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

357 comments Add your comment

J from the A

June 29th, 2011
7:53 pm

J from the A

June 29th, 2011
7:55 pm

I’ve been away for a while. I show up, and I earn a first. Too bad I don’t have anything meaningful to add. Oh well! ;)

Nathan

June 29th, 2011
8:07 pm

Im Ready to see Pape Sy this year. I would let jamal go so we dont have to spend money and be more in a salary cap i mean if teague starts we have Hinrich.

Hoops

June 29th, 2011
8:10 pm

Based on what I have read the last three days about the mini-camp, sounds like LD likes Lighty and Alexander to go with Benson.

chuckw/deadjournalist

June 29th, 2011
8:12 pm

what about lighty and woods? how’d they finish up camp?

Hoops

June 29th, 2011
8:16 pm

2011-12 Hawks roster could be-

PG-Teague/Hinrich/?
SG-JJ/Lighty
SF-Marvin/Sy
PF-Josh/Alexander/Rolle
C-Horford/Zaza/Benson

Scoring on the perimeter from the second unit may be a problem if this ends up being the roster.

The Truth

June 29th, 2011
8:39 pm

About Benson: “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.”

Sounds like a successfully start for Benson. At least he has a prospective of what he needs to do in the weight room on his own time.

“Ivan Johnson looked stout, athletic and skilled. Johnson was productive in the D-League last season”

Sounds like Johnson could be a beast on offense with more upside than Alexander but also “high maintenance” otherwise. With some seasoning this high-risk high-award project might be worth the gamble. At his low salary, how could the Hawks lose.

glw

June 29th, 2011
8:49 pm

Alexander looks like he could be a good fit here and be a rotational player for sure. A combo forward that can back up both Marvin or Josh.

My take is that the top 7 are Joe, Teague, Marvin, Josh and Al (starters) and Zaza and Hinrich off the bench.

Assuming Twin is resigned that will give us 8 guys.

Assuming 14 roster spots, and spots 11-14 will go to most likely Sy, Lighty(if signed), Rolle and Benson, then that leaves spots 9 and 10. So hopefully Alexander can get one of those spots and I would like to at least see a shooter added for the other rotational spot.

Hoops

June 29th, 2011
8:54 pm

glw,

What is the name of the shooter that the Hawks has stashed over seas? Size and position?

glw

June 29th, 2011
9:02 pm

Not sure, the Turk guy? Cenk? or is he a point guard?

Grandad

June 29th, 2011
9:03 pm

Hoops – Sergei Gladyr

1st name (sp) ?
6-5 won Euro 3 pt shoot-out.
very athletic [vert leap]
(helps with lift on his jumper)
-but-
no lateral quickness

Grandad

June 29th, 2011
9:03 pm

We will never see Cenk Akyol.

Willis

June 29th, 2011
9:05 pm

Y’all do realize we will probably do some Free agency work and possibly trade Josh Smith. I’m hoping we get Nene.

hawksfancents95

June 29th, 2011
9:08 pm

geez, i was really for keith benson but with every new report it sounds like larry drew and MC repeatedley talk about how skinny he is. They havent mentioned he is good in the paint or playing solid D which is not a good start. im trying to be positive so hopefully with this lockout looming benson will get the hawks strength coaches full attention and be able to put on some weight. its good to hear joe alexander is doing well, it doesnt seem right he is now a 4 but i guess he doesnt have a shot and his athleticism can make up for only being 6′8. someone on the previous blog said lighty left the hawks camp to go to phx’s camp. i hope we can get him because that would put the hawks moreso in the right direction however miniscual the effect might be than staying with damien and knowing exactly what damien brings as opposed to the potential lighty can bring. LD is right in that we do need a knock down shooter. i thought we’d be able to get john diebler as a FA but that went down the drain. no knock down shooters FAs come to mind besides Jon Scheyer from Duke?
i hope sometime fri-sun the hawks go ahead and make some FA deals (alexander,lighty, and hopefully mccamey) that would leave me to believe the hawks are serious about getting to the finals. i know those FAs wont be anything huge for us this year or those 3 will get us to the finals but itd show they are not settling with mediocre vets and are hoping these young guys can turn into good role players and will be just as effective as any 10-15 vet bench players would be

glw

June 29th, 2011
9:09 pm

Gladyr sounds like what we need, a guy to replace Jamal outside shooting. we really need a 5-10 minute guy in the Korver mode that can hit a shot when we need it.

jlewis

June 29th, 2011
9:19 pm

One thing I would like to see MC, whenever you discuss JJ, you always say “coming off his worst season or deliberate style bogged down the offense” why dont you also use the caveat “most injured prone season” the guy was hurt almost all year. In fairness you say the same things about other plays, but Al seems to get a pass, the guy plays no defense and has moved away from the basket, add those caveats. The guy is not a power forward, if you want to play it, you have to guard it, he cant.

jlewis

June 29th, 2011
9:22 pm

Sorry, meant most injury prone season, and other players, hate typos. Also, the guys in try-outs cannot help the Hawks, journeymen and rookies, do not get to excited.

Grandad

June 29th, 2011
9:23 pm

Joe Alexander:
vertical leap / freaky good
[can touch his head on the rim]
* even I can’t do that !
very strong 28 reps on the bench press @ the combine
(two yrs ago) he’s added strength & wgt since.
He has re-invented himself as a [4]
avg double/double in D-League + was an All-Star
Huggins wanted him to stay one more yr @ W.Va.
(probably should have) mis-cast as a [3]
* remind yawl of someone, Marv perhaps ?
“being mis-cast…not the falling down & other crap.

____________________________________________

Omar Samhan:
Lost 50 lbs in college – was listed at 265 coming out.
tremendous low post game
can use either hand
not a great athlete but knows how to play

editors note:
Hilton Armstrong is a physical specimen
and a fair to middlin’ athlete.
-but-
he can’t catch it, or shoot it,
or make a move in order to shoot it,
and he’s a little light in the ass.
-point-
Samhan can catch = great hands,
great ft, terrific post moves, B-ball IQ,
he’s a load, [D.Howard roadblock],
basically the anti Hilton Armstrong.
The kid can play !
You know…..Kevin McHale…
was not………blah, blah, blah, blah, either.

Grandad

June 29th, 2011
9:32 pm

Michael Cunningham:

Was it LD or yourself that made this statement:
“Omar Samhan is a legitimately big dude–maybe too big”
and what was the intended meaning ?

(1) Out of shape ?
(2) Fat ?
(3) Soft Body ?
(4) Slow ?

Peculier, with contrasting remarks on Benson ?

Najeh Davenpoop

June 29th, 2011
9:33 pm

FTPB

“You have no statistical evidence to say that Milicic is better than anyone in this league. He’s the worst most unathletic European I’ve ever seen.”

Well for one, Peja Drobnjak was far less athletic than Darko.

Secondly, I am no fan of Darko. I only said he’s better than Thabeet. I could have also mentioned Big Ray or Michael Cunningham, since they are also better basketball players than Thabeet. A giraffe would be better than Thabeet. A larger than life cardboard cutout of Harry the Hawk would be better than Thabeet. Osama bin Laden’s corpse would be better than Thabeet.

JoJo the Godfather

June 29th, 2011
9:35 pm

I haven’t seen any of them scrimmage, but I’d lean toward the younger Thomas over Alexander and Johnson since none of them will likely see minutes anyway. Thomas is.a natural shotblocker and rebounder. I like that the Hawks are bringing in these long, athletic guys that play above the rim. All we’ve got to do is put about 20 lbs of muscle on Benson, Rolle and Thomas.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 29th, 2011
9:39 pm

Ivan Johnson wasn’t really on my radar at all until I read this writeup, but if he is an active, physical 6′8″ 255 pound low post scoring power forward, he sounds like a poor man’s version of Big Baby Davis. If he can get to the free throw line at a relatively frequent rate he could help the Hawks.

Same with Joe Alexander for that matter. If he can score in the low post and get to the line, he can help the Hawks. That is the dimension the Hawks are missing at the PF position off the bench right now.

Michael Cunningham

June 29th, 2011
9:41 pm

@jlewis: “One thing I would like to see MC, whenever you discuss JJ, you always say “coming off his worst season or deliberate style bogged down the offense” why dont you also use the caveat “most injured prone season” the guy was hurt almost all year”

i believe i’ve mentioned the injuries as a contributing factor. he did have his best month after the injury, though.

“In fairness you say the same things about other plays, but Al seems to get a pass, the guy plays no defense and has moved away from the basket, add those caveats.”

Al moving his game away from the basket has been a recurring theme. but now he also plays no defense?

Michael Cunningham

June 29th, 2011
9:42 pm

@Grandad: “Was it LD or yourself that made this statement:
“Omar Samhan is a legitimately big dude–maybe too big”
and what was the intended meaning ?”

that was me . . . . his body looked pretty sloppy and he didn’t move very well. he sure does talk a lot on the court.

Grandad

June 29th, 2011
9:42 pm

Lighty = inj prone

Knee surgery…but the most troubling,
inj are his feet.
He has broken one foot [same one] twice.
Recurring ankle fractures are more than troublesome !
Red Flag Alert !
Probably why he was not drafted.

I still say Mario West -or- Othyus Jeffers
would give us toughness & defense.
Same for Jeff Adrien. (+ Rebounding)
West, Jeffers & Adrien
were all called up from the D-League last yr.
[NJ, Wash, G-State, respectively]
but I do not think any of the 3 have a contract for next yr.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 29th, 2011
9:42 pm

If the Hawks want a knock down shooter, Michael Redd is a free agent and will probably be pretty cheap considering he is coming off two consecutive years of serious injury.

Grandad

June 29th, 2011
9:44 pm

*I said ankle fractures but mean’t feet*

Grandad

June 29th, 2011
9:44 pm

Michael Cunningham

June 29th, 2011
9:44 pm

@chuck: “what about lighty and woods? how’d they finish up camp?”

unfortunately i didn’t get to see much of either guy. LD seems high on Lighty. didn’t hear anything about Woods.

ArtMan

June 29th, 2011
9:50 pm

Najeh –

“Secondly, I am no fan of Darko. I only said he’s better than Thabeet. I could have also mentioned Big Ray or Michael Cunningham, since they are also better basketball players than Thabeet. A giraffe would be better than Thabeet. A larger than life cardboard cutout of Harry the Hawk would be better than Thabeet. Osama bin Laden’s corpse would be better than Thabeet.”

I think you are giving Thabeet too much credit. In all seriousness, he is tall and relatively athletic. However he has absolutely no clue how to play basketball. I would prefer Shawn Williams over Thabeet any day.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 29th, 2011
10:00 pm

The more I see David Lighty highlights on Youtube the more I like him. Really solid fundamental defender and a smart player who knows his limitations. Exactly what the Hawks need from a role player. He reminds me of Arron Afflalo who also had a similar skill set, played with more heralded teammates, and was similarly slept on coming out of college.

The Truth

June 29th, 2011
10:09 pm

“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.”

LD is really being coy here and I can respect that. Makes sense not to reveal too much information about any interested prospects since the opponents are listening and they can’t lock them into a commitment at this point. I would suspect the players he really liked were not even mentioned in MC write-up. Unfortunately, the Hawks have a bad record of filling out the roster with undrafted players. The stigma these players carry as being undrafted or D-Leaguers and being NBA rookies really hurt their chances for advancing into the NBA under a coach like LD. You know if 1st rounders like Jeff Teague and Jordon Crawford had PT issues with LD, any of these selected players won’t have any chance unless it’s garbage time and even then it’s not certain. If it’s tough for a NBA vet to sit cold through 70% of games and never play, then (at out of nowhere) ask to play in a highly competitive game and be a difference maker; what chances of success would any of these players have under the same circumstances with LD? Grooming young players is something LD has lacked to do in the past.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 29th, 2011
10:10 pm

Woody is getting a second interview in Detroit.

Grandad

June 29th, 2011
10:16 pm

Najeh

I love Zaza -&- I’m glad he’s a Hawk.
-but-
He may be *[not only the most un-athletic Euro] …
-but-
the most un-athletic white man I’ve ever seen.

* Worse than:
Chuck Nevitt, Billy Paultz, Bryant Reeves or Greg Kite.

drmaryb (*_*)

June 29th, 2011
10:18 pm

He Got Jokes!

Najeh Poop!

I need stitches to close this busted gut from laughing so hard!
A cardboard cut out of Harry the Hawk? (No he didn’t!)

Grandad

June 29th, 2011
10:24 pm

On 2nd take…

I may have exaggerated a bit.

Nevitt -&- Kite in those “Daisy Duke” short shorts,
that alone exacerbated their persona.

drmaryb (*_*)

June 29th, 2011
10:24 pm

A larger than LIFE cut out cardboard of Harry the Hawk?

Just Damn! Poop? You wild man! ROF-LOL-KTC!

Najeh Davenpoop

June 29th, 2011
10:27 pm

Zaza isn’t that unathletic. He’s just clumsy.

ant banks

June 29th, 2011
10:33 pm

can someone remind me WHY we took pape sy anyway? dude wasn’t even a starter on his own team. remniscent of MARVIN WILLIAMS bein’ selected 2nd and he wasn’t even a starter on his team either.

Grandad

June 29th, 2011
10:34 pm

Najeh

c’mon now,
you can’t slide a sheet of paper under his feet when he jumps.

But, you know, Zaza is one of my favorite Hawks = top three.

I never include him in my;
mythical, mystical, hypothetical, just for fun, yet sometimes serious,
Trades O’ the Day.

But he can Box !

ant banks

June 29th, 2011
10:37 pm

will larry drew play any of these guys? this is the question. ask etan, powell, joe smith about pt under the hawks.

ant banks

June 29th, 2011
10:40 pm

i really like lawrence frank as a coach. i wish that the hawks coulda picked him up. lawrence frank>mike woodson

SteveW

June 29th, 2011
10:42 pm

Shooters? I’ve been concerned about that. I like shooters, but I hope we don’t obtain them at the expense of toughness.

Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy, and Mike Dunleavy here we come!

Najeh – I really like the Micheal Redd idea. playing behind JJ and the 3, he could be very effective.

glw

June 29th, 2011
10:49 pm

I like Redd too, but while he will take a big pay cut next year, I am sure he is looking at the 3 to 5 million dollar range at the least. Is that more than the ASG is willing to spend?

JoJo the Godfather

June 29th, 2011
10:49 pm

Malcolm Thomas – 22, 6′8″ 220 lbs, 7′2″ wingspan, 32.5″ vert

Joe Alexander – 24, 6′8″, 230 lbs, 6′11.5″ wingspan, 32.5″ vert

Ivan Johnson – 27, 6′8″, 255 lbs, unknown measurements

Hoops

June 29th, 2011
11:48 pm

Guys,

Think about how funny this is. We are trying to guess the mind and plans of Rick Sund, LD, and the ASG. How do you do that based on their history?

SteveW

June 30th, 2011
12:32 am

If Marvin is really a SG as some on here think, I wouldn’t mind a trade of Marvin to the Bulls for Bogans and Brewer. Or even Korver and either Brewer or Bogans.

Chicago would have their 2 Guard. And we would be rid of Marvin, with hopefully something useful in return.

Could we not even get rid of Marvin for a 2nd round pick in a very weak draft? Or maybe we wanted more than that.

From the #2 pick, to can’t even get a second round pick maybe. Wow if that’s the case.

SteveW

June 30th, 2011
12:35 am

I would have traded Marvin for #37 and #47 from the Clips, and drafted the exact same players. Thompkins can shoot if we need shooters, and Leslie at least has the physical tools to be a lock down defender.

And the local angle would have generated interest in the Hawks. But that’s a two edged sword. If you have to cut one or both of them, there’s trouble.

But I still remember trading for ‘Nique – that turned out better than we could have hoped.

SteveW

June 30th, 2011
1:06 am

Besides vet FA’s, here’s the possibilities I guess:

C – Al/ZaZa/Collins/Benson/Samhan

PF – Josh/Rolle/Alexander/Johnson

SF – Marvin/Sy/Thomas/Landry?

SG – JJ/Lighty/Hazell?/Others

PG – Teague/Hinrich/Wanamaker/McCamey

That’s 20 guys, not including in vet FA’s we may be looking at. And we’ll probably carry 14 max.

You never know with these undrafted guys, or Dleague guys. I know like Chucky Hayes, well, let me just list some of the better known undrafted guys and dleaguers who have ok careers:

Chucky Hayes (already mentioned)

Jamario Moon

Reggie Evans – whom I would love the Hawks to acquire

Jose Calderon

Bruce Bowen – 3x NBA champ and 8x All Def. selection

Reggie Williams

Wesley Matthews

Avery Johnson

Udonis Haslem

Raja Bell

Manny Harris

Brad Miller

Ben Wallace – Mr. 4x All Star, 4x Defensive player of the year, 5x All Defense selection, and 5x All NBA team

So occasionally you get a keeper or two with these undrafted/DLeague types FA types.

Hope the Hawks get a couple of winners this year if there out there.

SteveW

June 30th, 2011
1:07 am

Lot’s of typos in the last post – tired