Atlanta Hawks: Camp report

Notes gathered before nearly crashing my car while taking a call on Louis Williams deal and then trying to tweet the news on my freakin’ phone. . . .

  • Pape Sy is back, baby! That’s exciting enough on its own but Sy got me really hyped by showing up looking ripped. Seriously, dude is muscled-up. “I tried to work on my body to get stronger on the court,” he said. “Now I feel great.”
  • Larry Drew on Sy: “He’s been in that weight room. He’s gotten stronger. When he goes to the basket, you can see when he takes contact he can still get his shot off. That’s a pro move to take contact and get your shot off.”
  • As mentioned a few weeks ago, the Hawks finally have abandoned their plan to try to make Sy a point guard. It was pretty obvious after his first couple of summer games in 2010 that his NBA future is not at the point. “I feel good as a two guard,” Sy said. “I am trying to get to the hoop and I work on my shot. I feel better now. Playing the two may be more easier for me.”
  • The Hawks have a hole on their roster on the wing and Sy certainly has the size to play there. He’s always had some potential as a wing defender. Drew said Sy could play some small forward in smaller lineups.
  • “Pape has really gotten better,” Drew said. “I’ve always been intrigued by his size, his ability to get to the basket, his strength. He knows how to draw fouls when he goes to the cup. His shot has improved. Defensively he’s aggressive. I think this summer league will be really good for him to see where he measures up at this level.”
  • John Jenkins signed his rookie deal. He’ll make about $2.5 million guaranteed over the next two years with Atlanta holding options for two additional seasons.
  • So Jenkins is, like, rich. “It won’t change me at all,” he said. “My parents won’t let it happen and the people around me won’t let it happen. It’s also not who I am. I’m a very, very cheap person. I might get a nice car, not much else. I’m very blessed just to be in the NBA.”
  • There’s no big secret about the summer focus for Jenkins. “Everyone knows he’s capable of making shots, everybody knows when he’s on the floor you can’t leave him,” Drew said. “But defensively he’s got to get better and he knows that. He’s already said, ‘Coach, just tell me what you need for me to do and I’ll be studying film, I’ll be studying tape, I want to get better in that area.’ He’s a great kid. I’m happy that he’s part of our organization.”
  • Jenkins is wearing No. 12. He initially asked for No. 21 but, well, you know. Jenkins then asked for No. 23, his college number, but Lou Hudson already wore it very well for the Hawks.
  • Mike Scott already knows you want him to be a small forward: “I’ve been asked that question so many times. I see myself as a four. I’m comfortable as a four but doing three stuff. If I have a mismatch, a bigger guy on me I’m going around or a smaller guy on me I’m posting up. In order for me to transition to three I have to be able to guard a three. That’s something I’m still working on.”
  • At Virginia, Scott developed an effective face-up game. Good idea since it’s a big reason he will get a shot in the league. “I always had a pretty good touch,” he said. “Once I realized I wasn’t going to be able to dunk on everybody, I started working on other aspects of my game. Watching a lot of Kevin Love, Chris Bosh, Kevin Garnett—big guys that can shoot from that pick-and-pop range.”
  • Scott has pretty good length but isn’t very physically imposing. Drew: “Undersized, but I do think he has the strength to play that [four] position. He’s a phenomenal pick-and-pop shooter so he’s going to have to play to his strengths and get better at his weaknesses. A big part of playing that four is understanding what you can get away with defensively and what you can’t. But I do think he has the strength to hold his own down there.”
  • Drew added that Scott “is not an Ivan Johnson as far as strength is concerned” but who is among us lesser beings?
  • Keith “Kito” Benson is back, too. Word is he looked much the same during today’s scrimmage–timid and getting knocked around–but Benson says he’s gotten stronger and plans to have an “aggressive mindset” this time around.
  • Benson: “I think I have a lot better chance this year because of summer league and spending more time with the coaches. I think I have a good chance to show what I can do and show my skills for a longer period of time. Last year it was about five days.”
  • Lester Conner will coach the summer league entry.
  • Danny Ferry came out for a moment while reporters were inside the practice facility but didn’t address us media types.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat
Follow ajchawks on Twitter.

509 comments Add your comment

Rob

July 10th, 2012
10:22 pm

hawks4life

July 10th, 2012
10:23 pm

no relapse

July 10th, 2012
10:24 pm

8 days Marvin-free….it feels good.

will

July 10th, 2012
10:25 pm

screw Obama and Romney, danny ferry for president

Rob

July 10th, 2012
10:25 pm

yessir first. MC, happy about the Lou Will signing, any word on if Hawks are looking at any other free agents?

Najeh Davenpoop

July 10th, 2012
10:26 pm

Hopefully Jenkins has to give up that #12 pretty soon too.

Michael Cunningham

July 10th, 2012
10:26 pm

@Rob: “MC, happy about the Lou Will signing, any word on if Hawks are looking at any other free agents?”

yes they are.

hawks4life

July 10th, 2012
10:27 pm

@mc pape sy and ripped don’t go together, just thought i would let you know

Najeh Davenpoop

July 10th, 2012
10:28 pm

Also, if you are going to text/tweet while driving, please do that in the right lane where all the short bus riders drive, instead of the left lane where people like me go at 80+ and curse your entire family when you make us swerve around you because the phone is in your face.

Billy Butler

July 10th, 2012
10:29 pm

@MC, what percentage do you give the Hawks to get Howard?

steven a smith

July 10th, 2012
10:29 pm

I hope we can add another center, preferably a starter…

zgoldatl

July 10th, 2012
10:30 pm

i agree with Will. Thank you Danny Ferry.

Michael Cunningham

July 10th, 2012
10:31 pm

@hawks4life: “@mc pape sy and ripped don’t go together, just thought i would let you know”

wait till you see him.

Columbus

July 10th, 2012
10:32 pm

IF the Hawks trade for Dwight and dont trade Josh to get him, BOTH of them coud bolt after next season and leave the Hawks with nothing to show for the trade but tears. Dwight has to commit to a deal beforehand unless Ferry isnt worried if they both go because he will have the majority of cap space free to sign anybody. Under that scenario, it might be worth the risk to trade for Dwight without him saying he wuld resign. BUT then we will have Orlando’s nightmare from last year to deal with….will he stay or will he go…

pointguardslim

July 10th, 2012
10:32 pm

Astro Joe

July 10th, 2012
10:32 pm

MC, thanks for all of the updates.

LD sounds excited to have his personal pet project back in the fold.

Jenkins sounds like a really bright kid, which will likely result in some instant hate for any player capable of forming a sentence without asking “you kno wut I’m sayin’”?

Also like that Scott knows who he is and won’t try to change his game (and likely fail) to meet the expectations of fans who don’t get a vote on his NBA future.

Maybe we should trade Benson for a guard.

Rev in Tampa

July 10th, 2012
10:33 pm

“I’m a very, very cheap person”

Somebody needs to tell Jenkins that being cheap reminds us of another very, very cheap and unpopular former Hawks player.

Michael Cunningham

July 10th, 2012
10:34 pm

@Najeh: “Also, if you are going to text/tweet while driving, please do that in the right lane where all the short bus riders drive, instead of the left lane where people like me go at 80+ and curse your entire family when you make us swerve around you because the phone is in your face.”

i pulled over to tweet. but not before near catastrophe while taking the call. because, you know, must get out the Hawks news before everyone freaks the flip out!

Just Joe

July 10th, 2012
10:35 pm

Roster: Teague, Harris, Williams, Morrow, Jenkins, Stevenson, Smith, Williams, Horford, Pachulia, and Petro.

Currently, only 4 spots open. (Ivan?, Scott?, Sy?)

Sounds like LD is ready to sign Pape right now. Pape already signed a two year deal in France. His “out” is only good if he signs a guaranteed contract with an NBA team.

steven a smith

July 10th, 2012
10:35 pm

Horford and Teague to Utah for Al Jefferson would be an outstanding move by Danny Ferry!!!

Michael Cunningham

July 10th, 2012
10:35 pm

@Billy Butler: “@MC, what percentage do you give the Hawks to get Howard?”

excellent question. hang tight for a bit and i will make some calls to the Hawks, Magic, Dwight, and the three other teams that might be involved and find out that percentage at this very second.

Mike

July 10th, 2012
10:38 pm

i think I can answer this, I believe that Atlanta might have the advantage since that HOU-LAL-ORL is not happening right now (believe me that deal sucks) but each day that passes, Atlanta chances gets better.

Rev in Tampa

July 10th, 2012
10:38 pm

@Columbus

George Washington could have very easily lost the revolutionary war and would have been hung by the Brits. Sometimes you gotta take a risk to get back big returns. Besides, its only a sport. The sun will come up next year if Josh and Dwight bolt town.

Pop

July 10th, 2012
10:39 pm

@MC, Dan Ferry can fix your car. He can fix anything

Jaded Hawks Fan

July 10th, 2012
10:39 pm

It’d be helpful to hear from Dwight. Does he not want to come to Atlanta, or is he open to the idea? He’s never listed Atlanta as one of his preferred destinations, but he also hasn’t shot down the rumor since it’s gotten real legs in the last couple of days. We know he’d like to play in Brooklyn or L.A. It’d be nice to know where he stands on his hometown.

My guess is that Smoove has been in his ear hard.

Michael Cunningham

July 10th, 2012
10:40 pm

@Pop: “@MC, Dan Ferry can fix your car. He can fix anything”

can he fix the newspaper industry? because that would be super helpful.

hawks_4_life

July 10th, 2012
10:40 pm

I like how people always jacking my tag. Too funny, as of not the original hawks_4_life is H4L.

NORRIS CHUCK

July 10th, 2012
10:41 pm

So, let me get this straight. This team is full of guards, NO Small Forward and Al/Zaza/Petro as bigs???

Rev in Tampa

July 10th, 2012
10:42 pm

“Everyone knows he’s capable of making shots, everybody knows when he’s on the floor you can’t leave him,” Drew said. “But defensively he’s got to get better and he knows that. He’s already said, ‘Coach, just tell me what you need for me to do and I’ll be studying film, I’ll be studying tape, I want to get better in that area.’ He’s a great kid. I’m happy that he’s part of our organization.”

Translation – “Welcome to the end of the bench, Rook”

BuddyC

July 10th, 2012
10:42 pm

Dwight Howard WILL be a Hawk….trust me!

joe

July 10th, 2012
10:43 pm

@MC, I got you

KevinM

July 10th, 2012
10:43 pm

MC=trying to just do his job and risking his life in the same breath. Easy MC, most of us are patient here.

I gotta ask though, when was the last time there has been this much offseason interest in the Hawks? Not since Reggie and Moses came to part the seas here IMO.

I think Jenkins will be a fine pro and will work his tail off to get spot minutes with Lou coming in. I see Lou’s role expaning from Philly as he might spell Teague or Harris at the 1. As much as I wouldn’t mind seeing it, Teague and Harris probably won’t get to know each other very well.

Pape Sy will be this year’s bench gap plug. He’s coming in as a SG after we pick up Morrow, Jenkins, LouWill (its amazing that we continue to add Williams’ to the roster)and Stevenson.

I don’t ‘Sy’ a slot for Pape. Mario West 2K is how I envision him.

Benson isn’t sticking any more than he was last year. Ivan’s here to remind him that this is the ‘No Boys Allowed’ league.

Look out Scott! You’re going to have trouble getting minutes like Benson will….

BuddyC

July 10th, 2012
10:44 pm

Any doubters?

Ra'mon

July 10th, 2012
10:44 pm

Lol, We now know that BK has no imprint on this team, lol. A group of point guards, centers, and no wings, lol. BK is somewhere cursing the organization, lol.

KevinM

July 10th, 2012
10:45 pm

“NORRIS CHUCK

July 10th, 2012
10:41 pm
So, let me get this straight. This team is full of guards, NO Small Forward and Al/Zaza/Petro as bigs???”

Danny’s trying to find himself a ‘1′ to balance out this roster. SF is not a big deal in LD’s offense. He just stands at the 3 point line! :)

hawks4life

July 10th, 2012
10:45 pm

yeah cause your tag is so original..you think you clever?

steven a smith

July 10th, 2012
10:45 pm

BuddyC
July 10th, 2012
10:42 pm

Dwight Howard WILL be a Hawk….trust me!

Thank you Mr.Nostradamus…

steven a smith

July 10th, 2012
10:45 pm

BuddyC
July 10th, 2012
10:42 pm

Dwight Howard WILL be a Hawk….trust me!

Thank you Mr.Nostradamus…

JustSayinB

July 10th, 2012
10:46 pm

Lou Williams was a good pickup for Atlanta.

Rob

July 10th, 2012
10:46 pm

Dwight and Josh always hold their hands over their mouths before Magic-Hawks games. I wonder what they are talking about. You know Josh has spoken to Dwight because the rumors are everywhere. Al Horford has been especially quiet on Twitter as well.

Ra'mon

July 10th, 2012
10:47 pm

I’ve always liked Pape Sy He’s always seem to play with a confidence and slight arrogance that would serve him well as a defender in the league.

Guys, if Sy has improved his jumper and can knock down the wide open shot, I would take him over Pietrus, because he has the chance of improving.

terrell

July 10th, 2012
10:48 pm

Horford and Teague fro Al Jefferson?? Hell to the naw!!!!!!

Michael Cunningham

July 10th, 2012
10:49 pm

@joe: “@MC, I got you”

word.

@KevinM: “MC=trying to just do his job and risking his life in the same breath. Easy MC, most of us are patient here. I gotta ask though, when was the last time there has been this much offseason interest in the Hawks?”

there was a noticeable uptick when the team was thought to be sold.

steven a smith

July 10th, 2012
10:51 pm

Ra’mon
July 10th, 2012
10:47 pm

I’ve always liked Pape Sy He’s always seem to play with a confidence and slight arrogance that would serve him well as a defender in the league.

Guys, if Sy has improved his jumper and can knock down the wide open shot, I would take him over Pietrus, because he has the chance of improving.

Let me guess, you have been smoking some of Snoop Dogs’ Stash…

Points

July 10th, 2012
10:52 pm

Is Pape Sy as jacked as Cheick Kongo now?

H4L

July 10th, 2012
10:53 pm

Smart enough for you to bite of me.

Buddy Grizzard

July 10th, 2012
10:54 pm

“can he fix the newspaper industry? because that would be super helpful.”

lmao mc on fiyah.

Pop

July 10th, 2012
10:54 pm

@MC, he has been known to work “miracles” in the past. (Iso Joe and Marvin)

H4L

July 10th, 2012
10:56 pm

M.C. any word on how Anthony Randolph’s visit went?

DHD

July 10th, 2012
10:56 pm

It’s funny how people think the roster is set in July. Lou Williams scored just 4 points a game than JJ off the bench. Their assists and rebounds were equal. We got a great value in Williams. More to come….