Hawks waive Wilkins

After bringing him in after Joe Johnson’s elbow surgery, the Hawks waived forward Damien Wilkins Wednesday. The move came five days before the date in which the team would have had to guarantee his salary for the remainder of the season if he were on the roster.

Wilkins, a Georgia product and veteran of seven NBA seasons, played his final game for the team in its Tuesday win over Sacramento.

In 13 games, Wilkins averaged 13.1 minutes, scoring 2.5 points per game and giving the Hawks an energy boost off the bench. He helped fill a void opened after Johnson underwent elbow surgery, an absence that lasted two weeks. Signed Dec. 3, Wilkins impressed teammates with his defensive efforts against the likes of Miami’s LeBron James.

“I love his toughness on defense,” center Al Horford said shortly after Wilkins’ signing. “It’s something we need. I’m saying it now: I hope we keep him and he’s with us for the long run.”

Johnson also spoke in favor of keeping Wilkins, the nephew of Hawks legend and broadcaster Dominique Wilkins, for the remainder of the season.

One factor working against Wilkins was the number of players at his position. Johnson, Mo Evans, Marvin Williams and Josh Smith all play the small forward spot like Wilkins.

With 13 players on the roster, the Hawks do not need to replace Wilkins’ spot.

150 comments Add your comment

JoJo the Godfather

January 5th, 2011
12:49 pm

It all comes down to money.

Matt Freije

January 5th, 2011
12:53 pm

Atlanta Spirit is a joke!

O'Brien

January 5th, 2011
12:53 pm

I’m not surprised Damien was cut.

LD has already hinted at going to the big lineup all the time, meaning Josh starts at SF, and Marvin backs him up. This would mean reduced PT for Damien (and possibly Mo, but Mo’s contract is guaranteed).

I just hope Marvin comes back healthy, and picks up where he left off.

Also, Hawks want to have an open roster spot for flexibility.

steve brown

January 5th, 2011
12:55 pm

mo evans mystifies me.

Jay

January 5th, 2011
12:59 pm

Bring back Damien and trade Marvin. Dallas needs a SF with Butler out for the year. Possibly for Haywood’s carcass straight up so we can start our big lineup. Or at least trade Marvin for salary relief.

O'Brien

January 5th, 2011
1:04 pm

Damien would be a good cheap pickup for Dallas

Rev in Tampa

January 5th, 2011
1:09 pm

Who played better minutes since Damien was hired:

Mo or Damien?

Ramon

January 5th, 2011
1:14 pm

Jamal has been playing great the last few games. So a lot of people wants to keep him now. But I wonder is this not the BEST time to trade him? He’s on a hot streak, and has done it on the west coast. I mean the fact stills remain that we need either a defensive young PG, or a defensive savvy C to come off the bench. I speak of trades so much, because I don’t truly trust the ASG to spend money on free agents when it is time to spend money. And lets be honest a $10 mil salary for one player equals a very deep bench of 2-3 players in that one players place.

don

January 5th, 2011
1:16 pm

It doesn’t matter who you are. if your name isn’t Joe, jamal, Al, or Josh u just a pawn on the roster. Thats why the hawks will never go far with that philosophy. damien, Mo, Marvin to a lesser extent just stand in the corner and hope for a pass. if you’ve ever played ball remotely you know that it’s HARD to be a impactful player on any level, but especially in the NBA. Damien will find his way he’s a solid player..

Sautee

January 5th, 2011
1:34 pm

Although Mo has played a little better lately, I like Damien MUCH more than Mo. Perhaps we can trade Mo before the deadline and re-sign Damien.

I wonder if this is a sign that the big lineup is cemented in LD’s mind? Which would mean a lot more minutes for Josh at the 3 and therefore less for Damien.

dap01

January 5th, 2011
1:34 pm

Isn’t it nice for us fans to be pulling for a franchise who does only the minimum in order to field a team?

Rufus1

January 5th, 2011
1:46 pm

@ROD AND SAUTEE

27TH IN FG% is what you are holding up when we have a player on the team we can directly compare his stats too….AL Horford.

I don’t want to hear that he has been playing the 3 more, AL takes just as many jump shots…Plus Josh playing the 3 only effects his defensive numbers, I said nothing about his DEFENSE!

Your Josh Supports nevers address the true issues when you defend him…..What about the 2.7 turnovers a game….What about the BAD SHOTS…

Marvin makes 6.7mil and takes 8 shots a game.

Josh makes 12.2mil and takes 13 shots a game.

You Josh defenders try to deflect his shortcomings by comparing him to MW, But the only person he should be compared to is AL…They are both PF and the both are 12mil players, and when you compare them….THERE IS NO COMPARISON!!!!

kbp

January 5th, 2011
1:48 pm

Bad move. Wilkins is a better fit defensively than Mo Evans.

kbp

January 5th, 2011
1:56 pm

By the way, I think Marvin is a much better player than he has shown. This team is not conducive to him displaying his talents. He has a better offensive and defensive game(on the perimeter) than Josh Smith but they rarely run plays for him. A trade would allow him to flourish and maybe allow the Hawks to get a defensive minded player. With Joe, Josh, and Al getting the majority of the shots, Marvin is not a good fit anymore like he was in 2008.

Sautee

January 5th, 2011
2:02 pm

Rufus,

I’m not defending Josh as much as I am trying to help you keep it real. To say that Josh FG% is among the worst for starting PFs is flat out wrong, as the stats I sent clearly show. So that makes you less credible to the blog.

I don’t care about your MW vs. JS bull. OR Al vs. Josh for that matter.

I don’t have a dog in that fight. Just keep it real and don’t make hyperbolic statements to try and bolster your argument. And if someone SHOWS you to be wrong, try saying “my bad” instead of dodging what you said to further your argument.

Astro Joe

January 5th, 2011
2:02 pm

Maybe someone has already mentioned this, but if LD does commit to the “big line-up”, that kind of pushes Teague to the far end of the bench. I don’t see Marvin getting more than spot duty at PF, so the 2nd string more likely will be Jamal, Mo, Marvin, Zaza and Al/Smith (as Josh Powell appears to be out of the rotation). I think our PG of the future isn’t on this roster.

kwooden1

January 5th, 2011
2:08 pm

I liked Damien’s play a lot and its pretty clear that LD liked his defensive. I hope we can sign him again, later this year.

Rufus1

January 5th, 2011
2:10 pm

@sautee….cool, my misunderstanding

Sautee

January 5th, 2011
2:12 pm

AJ,

I think you are correct. I said back in October that IF Teague had not shown he could fly the plane by January, then it was time to shop Jamal for a starting PG. That time has come, but the big question is:

“Will Mike Gearon, Jr. allow it to happen?”

And even if he DID, who could we get? Duhon? Sessions?

I’d love to think that GS would come to the conclusion that Curry and Ellis are not compatible and would trade Curry and Beidrens for Marvin and Zaza. But that’s as much of a magic beans trade as any put forth on this blog.

Upgrade at the Point

January 5th, 2011
2:12 pm

Jonny Flynn is available. Why aren’t the Hawks in the mix (money?) Super prospect who is just getting his legs under him after hip injury. Would be big improvement over Bibby/Teague in the long run.

Sautee

January 5th, 2011
2:13 pm

Rufus,

You are a good man for admitting your mistake.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 5th, 2011
2:15 pm

That sound you hear is the birds outside the DASG’s offices yelling “Cheap! Cheap!”

Sautee

January 5th, 2011
2:16 pm

I Believe In This Team

January 5th, 2011
2:20 pm

I liked the energy that Damien gave the team. When he and Josh Powell were on the floor together the defensive tenacity of the Hawks was noticeably more intense. I think we are going to miss him as the season continues, but I don’t know if keeping him on the roster would have been the key to Atlanta making a trip to the ECF.

Nothin’ but love for ya Damien.

Sautee

January 5th, 2011
2:26 pm

Lat night, we got “the Good Jamal” that is his 3 turnovers were negated by his 7 assists and he shot a good %. If he could do that all the time, I’d say keep him and let him start at PG, even though it would slow the ball movement.

But, as we all know, that is NOT the norm for Jamal, whom I like, but the fact is that with his expiring contract, that he’s our biggest bargaining chip to acquire a starting PG.

Ramon

January 5th, 2011
2:28 pm

Sautee, I know its far fetched, but I’d be willing to offer Marvin, Teague, 2 first round draft picks and Zaza for Curry and Beidrens. GSW probably wouldn’t do the deal. And you have to wonder if they’d be interested in reacquiring Crawford after the last time to have an expiring deal.

Ramon

January 5th, 2011
2:29 pm

Upgrade I suggest Flynn a good while ago. I thought a trade for him would be a really good move for the Hawks. Get a lottery PG who has untapped potential.

Astro Joe

January 5th, 2011
2:31 pm

Guys, given that LD has seemingly lost confidence in Teague, having a wing like Wilkins in the last roster slot is not nearly as important to the team’s success as a reliable PG who can earn the coach’s trust when Jamal isn’t a viable option in a game. Most teams opt to keep guaranteed contracts over those that can easily be cut loose… just a reality of the sports business. If the Hawks need a wing player, they could try and bring back Damien on a 10-day contract… but with Mo and Joe both appearing to be well on the mend, dude was not producing anyway.

Sautee, I’m not sure that Curry has been healthy enough for the Warriors to make any conclusions about that backcourt this season. Not to mention that I don’t think Ellis is anything close to a PG (other than his size).

terrell

January 5th, 2011
2:35 pm

Rodney Carney got waived too.

Sautee

January 5th, 2011
2:38 pm

AJ,

I agree about Ellis, but he IS perfect for the Warriors scheme, so if they thought that Curry and Ellis were incompatible, perhaps they would go a different direction at PG and trade Curry. Didn’t Curry and Ellis get sideways last year?

Blast

January 5th, 2011
2:49 pm

Sucks. Feel bad for Damien.

Astro Joe

January 5th, 2011
2:49 pm

Sautee, I’m not aware of any issues from last season. I did read that Ellis married during the off-season and credited his wife with providing some stability to his life. There was a specific mention about how she suggested that he prove to critics that he and Curry could co-exist in the same backcourt. I know they got out to a fast start but have since stunk up the league. But injuries to Curry and Biedrins certainly have contributed to their recent collapse.

If I were Sund, I would look for a PG who could run the team for the next 2-3 years and not some 10-year fixture at the position. Most teams aren’t looking to trade away PGs who can run a 50-win team for 5+ years.

Art Vandelay

January 5th, 2011
2:51 pm

Sure, we all liked having Damien on the roster — it’s nice to see a “Wilkins” on the back of a Hawks jersey again. But in reality, it’s not like he was contributing very much, and his complete lack of an offensive game ensured that he’d have little or no chance of getting off the bench with Joe back and healthy. He was unemployed for a reason before the Hawks signed him.

I wish him all the best this season, but I certainly don’t blame the Hawks for making what amounts to a wise business decision. If we find ourselves shorthanded again later in the year, there’s a pretty good chance that he’ll be available again.

Mike

January 5th, 2011
2:53 pm

I was thinking that Hawks needs a trade, they really do unless that got a key to stop the C’s and Heat this year. There is one team that will be a good trading partner for them and that is the Suns right now.

Art Vandelay

January 5th, 2011
3:03 pm

A guy like Wilkins is largely irrelevant in the big picture, anyway. The Hawks absolutely MUST do something significant to this roster if they’re going to have any chance at all of competing beyond the first round of the playoffs this year. Unfortunately, the message that the Anti-Spirit Group has sent is that they’re perfectly happy with 50 wins and a 4 or 5 seed; that’s what they’re really saying every time they harp on and on about building around the so-called “core” of the team.

Ask Otis Smith in Orlando whether he has any problem breaking up the “core” of his team in order to add significantly better talent and win NOW. The Hawks would rather keep tinkering with different starting lineups and adding a complementary player here and there in the hopes that somehow they’ll strike gold and go from being a pretty good team to a top-tier team. Not gonna happen. We’ve seen the best this roster has to offer, and frankly, nobody should be considered untouchable for the right deal.

Miami, Orlando and Boston are on a different playing field, and that won’t change until the Hawks get serious about shaking things up. We’d lose 4-0 or 4-1 against any of those three teams if the playoffs started today.

JeJe

January 5th, 2011
3:04 pm

LOL @ people saying he didn’t contribute much offensively.

He shut down the BEST PLAYERS IN THE NBA when he was in the game.

Larry Drew obviously could not see this. The guy doesn’t give a damn about the defense we play. All he cares about is his phantom motion offense which doesn’t work or is not utilized. The only reason we have a winning record is because of talent. That’s it

Westurd

January 5th, 2011
3:10 pm

Did anyone see if Damien happened to take Marvin with him?

JeJe

January 5th, 2011
3:11 pm

JeJe – If LD wouldn’t use Damien, what’s the purpose of having him? Same for Etan? Why not add players we can acutally use…even though I will admit to advocating for Sy?

^
That’s LD’s fault because he only goes to an 8 man rotation now and completely underutilizes players like Josh Powell, Damien, and Teague.

SMDH

Rod from College Park

January 5th, 2011
3:15 pm

Rufus1,

“Your Josh Supports nevers address the true issues when you defend him…..What about the 2.7 turnovers a game….What about the BAD SHOTS…

Marvin makes 6.7mil and takes 8 shots a game.

Josh makes 12.2mil and takes 13 shots a game.

You Josh defenders try to deflect his shortcomings by comparing him to MW, But the only person he should be compared to is AL…They are both PF and the both are 12mil players, and when you compare them….THERE IS NO COMPARISON!!!!”

Glad you were man enough to admit you were wrong. Now about these other statements. Future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett averaged 2.8 turnovers per game his 6th and 7th year in the league, does that make him a bad player. Again please define your interpretation of a bad shot. He actually should not be compared to Al because Al plays a position on the floor that Josh does not, center. Marvin with his size and length should be able to play some 2, he can’t because he handles the ball worse than Josh, 3, and 4, but he is not strong enough to play the 4. Josh plays the 4 at close to an all star level, and is also a better 3 than Marvin. I guess the question for you is how much do you value defense? Josh is a better defender than Marvin and Horford. You mention all the weaknesses, but never mention the strengths. Good assist guy, good rebounder, top steals guy Josh is paid 12 mil per because the market set his value, Marvin is paid 7 to 8 mill because our GM thought that was his worth. No other team even made an offer. If you really feel like you should only compare Josh to Al then ok, compare their career numbers and they are very similar. Al shoots a higher percentage from the field, slightly better rebounder and freethrow shooter. Josh scores more, more steals, more assist, and plays better defense and is our only intimidator.

Sautee

January 5th, 2011
3:15 pm

Jeje,

There you go again assuming that LD has a say in the Hawks “business” side of things. This was a front office decision, and one that LD will have to live with. But to blame him suggests that he has some kind of say in the process.

He doesn’t.

cp

January 5th, 2011
3:19 pm

I thought Damien played better in the few chances he got than Mo has all season. He was playing solid defense when he was allowed to play. We need a pg in here but I dont see the front office making a move to get one in here . It is what it is. Good enough to make the playoffs but not good enough to make any noise in the playoffs.

JeJe

January 5th, 2011
3:23 pm

Package Jamal for a bigtime PG and then sign Flip to come off the bench

JeJe

January 5th, 2011
3:28 pm

“Jeje,

There you go again assuming that LD has a say in the Hawks “business” side of things. This was a front office decision, and one that LD will have to live with. But to blame him suggests that he has some kind of say in the process.

He doesn’t.”

Sautee, then why was he cut? Damien, in his first minutes on the team, VISIBLY FRUSTRATED LeBron and SHUT him down on defense.

Mo Evans has not shut down one player on this team. He is NOT a good defender, and is always being called for fouls, and ends up on the ground

Fundamentals

January 5th, 2011
3:34 pm

JeJe – Definitely see your point on LD not caring about D? I guess Lester needs to do an accountability check on himself for not practicing what he and LD preached all summer.

Lot of Flip talk in the news. Why not move JJ to PG, start Jamal and bring Flip off the bench with Marvin? That’d give Joe all the time with the ball he needs. That way our PG can finally average more than a few assists per game. He’s running the offense anyways.

Joe/Jamal/Smoove/Al/Twin

Teague or Bibby/ Flip or Jordan/ Marvin/ Powell/ ZaZa

Trade Mo & Etan for a couple 3rd round picks and cash considerations. That’d be worth it. Use the cash along with our 3 million and TPE to sign someone we’ll actually use.

JeJe – Amen to Powell – dude has no reason to be in the dog house?

sam'l

January 5th, 2011
3:35 pm

Damien Wilkins cared about defense….Sorry to see him go.

I would say make Jamal happy at this point. Don’t want to see him go either.

Other than the top five….everyone else expendable (Bibby not in the top five)………for a true center (strong, tall, able to run, think and block shots, healthy……..or another guard……..

I think on this team someone who could bring the ball upcourt, make a few assists and play real defense would be enough….save pulling the big string for a center…….

Darn Teague anyway……he should have been able to pull himself together by now.

And Marvin…..jeez…..same comment…………

Whoever wanted :P achulia to start hasn’t watched closely…….

All can go……..for a decent player..

But, management isn’t desperate…..in fact they’re probably feeling pretty good right now, without Belkin. Perhaps it is time to give Sund a time limit. With finances they way they are, maybe some really weak club would give up a gem just to cut costs…..

Barring that, it’s get the most of what you have……………..

sam'l

January 5th, 2011
3:35 pm

Damien Wilkins cared about defense….Sorry to see him go.

I would say make Jamal happy at this point. Don’t want to see him go either.

Other than the top five….everyone else expendable (Bibby not in the top five)………for a true center (strong, tall, able to run, think and block shots, healthy……..or another guard……..

I think on this team someone who could bring the ball upcourt, make a few assists and play real defense would be enough….save pulling the big string for a center…….

Darn Teague anyway……he should have been able to pull himself together by now.

And Marvin…..jeez…..same comment…………

Whoever wanted :P achulia to start hasn’t watched closely…….

All can go……..for a decent player..

But, management isn’t desperate…..in fact they’re probably feeling pretty good right now, without Belkin. Perhaps it is time to give Sund a time limit. With finances they way they are, maybe some really weak club would give up a gem just to cut costs…..

Barring that, it’s get the most of what you have……………..

Fundamentals

January 5th, 2011
3:37 pm

JeJe – from your quote “Mo Evans hasn’t shut down anyone on this team” is absolutely incorrect – ask Jordan Crawford, Jeff Teague, Damien Wilkins, ect. Oh, you meant on the other team. Amen to your comments.

Astro Joe

January 5th, 2011
3:39 pm

Je-Je, with Wilkins, the Hawks had 15 contracted players… no room for another player. Maybe (hopefully) Sund and LD decided that a PG is needed more than a wing on an unguaranteed contract. I know if it were up to me, I’d much rather have someone like Antonio Daniels ready to run the team and play tenacious defense if there is an injury with one of the PGs than have a 6th wing player on the roster. I know everyone feels differently about Teague, but the guy who actually makes decisions about playing time just gave our so-called PG of the future a few seconds against the league’s worse team during a game that at one point was a 20-point lead in the 4th quarter. A game that featured the league’s worse team playing their rookie PG for more than 15 minutes. I think it may be safe to say that Teague is deep, deep, deep on the bench. So maybe, they will sign a PG to a 10-day contract next week and rattle Teague’s cage.

Astro Joe

January 5th, 2011
3:43 pm

Dog house? Uncle Larry don’t have no stinkin’ dog house… he offered shelter to all of those abused players who were victimized by Lucifer last year. Uncle Larry doesn’t call anyone “Rook” (I don’t think he even acknowledges JC2) and he gave Teague plenty of rope, oops, room to shine. Dog house? No, shelter… he provides shelter to the disenfranchised Hawk.

jtshoopsblog

January 5th, 2011
3:45 pm

It’s to bad for Wilkins. That poor boy was pressured by his uncle and father since he was in high school. As a result he went from high school phenom that could’ve been drafted in the lottery to a underwhelming college player that was transfeerred because his daddy did not like the coach and undrafted transient. such a shame.