Atlanta Hawks: Room for prospects

To hear Rick Sund and Dave Pendergraft talk today, the Hawks have changed their thinking when it comes to second-round draft picks.

Don’t expect the Hawks to draft another international project and either leave him playing overseas (Sergey Gladyr) or banish him to the far end of the bench/D-League (Pape Sy). More likely they will target a collegiate senior and, Pendergraft says, they expect to buck the odds and find a useful player at No. 48.

“We are not approaching this like there is luck involved,” he said. “We are approaching it like, ‘This is our pick and somebody we expect to make our team.’ And hopefully, if there is an injury, you can plug [the rookie] in there and they will be able to help.”

Perhaps more significantly, the Hawks might finally be to the point where there doesn’t have to be an injury to to the rotation guys for young guys to play. Sure, that might happen by necessity with just seven players under (guaranteed) contract next season and no financial flexibility (under the current CBA), but it still would represent a change in direction for the organization.

Asked if there is room on the roster for a promising second-round pick to get minutes, Pendergraft said:”What you have to weigh is, if we take a collegiate player and he is put in the same situation as Josh Powell or Etan Thomas, could they do as well or better?”

The other question, of course, is if the coach would play a rookie who is as good as those guys, but one thing at a time.

Sund said the Hawks are likely to draft the best available talent.

“It’s safe to say that, but I’m not going to commit to it,” he said. “I think you look at it as a need that you have and the best talent and then you equate it. Is that talent significantly better than the need? If it’s close, you take the need.”

What do the Hawks need?

“We would like to get a little tougher,” Sund said. “Hinrich helped us in that area and that kind of trickled down to some of the other players. I always like shooting. Size, rebounding. All of those things. Maybe not one is more important than the other.”

What skills tend to translate best from college to pro?

“People that rebound in college generally rebound in the NBA, even if they don’t make it for [the long term],” Sund said. “If you are a good rebounder in college, generally a good rebounder at professional level. Or if you are a good shooter. Some guys may be good shooters but they need more time to get it off.”

The Hawks aren’t releasing the names of the prospects they bring in for workouts. Sund’s explanation was that the workouts are not as significant since the Hawks don’t have a first-round pick. He said the players the team invited to Atlanta are simply those the Hawks didn’t get a chance to see at one of the three group workouts.

Pendergraft said the Hawks invited about 20 players. Most are college seniors and only three or four prospects are centers/power forwards.

“There’s probably been more swing players than ‘bigs’ simply because of supply and demand,” Pendergraft said. “There are not a lot of big guys.”

OK, blog people, take those clues provided by Sund and Pendergraft (college senior, tough rebounder or good shooter) and look at the list of prospects and see if you can narrow down the Hawks’ potential draftees.

Sund has hit on some value in the second-round before: He got both Earl Watson and Bobby Simmons in the 2000 draft for Seattle (and then traded Simmons for Predrag Drobnjak).

“The process in the second round, [since] the percentages aren’t all that high, is patience,” Sund said. “We ask a couple different questions. Does he have one NBA skill? Another is, does he have size? Or is there a player that is a little bit opposite of ‘Do they one NBA skill?’ and do they have multiple skills? A lot of those guys, like Bobby Simmons, are jacks-of-all-trades; they do a lot of things good but nothing necessarily great. Those players do have an opportunity to make it as—and I’m using this in a positive way—to have more of a journeyman status over the years.”


  • Sund on the possibility of trading into the first round: “This time of year there is always a lot of dialogue going on. There’s probably less [potential deals] with the uncertainty of the CBA and people unwilling to pull the trigger. There’s just as much dialogue but the uncertainty of the new collective bargaining might play into the timing issues.”
  • Pendergraft said Gladyr will play for the Ukranian national team in the European Championships this summer. The team is coached by Mike Fratello and is in Group D with Zaza’s Georgia national team. “This will be a good summer for [Gladyr],” Pendergraft said.
  • Pendergraft on Gladyr’s development: “If the NBA was a game of H-O-R-S-E you could bring him over now. But physically he needs to mature a little bit. Playing in the ACB in Spain, which is one of the better leagues, has been invaluable to him. It’s the fist time he’s really gotten structure. In the Ukraine their league just wasn’t as competitive. He’s only 21, so will he ever be an NBA player? I’m not ready to put a percentage on it. He can really shoot, though.”
  • Sy has been working out in Atlanta with Magnum Rolle. Those two plus the team’s draft pick are expected to participate in a minicamp at Philips later this month.
  • Pendergraft said the workout sessions so far have been better because of the prospects’ circumstances. “In the past we are sitting here [picking] in late teens or late 20s and you bring guys to your gym and they’ll come but you know in the back of their minds [they think], ‘Oh, well, I’m not falling that far.’ And now we’ve got guys coming in, they know they are second-rounders and it doesn’t matter where [the money] it’s all the same. It’s been refreshing the guys that have come in here have busted their tails.”
  • Pendergraft on older prospects: “Most college seniors there is going to be some physical changes, maturation. Not like [with] real young guys but be some. Not all four-, five-year players are ‘what you see is what you get.’”
  • There was a time when it looked like the Hawks might have a shot at drafting center prospect Jeremy Tyler at No. 48. He’s the guy who skipped his senior year of high school (while spurning my Cards), went to Israel, and ended up in Japan. But Tyler apparently helped himself in meetings with teams and now should be gone when the Hawks pick. “We interviewed him in Chicago,” Pendegraft said. “Having never spoke to that young man before, he really had his act together.”

371 comments Add your comment


June 17th, 2011
5:06 pm


June 17th, 2011
5:07 pm

Hey whatya know? My First 1st!


June 17th, 2011
5:07 pm


June 17th, 2011
5:11 pm


June 17th, 2011
5:14 pm

Eh, lukewarm on Tyler. Attitude issues seemed to have gotten ironed out but I believe you could grab an athletic (Tyson Chandler) player with offensive game like 6′11 Keith Benson from Oakland.

Don’t think you should try to move up in this draft. I do not expect movement of the current roster early. I believe Sund will be content to add two vets, one rookie and keep Rolle and Sy to fill out his 12 man roster.


June 17th, 2011
5:17 pm

welcome back, blog monster took my first hit mc. guess it doesnt like * in certain places.

well glad these guys came into the real world of accountability. it should be cost effective if done right.

Carrlos lyles

June 17th, 2011
5:18 pm

They should look at carrlos lyles from Reinhardt university in ga.


June 17th, 2011
5:22 pm

David Lighty!! Defensive monster and a developing deep threat. Think Keith Bogans from the jump. He brings the toughness on the defensive end and on the boards that we sorely need. An athlete that can run with Teague and D-Up with Hinrich. He can play multiple positions. Lighty!!


June 17th, 2011
5:26 pm

It’d be nice to see the young talent get a chance to play. Anyone can match the output of Hilton, Etan and Powell…but honestly they were never given a chance.

Typically we go out 14-15 with two prospects in the D-League.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 17th, 2011
5:37 pm


Najeh Davenpoop

June 17th, 2011
5:38 pm

Oh yeah and it would also be nice if you could reopen Big Ray’s blog.


June 17th, 2011
5:38 pm

“Buck the odds.” lol. Speak for yourself Sund. Yall the ones that keep drafting players that NEVER come to Atl. And it aint like Uncle Larry is going to play him anyway. If he wouldnt play Jordan Crawford, what in the world makes you think he’ll play some 2nd rdr. To be honest, I cant believe we’ve still got a pick.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 17th, 2011
5:39 pm

“Asked if there is room on the roster for a promising second-round pick to get minutes, Pendergraft said:”What you have to weigh is, if we take a collegiate player and he is put in the same situation as Josh Powell or Etan Thomas, could they do as well or better?””

Too bad they couldn’t have come to this obvious conclusion a year ago when they had the top pick in the second round instead of the 18th pick in the second round like this year.

There are probably several 8th graders in America who could have the same level of impact as Josh Powell and Etan Thomas.


June 17th, 2011
5:41 pm

Reinhardt? lol. I went to school there back in the late 80’s. Haha.

JoJo the Godfather

June 17th, 2011
5:42 pm

Some swing players:

Senior SG David Lighty from Ohio St.
Senior SG Gilbert Brown from Pitt.
Senior SG E’Twaun Moore from Purdue.
Senior SF Gary Flowers of So Miss.
Senior PG/SG Andrew Goudelock from Coll of Charleston.
Senior SG John Diebler from Wisconsin.
Senior SF Jimmy Butler from Marquette.

JoJo the Godfather

June 17th, 2011
5:43 pm

Lighty is very versatile. Played everywhere from PG to PF for OSU.

Section 303

June 17th, 2011
5:50 pm

I would love to hear that Kalin Lucas or Durrell Summers are two guys the Hawks are looking at, but doubtful. They don’t need a PG, so Lucas is out. And, I don’t think they need a guy who plays hard only sometimes, so Summers is out.

From JoJo’s list, I like E’Twaun Moore. He is a good shooter and plays hard. I have to think he will be off the board by the time the Hawks make their pick, though. I think Gilbert Brown and David Lighty are good players, too.

In a draft this weak, there may actually be a decent player to be had at 48. Once you get past picks #’s 4 or 5 in this draft, everyone is about at the same level.

Section 303

June 17th, 2011
5:55 pm

Also, I saw Keith Benson play against Michigan State at the Palace this year. Plus, I had watched him play on TV a few times prior to that. He is good. I think he will be a guy that can hang around the league. If he happens to fall to the Hawks, they can’t pass on him.

Benson can play. He comes from Oakland (which is located in the Detroit, MI area right next to the Palace), so not a lot of people have seen him. He could have started for almost all major division 1 teams.


June 17th, 2011
6:03 pm

Mr Cunningham;
I agree with Najeh, if you are not going to be around,
at least leave the blog open.
This is the same thing I was referring to a year ago,
which I was lambasted for, especially by northcyde.

This is your blog, is it not ?

We’ve had a great NBA finals, the draft coming up,
the CBA negotiations with a possible lockout,
yet the blog shuts down and no one is around.
Plus they shut down Big Ray.

It’s no wonder basketball in ATL suffers.

ASG + AJC = aa-paa-thee


June 17th, 2011
6:23 pm

Just watched the Hawks select Pau Gasol for Vancouver. What a bummer. Hate watching NBA Classic Draft. lol. 2004,(Chills), 2005,(Duck), and 2006,(Shellhead) coming up.


June 17th, 2011
6:35 pm

this team has no direction. each year I am painfully reminded just how direction(less) this team truly is. keep two no good players around (MW and MB), only to trade one and get nothing out of the other one. sign JJ to a max deal which constrains our maneuverability for six more lonnnnnng years. trade away a young talent for an aging veteran like KH (when your need was already on the team and a better option too in JT). when will it ever end, I say. WHEN WILL IT END?


June 17th, 2011
6:36 pm

Now for my B-ball comments:

Goudelock, Jimmy butler, & Isaiah Thomas
will probably be the best available.

Ben Hansbrough & Matt Howard will most likely be available.
Both are tough & smart and could give a team quality minutes.
[moreso than JP]

I know the Hawks had Gilbert Brown in for a WO,
he would be a solid selection.
NBA body & can defend multiple pos./ also a tough guy.
[that's a given if you play for Pitt...right]

mostly about Josh;
Josh to Wash.Wiz for McGee & one of their 1st round picks.
[there are others...all saying...we will trade Josh for a (Center)]

I would absolutely be ecstatic, if we had a chance for:
Kawhi Leonard or kenneth Faried.

I’m going out on a limb here;
Kawhi Leonard…..early, early, early choice for RookOTYear.

By the way Sund and Pendergaffe are full of manure.

•”Sund on the possibility of trading into the first round:
“This time of year there is always a lot of dialogue going on.
There’s probably less [potential deals]
with the uncertainty of the CBA
and people unwilling to pull the trigger”

Everywhere, everywhere, I mean everywhere I’ve read
is that folks [GM's] are wanting to get deals done…..before…..
July 1, due to the “uncertainty” of what the new CBA will bring.


June 17th, 2011
6:41 pm

Diebler Is a carbon copy of Gladyr.


June 17th, 2011
6:56 pm

who cares about the heartless, never dive on the floor for a loose ball, cant shoot better than 30% hawks. not me


June 17th, 2011
7:14 pm

You want a scrapper? Go get DeAndre Liggins (defensive catalyst from Kentucky). You want a potential contributor in the paint? Not on anyone’s draft board: Josh Harrellson of Kentucky. 6′10″ who will need some time to get ready.


June 17th, 2011
7:16 pm

Terrell, saw the ‘01 draft also….strange to see Gasol in a Hawks cap, a la Dr. J.
Hubie Brown raved about the trade of Rahim to the Hawks. What a disaster that turned out to be!


June 17th, 2011
7:18 pm

Liggins could be a quick fan favorite if Drew gives him a few minutes of opportunity. Be the 3 backup and possibly back up Joe for 5 minutes.

Buddy Grizzard

June 17th, 2011
8:05 pm

Get your comments in now.. blog will be closed for comments in 5… 4… 3…

Buddy Grizzard

June 17th, 2011
8:07 pm

As promised, I will now ask Ken S. and Slimjr to refrain from making ad hominem attacks on each other. It’s not personal sirs, it’s basketball… let’s stay on topic so they will keep the blog open for us this long offseason.


June 17th, 2011
8:43 pm

Exactly how many draftees does Sund have overseas that he has deemed not ready to join the team yet? I think there are 2, but so far, what we have seen is very little contribution for foreign players. I think Diaw may have been the exception for us, yet he would probably be out of the league if he were still with us.
MC, you are going back a ways bringing up success for Sund in 2000. Is that how far its been since he has had a 2nd round pick that played real minutes in the NBA? And did you get any feel if they were showing any interest in getting a deal for Jamal? I know its draft time, but that is something they should have an answer on by now.

Buddy Grizzard

June 17th, 2011
8:56 pm

KevinM the rules are completely up in the air… the Hawks organization has no idea what sort of luxury tax they would have to pay if they signed Jamal now. With them not having any cost certainty on extending Jamal, naturally they will wait until a new collective bargaining agreement is hammered out before making any decisions about free agents.

Remember, this is the ownership group that sold the first pick of the second round last year so it could pocket $3m in cash, then hired Larry Drew over Dwayne Casey to save a little more pocket change. Of course I hope Jamal signs elsewhere. Even if he would play for the Hawks at the veteran’s minimum I wouldn’t sign him because he can’t score against conference semifinal defense and his defense is as bad as Bibby’s.

drmaryb (*_-)

June 17th, 2011
9:34 pm

A Shot in The Dark!

The Hawks reached the second round without Jamal Crawford. They were swept in the first showing, (injuries notwithstanding) they were record setting losers in their second appearance and they were shooed along this season.

How’s that for “A Difference”?

Here’s my point: Do we really need Jamal Crawford to advance our agenda, if the agenda is to see the ECF? Apparently not.

Unless Jamal’s agent is looking for a sign and trade from the Hawks? Let’s move on people. We have seven players under contract now, I would like to see a substantial trade from somewhere amongst these seven players, two to three substantial UFA’s signed (rebounders and defenders) blue collar and effective role players whom are worked solidly into this rotation. And last but not least, a solid draft pick that can be that hidden gem, star, diamond.

See Boozer, Rodman, Haslem, (and others).

For the love of basketball! Scout somebody!


June 17th, 2011
9:56 pm

My only thing is don’t get rid of Josh you thought attendance was bad every other years without him there is no highlight who wants to watch Horford take 15 foot jumpers all day.

If you trade anyone from the core trade JJ first and foremost.


June 17th, 2011
10:09 pm

Why did ASG resign Sund? #SMH.


June 17th, 2011
10:21 pm

@MC- Good write up. I got a request and IDK if you can help or its an AJC thing but can you make sure a blog is open for comment during next thursdays draft? Id love to hear your thoughts as well as all the other hawks bloggers. also anything new on the monta ellis rumors? thanks

After MC’s interview with Sund and Pendergraft I am actually seeing a change in hawks operations. Them saying they are aware of the troubles of picking a young european and that european not being able to immediatley help our franchise, and i also like that they are not disclosing their 20 prospects they had workout. I think its very intelligent to hide their prospects because they are so far back in the draft before they pick that they know by now who they are going to(hoping to) take and there is no sense in tipping any other teams as to who they are interested in(although other teams have their doubts to the hawks scouting/selecting abilities).

My worry about MCs talk with Sund & Pend is the fact they are looking hard at a 4 year college player. I hope they dont draft a Senior just because he is a senior or they think he is more physical mature, that is not always the case. With that worry in mind there are still some seniors id be ok with. there will be some good people not drafted as well that we could sign. diebler/wanamaker

#48 hopefuls
jon leur-wisonsin/backup pf Best possible player possibly around at 48, better than people give credit for
jordan williams-maryland/backup 4 nice size/relief for jsmooth
keith benson-oakland/backup C if we start zaza, athletic long shot block
david lighty-ohio state/all around player, give joe a break before half
demetri mccamey-illinois/backup pg i think will be like deron williams in a few years, we draft demetri if kirk is going somewhere

anyone got any new trade ideas?


June 17th, 2011
10:22 pm

Here is a real good senario.Move the entire team out of atlanta.


June 17th, 2011
10:23 pm

We have Josh signed for 2 more years. I think we are already getting nervous about resigning him, and that factors into trade talk about him.

He will be unrestricted this time, and with JJ and Al signed, we probably won’t be able to re-sign him….


June 17th, 2011
10:26 pm

I’ve been trying to keep up with the draft for the Hawks. Shelvin Mack and Isaiah Thomas still look like a couple of good players maybe available at #48. Chandler Parsons and Vernon Macklin as well.

Of course if Leslie, Shumpert, or Thompkins drop that far, I say nab’um!


June 17th, 2011
10:27 pm

You don’t see many teams pass the ball around to get and open shot.All they want to do is dunk a ball.Many players can’t even do a layup.Very few know how to shoot foul shots.Basketball is too much hollywood.They make way to much money.All professional atheletes salary should be based on performance.


June 17th, 2011
10:28 pm

One draft scenario had us getting Ben Hansbrough from ND. They say his work ethic is off the charts.

Shooter, but can’t defend at this level.


June 17th, 2011
10:38 pm

If Josh Harrelson is around, maybe take a shot on him. 15 and 9 (basically) in the tourney and shot 76%. Could be a banger in the post.

And Josh for Javale and the #6 pick? If Kanter is there at #6, that may be an ok trade.

I just hate to trade Josh.

Marvin to the Cavs for Gibson and Manny Harris? I’d probably do that.


June 17th, 2011
10:39 pm

Another draft has us getting some guy from Hofstra, Charles Jenkins. Don’t know anything about him. Combo G, that’s about all I know. The site seemed to like him.

Ken Strickland

June 17th, 2011
10:46 pm

DRMARYB-Don’t we have 8 players under contract, with JJ, Horford, Josh, Marvin, Zaza, Teague, Hinrich and Rolle? I believe Pape Sy in under a team option none guaranteed contract.

Ken Strickland

June 17th, 2011
10:56 pm

STEVEW-we don’t need another shooter/scorer that’s a DEF liability. I’m certain we can find a shooter/scorer with our #48 pick that can play DEF.


June 17th, 2011
11:06 pm

Etan Thomas played 82 total minutes all season. But that is the Guy sund asks if a second round pick can perform just as well? And I wont even mention Josh Powell. All we need is a second round pick who stops for an ambulance, and they will be better than Powell.

Last year, the draft was stronger, and we sold our 32nd pick for cash. But this year, the draft is weaker, and we pick 48, but sund thinks we can get a contributor?

I disagree. I think he is saying that because he knows nobody will buy #48.


June 17th, 2011
11:07 pm

I’m just glad a new blog is up. Good to read that Sy and Rolle are working out too. The rumor I read the other day is that the Hawks really like Lavoy Allen and would probably take him if he’s still there. The Spurs are also rumored to like him. If the Hawks do move up I just hope they dont give up a future first in next years draft. The draft next year looks like it will be loaded granted the new CBA doesn’t change the age restriction.

Buddy Grizzard

June 17th, 2011
11:14 pm

“For the love of basketball! Scout somebody!”

LOL… It’s a good thing Dwayne Casey’s preparation isn’t a joke. Ask Miami about his preparation.

Mike is back

June 17th, 2011
11:21 pm

MC, if Sund is taking the best player available…THEN if Trey Thompkin is available at #48 then…no matter home town kid or what…you gotta take this kid with that pick…CUZ despite his body fat…he’s got a ton of talent.

It ain’t like we taking him…with the 5th pick of the draft…ie Sheldon…at the very lease…bring him in and work him out…and see what he’s got.


June 17th, 2011
11:22 pm

“People that rebound in college generally rebound in the NBA, even if they don’t make it for [the long term],” Sund said. “If you are a good rebounder in college, generally a good rebounder at professional level.

Really? Jarvis Varnado averaged 9 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game his last 3 years in the SEC, and he was a 3 time DPOY in college. But rather than take him at 31, they sold the pick. Varnado ended up being drafted 41.

They didnt think it was worth taking a flyer on him or Dexter Pittman (who went 32 to Miami). he had tons of size too.


June 17th, 2011
11:24 pm


As a Hawks fan, we are very disappointed that blogs have been closed for days. I’m not sure if you have any control over it, but in the future, we hope the ajc will not close the blog unless another one is being opened shortly thereafter.