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