Archive for July, 2012

Atlanta Hawks: Hawks look to be out of chase for Dwight Howard

The Hawks no longer appear to be in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that it’s now a two-team race for Howard between the Nets and the Lakers with Brooklyn in the lead. Center Brook Lopez would be the centerpiece of a deal with the Nets while the Lakers would send center Andrew Bynum to Orlando.

Update: Wojnarowski reports that in the latest proposal the Magic would send Howard, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark to the Nets in exchange for Lopez, Damion James, Shelden Williams, Luke Walton and up to four first-round draft picks.

The Hawks had been in discussions with Orlando regarding Howard since before the draft. They can offer the Magic better players than New Jersey in exchange for Howard, including Al Horford and Jeff Teague. The Hawks also picked up an extra first-round draft pick as part of the trade that sent Joe Johnson to the Nets.

But Atlanta has been reluctant to make such a deal because Howard has given no indication he’s …

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Atlanta Hawks: Danny Ferry tries to ease Josh Smith’s concerns

Hawks forward Josh Smith is eager to see what Danny Ferry has in store for the in the future but he doesn’t seem to be impressed by what he sees right now.

Ferry agreed to trade Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams in deals that no doubt leave the Hawks as a worse team now. Word is Smith, whose contract expires after next season, expressed his concerns about the team’s direction in a recent meeting with Ferry. The Hawks GM in turn told Smith his short- and long-term visions for making the team a contender.

Ferry acknowledged meeting with Smith last week.

“It went great,” Ferry said. “It went fine.”

Ferry declined to elaborate on any details about the conversation with Smith but, speaking generally about the effects of major trades on players, said there can be shock initially.

“If changes are made there is a sense of loss because relationships get built in this business,” Ferry said. “It takes time for everyone to adjust.”

If Smith was stung by Johnson’s departure, it would make …

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Atlanta Hawks: Wings are the thing

The Hawks are interested in free agent forward Anthony Randolph, as reported today by Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The Hawks also remain in contact with the Magic about trade possibilities for Dwight Howard.

But the more pressing concern for the Hawks is signing a small forward after they agreed to trade away Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson.

“We have to look at the wing area to bring somebody in that can help us,” Drew said. “With having the six spots filled [including] the two draft picks on the roster, solidifying on the wing becomes more of a priority than a ‘big.’ We could add another big but, right now, certainly the priority is strengthening the wing area and then possibly adding another big.”

As things stand now, Atlanta’s options include playing one of Josh Smith, Anthony Morrow or DeShawn Stevenson at small forward. Smith was able to play the wing effectively in certain matchups last season but neither he nor Morrow or Stevenson is a natural for the position.

The …

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Atlanta Hawks: The next step

No, there is nothing new to report on the Hawks and Dwight Howard. As far as I know, nothing has changed since what I wrote two days ago. If I hear anything different, I promise I won’t keep it to myself.

With that out of the way, on to some housekeeping . . . .

Once the trades become official on July 11, and after the Hawks compete an expected buy out of Jordan Farmar, they will have nine players under contract. Draft picks John Jenkins and Mike Scott will make it 11 once they sign their deals. Ivan Johnson will make it 12 if he signs his qualifying offer.

Here are the cap salaries for those 12 players (in millions):

Josh Smith: $13.2
Al Horford: $12.0
Devin Harris: $8.5
Zaza Pachulia: $5.2
Anthony Morrow: $4.0
Johan Petro: $3.5
Jeff Teague: $2.4
Jordan Farmar: $1.5*
John Jenkins: $1.2
Ivan Johnson: $.96+
DeShawn Stevenson: $.852.33^
Jordan Williams: $.76
Mike Scott: $.40

Total: $50.4755.95

*Amount of buyout.
^Cap charge for minimum-salaried veteran with three or more …

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Atlanta Hawks: What about Dwight?

Almost immediately after Hawks GM Danny Ferry took what were most definitely not half measures the speculation turned to whether it’s all just a prelude to a trade for Dwight Howard.

All of the usual dots have been connected: Howard wants out of Orlando, Howard is from Atlanta, and he’s boys with Josh Smith. But the one blank I have yet to see filled in is a desire by Howard to play for his hometown franchise over the long term.

In fact, the only thing I’ve ever heard is the opposite. Howard used to regularly attend Dream games at Phillips Arena during summers. Witnesses tell me that Howard would tell anyone who would listen that Philips is supposed to be his house but “they don’t know how to act.” And by “they” he of course means the team’s owners and management.

And then there were Howard’s comments during the 2011 playoffs, when he said he hates losing, “especially to the Hawks.” Asked to elaborate, Howard, annoyed by the question, snapped: “Come on. You know the answer to …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks agree to trade Joe Johnson to New Jersey, Marvin Williams to Utah

The Hawks and Nets have agreed to terms on a trade that would send All-Star guard Joe Johnson to Brooklyn for multiple players with expiring contracts and a first-round draft pick, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

Update: The Hawks also have agreed to trade forward Marvin Williams to Utah for point guard Devin Harris, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement.

Trades can’t be officially consummated until the NBA moratorium ends on July 11 but the person said the Hawks have agreed on the framework of the deals with the Nets and Jazz.

The person said in exchange for Johnson, the Hawks would receive Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson and Jordan Williams from the Nets. Atlanta also would receive the lottery-protected, 2013 first-round draft pick that the Nets acquired in a trade with the Rockets.

Williams is meeting with the Nets and Mavericks today. The Nets plan to pair Johnson with Williams and re-sign free-agent center …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks seek to retain Ivan Johnson with qualifying offer

The Hawks extended a qualifying offer to forward Ivan Johnson by Sunday’s deadline and thus maintain the right to match any offer sheets Johnson signs as a restricted free agent.

Under CBA rules, Johnson’s offer is for one year and about $966,000 guaranteed. Johnson is free to sign the qualifying offer at any time (the signing moratorium does not apply to qualifying offers) but is likely to gauge interest from other teams before doing so.

The qualifying offer expires on Oct. 1 unless the Hawks extend it. If the offer expires, Johnson would still would be a RFA with Atlanta maintaining salary-matching rights and the two sides could continue to negotiate on a new contract.

Johnson was a surprised addition to the roster last season after a strong training camp. The self-described “old rookie” had his career derailed by anger-management issues.

Johnson quickly became a fan favorite because of his powerful build, menacing appearance and physical style. Johnson turned out to be a …

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Atlanta Hawks: Danny Ferry focused on salary cap ‘flexibility’ with trades

The word new Hawks GM Danny Ferry kept using after the draft Thursday was “flexibility” and nothing would create it more than trading guard Joe Johnson’s contract for players with shorter deals.

The Hawks were not close to any trades as of this afternoon, according to a person with knowledge of their plans, but talks are fluid. They’ve continued discussions with the Nets about Johnson, and clearly Brooklyn (feels weird to write that) has plenty of expiring contracts to offer in return.

Update 4:55 p.m.: ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that a discussed proposal would have the Nets sending Atlanta Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams. According to Stein, the Hawks are insisting that former Tucker High star MarShon Brooks be included in the deal while Brooklyn would rather Atlanta take on one of its free agents in a sign-and-trade.

Stein also reports the Nets won’t make the trade until free agent guard Deron Williams commits to re-signing. Williams …

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Atlanta Hawks: NBA free agency begins

The NBA’s free-agent period has officially started.

Teams can now come to contract terms with free agents. Deals can’t become official until July 11, after the league and union complete their annual audit to set the projected salary cap and luxury-tax levels for the 2012-13 season.

Nine Hawks players became unrestricted free agents today: Jason Collins, Erick Dampier, Willie Green, Kirk Hinrch, Ivan Johnson, Tracy McGrady, Jannero Pargo, Vladimir Radmanovic and Jerry Stackhouse. All those players except for Hinrich played for the league minimum last season.

Update: The Hawks extended a qualifying offer to Johnson by Sunday’s deadline. He’s a restricted free agent with Atlanta maintaining salary-matching rights.

NBA.com has a cool, sortable free-agent tracker page. One potential free agent is already off the market as Kevin Garnett and the Celtics reportedly agreed to a three-year, $34 million contract.

The Hawks are over the salary cap but have full mid-level and bi-annual …

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