.

slimjr

January 5th, 2011
9:37 pm

Those jump shots will start to miss in the second half. All jumpers so far not impressed at all.Need to go inside draw fouls. Balanced attack…key to beating this elite team even without two starters…

Freshfromatl

January 5th, 2011
9:38 pm

Hawks looking like they’ve finally developed some-sort of chemistry out there. The ball is moving great and Jamal plays much, much better as a point guard. Joe also looks like he’s getting his preseason form back when he was shooting lights-out. Maybe he’s finally starting to get healthy again. Finally, Marvin coming off the bench with Collins starting can only be a good thing.

Melvin

January 5th, 2011
9:38 pm

Bulls lost to the Nets…

O'Brien

January 5th, 2011
9:38 pm

meanwhile, another illegal screen set by a hawks player

bigdave

January 5th, 2011
9:38 pm

:”something catch your eye”

-Bob

drmaryb (*_*)

January 5th, 2011
9:39 pm

Rev

I thought the game started at 10pm. Is Utah Central or Pacific? I just tuned in, WOW! We look unbeatable! Jamal is over the sulking now and he is indispensable to this team!

slimjr

January 5th, 2011
9:39 pm

Uh Oh, Josh in foul trouble already. No more help defense..That lead will evaporate very quickly now

Rev in Tampa

January 5th, 2011
9:39 pm

That was a great rebound for Powell. Shame the ball rolled around the rim

Freshfromatl

January 5th, 2011
9:40 pm

Also, Teague should be in the game instead of Bibby right now.

Blast

January 5th, 2011
9:40 pm

Joe and Jamal must comtinue to make big plays for Hawks to win this game.

O'Brien

January 5th, 2011
9:41 pm

Jamal being Jamal…

And can anybody really say Bibby runs the offense? Dude carries the ball across half-court, and then gives it up.

Rev in Tampa

January 5th, 2011
9:41 pm

Collins fouled on the perimeter – above the 3 pt line. LOL

Freshfromatl

January 5th, 2011
9:42 pm

Slimjr,

You’re the latest troll on the blog huh?

Blast

January 5th, 2011
9:43 pm

This Utah crowd is unbelieveable. They want every call, every play to go their way!

JeJe

January 5th, 2011
9:43 pm

LOL @ Bibby playing vs. Price and Earl Watson with Deron OUT

LD you are a JOKE with these rotations.

Teague can’t play against average bench guards? How the hell is Bibby still in after playing huge minutes the night before?

slimjr

January 5th, 2011
9:44 pm

unlike some of ya’ll, I am not drinking the “punch” any more..

Rev in Tampa

January 5th, 2011
9:45 pm

drmaryb, Utah has to be Pacific time or possibly Mountain time. Maybe the Jazz have 7pm start

Freshfromatl

January 5th, 2011
9:45 pm

Jamal is a much better offensive PG than Bibby at this point. Dude is driving to the basket with a killer instinct right now. He damn near got Utah in foul trouble by himself right now.

JeJe

January 5th, 2011
9:45 pm

HOW IS BIBBY STILL IN?

DUDE SAYS HE’S TIRED AND LD SAID HE’D REDUCE HIS MINUTES

SO WHAT DOES LD DO? HE PUTS IN BIBBY AT THE BEGINNING OF 2ND QTR TO GUARD RONNIE PRICE WITH DERON WILLIAMS OUT. LOL

JUST TRADE TEAGUE ALREADY. LD IS NEVER GOING TO PLAY HIM (LD WAS A PG TOO)

FML

J.J.M

January 5th, 2011
9:46 pm

all that money joe has and he cant buy pape another suit

Melvin

January 5th, 2011
9:47 pm

Josh Powell is terrible on defense.

hawkfan

January 5th, 2011
9:48 pm

i don’t trust this lead