Atlanta Hawks: Afternoon notes

Notes contemplated while waiting in an empty gym . . .

  • Stopped by Philips Arena today. No players showed up during the couple hours I was there and none were expected. Again, I wouldn’t read too much into it, especially since guys have access to the facilities at any time and don’t need to work out at Philips.
  • It turned out Joe and Al were at Philips yesterday to get their physicals but didn’t take the court.
  • As you hear the Hawks connected to one free agent or another keep in mind that, like a lot of teams, they can’t be sure of their plans until the CBA is ratified and they know the rules. So take all these rumors with a grain of salt.
  • Also, I don’t think the Hawks have decided on their financial plan yet. Hawks officials aren’t commenting because they still are concerned about league fines but I’m hearing they haven’t yet ruled out spending into the luxury tax.
  • I wouldn’t look for the Hawks to use the amnesty this year. In fact, I don’t think many teams will use it now unless they are looking for major relief from the luxury tax or can gain cap room (and some teams in the latter category can’t use it because they would drop below the new minimum team salary). The Hawks don’t qualify on either count. They can save it for J.J.’s deal down the line.
  • It’s true Josh still is unhappy, and the reasons go beyond internal and external criticism of his play and extend into concerns about team chemistry. It seems as if he simply could use a change of scenery. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
  • From what I can tell, none of Atlanta’s players have been declared untouchable for trades. So, at the very least, this would represent a shift in thinking by the Hawks about their proverbial “core” group. But if they do decide to pay the tax to add some significant pieces then it would seem to decrease the urgency of seeking a trade.
  • The Hawks will play two exhibition games against the Bobcats, Dec. 19 at Charlotte and Dec. 22 at Philips. The Hawks will hold a free public scrimmage Dec. 16 at 7 :30 p.m. at Philips. If you see me there, come down and holla.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

426 comments Add your comment

Rufus1

December 2nd, 2011
3:39 pm

The Hawks may spend into the Lux Tax…Wow.

Fullspeed

December 2nd, 2011
3:40 pm

1st!

Twitter.com/Fullspeed_music

Rufus1

December 2nd, 2011
3:41 pm

This will be Josh Last year in ATL….Thx for the memories.

DSC

December 2nd, 2011
3:48 pm

MC, Broussard and Hollinger have both said that CP could actually be traded to Atlanta. I realize its unlikely but the fact that ESPN is mentioning us makes me feel at least hopeful. Have you heard anything about that?

The best scenario for me would be Al, Hinrich, Horford, and Teague for CP and Okafor.

Your starting lineup then looks like:
CP
JJ
Smoove
(who’d play 4? Free Agent?)
Okafor

sounds good to me.

jarvis

December 2nd, 2011
3:49 pm

That Hinrich trade was some schlitzy schlitz.

mike

December 2nd, 2011
3:50 pm

MC- When you say “Its true, Josh is still unhappy”, what is the source of this? He told you this?

Can you expand on why he is unhappy?

Steveo

December 2nd, 2011
3:56 pm

NBA= Nothing But A$$holes…..wait until they see all the empty seats and they realize nobody cares whether they are playing or not!!

Michael Cunningham

December 2nd, 2011
4:00 pm

@DSC: “MC, Broussard and Hollinger have both said that CP could actually be traded to Atlanta. I realize its unlikely but the fact that ESPN is mentioning us makes me feel at least hopeful. Have you heard anything about that?”

i know Broussard didn’t quite say that. he just said the Hawks are a team that could offer New Orleans x,y,z and Paul is fond of Atlanta. i didn’t see anything Hollinger wrote about it.

but, no, i haven’t heard anything about that. as i said, the Hawks still have to figure out the CBA and formulate a plan.

DSC

December 2nd, 2011
4:02 pm

MC,

Hollinger talks about it here: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7304119/nba-chris-paul-dwight-howard-trade-scenarios

you have to have insider but he adresses the trade scenarios and said that he’d consider the Hawks. He also said its highly unlikely, but at least we’re being mentioned. If we have the assets, why not go for it, right? Haven’t a superstar since Nique!

i_am_soulstar

December 2nd, 2011
4:04 pm

Slim4jr

December 2nd, 2011
4:04 pm

pipe dream CP3 coming to these neck of the woods…

Astro Joe

December 2nd, 2011
4:05 pm

MC, what does team chemistry have to do with anything? Isn’t it all about athleticism and basketball skills? Basically what happens from the neck down? Why are you discussing what happens from the neck up? Just add athletic and skilled players and let’s not worry about issues like chemistry, role or balance. Come on, man. :twisted:

Michael Cunningham

December 2nd, 2011
4:05 pm

@mike: “MC- When you say “Its true, Josh is still unhappy”, what is the source of this? He told you this? Can you expand on why he is unhappy?”

well, he chafed at the criticism of his shot selection from L.D. and media more than once last season. he hasn’t said anything about wanting out (and never would) but i’m basing it on conversations with others. it’s solid info. i think the theme of his unhappiness is related to his belief that his teammates don’t get criticized nearly as much as he does when they play poorly.

Slim4jr

December 2nd, 2011
4:05 pm

Keep Josh, Jettison All NBA Alisha…..Make it so!

Sherewshevsky

December 2nd, 2011
4:07 pm

Given the shorter season, does that mean the Hawks expenses are less? If so, could they (and other teams as well) use that “saved” money toward getting players?

Slim4jr

December 2nd, 2011
4:10 pm

Josh is right, All NBA gets a free card when it comes to his poor play…

Josh must be burning up about that plus this bum has been selected to two Allstar games???????

Hugh??????????

Ra'mon

December 2nd, 2011
4:12 pm

Broussard is reporting that Atlanta has been in contact with Josh Howard agent. Don’t know how I feel about that.

Michael Cunningham

December 2nd, 2011
4:13 pm

@DSC: ok, thanks for the link. it looks like Hollinger is using Broussard’s report that Paul is fond of Atlanta to then speculate on trade scenarios (unless i missed Broussard writing something else about it). it doesn’t seem as if either reporter is saying Paul would come to Atlanta, but maybe i’m reading it wrong.

i don’t want to dash the hopes of my blog people on this one but, man, it’s hard to keep all the ESPN stuff straight. their tentacles reach out so far that it seems at any given moment someone is reporting contradicting angles of every big sports story.

LT

December 2nd, 2011
4:13 pm

MC,
How can the scrimmage be dec. 22nd if they play the Bobcats on that day?

Astro Joe

December 2nd, 2011
4:13 pm

Sounds like the griping of an 8th grader to me.

Michael Cunningham

December 2nd, 2011
4:13 pm

@Astro Joe: haha, nice.

What?

December 2nd, 2011
4:14 pm

If we get Howard, what does that do to Marvin? I thought we’re resigning Damien?

What’s Going On…?

Michael Cunningham

December 2nd, 2011
4:15 pm

@LT: “MC, How can the scrimmage be dec. 22nd if they play the Bobcats on that day?”

the scrimmage is before the game. no, seriously, it’s on Dec. 16. fixed.

Slim4jr

December 2nd, 2011
4:16 pm

Love JH if he can just stay healthy..A legit #3 who can score the ball from an assortment of angles,even knows how to use glass! Go figure? A bonifide scorer at 6′7″….Decent defender as well…

Air Zaza

December 2nd, 2011
4:16 pm

The best scenario for me would be Al, Hinrich, Horford, and Teague for CP and Okafor.

Your starting lineup then looks like:
CP
JJ
Smoove
(who’d play 4? Free Agent?)
Okafor

This would be worst then we are now. Trading two top tier players for one. Easy pass.

Josh Smith, Teague, Zaza, and Hinrich contract for CP3 and Okafor would be better for both parties

New Orleans gets a top 20-35 player, they get a prospect who had very good potential in Teague, a quality backup with a good contract in Zaza, and Hinrich expring contract to make for the 85% min salary rule. They also really suck after this deal so they are in place to land a top 5 pick.

Atlanta lands the top PG in the land. Horford finally can reach his lofty potential. Okafor can finally play next to a center who can also defend and Al doesn’t have to play center anymore. Joe gets to be the #2 offensive option which should be his only role. Marvin gets to stay on the roster.

That’s a good deal for both parties.

DSC

December 2nd, 2011
4:16 pm

MC,

No worries about dashing my hopes. They aren’t that high to begin with I just thought I’d see what you think about our names being mentioned. All I can do is hope at this point. We have the pieces to trade for him and surround him if he comes.

Michael Cunningham

December 2nd, 2011
4:17 pm

OK, blog people, i’m headed to UGa-Cincy basketball tonight for my last non-NBA assignment of the year.

Slimjr

December 2nd, 2011
4:18 pm

Marvin could back up Howard…Great!

Astro Joe

December 2nd, 2011
4:18 pm

Why does he get the bigger piece of chocolate cake? How come I have to take out the trash? Why didn’t he get a spanking for getting a “D”? Why can’t I have a TV in my room. How come no one yelled when he got a speeding ticket?

Geez, does Josh have to get a hall-pass to go to the restroom at Philips?

Air Zaza

December 2nd, 2011
4:19 pm

Hollinger is just writing his opinion of a potential deal. This would be like the Decision thing.

Saying
Chicago has 40% chance at Lebron
Hawks have 0% chance at resigning Joe
Miami has 10% chance at Lebron
Cleveland has a 70% chance at Lebron

It’s stuff wrote just to kill time. ESPN is utter garbage nowadays.

Slimjr

December 2nd, 2011
4:19 pm

Cincy 90 UGA 65…Enjoy Sir!

Air Zaza

December 2nd, 2011
4:20 pm

Have fun at UGA-Cincy game tonight. I been to quite a few UGA hoops games, the conference games are great.

DSC

December 2nd, 2011
4:23 pm

Air zaza,

How would Okafor play next to a center and Al not have to play center anymore, who would play center, haha?

I kept Smith for selfish reasons of seeing lobs from CP to Smoove. Either Smoove or Al would work in the trade for me.

O'Brien

December 2nd, 2011
4:24 pm

AJ,

And Josh is one of our captains too. Surely, that will make a difference as to how he carries himself…

JSS

December 2nd, 2011
4:25 pm

Look at Cunningham getting all happy about not having to watch another 30 to 10 run!!!

Geemack

December 2nd, 2011
4:26 pm

MC

What’s the culture like around the organization?

I heard D. Rose say the Bull are looking to win it all.

I heard Bosh say the Heat want to win it all.

I heard the Melo & Amare talk about winning it all this year.

Are the leader for the Hawks JJ, Josh, and Al, even putting the expectations out there for this to be a championship team?

How is it that the Bulls have jumped us in the championship expectation?

The Hawks have just as much talent as the Bulls, but yet the same expectations are not place on the Hawks.

O'Brien

December 2nd, 2011
4:28 pm

One thing that should help the Hawks when it comes to FA is that the free agency period is very short, so players can’t afford to wait around too long for better offers.

However, what might hurt the Hawks is with Rick Sund being a GM who likes to move slow, he might get left behind.

I think we will be picking from the bottom of the barrell, especially if Rick has to get approval from ownership.

DSC

December 2nd, 2011
4:30 pm

Geemack,

The Hawks may have just as much talent as the bulls, but way worse coaching. Smith kind of addressed this in the previous article saying he thinks they can go deep in the playoffs.

Grandad

December 2nd, 2011
4:34 pm

I’m wagering; & -Mr Cunningham-can correct me if I’m wrong

Joe is the “Chemistry” problem on the team.

*I’t can’t be Al – I just don’t see it
*No way-Cap’n Kirk
*Teaguer- yeah right (never played enough)
*Marv – maybe (whinin’) but doesn’t shoot enough anyone
*Zaza-same as Al

** the next candidate would be Josh himself;
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Joe.Jeff.Smith.Leuer.Bogut.ECF

December 2nd, 2011
4:36 pm

‘A championship team needs someone who can:
A) protect the rim defensively and
B) an elite shot-creator offensively.
Occasionally, in the case of someone like Tim Duncan, one player can fill both roles.

However, as great as Dwight Howard is, he’s unlikely to ever be as polished offensively as Duncan. He needs someone who can create shots when he’s matched up against elite front-lines. Unfortunately, the Orlando Magic, over the cap and without any young players likely to develop into All-Stars or any significant trade assets besides Howard, don’t really have the means of acquiring one.”

elite shot-creator offensively | Joe Johnson
{elite} shot-creator offensively | Jeff Teague (I’d stop short of elite unless he is consistently good)
protect the rim defensively | Josh Smith
protect the rim defensively | Andrew Bogut

I don’t see what championship team would have won with Al Horford. He holds position but is not a rim protector. And he sets picks more than Josh but is too slow to ever roll.
====

perimeter: Dirk Nowitzki | Jason Terry | Jason Kidd
inside: Shawn Marion | Tyson Chandler

perimeter: Joe Johnson| Jeff Teague| Jon Leuer
inside: slimmer Josh Smith | Andrew Bogut

perimeter: Kobe Bryant | Ron Artest | Derek Fisher
inside: Pau Gasol | Andrew Bynum

perimeter: Paul Pierce | Ray Allen | Rajon Rondo
inside: Kevin Garnett | Kendrick Perkins

This is the only type of trade you can get rid of Horford. A superstar for 1 position or a 2 for 1 with 2 guys better than Marvin and Collins. One player has to be a shooter. And please no broken down surgically reconstructed shooters like Memo Okur.

Thats like a 2 year window for winning a title. AT BEST

Astro Joe

December 2nd, 2011
4:36 pm

OB, Sund won’t start trying to sign FAs until Valentine’s Day.

Air Zaza

December 2nd, 2011
4:38 pm

@DSC

haha, it was a typo. I meant to say that Okafor would play next to a PF who can finally play great defense and Horford does not have to play center anymore. Both struggle defending the same type of centers regardless.

I understand why people like Smith with CP3 but lobs are only a part of CP3 game. His biggest part of his game is not Smith’s strength or even in his skillset. I see it like Al Jefferson. Al Jefferson is better than Carlos Boozer. He is a better scorer and both are below average defenders. Boozer is a PnR PF and Jefferson is a back to basket PF. When Utah let Boozer go and got Jefferson, even though Jefferson was better and Deron is an excellent playmaker, it did not work. Why?

Because Jefferson doesn’t use movement on offense to get points. He gets his in the paint of shooting spot up jumpers. Even with Deron, he did not improve him his form in Utah. Boozer greatly improved with Deron. Why? Boozer main skill is movement. Even though Boozer is not all that athletic, has average speed, and is not that strong, he has great movement, understands the PnR and how to use his body and when to use it for picks. That worked greatly with Deron. Because of that, Boozer played at an All Star level and was looked upon as one of the best PF’s in the NBA.

When he went to Chicago with a scoring PG in Rose. Boozer seemed almost like a new player and it wasn’t for the better either. He just doesn’t fit with Rose.

Now Josh Smith is full court type player. He is best when he is not in a half court setting. In fact, he actually a prone to mistakes in a half court setting because of his decision making skills, BBiq, and what not. Playing with Deron will not help Smith a lot. He would be slightly better because of Deron vision but he wouldn’t be much better. Horford would be extremely better with CP3 not to mention he would be better if Atlanta didn’t have so many weapons on offense. Smith, Johnson, and Crawford is a ton of talent in terms of scoring. And we aren’t Golden State so we only have so many touches and shots to go around. Just a point for emphasis.

Grandad

December 2nd, 2011
4:38 pm

* ” Marv – maybe (whinin’) but doesn’t shoot enough *[anyone] ”

* anyone

” I have no idea where that came from”

Ra'mon

December 2nd, 2011
4:42 pm

DSC, the Hawks have more talent than the Bulls.However, there talent doesn’t compliment each other as well as Chicago! Come to think of it though, I’d rather have Boozer over Horford.

DSC

December 2nd, 2011
4:43 pm

Horford would probably be better cause he can do the pick and roll and pick and pop. Picturing fast breaks with Smith and Paul are making me drool though. If we get Paul we are getting someone for some oops!

I like your deal with Smith though, hopefully Atlanta could get Ariza or some sf out of the deal too. The hawks could then have cp, jj, ariza, horford, okafor.

CONservative Johnson

December 2nd, 2011
4:43 pm

ASG trying to sucker you folks in again. The chances that they spend into the luxury tax and the chances of a big trade that brings a “superstar” here are about the same… almost no chance in hell.

doc

December 2nd, 2011
4:47 pm

oh boy, didnt take long for AJ to go after his whip.

Air Zaza

December 2nd, 2011
4:48 pm

I feel you DSC. CP3 really isn’t the fast break type of PG. Now who would be perfect with Smith: Steve Nash

Rufus1

December 2nd, 2011
4:48 pm

@DSC

I would do thatb deal.

Rufus1

December 2nd, 2011
4:49 pm

Correction…DSC

I wouldn’t do that deal.