Archive for July, 2011

Atlanta Hawks: The 2011-12 schedule, just in case

There is no league business because of the lockout but there is a schedule. There have been no bargaining session between owners and players since last month but let’s be optimistic and assume the schedule will go off as planned and the Hawks will open Nov. 2 at Minnesota.

Usually there would be some major free-agent signings by now and there would be a better sense of how teams might stack up. As it stands now, the Hawks have just seven players with guaranteed contracts for next season. By comparison, Miami has nine players with guaranteed deals (assuming no one is going to make a run at restricted-free agent Mario Chalmers), Chicago has nine players, Boston has seven (assuming Jeff Green stays put) and Orlando has 10.

But all five of the East’s top teams can pretty much return with their cores intact (with perhaps Orlando as an exception since J-Rich will be a free agent). So here’s a quick look at some schedule highlights for the Hawks:

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Atlanta Hawks: If NBA lockout lingers, Zaza Pachulia may play in Turkey

If the NBA lockout is not ended by the scheduled start of the 2011-12 season, Hawks reserve center Zaza Pachulia could end up playing in Turkey in the short term.

Pachulia, who is under contract with the Hawks for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons for a total of about $10 million, said he has a “verbal agreement” to play next season for Turkish club Besiktas.

“They have interest, I have interest and we have talked about price,” Pachulia said. “It’s not official now.”

Besiktas also has an agreement with New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams.

Pachulia said the contract with Besiktas would immediately terminate when NBA owners and players agree on a new labor deal. The contract also would include some kind of insurance for Pachulia since his guaranteed contract with the Hawks would not be protected in case of an injury sustained while playing in another league.

FIBA, basketball’s world governing body, has yet to rule on whether NBA players under contract would be cleared to sign …

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