Atlanta Hawks: Hope on horizon (Update: Talks break off, more games canceled)

(Update: The league canceled all games through Nov. 30. The BRI still seems to be a sticking point.)

We’ve been here before but it looks like an end to the lockout is within sight.

The two sides are meeting this morning, and Chris Sheridan reports that the split of basketball revenues is at the top of the agenda. That’s been a source of contention between the sides in earlier sessions. Also, things have usually gotten tougher once the small negotiating groups go back to their constituents. So there’s still time for everything to fall apart but there was real optimism after last night’s bargaining session.

Union exec Billy Hunter said the two sides are “within striking distance of a deal.” Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports quotes a source saying: “There’s a strong expectation [within the negotiations] that hands will shake [Friday].” Howard Beck of the New York Times goes so far as to report that there’s still the possibility of an 82-game schedule if a deal is reached soon and that the league has called arenas to clear dates in late April.

It sounds as if they’ve made progress on issues like the mid-level exception, the maximum length of player contracts “Bird rights” and the luxury tax.

There also have been reports that the new deal would include an amnesty clause, which would allow teams to waive one player and, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, wipe most of the salary off the books for cap purposes. There also are reports of a “stretch exception” that would allow a team to waive a player and spread the money owed out over several years. Both provisions could potentially help the Hawks shed payroll and gain some cap flexibility.

Of course, once the lockout ends the Hawks are going to be in flux because of the Alex Meruelo issue. ( When earlier reports surfaced about “seller financing” potentially being a problem, my understanding was that it was not an NBA concern since the league’s lawyers were involved with the deal from the beginning. There is no “seller financing” as part of the deal but there was confusion on that point because some ASG members would retain a minority interest in the team.)

Once the lockout is over, who will be calling the shots on Hawks basketball operations? If it’s ASG, do those owners proceed with the belief that Meruelo will eventually buy the team? If the sale falls through, I’m assuming the current owners still want to sell the team so do they proceed with any long-term planning in the interim?

What a mess.

Wilkins plans game

You don’t have to wait until the season to see NBA-caliber ball. Damien Wilkins has organized a charity game at Morehouse on Nov. 5 with proceeds benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of America. League guys expected to play: Teague, Smoove, J.J., Lou Williams , Jordan Crawford, Anthony Morrow, Chris Wilcox, Derrick Favors, James Harden , Jarrett Jack, Jeff Green, Jonny Flynn, Micheal Beasley, Rudy Gay, Russell Westbrook , Shannon Brown and Trey Thompkins.

The game was originally scheduled to be played at Clark Atlanta but Wilkins said high demand for tickets prompted the move to Morehouse. I can see why. That’s a hell of a lineup if all those dudes play. A lot of them have been playing in those pickup games at an ATL church. Someday I’d like to show up at a court with a squad like that.

Ticket info is here.

Etc.

Speaking of those pickup games. . . . For my blog people worried (for some reason) that Smoove engaged in a summer of sloth, he’s been showing off a hint of abs at those church pickup games. He said he’s not going for the full six-pack look, though. . . .

Reports in Europe indicate Italian club Dinamo Sassari is on the verge of waiving Hawks draft pick Keith Benson and replacing him with Steven Hunter. There were similar reports last week, which the club denied, and Benson stayed. It’s hard to know what to make of this development since I’m not familiar with the dynamics of Dinamo (hey-o!) but it could all end up being moot if the lockout ends soon. . . .

JC2 never did lack confidence. . . .

This is the best analysis yet of the players’ arguments. That’s because it comes from Kevin Murphy, a University of Chicago economist who is advising the union.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

174 comments Add your comment

Nanny

October 28th, 2011
12:29 pm

I’ll believe it when I see it. Looks like Sund traded away the next Jordan: http://deadspin.com/5854194/23+year+old-nba-player-with-one-losing-season-under-his-belt-says-he-can-be-better-than-michael-jordan

Fire D. Orlando Ledbetter! The worst beat writer in all of sports.

Section 303

October 28th, 2011
12:49 pm

Michael, when have we been here before? I’ve followed the Lockout like an addict since it started. This is the only time where everyone is feeling upbeat and expecting a deal. Up until now, almost everything has been doom & gloom. A deal is getting done soon. Big question is whether we will get an 82-game schedule. I hope we do. Need to have a credible season. 82 games is about the only way that happens.

Looking forward to Hawks games at Philips. Also, looking forward to debuting my new seats in Row A, Section 212.

Dozer

October 28th, 2011
12:56 pm

When i saw the headline I thought we had traded Josh & Joe…….

Michael Cunningham

October 28th, 2011
12:58 pm

@ Sec 303: I feel you. Congrats on the tiks, come down to press row and say hello some time.

@Dozer: Funny.

dap01

October 28th, 2011
1:02 pm

Once the excitement of the lockout ending is over, we will face the reality of our roster. Sigh……

An Idea

October 28th, 2011
1:20 pm

Some other hope on the horizon is that northcyde will take over as GM as he claims – he clearly knows more about the NBA than the rest of us do.

An Idea

October 28th, 2011
1:27 pm

Larry Hughes and Mike Dunleavy are the 2 guys we should be targeting outside of our big man needs

sleeze

October 28th, 2011
1:38 pm

Does the NBA HAVE to come back? I was kind of liking it when it was gone.

Blue Kid

October 28th, 2011
1:55 pm

Good stuff MC … good to have you back bro.

Astro Joe

October 28th, 2011
2:24 pm

Wasn’t Harold Miner supposed to be Jordanesque?

Astro Joe

October 28th, 2011
2:28 pm

Interesting, the ability to use the amnesty in a future season could serve as a motivator. Either you perform as demanded or you will be looking for a new residence and team.

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/32935/more-flexible-amnesty-clause-on-way

mountain_jim

October 28th, 2011
2:42 pm

I am still po’ed at Sund for needlessly trading Jordon Crawford.

FIRE SUND!

An Idea

October 28th, 2011
2:43 pm

“Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks: Hope on horizon

12:22 pm October 28, 2011, by Michael Cunningham

We’ve been here before but it looks like an end to the lockout is within sight.

The two sides are meeting this morning, and Chris Sheridan reports that the split of basketball revenues is at the top of the agenda. That’s been a source of contention between the sides in earlier sessions. Also, things have usually gotten tougher once the small negotiating groups go back to their constituents. So there’s still time for everything to fall apart but there was real optimism after last night’s bargaining session.

Union exec Billy Hunter said the two sides are “within striking distance of a deal.” Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports quotes a source saying: “There’s a strong expectation [within the negotiations] that hands will shake [Friday].” Howard Beck of the New York Times goes so far as to report that there’s still the possibility of an 82-game schedule if a deal is reached soon and that the league has called arenas to clear dates in late April.

It sounds as if they’ve made progress on issues like the mid-level exception, the maximum length of player contracts “Bird rights” and the luxury tax.

There also have been reports that the new deal would include an amnesty clause, which would allow teams to waive one player and, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, wipe most of the salary off the books for cap purposes.”

Does this mean we can get rid of Marvin or Joe and not have to pay much?

An Idea

October 28th, 2011
2:49 pm

So how much is Meruelo worth? He ain’t worth 14.5B

And would his COMPANY be buying the team (as it appears)?

drmaryb.(*_*).

October 28th, 2011
3:13 pm

Joe and Marvin’s contracts, as are ALL NBA contracts – are guaranteed.

Waiving someone, paying their salary and, having ot not counting against the cap?

Have nothing to do with one another, unless you’re talking Amnesty Clause.

drmaryb.(*_*).

October 28th, 2011
3:15 pm

* and, it not counting against the cap …

Michael Cunningham

October 28th, 2011
3:16 pm

@An Idea: “Does this mean we can get rid of Marvin or Joe and not have to pay much?”

Teams still would have to pay waived players their full contract (the “stretch provision” would allow the payments to be spread out longer). It just means cap space would be freed and/or luxury tax would be avoided.

Khao$

October 28th, 2011
3:18 pm

The irony of this post is although there is hope on the horizon for the NBA, I’m less than hopeful that the Hawks will be successful. The ownership deal with Meruelo is still in flux. We’re saddled with JJ’s large contract, Crawford may leave due to cap ramifications, and we only have one tradable piece (Smith).

Honestly, even if this thing is resolved, the issues inherent to our club still remain. The Merelo thing reeks of David McDavid. Until the stink of mediocrity and the ASG is washed away, it’s hard for me to get excited.

O'Brien

October 28th, 2011
3:47 pm

Section 303,

After beating OSU, Michigan, and Wisconsin, are you concerned that your Spartans will have a letdown against Nebraska?

O'Brien

October 28th, 2011
3:55 pm

Although I am excited about the lockout possibly coming to an end, I think the Hawks team will be very similar to last year’s team except for the departure of Jamal due to our budget.

Also, even if Meruelo does take over, I think he will leave Rick and LD in charge, since they are in the last year of their deal.

So I can expect more of the same status quo. Any improvements the Hawks make (imo) will come from within.

jgsbirds

October 28th, 2011
4:05 pm

for directv customers where will you guys watch the hawks..it appears that directv will delete fox sports south and fox sports from it’s packages on november 1st…being here in chattanooga that would eliminate hawks games for yours truly. not happy!!!!

An Idea

October 28th, 2011
4:16 pm

“Teams still would have to pay waived players their full contract (the “stretch provision” would allow the payments to be spread out longer). It just means cap space would be freed and/or luxury tax would be avoided.”

Works for me.

Drmaryb, I was referring to the amnesty clause. If you read what I quoted, it was referring to the aforementioned clause

An Idea

October 28th, 2011
4:18 pm

I missed the “for cap purposes” – my apologies

mountain_jim

October 28th, 2011
4:37 pm

I am a directv customer in NC and they already always blacked out coverage of Hawks games on the Fox Sports nets, because Charlotte has a team that I am forced into considering my home team.

If they don’t settle with Fox Sports where that would get me is Braves , which do not get blacked out.

KevinM

October 28th, 2011
4:40 pm

I saw where khao$ said Josh was the only tradeable piece..I totally disagree….we have several…it just depends on what the other side offers to Sund, who we know will be here next year. He will finish out this deal with Drew and work on the next one. All he probably has to do is show ‘average’ growth.
They struck gold last year with Teague after trying to kill the kid on the bench. They aren’t going to get that surprise this year.

Did I read where Zaza might be injured? Any scoop DMB? Need a ’round the town report’ from you….

To be honest, I don’t think it matters who owns our team next year. There is no exceeding the cap, which is where we are hovering right now.

I see where the owners want 2 years to ‘amensty’ a player…so guys, don’t count on a quick Marvin move….Sund will string this out as well.
And Joe isn’t going anywhere….

Perhaps AI and Larry Brown can form their own franchise…both are scting humbled and willing to just be part of a team….right….

303, congrats on your tix…..I hope you get to see some good games this year and the schedule is easy to manage with them having to add games at the end of the year.

KevinM

October 28th, 2011
4:45 pm

Anyone looking forward to a 7 man rotation next year? The only cap we have left is for a Collins, or another one of Sund’s previous 7 footers sitting on someone’s bench.

I do expect Collins to be back, and we employ much of what we saw last year.

My real question this year is, can Woody motivate the troops in NY to play ’some’ defense? They may pass us right by if so.

Grandad

October 28th, 2011
4:46 pm

Enter your comments here

An Idea

October 28th, 2011
4:50 pm

“I see where the owners want 2 years to ‘amensty’ a player…so guys, don’t count on a quick Marvin move….Sund will string this out as well.”

Maybe I don’t understand this amnesty clause.

Why not get rid of Marvin ASAP and pay him on the side while he doesn’t count toward our cap? He is NOT going to improve and NO ONE in this league wants him. No need to think about it.

ILL-Logical

October 28th, 2011
5:07 pm

Hope for fans of the NBA but for Hawks’ fans.not so much! As long as the same mediocre management; inexperienced staff and imbalnced roster continue to plague the ATL, we got nothing.
Am glad for the folks whose jobs depend on the Hawks, sounds like they will get a needed Holiday present.

Grandad

October 28th, 2011
5:29 pm

For all the good folks who still get lathered up over JC2:
*[and for our esteemed, self-proclaimed part owner-GM];
(not the real one but the faux talent adjudicator & blog adjutator)

Mr Jordan Crawford was ranked # 210 by -espn-
[in their recent rankings of NBA players # 1 - 500]
His score was 4.24 (whatever that means)

ATL Hawks raked ahead of JC2:
* ahem … Marvin – 4.68
Capt Kirk 5.68
* Zaza slid in just behind @ 4.20
________________________________________________

Others … ranked ahead of Mr JC2:
*Roddy Beaubois & Greg Oden – who don’t even play – (inj)
Boris Diaw
Robin Lopez – avgs a whopping 6 & 3
Josh Childress – whom PHX can’t give away
Goran Drajic – admittedly pretty good
Rickey Rubio – who’s never played (NBA)
* and the corpse of Jermaine O’Neal
________________________________________________

One last item; [on Crawford]
Mr JC2 was listed 7th on the Wiz

________________________________________________

I am officially beginning my campaign to go after Battier !
5.66 (espn top 100 score for what it’s worth)
Top 100 player
Amnesty Marv – Sign Shane !
He’s a G-dad TopTen Player on a TEAM !

FreshFromATL

October 28th, 2011
5:40 pm

SMH!!!

I wonder who F’d up talks this time SMH!!!

gcs

October 28th, 2011
5:43 pm

Hope on horizon? Say isn’t SO!

.

MOVE TO SEATTLE PLEASE !!!!!!

October 28th, 2011
5:54 pm

WHY IS THIS CRAP WORTHLESS TEAM STILL HERE ?

LET’S ALL HOPE THIS NOTHING SPORT GOES WHERE IT NEEDS TO BE SEATTLE,NOT HERE.

A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME, MONEY AND SPACE IN THIS RAG… GO AWAY nba FOR GOOD, ATLANTA WILL BE MUCH BETTER FOR IT AND WE CAN ALL FORGET THIS THUG NOTHING SPORT !!!!!!!!!!!

MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE NOW !!!!!!

O'Brien

October 28th, 2011
6:32 pm

Sounds like more nba games will be cancelled. Players have come down from 57% down to 52%, but owners are not budging unless they get 50-50 split of BRI.

Michael Cunningham

October 28th, 2011
6:48 pm

Blog updates with league canceling games through Nov. 30.

ryan

October 28th, 2011
6:50 pm

I guess good news is ASG will loose more money with no season and will give Meruelo the advantage also i like what i am hearing that the Hawks possibly getting under the cap Dwight Howard anyone .

drmaryb.(*_*).

October 28th, 2011
6:54 pm

An Idea

Nah man, you’re right on with trying to Marvin or Joe. Thing is they say Marvin plays good defense, problem is he is scored on at will – IMHO.

I wouldn’t mind seeing him amnestied IF we can get just an above average SF – who can actually score and defend. Especially if Jamal leaves. Who will give us big 3’s and 17 or so points per night in his absence?

Joe will have to be traded straight up. He is owed too much to even consider an Amnesty and why gut the team for another average Joe?

Man! An Idea, we got some seious issues and needs to become elite status.

We need a Super-Star, these days – make that three Super-Stars and maybe you will win it all. (see Miami)

drmaryb.(*_*).

October 28th, 2011
6:58 pm

* and, just maybe you will win it all – or not? (see Miami)

drmaryb.(*_*).

October 28th, 2011
7:09 pm

Nov 30th?

Oh well fellas, looks like another white x-mas this year. (smh) I guess the players coming off 57% by 5 points isn’t enough for the owners.

I heard that one point was worth from 40M two weeks ago to now, 1 point is worth 100M last week on 680 The Fan radio. Looks like the owners want some help with the cost of jet fuel and traveling expenses – hugh?

I say 50-50 is a lot, but where else are these gonna’ work and make this type money? And where will they find work and negotiate over such wealth with no college degrees?
Welcome to the Real World players!
Better go Occupy Wall Street.

Grandad

October 28th, 2011
7:21 pm

The lockout:
Today’s events = posturing.
Billy Hunter knows that as soon as the lockout ends …
his 15 minutes of fame are over.

*** Prediction = NBA plays a * 74 * game season ***
- Beginning Dec 1st -
so says … Pierre the Soothsayer
______________________________________________________

MOVE TO SEATTLE
PLEASE !!!!!!

Okay – if the AJC is a rag [no quarrel] why do you bother ?
” Thug Sport ” … you sir / ma’am are a bigot.
Why don’t you make us all happy & relocate yourself to Seattle ?

______________________________________________________

I do like Starbucks.
-But- I prefer Cheese Grits much better !

drmaryb.(*_*).

October 28th, 2011
7:46 pm

Dwight?

Just saw this old news from Oct. 17th on rotoworld.

In an interview with Esquire’s Scott Raab, Dwight Howard said in regards to re-signing in Orlando, “I just don’t know what else I can do…There’s more you can do in a bigger place. I’m stuck in a tough position because I feel like right now, where I’m at, I’ve done so much.”
That is a rather ominous quote from Howard, and it doesn’t stop there. “I can’t live for everybody else. I don’t know what decision I’m gonna make as of right now. It’s been crazy.” That doesn’t exactly sound like a man who is ready to commit long-term to the Magic, and if the lockout drags out for the entire season, the Magic may lose him without compensation.
Source: Orlando Sentinel
______________

Hmmmm … How could Hawks make that work – just tell me how?
___________________

Kevin M

Couldn’t find any recent report on ZaZa’s injury from google. The on or about Nov. 7th injury was reported with no detail. Only that he would be out a month and, out @ the 2nd round level.

Sounds like a sprained knee, ankle or, perhaps a slight tear of his calf muscle, based on his time to recover.

Lower leg injury was all I saw, it definitely doesn’t sound season ending. But, he should pack his bags and come home now. No more Euro Ball please – ZaZa! LOL!
_______________

G-Nite Fellas.

Grandmaster JeJe

October 28th, 2011
9:30 pm

Whatup Dr. Mary B!

I say we sign Damien to replace Marvin if we were to amnesty his sorry soul.

Damien is crafty on offense (pump fake, jump into defender) and brings ENERGY every play. He is 3 inches shorter but is BETTER than Marvin in EVERY facet of the game and costs nothing.
Larry Hughes would be a great cheap replacement for Jamal.

This is the only good team Jamal will excel on. If he goes to Miami, he will average 10 points a game and get far less minutes. But if he leaves us, get Larry Hughes

EmirS.

October 29th, 2011
12:27 am

Anyone else cringing on Jordan Crawford’s comments?

Let get back to this subject in about 15 years.

Buddy G

October 29th, 2011
7:03 am

Looks like Sund traded away the next Jordan: – Nanny

Nope… traded away the next ADAM MORRISON. For those of you who don’t know, Jordan Crawford had the least-efficient offensive season for a rookie since ADAM MORRISON last year. That means he put up numbers but took a huge number of shot attempts to do it. If not for Nick Young’s injury, Jordan Crawford would have ridden the bench just as hard in WAS as he did in ATL.

“Larry Hughes and Mike Dunleavy are the 2 guys we should be targeting outside of our big man needs” – An idea

Neither player is likely to help the Hawks. We need Jeff Foster.

“we only have one tradable piece (Smith).” – Khao$

Was going to respond to this but KevinM had it covered.

Buddy Grizzard

October 29th, 2011
7:04 am

“I do expect Collins to be back” – KevinM

Yes, a year older and a year slower, and CHI completely exposed his limitations in the playoffs. I really respect and appreciate the fact that he got us past ORL this year but I think his days as a contributor are over.

“Why not get rid of Marvin ASAP and pay him on the side while he doesn’t count toward our cap?” – An Idea

Because Marvin is going to have a breakout year with JC1 and his absurd amount of shot attempts gone. Given a role in the offense, Marvin, and I’ve said this before, will play himself into a tradeable commodity. They may yet use the amnesty clause on him, but only when it produces some tangible gain, such creating cap room to facilitate a specific trade.

B-Grizz

October 29th, 2011
7:06 am

“* Zaza slid in just behind @ 4.20″ – G-Dad

I think it’s a travesty to rank Zaza behind ADAM MORRISON, I mean JC2. As I clearly documented, if Zaza had played more in the CHI series instead of letting Collins get run circles around by CHI’s young, athletic and MOBILE big men, the HAWKS might have gone to the ECF.

“That doesn’t exactly sound like a man who is ready to commit long-term to the Magic, and if the lockout drags out for the entire season, the Magic may lose him without compensation.” – DMB

Dwight really went for the jugular. He lit up Stan Van Gundy and basically let ORL know it ain’t happening. Good for him for not pulling a LeBron James and messin with those folks hearts and just coming right out and saying it. I don’t think Atlanta is what he has in mind when he says “somewhere bigger.” Also, the amnestly clause devalues my proposed Dwight and Gilbert for Al and Joe trade. Rich DeVos is one of the deep-pocketed owners that the amnesty clause is built to favor. They might as well call it the Gilbert Arenas clause because it will be executed on Agent Zero before David Stern’s signature is dry.

Buddy Grizzard

October 29th, 2011
7:19 am

“I say we sign Damien to replace Marvin if we were to amnesty his sorry soul.” – Grandmaster JeJe

CO-SIGN IN ALL CAPS! Damien plays with heart. He’s limited offensively but he HUSTLES. One caveat to my prediction about Marvin playing himself into a tradable asset… if he comes back fro the lockout looking like post-lockout Shawn Kemp, his NBA career is over. He will be screaming I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.

Dawg

October 29th, 2011
8:35 am

Where is the update? Nevermind, I will go to another website.

Grandmaster JeJe

October 29th, 2011
9:24 am

“Because Marvin is going to have a breakout year with JC1 and his absurd amount of shot attempts gone. ”

LOL. Buddy Grizzard, all your posts are on point besides this one.

For 3 years in a row I predicted a breakout year from Marvin. The only time he EVER comes CLOSE to playing well is when 3 or 4 guys on the team are out and he thinks “oh yeah, I guess I have more shots now.”

They guy barely averaged 10ppg this last year in Larry Drew’s “offensive system.”

He doesn’t care, is a career underachiever, and there’s a reason he hasn’t played in any of these local charity games with the other ATLiens – because everyone knows he’s a joke.

And he will be the one guy on the team showing up at camp out of shape (like Boris Diaw after he got that new deal 3 or 4 years ago).

Grandmaster JeJe

October 29th, 2011
9:30 am

Now, Marvin is only 25 (amazing these guys like Marvin and Josh are still so young), but I don’t expect much/anything out of him this year – no homo