Atlanta Hawks: Camp Report Day 2: Still tax-strapped

From what I can gather, Rick Sund is exploring sign-and-trade scenarios for Jamal Crawford. But, so far, Sund does not have the green light to approve a transaction that results in a luxury tax payment. As long as that’s the case, I don’t see how it can happen.

Update 12:08 a.m.: The Knicks have expressed interest in Crawford, as reported by Alex Kennedy Hoopsworld.com and Sam Amick at SI.com. But still no word that Sund has been authorized to spend into the tax. Howard Beck of the New York Times reports that the Knicks will be over the cap once they complete their recent transactions. Their trades thus will be subject to salary-matching rules.

Update 10:09 a.m.: There’s still no indication that Sund has been authorized to spend more than the tax threshold but late last night he was looking for ways to gain some salary relief to get the Hawks further under the tax line. I’m not sure how the Hawks can shed significant team salary (money that counts towards the cap and tax) without using the amnesty clause but apparently Sund is looking for a way to so to gain flexibility to spend on free agents.

After signing Tracy Mc Grady, Jason Collins and Vladmir Radmanovic, Atlanta has roughly $67.7 million in guaranteed team salary committed to 10 players (assuming minimum salaries are the same as stipulated in the old CBA for 2011-12). Add Keith Benson, Pape Sy and Magnum Rolle and the team salary is about $69.7 million.

Atlanta could shed as much as $896,000 of its team salary (depending on any guarantees) by waving those three players and replacing all of them with rookie free agents. Those moves would leave the team salary at about $68.8 million. The luxury-tax threshold is a bit more than $70 million.

Under new CBA trade rules, teams over the cap that don’t pay the tax can acquire no more than 150% + $100,000 of the salaries they trade away. Taxpaying teams can acquire no more than 125% + $100,000 of the salaries they trade away. Since a team over the cap would be using a sign-and-trade to pay Crawford more than the $5 million mid-level, a sign-and-trade involving him would mean the Hawks would have to take back a salary amount that would put them over the tax threshold.

Obviously, the Hawks would pay some tax if they use a significant amount of their exceptions to pay Crawford or any other free agent. With so many teams holding cap room, I have to think Crawford will get more than the mid-level exception even with guys like Rip Hamilton, Chauncey Billups and Vince Carter crowding the market. The Hawks have resigned themselves to as much.

Days later and I’m still getting questions about the report suggesting a Hawks sign-and-trade with the Bulls that would swap Crawford for Omer Asik and Ronnie Brewer. I don’t think there is anything to that report, and not just because it would be a bad deal for the Bulls (which probably helps explain why the rumor is so popular among Hawks fans).

For one, the deal would require the Hawks to pay significant tax and, again, Sund doesn’t yet have the go-ahead to make that kind of deal and may not get it. Also, the Bulls still are focused on signing a free-agent guard using their mid-level exception, and it looks like they’ve got their man in Hamilton.

NOTES

  • As expected, the Hawks have no plans to use their amnesty clause this year. It can be used before any season of the CBA, which is for 10 years with mutual opt-outs for the owners and players after six years.
  • For now, the Hawks are scouring the free-agent value bin and the waiver wire for help. “We are still looking at what’s out there,” Larry Drew said. “We are keeping our ears open to see if anything falls through the cracks. It’s only the second preseason practice and we will just have to wait and see what happens.”
  • The Hawks are in the market for another center. Take a look at the list of free agents and you can see it’s very thin as far as rotation-quality guys.
  • The Hawks also are looking for a backup point guard as Kirk Hinrich heals from surgery. The free-agent list looks better for that position. Carlos Arroyo, for one, would be a serviceable stopgap.
  • Drew said the Hawks are interested in Gilbert Arenas if he clears the amnesty waiver wire. Teams with cap space get the first shot at him. If there are no bids he would become a free agent, though I’m not sure of the timing on that.
  • Billups is on the amnesty waiver wire but he’s warning he might retire or make trouble if he gets claimed by a team he doesn’t want to join.
  • The Knicks signed Mike Bibby. New York also reportedly is after free agent J.J. Barea, who probably would be an even better fit than Arroyo for Atlanta. Not sure he can be had for the minimum, though.
  • Damien Wilkins signed with the Pistons.

CAMP REPORT

  • These were the teams when the Hawks ran drills during the portion of practice media were allowed to watch: 1. Jeff Teague, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Al Horford. 2. Pape Sy, Jerry Stackhouse, Tracy McGrady, Zaza Pachulia, Jason Collins. 3. Donald Sloan, Zach Graham, Ivan Johnson, Charles Garcia, Keith Benson
  • “We are just looking at different guys on different teams,” L.D. said. “There is no set lineup right now. We are looking at different combinations.”
  • For the second straight camp, Collins showed up in better shape than the year before. Now he’s not only fit but also more muscular. “I know that there is one player in particular that I need to go up against,” Collins said, and I don’t think he’s talking about Joel Anthony. “I really focused this offseason on getting in the best possible position to help my team.”
  • Drew said he plans to use Collins the same way he did last season. “We will look at the opponent and see what works best as far as matchup-wise,” he said. “Certainly he gives us a chance to go pretty big.”
  • Collins joins a long list of Hawks players who showed up in good shape. “Very, very encouraging,” Drew said. “It’s easy for a guy with the lockout to lay around and eat and not do anything, particularly if you have that type body. Certainly [Collins] didn’t take that approach.”
  • Collins said his play against Dwight Howard in the playoffs drew the attention of a few teams, including the Celtics. “I chose to come back here and one of the reasons was the coaching staff and players,” he said. “I am very familiar with everyone and we all get along. It’s fun to play with these guys.”
  • Drew said Vladimir Radmanovich is the kind of knock-down shooter he was hoping to get. He said he noticed during extensive Synergy study that Radmanovich has a knack for quickly getting to open spots. Drew said Golden State coaches also gave Radmanovich positive reviews.
  • “He’s a four that can really stretch the defense,” Drew said. “I did a lot of homework on him. With Joe’s ability to force double teams, having that four that can go out there and stretch it, it gives you an added weapon. Tracy is a really good passer and you put him with the ball in position where he can operate, teams have to collapse their defenses on him [too]. With Radmanovic, he’s a guy that lives at the 3-point line.”
  • Kris Willlis at Peachtreehoops.com takes a closer look at the D-League guys in Hawks camp.
  • Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

    254 comments Add your comment

    J.J.M.

    December 10th, 2011
    8:50 pm

    bird

    December 10th, 2011
    8:53 pm

    With the tweet Jamal sent to Damien Wilkins, I can’t see the Hawks bringing him back.

    Najeh Davenpoop

    December 10th, 2011
    8:57 pm

    I don’t know if Chauncey Billups would necessarily be worth picking up — especially as long as LD is around, since the last thing he needs is an excuse to not play Teague — but if nothing else, Billups is apparently motivated by the desire to possibly knock them out of the playoffs. The Hawks would likely provide him that opportunity.

    If they got him, the next logical step would be to dump Kirk’s expiring contract, and depending on how much they paid Billups and what they got in return for Kirk they may end up saving money in such a transaction.

    All purely speculation by me of course.

    Najeh Davenpoop

    December 10th, 2011
    8:57 pm

    ^^By “them” I meant the Knicks.

    Astro Joe

    December 10th, 2011
    8:59 pm

    MC, as always, thanks for the reporting. Did any Hawks return in less than good condition? Are you seeing anyone who brings back Michael Sweetney flashbacks?

    J.J.M.

    December 10th, 2011
    9:01 pm

    at least the hawks are in the market for a center…lets just hope they actually sign a decent one

    drmaryb.[*_*].

    December 10th, 2011
    9:05 pm

    Leash Law!

    Snoop Dog on 107.9 tonight talking ’bout how mad everyone is in LA re: CP3 trade block. He said, “David Stern has a plantation mentality.”. LOL!

    Last night he was on V103 co-hosting. Snoop said he loves The ATL for real. The music mecca of the East Coast is a fine city with a great vibe. (para-phrased from last night).

    Michael Cunningham

    December 10th, 2011
    9:06 pm

    @Astro Joe: No one looks sloppy. I’d say Al is not in optimal condition, which he admits, but nothing two weeks of preseason can’t improve.

    Najeh Davenpoop

    December 10th, 2011
    9:08 pm

    Regarding that free agent list, there isn’t much that jumps off the page as far as big men who can give quality minutes for the minimum, but Erick Dampier may be one such player. I could see him signing for the minimum, and although he didn’t do much last year, he was a serviceable player two years ago.

    Jeff Foster, Joel Przybilla, or Reggie Evans could be useful too, although I don’t know what kind of condition Przybilla’s knees are in, and Evans can’t play center.

    ant banks

    December 10th, 2011
    9:10 pm

    what if jj had left 12 million on the table? but NOO!!! he had to clean the plate, crumbs, napkins and everything. lol. he was thinkin’ strictly about himself and not the team….SMGDH.

    Astro Joe

    December 10th, 2011
    9:11 pm

    MC, thanks. I’m hoping Anthony Carter gets a call from Sund. If the Hawks sign a PG, it needs to be someone who won’t threaten Teague. JT0 clearly doesn’t need to have any question if he is going to play. He seems to need an extra comfy security blanket that his job is not at risk.

    J.J.M.

    December 10th, 2011
    9:12 pm

    Big Ray

    December 10th, 2011
    9:13 pm

    Oh dear. Al done went and got “less than optimal” in his conditioning.

    I think I hear a big dog barking in the distance…

    Sol

    December 10th, 2011
    9:14 pm

    Mc, the Hawks should try to get Dwight Howard by sending Josh Smith, Zaza and a future first round pick to Orlando even if Dwight not aggree to the extention as long as the Magic do it. For the Hawks he might win here and sign long term.

    Astro Joe

    December 10th, 2011
    9:15 pm

    ant, you’re kidding, right? What assurances would Joe have received that they would have used that $2M? Could Joe get it back if the owners refused to pay the $2M in salaries?

    drmaryb.[*_*].

    December 10th, 2011
    9:15 pm

    Sour Grapes!

    “With the tweet Jamal sent to Damien Wilkins, I can’t see the Hawks bringing him back.” -bird-
    _______________

    Yeah bird man, (no pun) rejection hurts deep. But Jamal need to understand, it’s just biz and work on his defense. That’s it, Jamal should be angry at his defense.

    And, he did reflect poorly on The Hawks by letting his 150LB English Bull Mastiff dogs (2) piss and ish all over that lady’s mansion. Turned her house into an unkept zoo, to the tune of 30K. Hire a house keeper and pet sitter Jamal, you Sir, made 10.8K last season.

    Thank You and Best Wishes!

    Neki

    December 10th, 2011
    9:20 pm

    J.J.M.

    That page just disappear, but that would be a crazy trade for him.

    KevinM

    December 10th, 2011
    9:20 pm

    On D12 and the 3 teams he can talk to, the Nets need a 3rd team. Could we get some cap relief and send Josh to NJ and end up with an extra #1 draft pick and perhaps a Jordan Farmer or Anhony Morrow?

    drmaryb.[*_*].

    December 10th, 2011
    9:20 pm

    Neki

    December 10th, 2011
    9:22 pm

    Heck No, i would not package Josh Smith for anything, even if D12 want him, it is not going help this team out, so sorry D12 wait for two years.

    KevinM

    December 10th, 2011
    9:24 pm

    Why isn’t Bibby being introduced to the NY media with Tyson? He may be their PG.

    superiorblogman

    December 10th, 2011
    9:24 pm

    Well let’s start looking forward to the offseason since this team as currently constructed is garbage.

    Today we saw that Marques Teague is a beast and can’t be stopped gettting to the rim and Chris Watford is better than Marvin Williams and will probably never be anything more than a 2nd round pick. He reminds me of Wilson Chandler.

    I would not be against taking Marques to be Jeff’s backup if he is available this year since Hinrich will expire and we will get nothing for him just like Jamal and Pape being a PG is a joke

    Big Ray

    December 10th, 2011
    9:27 pm

    On third thought….I’d take a mad-a$$ Billups in a heartbeat (yes, I’m being wishy-washy, but the guy can PLAY). Let him take his angst out on the entire Eastern Conference, including the Knicks. We could really use the swagger, defense, and toughness.

    Hell, play him at the 2, Joe at the 3, Horford at the 5, Josh at the 4, and Teague at the 1.

    KevinM

    December 10th, 2011
    9:27 pm

    Chauncey is very outspoken now……..come on Sund….make room!

    And Rip fits in this offense better than CHI.

    KevinM

    December 10th, 2011
    9:30 pm

    I believe very little LD tells us……

    brigadierjerry

    December 10th, 2011
    9:32 pm

    Regarding some of the free agents mentioned here:

    Anthony Carter is signing with Toronto
    Foster signed with Indiana
    Reggie Evans possibly with Portland

    Also although I dont ever see it happening if the Hawks were to blow it up if the season was going down the tubes and become lost would you if the Hawks want to restart fresh, and a Joe Johnson+Josh Smith for Kevin Garnett+Ray Allen+Jujuan Johnson+1st rounder become available, would you do it just to clear salary as far as the Hawks?

    J.J.M.

    December 10th, 2011
    9:34 pm

    ray rice won over roddy and patric willis

    superiorblogman

    December 10th, 2011
    9:35 pm

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=8y8m4s9

    Hawks get: Brook Lopez, Travis Outlaw, Anthony Morrow

    New Jersey Nets get: Josh Smith, Dwight Howard

    Orlando Magic gets: Damion James, Kirk Hinrich and 2 1st round picks from Nets, and 2 1st round picks from Hawks

    Great Deal for all parties

    drmaryb.[*_*].

    December 10th, 2011
    9:37 pm

    What If?

    “what if jj had left 12 million on the table? ” -ant banks-
    ________________

    Why? So ASKG can line their pockets with JJ money, Childress MLE and never pay any luxury tax? A better question would be:

    What if the ASKG spent 12M in luxury taxes?
    What if ant banks went to his boss and paid his boss for letting him work there?
    Did the ASKG go to Mr. Johnson and ask him to restructure his deal?

    Maybe, the ASKG should sue Mr. Johnson for accepting their offer and signing their contract?

    Maybe the ASKG should file bankruptcy and sell their team and corporate jets to the NBA if they can’t afford to run a contender team?

    What if the ASKG had a clue about marketing and took some classes on how to talk to their supportive fans and explain their vision for this franchise?

    What if the ASKG embraced the luxury tax as a tool, and a resource to win a championship?

    What if the ASKG used their “voted for” amnesty clause to rid this roster of dead weight and spend some of their own damned money?

    What if the ASKG hired a Real GM and let him do his job?

    What if the ASKG hired a Real Coach?

    What if the ASKG spent the 3M they saved from trading down two picks to draft Jordan Crawford?
    _________________

    What if Ant Banks had a clue?

    MattP

    December 10th, 2011
    9:37 pm

    “KevinM
    December 10th, 2011
    9:30 pm

    I believe very little LD tells us……”

    I think that is what we all say. We all know he will try to find someone to start in front of Teague no matter what he says. If he started Teague early on in last season we could have keep Jordon and he could have been our sixth man this season.

    Grandmaster JeJe

    December 10th, 2011
    9:37 pm

    HOW CAN WE SIGN ANYONE WITH THE CURRENT PAYROLL? WE HAVE NO ROOM BEFORE WE HIT THE LT

    ASG U SOLD THE THRASHERS. MAN UP AND SPEND SOME MONEY

    Grandmaster JeJe

    December 10th, 2011
    9:38 pm

    Michael Cunningham
    December 10th, 2011
    9:06 pm

    @Astro Joe: No one looks sloppy. I’d say Al is not in optimal condition, which he admits, but nothing two weeks of preseason can’t improve.

    LinkReport this comment

    ^^^^^^^
    All he did the offseason was take jumpshots. Why would he be in shape?

    MattP

    December 10th, 2011
    9:40 pm

    brigadierjerry, Garnett and Allen are old, that is not starting fresh. If they wanted to free themselves from Johnson’s contract they can use their Clasue.

    Grandmaster JeJe

    December 10th, 2011
    9:40 pm

    WE HAVE 8964 owners AND CAN’T SPEND TWO PENNIES IN THE LT

    Grandmaster JeJe

    December 10th, 2011
    9:41 pm

    CELTS ARE DONE. PERKINS TRADE WAS THEIR DEMISE

    Ra'mon

    December 10th, 2011
    9:42 pm

    I would love to see Billups on the Hawks.

    Grandmaster JeJe

    December 10th, 2011
    9:49 pm

    WE HAVE NO MONEY TO SIGN ANYONE

    WE HAVE 3 PLAYERS WHO RANK IN THE BOTTOM FIVE IN THE NBA

    FIRE ASG

    FIRE UNS

    superiorblogman

    December 10th, 2011
    9:53 pm

    If this Hornets trade ever goes through maybe we can offer them another pick since that is what Stern is claiming to be after.

    Kirk and Zaza or Kirk and Marvin for Okafor would work.

    They would save a lot of money if we sent them Kirk’s expiring and Zaza for Okafor. Close to $20 million over 3 years.

    We could send them a pick along with Zaza and Marvin on the other hand. Would not save them but like $7 million over 3 years though.

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=6lhexxm

    My preference would me Marvin, Zaza, and 2012-13 1st for Okafor

    drmaryb.[*_*].

    December 10th, 2011
    9:58 pm

    They Know -drake-

    They know what Joe is gonna’ do.
    They know what Josh is gonna’ do.
    They know what AL is gonna’ do.
    They know what Teague is gonna’ do.
    They know what T-Mac is gonna’ do.
    They know what ZaZa is gonna’ do.
    They know what Vladimir is gonna’ do.
    They know what Jason is gonna’ do.
    They know what Marvin is gonna’ do.

    They Know … They Know … They Know
    ____________________

    Do they know?

    Do they know what Kirk is gonna’ do?
    Do they know what Pape Sy is gonna’ do?
    Do they know what “Magnum PI” is gonna’ do?
    Do they know what kito Benson is gonna’ do?
    ___________________

    Blog Question: Do my fellas know what these fan favorites are gonna’ do – in ONE word?

    (Please tell us the 1st word that pops into your head).
    __________________

    Joe is gonna’ score.
    Josh is gonna’ block-shots.
    AL is gonna’ rebound.
    Teague is gonna’ penetrate.
    T-Mac is gonna’ glue.
    Vladimir is gonna’ score.
    ZaZa is gonna’ “goon”.
    Jason is gonna “play big”
    Marvin is gonna’ “stand up straight”
    ________________

    I Know … I Know … I Just Know this team.

    drmaryb.[*_*].

    December 10th, 2011
    10:03 pm

    Blog Question II:

    What do you love about ZaZa?
    _____________

    ZaZa is reminiscent of Adongmikong Suh, he will knock your butt down hard and step on yo neck – he will not help you get up on Natl TV. Why can’t AL do that?

    J.J.M.

    December 10th, 2011
    10:07 pm

    ^^^needs to be laid

    STRETCH

    December 10th, 2011
    10:15 pm

    Ra’mon,

    Billups is pretty much “taking his talents to South Beach.”

    Nique

    December 10th, 2011
    10:16 pm

    Hey Micheal,
    Is there any talk of adding recently waived Gani Lawal former GT standout for inside size & Micheal Redd as the shooter they keep referencing?Redd is said to be going for around the vet minimum

    Nique

    December 10th, 2011
    10:23 pm

    I also heard James Posey was told to stay home by the Pacers, would love to get our hands on him because of his D, he’s a decent 3 point threat as well.

    Joe.Jeff.Smith.Leuer.Bogut

    December 10th, 2011
    10:31 pm

    Gani Lawal has the size of David Lee according to draft express. simple but effective face up game yet undersized.

    Najeh Davenpoop

    December 10th, 2011
    10:32 pm

    “Blog Question: Do my fellas know what these fan favorites are gonna’ do – in ONE word?”

    I know this — if the Hawks are as soft as Drake they are not going very far in the playoffs.

    drmaryb.[*_*].

    December 10th, 2011
    10:36 pm

    Laid Up!

    “^^^needs to be laid” -JJM Jack-Azz-
    ____________

    As if you could. Yo Mamma should have never been laid!

    Dawg

    December 10th, 2011
    10:36 pm

    I have no confidence in the ability or the motivation of the Hawks management.

    drmaryb.[*_*].

    December 10th, 2011
    10:42 pm

    Heavy Rotation!

    Najeh! Ha Ha … I tuned the radio in my car and that song comes on every 15 mins – why buy that?

    I guess the Hawks are soft then … 108 aggregate 2nd round play off loss to Orlando two seasons ago, does qualify as soft.

    They Soft Then. LOL! But, we come back and spank the not-so-magic the following season with the exact same team and they upgraded?

    Does that mean – they soft too?

    Guido

    December 10th, 2011
    10:47 pm

    Nique, there is a reason James Posey has been asked to stay home. Stay away from him.

    MC, what happened to David Lighty from Ohio State. Is he overseas somewhere?