Atlanta Hawks: Camp Report Day 6

Could Jerry Stackhouse be the Hawks’ Alonzo Mourning?.

Normally, I’d say there are two things working against him: I’m not sure if Stack’s role would be very significant if he does make the roster, and he’s the new guy on a team whose main cogs have been together for a while.

But Stack has two other things working for him that could help him overcome those hurdles: His familiarity with Hawks players from summer workouts over the last few years, and the sheer force of his personality.

In fact, Al Horford said Stack has wasted no time making his mark.

“Stack is already doing it, just kind of taking over and pulling guys to the side and talking to them,” he said. “We respect him. I’m happy when he does it because he sees things a different way. You might not see them that way but then they make sense [when he points them out]. I’m happy he’s on the team and I think he’s going to be a big help for us this year with the locker room and keeping people on the same page.”

I get the feeling Larry Drew wants Stackhouse around just for that. It may not happen on a team with a payroll that’s creeping up to the luxury-tax line and needs all the useful guards it can get–Stackhouse’s production and efficiency have generally been on a steady decline since 2007, though he didn’t get to show what he has left in a cameo with the Heat last season.

Here’s a transcript of an interview with Stack on the subject of leadership.

L.D. says he values your leadership, but how do you approach being a leader when you are the new guy on a team that’s been together?

I don’t look at as a new guy on the team. Ain’t nothing about me new. [Laughs] I enjoy it, man, because I know these guys and I’ve been around them a lot in the summer and watched them from afar for two or three years and just felt like they were right there. Even when I went to Milwaukee [in 2009-10], this was a team that I felt I could bring some intangibles to it. They’ve got all the pieces, and sometimes it’s just in between the ears. Sometimes it’s not always about the young guys taking another step, it’s about the veterans taking another step with their leadership. So I’m just trying to stay in Joe’s ear, stay in Josh’s ear, and that is where the value is.

I love to get on the court and do some things but I’m realistic about that, especially with a short season and so many games and trying to manage that. [So] a lot of it is just talking. You are not going to be able to do a lot of on the court once the season gets going. It’s more about how you approach the mental side of it. I’ve been on a lot of good teams and a few bad teams, and I know what the makeup of those are and some of those warning signs. When I see some slippage and we can bring it and address it, and that is one key to a championship team is feedback and not being afraid of feedback, from coaches and players. Everybody accept the feedback from the players and understand it because these are guys on the court getting it done and if they are not cohesive then it’s not going to get done no matter how good a game plan the coaches have. That’s where it’s at. It’s been great so far.

You talked about accepting feedback. When I talk to coaches who played in the league and some older vets, a lot of them say one way the league has changed is it’s gotten a lot younger and players are too sensitive to criticism. Have you seen some of that?

Not with this group. Everybody’s ears are wide open. That’s refreshing. You get some of these guys . . . I have my summer league in North Carolina and I get a lot of those young guys from John Wall to all of them and, believe me, not everybody is as open to it. They feel like once they get drafted, they have arrived, and that is so far from reality. I still feel like right now there are areas I can get better in, even maybe with my leadership. My plan is to coach. I’m always reading up on things. I picked up things from here where, if it all ends today I look at as a positive experience because I can take it back to my AAU team. That’s where I’m at with it.

You said you like to read. Do you mean about leadership?

Yeah, a lot of leadership and self-help.

Anything in particular?

It’s called The Power of Intention. Dr. [Wayne W.] Dwyer. Some people are so finicky on religion, so he just says it’s ‘The Source.’ Well, my ‘Source’ is the Man above. There’s a lot of good principles in there and the ways of winning [as a] team. There is no secret to it. When you have these successful teams and successful businesses there are a lot of parallels you see with those groups, and when teams and businesses that don’t do well there are a lot of parallels between what happens in those groups, too. Hopefully I can take those little nuances and gradually slip little notes to these guys, just something to think about. Because I still want to win a championship. I’m a little selfish, too. As much as I want to give, I want to contribute to putting one [ring] on my finger. It’s a win-win for everybody.

What do you see as your value as a player at this point in your career?

I still can’t be guarded. [Laughs]. I can still get my shot off and do what I do. It’s amazing how it goes. [Holds one hand above the other]: When you lack the knowledge you got all this athleticism. And then right in your prime they kind of equal out. [Brings hands together]. And then you lose the athleticism but this [holds opposite hand high] is real high right now. I am able to use my smarts to get to my spots and do the things I know. These coaches and everything have been around me and they know the spots that I like best.

Cap report

During the Jamal Crawford drama last weekend, I heard Rick Sund was desperately looking for ways to shed salary so the Hawks could gain some relief under the tax line and add a vet free agent or do a sign-and-trade using Jamal. There are two main ways for teams to dump salary: 1. Use the amnesty clause, which the Hawks have ruled out (likely because of cash flow concerns as much as anything else) or 2. Send out more salary in a trade than they take back.

No. 2 is more easily accomplished if the trading partner has a trade exception to to help with the salary matching. Then a team can send away a big salary and take back a small one or a draft pick (plus earn its own trade exception)–see the Lamar Odom trade to Dallas.

But that kind of trade doesn’t happen often, and it works best when a team has a productive players with a reasonable salary they are looking to dump. The Hawks, of course, don’t have any of those kind of players beyond the ones they want to keep, so that probably explains why Sund ultimately wasn’t able to find a way to shed salary. I’m not certain if he’s still trying to do it but it’s going to be tough without using the amnesty.

In any event, ShamSports.com has a list of teams with trade exceptions, though it doesn’t look to have been updated since the summer.

Camp report

  • Word is Brad Wanamaker has stood out among the young camp invitees. John Hollinger likes Wanamaker, whom came in at No. 37 in his draft rater (Insider).
  • The Hawks updated some weights on their official roster. Jason Collins is 255, down from 265; Horford is 250, up from 245; Josh is 225, down from 250; and Marvin Williams is 245, up from 240.
  • I haven’t heard anything on the Hawks and Gilbert Arenas. Arenas reportedly is waiting to see what happens with Dwight Howard. The latest news is that Howard will stay in Orlando for now. Or maybe not.
  • Howard was reportedly upset that the Orlando amnestied (verb!) Arenas and also because the Magic haven’t made moves to his liking. Of course, there would be no way for the Magic to make any significant moves if they hadn’t amnestied Arenas. This just goes to show you that a lot of players don’t really understand even the broad outlines of how the CBA works and how their own contracts make it more difficult to get them help.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

223 comments Add your comment

Slimjr

December 14th, 2011
11:49 pm

Slimjr

December 14th, 2011
11:49 pm

Slimjr

December 14th, 2011
11:51 pm

“Ajinca will never play 36 minutes probably because he hurts you in too many ways to leave on the floor that long. Keep your stupid fantasy stats. The guy is a 7″2 clown that averages 1.6 rebounds a game for his career and only 2.3 last year.”

Sounds like a lighter skinned version of the GIANT, PRIEST LAUDERDALE! Wow…

What a stiff he turned into? lol

Greg

December 14th, 2011
11:53 pm

MC, Sund sure isn’t talking much… am I just imagining things, or is this about as little as we’ve ever heard from him during a training camp?… and if so, do you think that’s just indicative of how much he’s been working the phones?

HawkZ

December 14th, 2011
11:57 pm

HawkZ

December 14th, 2011
11:57 pm

lolz man~!~! not first after all

Michael Cunningham

December 14th, 2011
11:58 pm

@Greg: “MC, Sund sure isn’t talking much… am I just imagining things, or is this about as little as we’ve ever heard from him during a training camp?… and if so, do you think that’s just indicative of how much he’s been working the phones?”

he’s usually not very visible as far as talking to media. but, yeah, each time i’ve seen him at camp he’s looked pretty haggard. he said he hasn’t gotten much sleep. i asked if he could do me a favor and text me when he goes to bed so i can, too.

Melvin

December 14th, 2011
11:58 pm

MC,

Any truth to the rumor that the Hawks are looking to bring in Alex Ajinca?

Slimjr

December 14th, 2011
11:59 pm

Hey Stack get in those Bigs ear and tell em to rebound the darn ball!!!!!!!!!!!

Own the back boards!!!!! Own a Championship……

Sund sounds like he sweating? All that pressure he must be under from Gearon and his boys!

Ra'mon

December 15th, 2011
12:00 am

MC, sounds like Gearon is giving Sund very little to work with.

Are there ANY signs that ASG have found another potential buyer?

Hawk n the Ham

December 15th, 2011
12:00 am

Stack still a camp invite only?

Najeh Davenpoop

December 15th, 2011
12:00 am

Depending on what they think about Kirk’s ability to get healthy this season, he is the obvious candidate for a salary dump to clear cap space. $8 million of space under the tax line is a lot to work with. Too late now, though, since most of the productive big man free agents are off the market. Of course, if Kirk is not going to be out too long, he is a useful backup PG when healthy.

I’m sure Stackhouse is a good guy to have in the locker room but ultimately on every successful team the leadership comes from someone who plays significant minutes, if not from one of the stars themselves. As the season goes on I’d imagine Stack’s leadership role would only be as prominent as his role off the bench.

Michael Cunningham

December 15th, 2011
12:01 am

@ Melvin: “Any truth to the rumor that the Hawks are looking to bring in Alex Ajinca?”

haven’t heard that one.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 15th, 2011
12:01 am

“Sund sure isn’t talking much…”

You can follow him on Twitter

superiorblogman

December 15th, 2011
12:02 am

MC, could you ask the team if there are any thoughts of making a move on Okafor or Kaman?

Michael Cunningham

December 15th, 2011
12:03 am

@Ra’Mon: “MC, sounds like Gearon is giving Sund very little to work with. Are there ANY signs that ASG have found another potential buyer?”

no, it’s been quite on that front. it hasn’t been long since the last deal fell apart, though it feels like it.

Hawk n the Ham

December 15th, 2011
12:04 am

And if Sund is trying to dump salary so bad, maybe he shouldn’t have done the GM work he has done the past few years.

Michael Cunningham

December 15th, 2011
12:04 am

@Hawks Ham: “Stack still a camp invite only?”

yes.

doc

December 15th, 2011
12:05 am

is joe smith still available, he is a leader. i am afraid stack is the equivalent of joe smith or etan in the ability to help on the court. i am sorry that is where we need help not behind the scene stuff. say yes to stack two years ago, no now if it means we dont get a real body that can play some minutes.

plasticdoc

December 15th, 2011
12:06 am

Go Hawks!!! Can’t wait for season!!

FreshFromATL

December 15th, 2011
12:06 am

Damn, great work again MC. I truly hope Sund keeps Stackhouse on the roster. The value he will bring to the Hawks locker room far outweighs the value some young, 13th-man guard will bring by simply riding the pine night-in and night-out.

Michael Cunningham

December 15th, 2011
12:07 am

@superiorblogman: “MC, could you ask the team if there are any thoughts of making a move on Okafor or Kaman?”

i ask this kind of stuff all the time but usually don’t get far. Sund doesn’t talk much to begin with and the organization as a whole is always very concerned about fines for talking about other players.

Ra'mon

December 15th, 2011
12:07 am

Najeh, either way, its the same thing. If the Hawks cut Kirk, they owe him $ 9 million plus whoever they signed. If they added someone with Kirk on the roster, and go into luxury tax, they would have to pay the new salary, and equal that in luxury tax. So it still would equal out in REAL dollars about the same thing. And it equals ASG not doing anything.

superiorblogman

December 15th, 2011
12:07 am

Hawk n the Ham

December 15th, 2011
12:04 am

And if Sund is trying to dump salary so bad, maybe he shouldn’t have done the GM work he has done the past few years.

True this. Marvin never lived up to his 1st contract then you go re-sign him for 5 years. You knew Bibby was getting older. You knew the only time Zaza looked worth anything is when he started and that he was not a starter on a playoff team. You knew Joe was not a superstar. Al Sunds fault now he just sits there and does nothing

Ra'mon

December 15th, 2011
12:09 am

MC, ASG is concerned about fines and anything else that cost more than a dollar. They probably make the media BYOC (Bring your own coffee). ASG is the equivalent of Morris Brown College, (and I actually attended there for 2 years lol).

Ra'mon

December 15th, 2011
12:10 am

Zaza actually plays pretty well as a starter! The problem is, if he starts, you have no viable back up option who you can count on.

Slimjr

December 15th, 2011
12:11 am

Yea, Sund added more stress by trading two 1st rd. picks and taking on more salary with the addition of the”Heimlich”. Who is starting to remind me of Tyrone Lue.. Hurt much of the time…..

But he did get rid of the Bibster and Mo Evans though……

C’mon Sund, you can do it. Make a trade….

Michael Cunningham

December 15th, 2011
12:11 am

isn’t anybody going to comment on the positive about Wanamaker looking good? it’s the preseason, the time for optimism, but i try to give you some feel good stuff and you stay mad, haha. . . .

superiorblogman

December 15th, 2011
12:12 am

Michael Cunningham

December 15th, 2011
12:07 am

@superiorblogman: “MC, could you ask the team if there are any thoughts of making a move on Okafor or Kaman?”

i ask this kind of stuff all the time but usually don’t get far. Sund doesn’t talk much to begin with and the organization as a whole is always very concerned about fines for talking about other players.

Good to know you ask that type of stuff. I don’t care what anyone says Kaman and Okafor are available they are both about to be 30 years old and there value will only decrease from now on out. $25 million will be payed at Center for the Hornets and they aren’t even making it to the playoffs.

Kirk, Zaza, and a 2nd for Kaman

Ryan

December 15th, 2011
12:12 am

Hey MC, if you get a chance I’d love some more info on how Marvin and Teague are looking in camp. Though I know you aren’t getting to see much action.

Slimjr

December 15th, 2011
12:12 am

“True this. Marvin never lived up to his 1st contract then you go re-sign him for 5 years. You knew Bibby was getting older. You knew the only time Zaza looked worth anything is when he started and that he was not a starter on a playoff team. You knew Joe was not a superstar. Al Sunds fault now he just sits there and does nothing”

Sund you are your own worst enemy!!! lol

Ra'mon

December 15th, 2011
12:13 am

MC, when you said the name Hollinger, you took away the positive spin. Hollinger has tried to feed Hawks’ fan fools’ gold for the last 7 seasons, lol.

Slimjr

December 15th, 2011
12:14 am

Here’s something positive:

“isn’t anybody going to comment on the positive about Wanamaker”?

Crickets……………………………………………..

superiorblogman

December 15th, 2011
12:15 am

Michael Cunningham

December 15th, 2011
12:11 am

isn’t anybody going to comment on the positive about Wanamaker looking good? it’s the preseason, the time for optimism, but i try to give you some feel good stuff and you stay mad, haha. . . .

I always like Wanamaker even when he was at Pitt, just liked McCamey better. Really he could be important but only if we trade Hinrich which we should but will not. Hinrich will be this offseasons Jamal. Can’t wait to hear Sund lying about wanting to do everything possible to re-sign Hinrich. When he does MC, just politely point out to him the cap situation for next season and how we don’t believe him.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 15th, 2011
12:15 am

” If the Hawks cut Kirk, they owe him $ 9 million plus whoever they signed.”

I don’t think my previous post was clear enough. When I said “salary dump” I meant to trade him to a team with a trade exception, not to amnesty him. Kirk has an expiring contract and is a decent player when healthy, so it would be foolish to just outright cut him. I am not even necessarily saying the Hawks should trade him to a team with cap space or an exception, just that if they needed breathing room under the tax line, he’d be the obvious candidate.

Ra'mon

December 15th, 2011
12:16 am

I really don’t know if it is Sund’s fault. Gearon is the one who always spoke of the proverbial core, not Sund. After seeing the way BK left the extension on the table and walked. I feel Gearon is micromanaging the GM slot himself.

SteveW

December 15th, 2011
12:19 am

My understanding is we are around $69,750,000.00 on salaries right now. There is no way we could sign Stack unless we cut Benson or Rolle. If we cut Benson, we could sign Stack, and no one else. If we cut Rolle, we could sign Stack and Wanamaker or Sloan.

I had heard Wanamaker could be a Earl Watson type, just a little bigger.

I look for the Hawks to sign Wanamaker just because we’re scarce at the 1, and he can play some 1.

Stack I’d love to have, but not sure if’ we’ll cut Rolle to do it. Can’t see us cutting Sy with the dearth of G’s.

Unless we cut Vlad Rad.

MC – Is Vlad Rad’s contract guaranteed? And has Rolle looked ok? I know he had some potential, more than Hilton, but is he playing hard and did he have a productive off season?

Michael Cunningham

December 15th, 2011
12:20 am

@Ryan: “Hey MC, if you get a chance I’d love some more info on how Marvin and Teague are looking in camp. Though I know you aren’t getting to see much action.”

funny thing is fans at that open practice will get to see more than i’ve seen yet. although IIRC they didn’t scrimmage much at last year’s open practice. they might do more this time, though, because it’s their only scheduled practice that day.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 15th, 2011
12:20 am

“isn’t anybody going to comment on the positive about Wanamaker looking good? it’s the preseason, the time for optimism, but i try to give you some feel good stuff and you stay mad, haha. . . .”

Hard to feel optimistic about an undrafted free agent found by Sund, and harder to feel optimistic when NBADraft.net compares him to Royal Ivey. NBADraft.net likes his basketball IQ though so who knows.

Ra'mon

December 15th, 2011
12:20 am

Najeh, I understand now. And I totally agree. I think they should’ve signed and trade him for Dalembert.

Ryan

December 15th, 2011
12:22 am

Yeah, sadly my friday is booked. I really wanted to attend. Regardless of how the season goes, Teague and an inside the arc Smoove are just exciting to watch. If Marvin can go back to is 07-08 numbers, it could be a pretty good year.

SteveW

December 15th, 2011
12:22 am

Now the above post is predicated on the luxury tax being at 70.3m, and the Hawks not going a penny over it.

We would be at about 71m with 15 players if we sign Stack and Wanamaker, and keep Benson and Rolle. We’ll keep one of those guys to play long, lean Bigs. Those type seem to hurt us. Horford not long enough, and ZaZa and Collins not fast enough for the wiry 5’s.

Slimjr

December 15th, 2011
12:22 am

Hey Stack why not pursue a assistant coaching job.. I’m sure Gearon can make it happen for a couple hundred..

I know it aint much, but welcome to the real world after…………

Michael Cunningham

December 15th, 2011
12:24 am

@SteveW: “MC – Is Vlad Rad’s contract guaranteed? And has Rolle looked ok? I know he had some potential, more than Hilton, but is he playing hard and did he have a productive off season?”

yes, Vladimir’s contract is guaranteed. Sy and Rolle’s are not. i’m still trying to find out how much guarantee Benson got but it’s probably not much.

Rolle doesn’t look to be in the best shape. he was playing for a club team in Korea.

superiorblogman

December 15th, 2011
12:24 am

I think most people here with the exception or 2 or 3 are very realistic. We don’t have much to start with and we aren’t getting anything for Christmas. Most people are just a little sour about this situation MC. Being positive just to be positive is good for you, but on the flip side isn’t it managements job to paint a positive picture that the fans can believe in? The fans don’t believe in the positive spin that is being presented.

Heck, the whole no excuses thing is cool in principle but the fact is if the asset were managed better there would be a better team on the floor. What about putting a no excuses on Sund the ASG and even Larry Drew’s door for them to think about. Drew did play a part in us giving away 2 1st round picks for Kirk Hinrich by not giving Teague a chance to develop. I find it laughable that you mentioned yesterday how Drew says God forbid if Teague may go down, we have to look seriously at all options. So, why didn’t he do that last year? Why didn’t he give Teague a serious look in case Bibby could not get it done before they made that horrible move for Hinrich? Drew, Sund, and the ASG talking out of there backends.

Greg

December 15th, 2011
12:26 am

MC, you inspire me…

Been watching some highlight reels on YouTube of Wanamaker and the other unknown quantities. Fun to think about one of them actually cracking through.

Here’s a question I haven’t seen asked… any updates on any of the European players we still have hanging out there… ie, the kid from Israel, and Gladyr? Figure they’ve given up on the former, but thought they might still have some expectations that Gladyr might be in camp sooner than later…?

Michael Cunningham

December 15th, 2011
12:27 am

@superior: “I think most people here with the exception or 2 or 3 are very realistic. We don’t have much to start with and we aren’t getting anything for Christmas. Most people are just a little sour about this situation MC. Being positive just to be positive is good for you, but on the flip side isn’t it managements job to paint a positive picture that the fans can believe in? The fans don’t believe in the positive spin that is being presented.”

i know. i was just kidding. i understand the skepticism.

bigeasy830

December 15th, 2011
12:28 am

marvin has gained 5 pounds which means he probably have not worked on his body therefore have not worked on his game. Get rid of this guy and save the Hawks fans the misery of having to endure another season of him

Ryan

December 15th, 2011
12:29 am

Or it means that with a healthy back he was able to hit the gym more?……

SteveW

December 15th, 2011
12:30 am

DraftExpress Profile on Wanamker:

“After steadily improving his production all four of his seasons in college, Brad Wanamaker has established himself as a key cog in Pittsburgh’s offensive attack, while developing his passing game to the point where he now ranks fourth in our database in assists per-40 minutes pace adjusted.

A 6′4 guard with a strong frame and not much in terms of quickness or explosiveness, Wanamaker gets the job done with a game focused on skills that don’t require much athleticism.

In spite of his gaudy assist numbers, Wanamaker is still very much a combo guard as opposed to a true point guard, spending a good chunk of his time playing off the ball in Pittsburgh’s highly unselfish system. The vast majority of Wanamaker’s assists come off passes from a static position, usually hitting open shooters but also cutters on occasion as well. The fact that he gets as many assists as he does is a testament to his superb court vision and quick decision-making, as he shows no hesitation in threading the ball through open windows when opportunities present themselves.

Wanamaker will occasionally pick up an assist in transition or running a simple pick-and-roll, but pretty much none of his assists come off dribble penetration from isolation situations, as he’s not one to break a defense down in the conventional sense. Not possessing a great first step and rarely exhibiting much in terms of advanced ball-handling, Wanamaker struggles to penetrate into the lane in general, whether it’s looking to set up teammates or score on his own.

Where Wanamaker does most of his damage is from the perimeter, where he’s a good jump shooter with NBA three-point range capable of hitting shots every which way: spotting up, coming off screens, or pulling up off the dribble. While Wanamaker is very efficient when left open and is capable of hitting tough shots in crucial situations, he’s not without his flaws, as his mechanics are prone to break down when he’s pulling up off the dribble, and he can even get sloppy with his form on spot-up shots as well. His lack of balance on many shots is his biggest problem, a big reason why he’s averaging only a solid 39% from three as opposed to better.

Wanamaker also brings a solid mid-range game to the table on the offensive end, having a nice array of floaters and runners from the 10-15 foot range, which compensates well for his lack of ability to finish at the rim. On the rare occasion Wanamaker does find himself shooting around the basket, it’s always the result of an off-ball cut or offensive rebound as opposed to any sort of dribble penetration. Wanamaker also does a good job moving off the ball in Pittsburgh’s offense, running around screens to get open and helping his team maintain good spacing and run their plays.

On the defensive end, Wanamaker shows a good stance, focus, and has good fundamentals in general, usually playing up on his man and using his arms and hands well to contest shots and cut off passing lanes. Unfortunately, however, Wanamaker’s lateral quickness is quite underwhelming, making him prone to being beat off the dribble in isolation, though he somewhat compensates for it with good positioning. Wanamaker likewise has trouble staying with shooters running around screens, just not having the quickness to consistently keep up.

Looking forward, Wanamaker has some nice skills in his shooting and superb passing ability, while his solid frame and high basketball IQ don’t hurt either. His skill set would seem to lend itself well towards the back-up point guard spot in the NBA, but his liabilities defensively and with dribble penetration won’t be easy to overcome. Players with this type of skill set usually don’t last long unless they’re elite shooters, and it’s hard to put Wanamaker on that level at this stage, though it’s certainly within his abilities to improve in that area, and it could be crucial for his future stock. He’s made some very steady improvements over the last few years, and will be interesting to monitor to see how he continues to progress.”

About what you’d expect from a high level, undrafted FA.