Atlanta Hawks: Camp Report Day 3

Notes gathered while sleepwalking and dreaming about a sandwich. . . .

  • Rick Sund said the Hawks are interested in Gilbert Arenas and Chauncey Billups if they clear amnesty waivers. If teams with cap space don’t bid on those players by tonight’s deadline, they become free agents. (Note: Arenas already has cleared waivers, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, and wants to join up Dwight Howard.)
  • Asked about acquiring another center, Sund said:”I like our ‘bigs.’ We’ve got so many players that are versatile. Larry [Drew] is comfortable using those guys in different position.”
  • Billups isn’t a pure point guard but has great value for the Hawks because he can play the 2, is a big-time shotmaker and adds leadership and toughness. He’s also really, really good at doing something the Hawks were really, really bad at doing last season: getting to the free-throw line.
  • The Hawks still have no plans to use their amnesty clause this season.
  • Al Horford said he and fellow captains Josh Smith and Joe Johnson are still looking for the Hawks to make more moves after they added Tracy McGrady, Jason Collins and Vladimir Radmanovich. “I just hope they give us the opportunity to show something and still play at a high level,” Horford said. “Its’ a shortened season so there will be a lot more games in fewer days. So we need to have a deep team.”
  • The feeling among Atlanta’s captains is they don’t want to take a step back after taking Chicago to six games. “You want to build on it,” Horford said. “We need some sort of depth. I think that’s what gave Chicago an edge over us. I think we wore down in the playoffs a little bit. If we are able to get some more pieces, we should be in good shape.”
  • The Hawks scrimmaged for the first time today and us media types got to see the tail end. Jeff Teague was smooth and in control and Pape Sy made a couple nice pull-up jumpers.
  • Horford on Teague: “I think he’s just more confident as a player. I think the playoffs helped him. I just hope he keeps that edge and confidence and keeps playing hard.”
  • The Hawks ended practice with sprints. Teague, Johnson, Smith and Zaza Pachulia were out in front.
  • I will say this about Josh: He’s a pro. There’s been no sign of discontent and lots of evidence that he’s focused and working hard. He frequently pulls younger players to the side and points out where they are supposed to do.
  • Drew said Josh’s slimmer build doesn’t mean he will play him at power forward less often: “With him losing the weight, I see that he’s got his quickness back that he had when he first got here. He looks a lot faster, a lot quicker, which is a good sign because that’s been a strength of his game is his athleticism.”
  • Funny exchange between Josh and assistant Lester Conner during the sprints. Conner: “They are going to be saying, ‘Damn them Hawks get out on the break!” Josh: “They was already saying that.”
  • Not to judge a second-round rookie too harshly on his third day, but I don’t see Keith “Kito” Benson as a factor until he gets bigger and more aggressive. “I’m just trying to stay low in the post so I don’t get knocked off position,” he said. “I’m getting used to the stronger players that have played in the league.”
  • Kito finds himself on the same floor as guys he once idolized. “[Jerry] Stackhouse was on the Pistons when I was younger so I used to watch him a lot,” he said. “I had the T-Mac shoes and everything.” I had those blue-and-white T-Macs, too.
  • Horford on Kito: “He’s very athletic. He’s definitely going to have to work himself in the weight room a little more and get stronger but I like his enthusiasm and his energy. I’ve noticed that he can shoot a little bit in the mid-range area. That’s always good to see.”
  • Rookie prospect Brad Wanamaker has yet to practice because FIBA hasn’t yet cleared him after he played in Italy. Wanamaker said an Italian holiday is holding up the paperwork but he hopes to be cleared by tomorrow.
  • Atlanta’s $3.6 million trade exception from the Josh Childress deal expires on Dec. 16. Since the Hawks aren’t going to take on more salary than they send out, the exception will expire without being used.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

335 comments Add your comment

JJ Smoove

December 11th, 2011
7:22 pm

First?….ahahahaha

JJ Smoove

December 11th, 2011
7:24 pm

first post….first first….

Carrlos Lyles

December 11th, 2011
7:26 pm

They are going to have to get out and run. glad that everybody seems to be in shape.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 11th, 2011
7:27 pm

Josh Childress? Who is that?

Astro Joe

December 11th, 2011
7:27 pm

Dang, MC, you are already in mid-season form.

FTLB, I’m predicting the Hawks win 65% of their games, which is 43 wins in the abbreviated schedule and the equivalent of 53 wins in a normal schedule. I think the roster is a little more balanced than it has been in a while. And I think the season will be far more entertaining than last season’s bore-fest.

Joe.Jeff.Smith.Leuer.Bogut

December 11th, 2011
7:28 pm

Ken Strickland

the NBA sucks. Every year we have a hole to reach the Finals and are a year behind the consensus scouting reports.

2008 – 7 Games with Celtics, Hawks are undersized
2009 – 4 Game Sweep w/ Cleveland, Hawks are undersized
2010 – 7 Games w/ Milwaukee, Sweep w/ ORL, Hawks are undersized
2011 – 6 Games w/ ORL, 6 Games w/ CHI, Hawks Horford + Smith @ Forwards cant shoot

Marion – Nowitzki – Chandler
Rodman – Laimbeer – Mahorn
Tayshaun – Rasheed – Big Ben

The 2nd player in that list is the frontcourt player who gives you a perimeter option.

Smith is the top Power 3 in that group but Vladimir and an undersized 2 FTA per game Al Horford is incredibly soft and not the answer.

The Hawks are shuffling their feet with Al Horford. He exceeded out of college but hes not the star PF we hoped for. You need a star center or SF to create for him. We have a Marion type in Josh. We can get a star center for Horford. We can get a better shooting option at PF than Vladimir “Space Cadet aka Air Head” Radmanovic. The Hawks are done with the Al Horford + Josh at SF + center model. Time for the Josh Smith + PF shooter + center model.

“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.

Not with Joe’s ability to force doubles we should look for Horford to take a contested set shot or drive and twist his ankle or get injured.

Bottom Line As IS:
* Regular Season: NBA sucks even superteams have piss poor depth and we can go 60% wins
* Postseason: We know what we need (Smith inside, shooter PF, true center)
* Postseason: MIA, CHI, NY, IND

all those teams could beat us and it would not be considered an upset. Radmanovic? Really. Then there’s PHI. WAS is unlikely but every year Hawks are undersized and a year behind scout reports. Im tired of it.

northcyde

December 11th, 2011
7:29 pm

If we get Billups, Drew will insert him as the starter, because Chauncey will probably demand that if ATL signs him.

If we get Arenas, that’s a RED FLAG of tremendous proportions.

Funny how Sund “likes our bigs”, but MC doesn’t particularly like the “new” big. Might as well take over as GM . . MC.

Astro Joe

December 11th, 2011
7:29 pm

•Horford on Teague: “I think he’s just more confident as a player. I think the playoffs helped him. I just hope he keeps that edge and confidence and keeps playing hard.”

MC, you are the best.

December 11th, 2011
7:30 pm

<————————————————- This.

Norcross

December 11th, 2011
7:31 pm

MC, what do you think of Pape Sy?

Adil

December 11th, 2011
7:31 pm

akakak second

Section 303

December 11th, 2011
7:33 pm

Getting Billups would be incredible. And, actually I think Arenas could help, too. But, considering neither will play for free, no need to get hopes up.

Joe.Jeff.Smith.Leuer.Bogut

December 11th, 2011
7:33 pm

Put me down for 43 wins, which is a 65% winning percentage… equivalent to 53 wins in a normal season. This is a fairly balanced roster and I am expecting a more entertaining {regular season} than last year.

Like how you quantified regular season. Josh Smith and McGrady right?

What Drew effectively said on the Jash @4 is dont expect to bench Marvin for bigger shooter Radmanovic. Why? Because that would leave Al “bootleg Amare” Horford on the trade block. Trade HORFORD.

Prison Mike

December 11th, 2011
7:34 pm

Benson isn’t going to make the roster. Sims, a center that was in camp a couple years ago is bigger and stronger and still can’t stick to a team.

http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/3273/courtney-sims

Vettledi

December 11th, 2011
7:34 pm

“Billups isn’t a pure point guard”
Are we talking about Chauncey Billups? The veteran who pushed the Nuggets to their best results, makes his free-throw, shoots from deep and talks a lot to his teammates? I’m sorry but he IS a true PG!

B.o.B

December 11th, 2011
7:34 pm

MC

Any news on the 3-way trade Jamal Crawford and the Knicks? Players involved etc?

LoopingMurdock

December 11th, 2011
7:44 pm

i think Pape will impress everybody this year… except LD? :D
http://youtu.be/I0K_D9aZVnc
just check out his stats on lnb.fr, when he played in french proA he’s been the best scored / min played!

Section 303

December 11th, 2011
7:44 pm

B.o.B, I know you asked Michael. But, the 3-way trade is not going to happen. Hawks would have to take money back and the Knicks have no pieces to trade. Jamal is going to walk and the Hawks are going to get nothing in return.

northcyde

December 11th, 2011
7:46 pm

Astro . . I agree that we’ll be around the 40 win mark in the regular season. That doesn’t really concern me.

What concerns me is that we’ve done absolutely nothing to get tougher as a team, or to address our rebounding issues. Everything so far is offense . . offense . . offense.

The question is going to be . . how do the Hawks deal with playoff level frontlines? That’s been the issue ever since we’ve became a playoff level team.

If the ASG can’t address that issue by adding quality vet minimum guys . .

And if the ASG isn’t willing to go into the Luxury Tax for at least ONE YEAR to see what happens if we DO add that type of guy to help the team . .

And if the ASG isn’t willing to trade one of our star players to address this very issue . .

Then how does this particular issue NOT be a problem come playoff time . . . AGAIN?

Sund’s and Drew’s solution to our problems is to “shoot better”. Get knockdown shooters in order to win games.

What frustrates fans is that we know that we’re good . . we know that we’re going to be at a certain level . . we even know what we need . . but the organization REFUSES to get us what we need.

I’ll still travel 300 miles to go to the games. I’ll still root for the Hawks. But when the playoff start, I’ll know how the movie ends, despite me hoping that it doesn’t end the same way.

MattP

December 11th, 2011
7:48 pm

I am glad they got more players with depth but like everyone is saying our big men will be a problem.

B.o.B

December 11th, 2011
7:51 pm

Chris Kaman a realistic trade target for the Hawks?

Big Ray

December 11th, 2011
7:53 pm

GM Rick Sund said the Hawks still “have never been a taxpaying team and our goal is not to pay the tax,” .

There it is folks – the franchise’s goal. I’m sorry, but it is what it is.

And we’re hearing the same BS from Sund that we heard before – “I like our bigs.”

What you see is what we got. No trades, no magic beans, just the same guys you had last season + TMac and maybe a D-leaguer or two to round out the rotation.

Off we go…

northcyde

December 11th, 2011
7:54 pm

Oh . . by the way . . . the “Name that Team” post that I had in the other blog, with the talk about team goals being winning a championship . . is the Memphis Grizzlies.

Imagine that . . the damn Memphis Grizzlies talking about winning a dang title, while our guys are talking about needing more depth because we “wore down”, just to be “in good shape” as a team.

I’d never thought I EVER see an article in which Grizzly players talk about winning a championship.

Amazing that their team and fan base has higher expectations than we do. Absolutely amazing.

northcyde

December 11th, 2011
7:56 pm

Big Ray . . and that’s why I want Al Horford to SHUT THE HELL UP.

I hate to put it like that. And I’m really not mad at that dude. It’s just that he HAS to realize that he’s not going to get any significant help on that frontline. If he’s not willing to be the badazz on the frontline, we may be in trouble come playoff time.

Cocaine

December 11th, 2011
8:00 pm

Somebody pls tell ownership that Dwight Howard said Josh Smith (His best friend) is a player he wanted to play with. After knowing such i would Package Al, Sign Jamal, good ol Captain Kirk, Marvin and two 1st round picks and send them to Orl now with that you might have to take on Turk contract but so what !!!

STRETCH

December 11th, 2011
8:03 pm

All the so-called super stars on the team all talking about “we need bigs” but aint doing nothing about their hefty contracts that they dont deserve!

Man i remember back in da days guys would re-structure their contracts to bring in help, but NOT Joe Johnson.

Ryan

December 11th, 2011
8:04 pm

MC,

The new CBA is a bit convoluted, but, if you could, can you give us an idea of where the Hawks stand in assumed committed salary (assuming your guesses to who makes camp or at least what salary range will more than likely assume bench positions) and how much will be left under the tax threshold to use toward signing someone? Thanks for the updates?

Sautee

December 11th, 2011
8:05 pm

“Atlanta’s $3.6 million trade exception from the Josh Childress deal expires on Dec. 16. Since the Hawks aren’t going to take on more salary than they send out, the exception will expire without being used. ”

Pitiful asset management. Just pitiful.

jhan

December 11th, 2011
8:08 pm

“I like our bigs” really means my owners say we don’t have any money for addtional players. Can’t believe Sund doesn’t want to add some bigs to this squad.

jdewayneatl

December 11th, 2011
8:11 pm

I really think that Chauncy would be a great fit, Arenas could do well also but I really don’t want any reason for Larry Drew not to play Teague. Chauncy would be much better for Teague.

Joe.Jeff.Smith.Leuer.Bogut

December 11th, 2011
8:12 pm

“If he’s not willing to be the badazz on the frontline, we may be in trouble come playoff time”

How many years has Horford been punked/cussed out? Celtics, MIL with Kurt Thomas. Horford is a bad ass?

Of course the West.Conf. Grizzlies should be thinking championship.

6′8 Rudy Gay
6′10 Zach Randolph
7′1 Marc Gasol

very talented. Thinking big, whats our counter “Play small, play small, Horford will be a badazz.”

Horford has never been and never will be a badazz. Kurt Thomas, KG, Pierce etc.

What is Horford supposed to be? Become our designated thug and start “TJ fording” folk and jeopardizing others careers? Hes not a shot blocker. Hes not KG. Hes not Amare. Hes not Zach. Heck I checked his draftexpress measurements and hes not even David West.

This guy has the equivalent physical tools of Josh McRoberts and Ahmad Nivins and you guys should be happy hes been voted into All Star benches and his trade value is this high.
Hes not an anchor on either side of the ball and he realizes that. You know whos an anchor drawing double teams on offense? JJ. You know whos an anchor rejecting and altering shots on defense? SF Josh Smith.

Trade Horford for a PF shooter and a defensive anchor center. Tell MIL Horford is unhappy but hes young and healthy. The Horford experiment is done.

Joe.Jeff.Smith.Leuer.Bogut

December 11th, 2011
8:14 pm

“Chauncy would be much better for Teague.”

Chauncey is pissed he keeps getting traded and says hes not in the mood to mentor or sit on the bench. He was very adamant about it.

Methinks he wants to stick it to NY by signing in MIAMI

northcyde

December 11th, 2011
8:15 pm

Stretch . . . JJ restructuring his contract has nothing to do with the ASG not signing or trading for a quality big man. What . . you want JJ to give back 30 million, just so the ASG can have more money to play with? They are the billionaires ( or hundred-millionaires ).

WE got an ownership group that will pay 70 million in salary, but won’t pay 72 million, because we’d get taxed another 2 million on top of that.

It’s not even about the luxury tax though. It’s about building the right type of team.

At least this offseason, the vet minimum guys were former starters who do have some ability. I’ll at least give them credit for that. But if the same problems arise come playoff time, what then?

LOL . . no more rants from me. I’m starting to sound like JeJe. I used to disagree with him all the time, but now I find myself agreeing with him more and more.

Let’s just start the season . . and hope we don’t have to watch this team play great one night . . and get blown out by 30 the next.

Dawg

December 11th, 2011
8:19 pm

Arenas wouldn’t be half of what Teague or Billups would be. Billups is a PREMIER PG. Teague is a top PG. What management would not do anything necessary to have Billups on a team.

Oh yeah, we are the Hawks.

Slimjr

December 11th, 2011
8:20 pm

OKAY ALL NBA BIG AL..What you see is what you get! Now roll out the ball and play like 7 footer cause your it BIG GUY!!!!!!!

Slimjr

December 11th, 2011
8:24 pm

“The Hawks are shuffling their feet with Al Horford. He exceeded out of college but hes not the star PF we hoped for. You need a star center or SF to create for him. We have a Marion type in Josh. We can get a star center for Horford. We can get a better shooting option at PF than Vladimir “Space Cadet aka Air Head” Radmanovic. The Hawks are done with the Al Horford + Josh at SF + center model. Time for the Josh Smith + PF shooter + center model.”

@Jeff I agree, Big Al should be shopped to take it to the next level but this guy looks to be an untouchable by Sund and Ownership group?

ryan

December 11th, 2011
8:25 pm

Howard said he play on any team that signs Arenas whether we should believe that or not should the Hawks take a gamble and sign Gilbert Arenas to get D12 we have his buddy Josh Smith already could Arenas seal the deal .

northcyde

December 11th, 2011
8:26 pm

@ Joe.Jeff . . . for us to get to the next level, he’s going to have to at the very least become our Alonzo Mourning. He’s dead set on becoming Sam Perkins though.

MattP

December 11th, 2011
8:29 pm

If that is the case we should sign arenas, pay tax if we have to, at the end of the season amnesty Johnson and sign D12.

Sherewshevsky

December 11th, 2011
8:37 pm

I’d take ANY of these centers to help us off the bench. All are unrestricted free agents and 6′11″ or taller and should cost little to get.

Dalembert, Samuel, 30
Dampier, Erick, 35
Fesenko, Kyrylo, 24
Gadzuric, Dan, 33
Hollins, Ryan, 26
Mbenga, DJ, 30
Przybilla, Joel, 31

Grandmaster JeJe

December 11th, 2011
8:43 pm

“38 wins? if we only win 38 games with this team, I think the team should probably just change cities. That would be pathetic. We won 53 games under Woody.”

It’s a shortened schedule this year, though. 38 wins this year is equivalent to 47 wins in a typical year.”

^^My bad. Completely blanked out on that one. Still I think we should be shooting for the equivalent of 50 wins. Damn I tripped on that 1!

Grandmaster JeJe

December 11th, 2011
8:44 pm

This is the only NBA Franchise I have EVER seen that keeps the EXACT same core of players for 6 years and has no plans of changes and shows no major improvement or growth with the core. Who exactly on this team has overachieved the last 6 years?

[Insert the "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over..." Quote here]

Grandmaster JeJe

December 11th, 2011
8:45 pm

I am positive Houston will offer Nene the bank after the Grizz match Gasol’s offer. I agree with northcyde…If Rudy can fit in with that lineup and he and Z-Bo can co-exist offensively, that team is hella scary. I absolutely love Gasol’s game and Z-Bo has been an elite PF scorer for years.

Grandmaster JeJe

December 11th, 2011
8:48 pm

So can we sign 1 more player to the veteran minimum without going into the LT?

superiorblogman

December 11th, 2011
8:49 pm

I like your realistic attitude this year MC. No sense in bs’ing around. Since the Hawks aren’t taking on more salary than sending out that exception will expire and we will lose another asset without getting any value out of it. SMH

superiorblogman

December 11th, 2011
8:52 pm

Much respect to Josh, Al, and Joe don’t let up. We need more help no matter what the incompetent one’s say. Much respect for the Teaguer for looking in control. Run the team Teague, I don’t care about stats. Run the team and play D and you will be a huge hit amongst those of us with true basketball knowledge.

Another GM

December 11th, 2011
8:52 pm

Northcyde……..I agree with you. At seasons end Horford and Smith will demand to be traded and we will be sitting just like New Orleans…………trying to send JSmoove to the Lakers for somebody like Luke Walton, LMAO.

BTW: Memphis is much better than Atlanta, hands down.

MattP

December 11th, 2011
8:54 pm

I really hope the Hawks change owners soon and stay in Atlanta. Anyone with any idea what basketball is better then ASG.

ryan

December 11th, 2011
8:55 pm

Pacers can not get OJ Mayo .

drmaryb.[*_*].

December 11th, 2011
8:55 pm

High Schoolin’!

“. he talks about how the Hawks value “versatility” and they like that Al can play 5/4, Josh can play 4/3, Joe 2/3 etc.” – MC -
_______________

This right here reminds me of a high school football team where, you see their best three players playing WR/CB and RB too. The poor kid never gets a blow.

The poor kid never hones in really well on one position because, he is spread so thin. These Hawks will never know their role. They might know Magnum Rolle – but they will know who THEY are. Sund embracing our versatility is translation for being cheap.
______________

Hey doc! The dirty birds and Matty Ice pulled a win out of their backsides. Wonder why we didn’t see Harry Douglas out there? Do you know if Harry is hurt?