Atlanta Hawks: Camp wrap
- The Hawks broke camp today and now head for the lockout summer.
- No matter what happens with the new CBA the Hawks are probably going to have to fill some needs by finding some values in free agency. They sure could use the summer league. “It throws a little bit of a wrench into things,” L.D. said. “We will just have to go with what we have as far as evaluating these guys.”
- We already know the Hawks are looking to add toughness. What else? “Shooters,” L.D. said. “We need knock-down shooters. Not the guys that are capable of making shots. We need guys that they are open, they get that ball, the opposition is saying, ‘Uh-oh.’ Those type guys. Whether we will find them with these [camp] guys. . . . We had some guys that are pretty good shooters here.”
- L.D. said the he suspects the camp was “very, very competitive” because the Hawks have so many open spots. He was set to meet with management today to compare notes on the players. “I will let Rick and them know who I like, they will let me know who they like,” he said. “We will talk about it as a staff and we will start making decisions. Some of these guys have other workouts. We will talk about the ones we do like, talk to agents and see if we can get them back to veterans’ camp.”
- Joe Alexander followed up a strong D-League season with a good showing for the Hawks, who have an opening in the power rotation behind Al, Josh and Zaza. “I would love to be here, obviously,” Alexander said.
- The lockout complicates matters for free agents like Alexander. “I guess if I get some kind of word from a team, I might stick around [this summer],” he said. “But otherwise I will have to look at options overseas.”
- “When I think about [Alexander] when he came into the league, he was predominantly a jump-shooter and he took a lot of threes,” L.D. said. “He hasn’t taken one three since he’s been here in camp. Down low when he has the ball he really looks to finesse and then muscle his way to the basket. I think with him picking up a little weight and getting stronger I think he has pretty much solidified who he is, and that’s a four.”
- Omar Samhan is a legitimately big dude–maybe too big. He’s not mobile or athletic.
- Ivan Johnson looked stout, athletic and skilled. Johnson was productive in the D-League last season.
- Johnson played with a real edge during the couple brief scrimmage sequences media types got to watch. That pretty much jibes with this take on Johnson by Jonathan Givony at DraftExpress.com
- Seeing Keith Benson next to Johnson and Samhan (and even Alexander) was quite the contrast. “It’s something he’s going to have to get acclimated to as far as banging guys bigger and stronger than him,” Drew said. “During his collegiate career I’m sure he hasn’t banged with these type guys on a consistent basis. With a guy with his frame that can put some wear and tear on your body. Certainly I’m sure he sees where he needs to get stronger and pick up some weight. But I see some things that I really like about him. I think he can help this ballclub.”
- The refs hired by the Hawks didn’t seem to be calling many fouls. I’m thinking that was by design. “We’ve got some tough guys out here, some guys that really look to bang and mix it up,” Drew said.
- Zaza dropped by camp and, like Al, said he’s not sure if he would play for his national team this summer because of insurance concerns. Usually the NBA pays for the policies.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat