Atlanta Hawks: Minicamp Day 1
Notes and quotes from League (Pre) Lockout . . .
Lighty is a live one. (Phil Skinner / email@example.com)
- Before you ask: I didn’t get to see much live action. Media types got to see about 15 minutes of scrimmage at the end of the morning practice. So please hold your “How did [overlooked gem] look?” questions.
- I didn’t get to see Keith Benson scrimmage at all. When practice was opened, he was with a group that was off lifting weights. He does indeed look thin.
- The Hawks won’t be able to sign any players out of this camp because they have no open roster spots after signing Magnum Rolle. Their free agents technically don’t become free agents until Friday, but we know why that’s not going to happen.
- Whenever the Hawks can sign players, it sounds as if they will make a run at David Lighty. The Hawks worked him out before the draft.
- L.D.: “Lighty is a gutsy defender. He can defend maybe three positions. That is what we are looking for as we move into next summer. I want guys that can defend where it’s already instilled in him, it’s in their DNA. Lighty has been a tremendous defender throughout his career and certainly he would be a plus to have on this team.”
- Lighty on defense: “That is something where you help separate yourself from others. Everybody wants to see somebody score but the little things are what win basketball games. I try to focus on that.”
- Lighty said the Cavaliers, Pistons, Suns, Spurs and Hornets also wanted to bring him in. Why the Hawks? “It was about [looking at] teams that I would like and fit my style of play,” he said. “They have open spots and they have free agents at the two guard.”
- Lighty said he was less upset about not being drafted than were his family, friends and supporters. “For me, I’m the type of person if I have a goal I am going to reach it no matter what and I’m not going to stop until I do. I was a little down; I’m human. That was my dream and my goal to get drafted. And hear my name called, that was the big thing. I will play in the NBA one day. I won’t stop until I get there.”
- L.D. echoed Rick Sund in saying the Hawks want to bring back Twin. They seem less certain about Damien. “We are still taking about it,” L.D. said. “We haven’t made any decisions there. We will see what happens.”
- L.D. said the Hawks have “got to put a little meat on [Benson's] bones.” Benson said he’s ready: “They have good weight coaches here so I can put a lot of focus on that and plan out my meals. My main focus will be to put weight and strength on.”
- Benson said he thinks he can maintain his athleticism with another 15 to 20 pounds on his frame.
- L.D. on Benson: “He’s a really good kid. We did a background check on him and he’s one of the quality kids at the collegiate level.”
- Benson plans to hook up with fellow Detroit Country Day alum C-Webb, who lives in town. “I have his number. I’m going to reach out.” Benson played under Webber’s brother, Jason, who is an assistant coach at DCD.
- Peachtree Ridge product Jason Graham also worked out for the Hawks before the draft. “Graham can really shoot the basketball,” Drew said. “I didn’t know about him but watching some film on him and working him out, he can make shots.”
- When the topic turned to Al playing more power forward, L.D., like Sund, started talking more about versatility as a virtue than adding a full-time center: “The more versatile we are, it keeps the other team guessing a little bit. We did move Al around a lot last year. We moved Josh around. Joe played some three. Having a verstaile team makes us more potent.
- The word from multiple NBA people over the last few days is there was nothing much to that Josh to Minnesota trade rumor on draft day.
- But David Aldridge reports (about halfway down the page) there was something to that SI.com story on the imminent sale of of the Hawks.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat