Archive for December, 2011

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

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

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

Update 10:09 a.m.: There’s still no indication that Sund has been authorized to spend more than the tax threshold but late last night he was looking for ways to gain some salary relief to get the Hawks further under the tax line. I’m not sure how the Hawks can shed significant team salary (money that counts towards the cap and tax) …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Camp Report Day 2: Still tax-strapped »

Atlanta Hawks: Camp Report Day 1

Notes and quotes from a real, live NBA camp . . .

  • Here is the full camp roster, minus Vladmir Radmanovic, who was signed tonight.
  • I guess he’s the 3-point shooter that both L.D. and Smoove said the Hawks need. “We need a for real, for real knock-down shooter,” Josh said. “I’m not asking for Kyle Korver, but a guy who can just spread the floor and just knock the shot down.”
  • Radmanovic, 31, is still a legit 3-point threat: He shot 43.1% (70/173) on 3s last season for GSW. He’ll be spotting up at the 3-point line: 54.4% of his FGA were 3s, and 74.5% of his total FGs were assisted. According to Synergy Sports Technology, 40.2% of Radmanovic’s offensive plays were spot-ups and his 1.08 points per possession on those plays ranked 70th in the league.
  • More positives: Radmanovic had an above-average assist rate last season. The Warriors allowed 3.42 points fewer per 100 possessions with Radmanovic on the floor, according to Basketballvalue.com. Some of that probably can be …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Camp Report Day 1 »

Atlanta Hawks: Capped out, left out

It’s the kind of questions I get often on Twitter: “Why don’t the Hawks pursue [insert big-name free agent]?” After I explain that they don’t have the cap space, I sometimes get the follow-up: Why don’t they trade [Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, some other player I don't like] and use that cap space?” And then I have to tell them that doesn’t work, either, because the Hawks are over the cap and have to take salary back in a trade.

The point here is, until the Hawks gain significant cap space, which they aren’t scheduled to do until 2013-14 unless the use the amnesty card, then they aren’t going to be involved with free agents who command more than the MLE. Shoot, they still may not be involved with MLE free agents until they retreat further from the luxury-tax line.

Sure, the Hawks can swing sign-and-trades (which usually is the next question I get after the two above) but those transactions are not easy. The player has to want to sign with the Hawks and then an acceptable …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Capped out, left out »

Atlanta Hawks: Camp roster rounds into shape

Zaza and Magnum Rolle were at Philips today. Twin is expected to re-sign with the Hawks tomorrow. Earl Watson told Jody Genessy of the Deseret News he hasn’t decided where he will sign.

So, assuming T-Mac and Twin follow through and sign with the Hawks and Watson ends up picking Atlanta, this is what the team depth chart would look like for the start of camp (not counting Kirk Hinrich):

PG–Jeff Teague/Earl Watson/Pape Sy
SG–Joe Johnson/Tracy McGrady/Brad Wanamaker
SF–Marvin Williams/Tracy McGrady
PF–Josh Smith/Magnum Rolle
C–Al Horford/Zaza Pachulia/Jason Collins/Keith Benson

That’s 14 players on the roster, 10 of whom have guaranteed contracts.

Still don’t see any of the “knock-down 3-point shootersL.D. said he wants. Twin, when deployed in favorable matchups, ended up providing some of the defensive toughness L.D. is seeking and T-Mac is a pretty good defender and very good rebounder: According to Hoopdata, last season he was seventh in defensive rebound rate among …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Camp roster rounds into shape »

Atlanta Hawks: Horford: Get a ’solid’ center, bring back Jamal Crawford

Al was at Philips to work out today. He said he worked out in LA with D-Rose, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love (they have the same trainer). He said he worked on his post game and driving to the basket, but more on that later.

Al had an interesting response to the persistent question about whether he prefers to play center or power forward.

“I am still going to keep playing both,” he said. “I think that Josh and myself we can bring a lot of problems to people. At times I am going to have to play the four and I think Josh is OK with playing the three. That way we stay very athletic and we can do different things.

“And I think that’s why we need big bodies here, a couple of solid bigs to come out here and help us out. I know there are quite a few of those out there in free agency and we should try to pursue them.”

Al doesn’t control the purse strings, of course, but that’s the most public prodding of the front office by a Hawks player that I can remember since I’ve been around. …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Horford: Get a ’solid’ center, bring back Jamal Crawford »

Atlanta Hawks: Tracy McGrady plans to sign one-year deal with Hawks

Stephen A. Smith reports that the Hawks and forward Tracy McGrady have agreed on a one-year deal for the veteran minimum.

The Hawks still aren’t commenting on the report and McGrady’s agent, Arn Tellem, has not returned a call. Teams have been able to discuss contract parameters since last week but are not allowed to agree to terms with free agents or sign them until Friday.

(Update: Source confirms McGrady plans to sign with Hawks.)

McGrady, 32, played in 72 games for the Pistons last season.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Tracy McGrady plans to sign one-year deal with Hawks »

Atlanta Hawks: Good, bad, and ugly of the schedule

The Hawks released their schedule. I looked at it and wrote some things down, which I now will share with you.

(Edit: NBAstuffer.com has a rest-day analysis for each team.)

The Good

  • There are two four-game home stands and one five-game home stand, with the latter ending the season. That means Atlanta plays 39 percent of its home games during an extended stay in Atlanta.
  • The Hawks play Orlando, Boston and New York only three times and get Toronto, Detroit and Cleveland New Jersey four times.
  • Two games each against New Jersey and Washington are among the first 10 on the schedule.
  • Two of Atlanta’s games against both New York and Boston are at Philips Arena.
  • Atlanta got a pretty good home-and-home West draw: Clippers, Blazers and Suns. Not a contender among them.
  • The frequency of games lightens up after the All-Star game with 32 games in 58 days, with just 14 of those on the road.

The Bad

  • The Hawks play nine games in the first 12 days of their schedule. Two of the games …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Good, bad, and ugly of the schedule »

Atlanta Hawks: Marvin Williams pain free, Teague confident in jump shot

Today at Philips Jeff Teague pulled up for a 3-pointer but Marvin Williams reached up and got a piece of the ball as it left Teague’s hand.

As Teague ran to collect the ball, he told Marvin: “I’m not used to you being that tall.”

Teague was joking, but not really. Marvin’s posture really did look more upright than usual. He appeared to move more fluidly.

And, most importantly, Marvin says back surgery alleviated the pain that has nagged him after he’s taken some spills over the last few years.

“I feel ten times better to be able to run and jump and be pain free,” he said. “I know tonight when I go to sleep I won’t wake up and feel sore.”

Marvin had surgery on June8 to alleviate an isolated bulging disk. He said he was immobile for nearly 12 weeks following the procedure.

“I could not even clean my room,” he said. “I could not bend. It was a task to shower.”

Marvin said he started lifting weights in mid-August and returned to court work in September. He’s been playing and …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Marvin Williams pain free, Teague confident in jump shot »

Atlanta Hawks: CBA could have final say on tax

As teams wait to see the details of the new CBA, there are two provisions in particular that figure to have a lot of influence on whether the Hawks pay the luxury tax.

The most important consideration for the Hawks is the amount of the cash distribution non-taxpaying teams can expect to receive under the new CBA. Under the previous CBA, non-tax teams shared in 1/30th of the total tax pool. Last season the share came out to $2.4 million per team, meaning non-tax teams made out by not paying the tax and also getting that distribution.

The distribution is not expected to be as generous under the new CBA, according to cap expert Larry Coon:

2011 CBA: No more than 50 percent of the tax funds can go exclusively to teams that did not pay tax. . . .

However, while the new agreement stipulates that no more than 50 percent of the tax funds can go exclusively to teams that did not pay tax, it doesn’t specify what happens to the other 50 percent. It is possible the remaining tax money …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: CBA could have final say on tax »

Atlanta Hawks: Hot market for Jamal Crawford

Teams can begin talking to their own players and free agents today. It’s quickly become clear that, as expected, Jamal will find a robust market for his services.

Indiana, New Jersey, Chicago, Orlando, Portland, New Orleans and Phoenix have expressed interest in him. Among those teams, at least Indiana, New Jersey, Chicago and Orlando have inquired about a sign-and-trade with the Hawks.

That suggests that the market for Jamal starts at more than the $5 million mid-level exception on a five-year contract. Indiana and New Jersey could just sign Jamal to a four-year deal using cap space, so if they are looking at a sign-and-trade it can only mean they want to offer him a five-year deal using his Bird rights. Chicago and Orlando are over the $58 million cap and so without a sign-and-trade are limited to offering Jamal the mid-level–in Orlando’s case, the new $3 million “mini” mid-level since the Magic are taxpayers.

The Hawks still want Jamal and he’s still open to a return but …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Hot market for Jamal Crawford »