Atlanta Hawks: Rick Sund says Hawks don’t want to pay tax, making Jamal Crawford’s return doubtful

GM Rick Sund said the Hawks still “have never been a taxpaying team and our goal is not to pay the tax,” an approach that essentially means the team is out of the running to re-sign Jamal Crawford or use the free-agent guard in a sign-and-trade transaction.

“It’s going to be difficult to sign Jamal in a straight signing transaction,” Sund said. “We are looking at other alternatives, of course. You always look at everything but it’s not nearly as easy as if you had four months. Four days instead of four months makes it more it more difficult.”

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that the Hawks, Knicks and Warriors are discussing a three-team trade. SI.com’s Sam Amick later reported that the Warriors are not involved in the discussions.

The bottom line, though, is that any transaction which results in the Hawks paying the tax remains doubtful.

The only way a straight sign-and-trade with the Knicks is plausible is if the Crawford’s starting salary is low enough that the salary Atlanta takes back doesn’t result in a tax penalty. Howard Beck of the New York Times reports that the Knicks want to sign Crawford for the $2.5 million “mini” mid-level exception. Beck also notes that the Knicks have several players who are not eligible to be traded now because the just signed their contracts.

So all those factors mean a sign-and-trade with the Knicks is out. And, obviously, the Hawks also have no chance of re-signing Crawford or any other free agent making more than the minimum as long as they decline to pay the tax.

Sund didn’t completely rule out the Hawks eventually paying some tax but he noted that most teams are backing away from doing so, especially since the tax penalties increase in the third year of the new CBA.

“You never say never,” Sund said about paying tax. “Anything can happen in regards to trades.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

111 comments Add your comment

northcyde

December 11th, 2011
3:48 pm

Pretty much.

Jamal plays no D

December 11th, 2011
3:48 pm

Jamal us his money he gets to buy himself some defense?

Grandmaster JeJe

December 11th, 2011
3:50 pm

Enter your comments hereFIRE SUND
AMNESTY ASG

MattP

December 11th, 2011
3:52 pm

Funny how the Knicks are going after Offense only players, other then Chandler of course.

Grandmaster JeJe

December 11th, 2011
3:54 pm

IF TAX PENALTIES INCREASE IN THIRD YEAR OF CBA WHY NOT GO INTO TAX FOR THE FIRST TWO YEARS

WHERE IS ALL THE MONEY FROM SELLING THE PICKS AND TRADE EXCEPTIONS

Buddy Grizzard

December 11th, 2011
3:54 pm

HIRE SUND… doing a GREAT JOB adding depth to the Hawks given the tax constraints. Fire Vegas though… need Phil Jackson up in this bitch.

northcyde

December 11th, 2011
3:56 pm

MC . . that’s why I’m glad you don’t lead people astray with all of these trade rumors. Fans may not like that, but it is what it is. Your recent blogs have specifically addressed how up against the tax level the Hawks are, and how this ownership group simply is not going to go over the tax . . especially not for mediocre players.

I just wish the Hawks would be more upfront with the fans about what their intentions are. Don’t lead people to believe that you’d be willing to re-sign Jamal. Just simply tell the fans that re-signing Jamal will probably put us over the tax, so we’re not going to re-sign Jamal.

Like I said in the other blog . ,. the ASG is a chicken-isht organization. Be upfront with the fans. We can take it, even if we don’t like it.

Grandmaster JeJe

December 11th, 2011
3:57 pm

MattP I agree completely

Chandler has to cover for everyone. Bibby Melo Amare JAMAL if he ends up there. No bench

LOL

Greg

December 11th, 2011
3:59 pm

Can’t let an asset like Crawford just walk away. That’s mismanaging resources.

Section 303

December 11th, 2011
4:00 pm

You would think the ASG would be anxious to redeem themselves, after costing the city its hockey team. But, not the case. They continue to limit themselves. They’re content to let Jamal walk and will get nothing in return.

I hate this ownership group so much.

superiorblogman

December 11th, 2011
4:01 pm

Sund is lost and disrespectful. We don’t like our bigs and we are the ones that pay to see this crap. So, you go and watch it and see how far that gets you when it comes to keeping your job or creating any energy or passion within the city for the team. DumbSundofaGM

Jamal Crawford Is Not Going to the Knicks

December 11th, 2011
4:02 pm

[...] new, enlightening report from Michael Cunningham at the Atlanta Journal Constitution has all but ruled out the Knicks as a destination for Jamal Crawford. In order for New York to get the guard, they would either need Crawford to sign for the [...]

ant banks

December 11th, 2011
4:02 pm

when is the TAX BILL DUE? can we go over the “tax” now and jettison salary by the trade deadline, thus puttin’ us UNDER the salary cap?

please hold the applause…lol

Michael Cunningham

December 11th, 2011
4:05 pm

@northcyde: thanks, i appreciate it.

it’s not easy to sort through all these rumors. i never sleep much or eat right during this time of year (magnified by this short FA period) because i always fear i’m missing something. but until someone from the Hawks tells me “yes, we will pay the tax” then all these stories about sign-and-trades are non-starters.

just throwing out shaky info for blog hits or Twitter followers gives fans false hope and hurts credibility. although i’m starting to wonder do readers even care if stories are wrong anymore?

i do think it’s possible the Hawks will do a regular trade in which they take back less salary, but they don’t have any tradeable pieces that wouldn’t leave big holes to fill.

Jody

December 11th, 2011
4:05 pm

@MC,

Do you get the sense that Sund is being genuine when he says he likes are smallish “bigs”? Or is he just saying what he knows his bosses want to hear?

Michael Cunningham

December 11th, 2011
4:06 pm

@northcyde: “I just wish the Hawks would be more upfront with the fans about what their intentions are. Don’t lead people to believe that you’d be willing to re-sign Jamal. Just simply tell the fans that re-signing Jamal will probably put us over the tax, so we’re not going to re-sign Jamal.”

i understand what you mean.

northcyde

December 11th, 2011
4:07 pm

Wonder if Horford likes our bigs?

He’s been talking all week about getting some people to help him out on the inside. I told you Al . . YOU ARE THE BIG. You may as well accept this.

Buddy Grizzard

December 11th, 2011
4:09 pm

Sooo…. Does Chauncey end up on the Hawks or Heat?

[...] Atlanta Hawks: Ruck Sund says Hawks don’t want to pay tax, making Jamal Crawford’s retur… [...]

superiorblogman

December 11th, 2011
4:10 pm

No-one here ever thought we would re-sign Jamal. Just like no-one hear thinks we will re-sign Kirk. The problem is not just them not being upfront. The problem is they are not prudent with there assets then they complain about what they don’t have when it is time to think about the tax. Jamal should have been traded for cheap assets last year and Hinrich should be traded for cheap assets this year. That’s the problem I don’t respect Sund nor the ASG because they don’t know how to use what they have. They are incompetent

Michael Cunningham

December 11th, 2011
4:11 pm

@antbanks: “when is the TAX BILL DUE? can we go over the “tax” now and jettison salary by the trade deadline, thus puttin’ us UNDER the salary cap?”

not unless the salaries jettisoned were non-guaranteed guys released before all contracts become guaranteed. otherwise, salaries count for tax bill.

Buddy Grizzard

December 11th, 2011
4:11 pm

Greg

December 11th, 2011
4:12 pm

MC, for what it’s worth, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reporters telling fans what sources say is being discussed… as long as it’s couched just that way, it’s not a problem, and does nothing to hurt credibility… just my .02.

superiorblogman

December 11th, 2011
4:15 pm

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=7lelrxm

Kirk Hinrich and Zaza
for
Thabeet and Goran Dragic

That trade saves us $5.6 million and puts us at around $64 mill. We now have about $6 mill to sign Jamal or someone else. Looks like a lot more than he may get currently.

Not saying Houston would do the trade but they actually get the 2 better players. We get a little cap space and a backup PG that is currently active.

I don’t want to hear crying about capspace get on your job and create some. If I can without being paid for it Sund should be able to do so also.

Michael Cunningham

December 11th, 2011
4:16 pm

@superiorblogman: “The problem is they are not prudent with there assets then they complain about what they don’t have when it is time to think about the tax.”

true. they’ve seen this coming since they re-signed Joe and extended Al but made no moves since then to gain relief under the tax line. i think Sund’s belief was that if they made a deep run in the playoffs ASG would approve paying tax this year, but that’s not a prudent gamble especially since the team was for sell.

Michael Cunningham

December 11th, 2011
4:20 pm

@Jody: “Do you get the sense that Sund is being genuine when he says he likes are smallish “bigs”? Or is he just saying what he knows his bosses want to hear?”

i’m sure the financial limitations play into that comment, but think he really believes it on some level. i will post the full quote in a blog later today. 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.

Greg

December 11th, 2011
4:21 pm

MC, it would help to understand more precisely what ASG/Sund considers to be a tax-worthy asset… would it require no less than a Dwight Howard kind-of pick-up?… I realize they can’t name names, at least among those who aren’t free agents, but could we get more precise criteria on that?… Would they make a run at a legit starting, though aging, PG with ASG and post-season credentials?

northcyde

December 11th, 2011
4:22 pm

Greg . . . the problem is that I would bet $100 that 75% of these “sources” are coming from message boards. I bet that most of those guys don’t have all of these credible sources. They just simply read blogs and message boards, see what sounds sensible, and try to make a story out of that to get hits to their Twitter ( like MC alluded to ).

You can almost tell who is making up ish, and who isn’t.

Michael Cunningham

December 11th, 2011
4:23 pm

@Greg: “MC, for what it’s worth, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reporters telling fans what sources say is being discussed… as long as it’s couched just that way, it’s not a problem, and does nothing to hurt credibility… just my .02.”

thanks for the feedback. my biggest problem is when the discussions are reported in situations where, because of CBA rules or finances, it can’t happen. that’s what’s happening with this story. as long as the Hawks won’t pay tax, there’s no use talking about a Jamal sign-and-trade to a team over the cap. so when i see these stories i believe they are not true but my paranoia sends me scrambling to check them out, anyway, haha.

Buddy Grizzard

December 11th, 2011
4:24 pm

“Kirk Hinrich and Zaza for Thabeet and Goran Dragic” – Superiorblogman

What a horrible trade. Sure you free up cap room, but you trade two legitimate NBA players for two marginal ones. The Hawks need DEPT for this compressed sprint of a season. We need to hit the postseason with as few injuries as possible. Signing T-Mac and The Rad Man are GREAT moves.

doc

December 11th, 2011
4:24 pm

whew, go falcons.

well i am sooo glad i was holding onto my seat awaiting this proclamation from sund. did anyone doubt it?

northcyde

December 11th, 2011
4:27 pm

superior . . I don’t know what it is with you and Thabeet, but Thabeet is G-A-R-B-A-G-E.

I live in Tennessee, and seen how Memphis fans reacted toward the work ethic of Thabeet. Zaza is a much better player, because Thabeet isn’t passionate about basketball and refuses to work on his skills. And just because he can block a few shots, does not make him a defensive asset.

There is no way in hell that Thabeet and Dragic is better than Zaza and Kirk . . . no way.

Grandad

December 11th, 2011
4:29 pm

Sund is a titty baby.

” it’s not nearly as easy as if you had four months.
Four days instead of four months
makes it more it more difficult.”

Greg

December 11th, 2011
4:30 pm

northcyde > not sure if I read it correctly, but I thought MC might be justifying the fact that he is more judicious in what he reports than what some of his sports journalism peers report from their sources. However, I don’t think we’re talking about rumors generated from internet message boards when these things are coming from guys at large newspapers and national media outlets… maybe I’m naive, but I believe a Sam Amick or a Mark Stein or, in this case, a Mark Berman when they say that their “sources” are telling them this or that.

superiorblogman

December 11th, 2011
4:31 pm

Buddy Grizzard

December 11th, 2011
4:24 pm

“Kirk Hinrich and Zaza for Thabeet and Goran Dragic” – Superiorblogman

What a horrible trade. Sure you free up cap room, but you trade two legitimate NBA players for two marginal ones. The Hawks need DEPT for this compressed sprint of a season. We need to hit the postseason with as few injuries as possible. Signing T-Mac and The Rad Man are GREAT moves.

I disagree. Dragic is a good backup as he proved in Phoenix and he is cheaper and younger than Kirk. If you are depending on Zaza to give you quality minutes consistently you are just as lost as if you were depending on Thabeet to ever do anything other than block a shot or 2 every now and then. Think further.

Think further: I would rather have Dragic, Thabeet, and Jamal than Kirk and Zaza

i_am_soulstar

December 11th, 2011
4:32 pm

ASG disgusts me more and more everday. You want this team to make more money, but you won’t spend the money necessary to create a high-quality product.

Not that I’d want to bring Jamal back because I am an ardent supporter of the belief that he hurt just as much as he helped. I appreciate what he’s done, but everytime I meet someone that thinks the Hawks should break the bank to sign him, its always a ESPN highlight reel-watcher.

But using a guy with a lot of value to get a center, or pieces that can be used in a trade for a quality big later on, just makes entirely too much sense.

We get Toney Douglas, and we have a packed backcourt, and an awesome package of tradeable assets down the line when some guard-starved team’s guard gets injured.

Jase

December 11th, 2011
4:33 pm

We need a big.

Michael Cunningham

December 11th, 2011
4:33 pm

@Greg:“MC, it would help to understand more precisely what ASG/Sund considers to be a tax-worthy asset… would it require no less than a Dwight Howard kind-of pick-up?”

all i have to go on are the comments by Gearon that got him fined last year: that he would pay tax for a guy like LeBron. after they signed Joe i heard they would pay tax “for the right player” but then nothing happened. so, connecting those dots, “the right player” must mean a superstar or All-Star type, not legit depth to put around their max guy plus Al and Josh. at least that’s my interpretation of their comments and actions.

superiorblogman

December 11th, 2011
4:34 pm

northcyde

December 11th, 2011
4:27 pm

superior . . I don’t know what it is with you and Thabeet, but Thabeet is G-A-R-B-A-G-E.

I live in Tennessee, and seen how Memphis fans reacted toward the work ethic of Thabeet. Zaza is a much better player, because Thabeet isn’t passionate about basketball and refuses to work on his skills. And just because he can block a few shots, does not make him a defensive asset.

There is no way in hell that Thabeet and Dragic is better than Zaza and Kirk . . . no way.

You are so slow of mind that you don’t get the big picture just like Sund and the ASG.

With the $5.6 million the trade saves you can then use that money to stay under luxury while re-signing Jamal or any other free agent that will take the full mid level exception.

Jamal, Dragic, and Thabeet are far superior to Kirk and Zaza

Jody

December 11th, 2011
4:35 pm

@MC,

Thanks for answering my question. I just can’t understand why they continue to think the same group year after year is going to all of a sudden produce a different result. Why won’t they “seriously” consider trades if they don’t want to pay the tax?

The Real Hawk

December 11th, 2011
4:35 pm

Which is why wew will not be a winning team

Greg

December 11th, 2011
4:36 pm

Superior thinks Sund is incompetent?

Hmmm.

Makes me reconsider every negative thing I’ve ever thought of Sund. lol

Jody

December 11th, 2011
4:37 pm

This “keep the core together” mentality isn’t producing any meaningful results. You know what the defenition of insanity is.

Sam

December 11th, 2011
4:38 pm

Now that we’ve brought in Mcgrady and Stackhouse, any truth to the rumor that we’re trying to sign Robert Parrish or Kareem Abdul Jabar? Let’s bring in all the old, over-the-hill guys that we can get for cheap.

tmc

December 11th, 2011
4:38 pm

yet ANOTHER reason the Atlanta Spirit Group had ZERO business owning any franchises!
Way to go ASG, keep screwing your fan base as much as possible and continue to build on your legacy in Atlanta.

Just shut down your business and close the doors.

Shashank

December 11th, 2011
4:38 pm

Hey Michael,

Your headline says “Ruck Sund”…might want to fix that.

Buddy Grizzard

December 11th, 2011
4:40 pm

May 12, 2011, Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA

Zaza Pachulia 23 MIN, 13 REB, 1 PTS

May 10, 2011, United Center, Chicago, IL

Zaza Paculia 23 MIN, 4 REB, 13 PTS

Totally can’t depend on Zaza for quality minutes.

Sam

December 11th, 2011
4:40 pm

Seriously, is Solo still available? He could probably be had for cheap.

Section 303

December 11th, 2011
4:41 pm

Stop with the Thabeet BS. That guy sucks. He will not get any better. He was never good to begin with. Nothing but an ESPN creation. A product of the network’s love of UCONN.

doc

December 11th, 2011
4:42 pm

@northcyde: “I just wish the Hawks would be more upfront with the fans about what their intentions are. Don’t lead people to believe that you’d be willing to re-sign Jamal. Just simply tell the fans that re-signing Jamal will probably put us over the tax, so we’re not going to re-sign Jamal.”

come on northcyde, we are dealing with the basg. i guess they feel if they dont tip their hand they might miss something, right?