Atlanta Hawks: Camp Report Day 13

Soon after their game against Charlotte tomorrow night, the Hawks will trim the roster down from 18 to no more than 13 (the deadline is Saturday). They have 10 guaranteed contracts and you figure Jannero Pargo is safe. That leaves seven players with contracts that are not fully guaranteed vying for no fewer than two spots and no more than five (16 is the max roster size): Keith Benson, Ivan Johnson, Magnum Rolle, Jerry Stackhouse, Pape Sy, Donald Sloan and Brad Wanamaker.

Here is the depth chart with only the guaranteed guys plus Pargo included (and not including Kirk Hinrich):

PG: Jeff Teague/Pargo
SG: Joe Johnson
SF: Marvin Williams/Tracy McGrady
PF: Josh Smith/Vladimir Radmanovic
C: Al Horford/Zaza Pachulia/Jason Collins

What do the Hawks need most? The answer would seem to be a another guard because both Larry Drew and T-Mac have said McGrady has spent most of his time at small forward. But each time I ask Drew about the backups at positions two through four, he mentions the “versatility” of the roster.

“We’ve got some flexibility,” he said.

In practice, that’s going to mean Vlad sees time at SF and PF, Joe swings from SG to SF (or PG), Josh will be at SF or PF, Al will play C and PF, and T-Mac is at SF and SG (and PG). Drew will have to do lots of creative mixing-and-matching with his lineups, which could be a strength as long as everyone is healthy and effective but becomes problematic if any of the bench guys is unavailable/injured/ineffective/in foul trouble.

That’s where the cuts come in. At some point the Hawks are going to have to play some of the guys they keep. Benson, Rolle, Wanamaker and Sloan probably could use some time in the D-League but can the Hawks afford to send guys down with this breakneck schedule?

Can they really carry just 13 guys, for that matter? I’m imagining there will be days when Drew won’t know if certain guys can go until shootaround or pregame, not to mention scenarios in which he sends a guy out and discovers he just doesn’t have it that night. Won’t he need extra bodies available?

Do the Hawks keep Stackhouse, the only proven NBA player of the lot and a tough-minded vet? Even after adding Pargo, do the Hawks need to keep one of Wanamaker, Sloan or Sy at least until Hinrich returns?

Do they keep Rolle since Vlad is better suited for the three and he can fill in behind Smoove when size is needed (and also can be the third center on those nights when Collins is not a good option)? Is Ivan Johnson a guy they keep because, those he’s a bit undersized and 27-years old, he provides the energy and grit that could provide a spark for a tired team? Would they dare take the hit of releasing either Benson, whom they declared a long-term project when they drafted him, or Sy, whom they bought out of his French league contract last year?

Also, will money influence these decisions? Sy and Rolle count the same for team salary purposes, while Stackhouse costs a bit more. The rookies are the cheapest options by about $300,000.

I’m guessing the Hawks still aren’t sure about some of these issues and tomorrow’s game will factor into a few of them.

“We’re just in a situation where we have to make some decisions as far as who we are going to keep,” Drew said. “We are using these preseason games so they can get in these games and show us what they can do.”

If you are looking for clues, Drew offered a brief assessment of the youngsters in the first game:

  • Sloan “played really well the first half getting us organized and running the point guard position.”
  • Ivan Johnson “was really an animal in the first half. He came in and picked up the intensity in the first half. And that’s who he is. He is a high-energy guy. He plays with a physicality.”
  • Benson “had some blocked shots.”
  • Rolle “played OK.”
  • Wanamaker “came in and did a sufficient job.”

“We will look at them again tomorrow night,” Drew said. “I am sure they all want to play better.”

Camp report

  • Drew said Teague “turned [his ankle] a little bit” and left practice today. “We’re not sure of the severity right now,” Drew said. Teague is questionable to play tomorrow which, under the circumstances, means he’s unlikely to go.
  • Drew acknowledged that McGrady has appeared passive at times but said he’s not concerned: “I think he is just trying to get acclimated to what we do and the pace at which we play. And then him trying to get his rhythm to what we do. We will keep putting him in situations wehre he is most effective. The one thing I will say about him because he is such a willing passer, he doesn’t force a lot of things. We may at times look at some of the things that he does as not very aggressive but a lot of times he makes the simple play and the open man gets the ball. But he will get his rhythm and get his timing and we will keep putting him in situations where he does that until he gets up to speed.”
  • Stackhouse got the best defensive grade among the guards in Monday’s game. Stack played in just seven games last season so it’s going to take him time to round into form. “I think neither he nor Tracy have their legs under them yet,” Drew said. “He didn’t play last year, so being off a year you just don’t get your legs back right away, I don’t care how much you have been working out in the summer. It takes going through a real training camp, the bumping and the grinding. I don’t think either guy has their legs under them yet but I can see that it’s coming.”
  • By all accounts, Stack has been good in the leadership role that the Hawks feel this group really needs. The captains have responded to him. “We need guys that have had that type of experience and come into a locker room with a group of young guys and tell them what it takes to be a real pro,” Drew said. “How to endure a season and for a team that’s talented, the price that you have to pay, the commitment that you have to make.”
  • Drew said he plans to play the regulars more tomorrow.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

262 comments Add your comment

Joe.Jeff.Smith.Leuer.Bogut

December 21st, 2011
8:04 pm

PG: Jeff Teague/Pargo
SG: Joe Johnson
SF: Marvin Williams/Tracy McGrady
PF: Josh Smith/Vladimir Radmanovic
C: Al Horford/Zaza Pachulia/Jason Collins

PG: Jeff Teague/Pargo
SG: Joe Johnson/Tracy McGrady
SF: Josh Smith (young POWER-3)/ Marvin Williams
PF: Jon Leuer (young STRETCH-4)/ Keith Benson/ Vladimir Radmanovic
C: Andrew Bogut/Zaza Pachulia/Jason Collins

Unless Josh Smith somehow turned into Dwight, Get these clowns Marvin and Horford out of the lineup.

This is horrible, same terrible lineups as 2007.

Buddy Grizzard

December 21st, 2011
8:11 pm

KEITH BOGANS IS A MUST SIGN!!!!!

drmaryb.[*_*].

December 21st, 2011
8:12 pm

IF?

If Dwight’s team can’t take down the Heat tonight with his Not-So-Magic team? He will definitely look to greener pastures. Probably the Lakers next to ride Kobe’s coat tail to a ring.

Joe.Jeff.Smith.Leuer.Bogut

December 21st, 2011
8:13 pm

Hawks need to be one of the few teams in the league that can minimize playing ineffective washed up players.

And gotdamnit I wanted 28yo Al Thornton and Malcolm Thomas on our bench. McGrady as a post up PG sure. 12mpg you get in there put in some energy points. Sit down

McGrady – 12mpg, 4ppg———–(36mpg, 16ppg from Teague)
A. Thornton – 12mpg, 4.5ppg—–(36mpg, 18ppg from Johnson)
Marvin – 12mpg, 4.5ppg————(36mpg, 16ppg from Smith)
Benson – 13mpg, 6ppg————-(35mpg, 16ppg from Leuer)
Pachulia – 18mpg, 5ppg————(30mpg, 10ppg from Bogut)
24ppg from bench ————— 76ppg from starters. the Floor is spread and you get open looks. This team is all about getting guys shots in their favorite spots.

hawks_4_life

December 21st, 2011
8:15 pm

Guys Im finally back in the states go hawks.

Smith.Leuer.Bogut

December 21st, 2011
8:15 pm

If Dwight’s team CAN take down the Heat tonight with his Not-So-Magic team. Then the Chicken-Hawks as constructed have a chance with their team.

Smith.Leuer.Bogut

December 21st, 2011
8:16 pm

hawks_4_life welcome back.

Jonesy2x4

December 21st, 2011
8:17 pm

Benson, Rolle, and Sy should all make the roster without debate I would (hopefully) assume. Stack has nothing left, just make him a coach if you want his leadership

Melvin

December 21st, 2011
8:19 pm

If Drew plans to play his regulars more than how does he expect to get a good evaluation of the players that’s on the bubble?

Melvin

December 21st, 2011
8:21 pm

MC,

Any mentions if the Hawks are looking at Bogans or Stevenson?

Slimjr

December 21st, 2011
8:22 pm

Say it aint so?????????
Breaking News for you Lakers fans:
Its has just been reported on NBA TV that Kobe has a torn ligament in his right wrist. Injury appears to be pretty serious. No time table for his return!!!!

Tough two weeks for him:

Wife kicks him to the curb and fixin to take half his kingdom
His best friend gets traded to Dallas
Torn ligament in shooting wrist!

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Down goes Frazier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe Kim Cakes can cheer him up? I’m just askin…….

Slimjr

December 21st, 2011
8:26 pm

No Kobe tonight?

Clippers by 35+!

DeAndre

December 21st, 2011
8:29 pm

I’m not a fan of any of the potential bigs (Rolle, Benson, etc.). I’d go with a wing at this point since the minutes at C and PF will likely be divided up mostly amongst Smith, Horford, and Zaza. Collins would be a situational player. One more big man as a stop gap in case of injury would be nice to have, but I doubt Benson or Rolle will give us much at this point.

From a potential standpoint, I’d go with Sy. He is, by far, the most physically gifted out of our signees, and likely would have the highest ceiling if developed properly. Now, on a team where he likely won’t see many minutes, I don’t know how much he would contribute this season. He has all the physical tools to be effective, but he lacks fundamentals and experience, and Drew probably won’t give him much of a chance anyway.

One other option would be to go with Stackhouse, simply for a behind-the-scenes locker-room presence. Since whomever is signed likely won’t see much on-court time, Stack may be the most useful off the court since he could play a veteran leadership role.

darrell starks

December 21st, 2011
8:32 pm

Marvin can not starte, just make more sense 2 bring him of bench to balance the team, why can’t LD see that ?
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dawg

December 21st, 2011
8:34 pm

I assure you that every decision will be decided by what is the cheapest option. That is the only criteria being used.

The ASG is horrible for Atlanta and the Hawks.

darrell starks

December 21st, 2011
8:35 pm

Horford starting at center, DAM DAM DAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When will coach LD wake up ?

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

DeAndre

December 21st, 2011
8:35 pm

I’d like to mention one other thing. I know L.D. loves to go on and on about our team’s “versatility”, and although it is a strength, sometimes it also plays against us because guys don’t know their roles. Josh, for example, often gets caught up trying to do much or thinking he can do everything, and that makes him very ineffective at times. When he’s trying to be the do-it-all player, it makes him a liability at times. Similarly, when you try to put scorers at the PG position, it ruins the offense. It’s fine if Drew wants to utilize the team’s versatility, but he needs to be more strict about defining roles. We can’t have a couple guys trying to play PG, SG, SF, PF, and C all at the same time.

Slimjr

December 21st, 2011
8:37 pm

scrathin my head… How do these guards think they are going to make the NBA and stick w/o a jumpshot?

Sy? et al…….

Benson is our new designated SHOT BLOCKER! Get him more playing time please Coach!

Wow, Sheldon William still has an NBA job with the Nets????????????Huh????

darrell starks

December 21st, 2011
8:37 pm

THE HAWKS WITH THIS SMALLISH STARTING 5 WILL FINISH 6TH SEED AT BEST.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

Hawks Justice

December 21st, 2011
8:39 pm

I say we keep Benson. 3 Blocks in limited work is nothing to sneeze at. We can always use defense when these starters decide to take a day off. We all know as Hawks fans they do take days off.

I MUS WRITE

December 21st, 2011
8:44 pm

I agree we need to sign Bogans right away he wont be available for long. between bogans and pargo we get the same points and way better defense. Marvin and Horford…..Sigh

Eric

December 21st, 2011
8:45 pm

darrell,

If you bring Marvin off of the bench, who are you going to start in his place? Marvin might be better suited for a bench role, but he’s the only true SF on the roster, and unless we move JJ to the 3, he’s the only guy reliable at defending that position. If you put T-Mac in the starting lineup, you lose some of his play-making ability which he’d be able to utilize with the second unit. You also downgrade defensively. If you start Radmanovic, he may compliment the starters well on the offensive end by stretching the floor, but he also slows down the running game and he gives us another defensive liability at the 3. Aside from that, we don’t know who else will be signed.

There aren’t a lot of better options for who to start at the 3 than Marvin. This isn’t a deep team, and even if Marvin is subpar, he can at least defend his position on a consistent basis.

I MUS WRITE

December 21st, 2011
8:45 pm

same points that JC gave us

DeAndre

December 21st, 2011
8:52 pm

For those of you complaining about the Hawks starting a small lineup:? What do you expect the team to do? It’s not like we have many reliable big men.

What do you want to do? Start Zaza and then give the team zero depth inside? Start Collins and allow teams to play us 4 on 5? It’s not like we have many options. You can blame management for that.

If I were coaching, I’d be starting Horford at the 5 too, simply because we don’t have much of a choice with this roster, and it’s not like Horford gets dominated by his matchup every night. Even if he’d prefer to play the 4, Horford at the 5 is better than most centers in the NBA. I’d rather gamble with him than play some scrub at the 5 or sign another washed up vet to hold down the middle.

Until we get a starting-caliber 5, I don’t see that L.D. has many better option than using the “small” lineup.

Section 303

December 21st, 2011
9:02 pm

I say send Benson to D-League and keep Stack, Sy, Johnson, and Wannamaker/Sloan (put their two names in a hat and pick one).

I’ve said this since the schedule was announced…Drew has to play EVERYONE on the roster this year. No more of this BS about so-and-so is playing well and then we never see so-and-so on the floor. The guys all have to play. This schedule does not do any teams any favors. It’s going to be even harder on teams with coaches who try to stick with a 7-8 man rotation.

I’ve never been big on Pargo. I understand why he had to be signed, but I have less than zero expectations for the guy. Always thought he was way overblown as a shooter and really did not have much to offer. At best, he will be like a 5th starting pitcher in baseball. Even though he isn’t good, he eats innings. Pargo, though not good, can eat minutes, give guys rest. If he can do that, I’ll be happy.

darrell starks

December 21st, 2011
9:04 pm

Eric This team need a different look, big lineup give this team more toughness and better defensive present in paint, PAPE, TMAC, MARVIN, VLAD, ZAZA is a better bench than Coach LD BENCH PARGO, ? TMAC, VLAD, ZAZA. And plus Marvin starting will force Josh at PF and Horford at C that will allow teams to dominate in the paint with this smallish front court, last year the Hawks was rank 28th in rebounding and enough is enough.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

KevinM

December 21st, 2011
9:09 pm

Since we are starting Al at the 5, Collins and Zaza should be enough big men for us if we are headed to a 13 man roster.
The backcourt needs help; Teague/Joe/Pargo isn’t enough. Sy and Sloan probably should stay even though there isn’t a lot of Sy I like and Sloan needs a jumper in the worse way.
That leaves Josh/Marvin/T-Mac/VRad/and probably Benson, but Rolle looked okay as well.

Watching QRichardson being a punk with LeBron tonight…..

darrell starks

December 21st, 2011
9:11 pm

ERIC HERE IS MY STARTING FIVE.

STARTER TEAGUE, JOE, JOSH, HORFORD, COLLINS,

BENCH PAPE, TMAC, MARVIN, VLAD, ZAZA

RESERVE BENSON, PARGO

COACH LD STARTING FIVE

STARTER TEAGUE, JOE, MARVIN, JOSH, HORFORD,

BENCH PARGO, ? TMAC, VLAD, ZAZA

RESERVE COLLINS, ?

GO HAWKS

drmaryb.[*_*].

December 21st, 2011
9:18 pm

59% – er!

Dwight goes to the line every 59 seconds and shoots 59 percent! IF, only Al could live in the paint and go to the line every 59 seconds?

He would be Dwight! IF, Al blocked shots too.

One, can only wish.

BEN

December 21st, 2011
9:19 pm

Why did we not sign Reggie Evans? The guy averaged 11.5 rebounds a game last year before he got hurt. He would be a great big man off the bench to provide some toughness to our weak ass lineup. He just signed with the Clippers for the minimum. God this team is stupid!

KevinM

December 21st, 2011
9:21 pm

I wouldn’t have minded seeing Larry Hughes on our bench this year…I think he will make the Magic roster.

Fundamentals

December 21st, 2011
9:28 pm

I’d love to see Bogans signed.

Keep Sy, Benson & Johnson. Ivan has the tenacity we need on our bench.

Make Stack a coach we can call in for 10 day stints if needed.

Sautee

December 21st, 2011
9:39 pm

Sec 303,

“I’ve never been big on Pargo. I understand why he had to be signed, but I have less than zero expectations for the guy. Always thought he was way overblown as a shooter and really did not have much to offer. At best, he will be like a 5th starting pitcher in baseball. Even though he isn’t good, he eats innings. Pargo, though not good, can eat minutes, give guys rest. If he can do that, I’ll be happy.”

Co-sign. Until Hinrich gets back.

i_am_soulstar

December 21st, 2011
9:41 pm

When Kirk gets back, we’ll actually have a pretty decent top 9, and a hell of a starting lineup if Drew decides to play..

PG Teague
SG Kirk
SF JJ
PF Smoove
C Horford

My guess is it will all depend on how Marvin plays up until the time that Kirk is ready to play.

Slimjr

December 21st, 2011
9:46 pm

Would somebody hypnotize All NBA and program him to pound the boards like 6′10″ Moses Malone used to? For the Love of Basketball he needs to grab 12-15 per night! Don’t care about his set shot!

Rebounds Rebounds Rebounds please…….

kwooden1

December 21st, 2011
10:01 pm

Keep Sy and Benson

I would be surprised if they did anything else. Especially if MC’s depth chart is right, Sy would slip in right behind JJ. Hopefully Pape can get some heavy minutes tomorrow night and get his jumper going. If he hit 2 of this 3 jumpshots at the end of Mondays game, they would have won and Sy would have looked very good. Right now he’s definitely a turnover machine, but I’ve seen improvement. He was a foul and turnover machine in France but Monday he played solid defensive without fouling.

GO HAWKS!!

MattP

December 21st, 2011
10:04 pm

@i_am_soulstar, I really like the idea of playing Kirk at SG and Johnson at SF but we all know LD will not do that.

@Slimjr, I just hope Al gets atleast one rebound more then he did Monday. lol

drmaryb.[*_*].

December 21st, 2011
10:04 pm

Brain Freeze!
_____________

“We’ve got some flexibility,” he said.

In practice, that’s going to mean Vlad sees time at SF and PF, Joe swings from SG to SF (or PG), Josh will be at SF or PF, Al will play C and PF, and T-Mac is at SF and SG (and PG). Drew will have to do lots of creative mixing-and-matching with his lineups, which could be a strength as long as everyone is healthy and effective but becomes problematic if any of the bench guys is unavailable/injured/ineffective/in foul trouble.” -MC-
_____________

What a mixed bag of ish.
________________

Who are we?
What are we worth!
_______________

7 players and 2 spots? Does anyone trust management to make a good decision?

Air Zaza

December 21st, 2011
10:07 pm

Jon Leuer sucks.

O'Brien

December 21st, 2011
10:10 pm

FTPB;

Big Ray,

What is so frustratingly baffling about Gearon is the fact that he wants to hoard this core all to himself and not break it up, but he refuses to even listen to his own GM (who, as I heard it told, wanted Dwayne Casey for HC) when it comes to acquiring a totally different guy who might actually be able to get more out of these guys than anyone else has..

Let’s not forget that this same owner would not allow the previous GM (BK) to fire the HC (Woody), and promote the assistant (LD), which is the same assistant they end edup promoting 2 years later.

They should have let BK fire Woody, give LD until the end of the season to audition, and then make the decision. Who knows how our fortunes may have been changed if they had let it play out how BK wanted.

But they don’t like making decisions unless they are backed into a corner and have no choice (in their mind).

O'Brien

December 21st, 2011
10:11 pm

I think they should keep one of the PGs (Sloan or Wanamaker) until Hinrich comes back, because contracts are not guaranteed until Feb (if I’m not mistaken), so they can waive them at that time.

superiorblogman

December 21st, 2011
10:24 pm

Team sucks bottomline. No reason to watch game 2morrow night if Teague does not play.

1 of these 3 will go Benson, Rolle, Johnson

1 of these 2 will go Wanamaker, Sloan

Everyone else will stay for the time being.

My bets are on Rolle and Wanamaker getting cut before the week is out unless they make bigger impressions 2morrow nite

MattP

December 21st, 2011
10:29 pm

If Teague is out tomorrow it will really give us a bigger look at the other PG, because LD has to try them out the whole game. Yes, it will be annoying to watch but maybe someone will actually pop out.

superiorblogman

December 21st, 2011
10:31 pm

In bigger news. Dalembert signs for $7 million per year which is less than Hinrich’s 8 million this year or $9 last year, less than Marvin, and only about $1.5 million more than what Zaza will be making next year. Once again, I have no mercy when it comes to calling it like it is with this team. They don’t spend wisely.

MattP

December 21st, 2011
10:33 pm

Lets just hope this is the last season for Sund and LD.

WHOCARES

December 21st, 2011
10:36 pm

I wish the NBA had stayed on strike!!!

tyger

December 21st, 2011
10:38 pm

Roster cuts imminent:

1. Kirk Hinrich $8M for 3 months work in two years…
2. Hawks won’t “eat” any salaries…
3. What’s the goal? Championship, 2nd rd, East Finals?
4. Deep playoff run in short season favors veterans…
5. 2nd rd exit w/ cap space favors rookies…
6. Donald Sloan is a lock, makes Teague expendable…
7. GM ego will keep Benson and Sy around…
8. Ivan, Magnum probably deserve spots but…maybe next year…
9. Stackhouse will be interesting, would like him around….
10. Cut downs will see alot of good players fall, cant keep everyone…

ryan

December 21st, 2011
10:49 pm

I am tired of trying to guess what the Hawks are going to get it gives me headache all we do hope at some point the team will be sold we have no control what happens now .

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

December 21st, 2011
10:55 pm

“In bigger news. Dalembert signs for $7 million per year which is less than Hinrich’s 8 million this year or $9 last year, less than Marvin, and only about $1.5 million more than what Zaza will be making next year. Once again, I have no mercy when it comes to calling it like it is with this team. They don’t spend wisely.” – superiorblogman

Then they want to blame the fans when they get blown out at home in game 6 of the playoffs. We need new leadership.

FIRE SUND

doc

December 21st, 2011
11:14 pm

when do we get a report on marvin like this on what he has done to up his game?

http://sports.yahoo.com/elite-athlete-workouts/kevin-love;_ylt=ApITG3oGHNmfPP8CJvEDIMI5nYcB?vid=27588435

when does he begin to take on the responsibility of going to the next level?

for all the criticism of hinrich can anyone really validate the cost of bibby for what he did? how about 30 mil from the basg? wonder if they will take him to court as well?