Archive for August, 2012

Atlanta Hawks: Former coach Bob Weiss returns as adviser

Hawks GM Danny Ferry’s efforts to move the franchise’s player development program forward will include a reach back to the team’s past.

Former Hawks coach Bob Weiss is set to join Larry Drew’s staff as a coach and consultant. Weiss will be heavily involved in developing players and will sit behind the bench during games.

Drew said he had considered hiring an assistant with previous head coaching experience when he got the Hawks job in the summer of 2010.

“Somebody who could really watch and look at the big picture of the team, be that birdie on my shoulder as far as suggestions and ideals and what he sees,” Drew said. “I started interviewing and compiling a list of guys. I met with Bob for a second interview and I thought he was the perfect guy from a consultant standpoint.

“He will be sitting behind the bench, looking at things and giving me ideas and giving me opinions about different things with the team as a whole. I’ve always admired him from afar–didn’t know him …

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Atlanta Hawks: Free agent James Anderson gets camp invite

Hawks GM Danny Ferry says Spurs free agent James Anderson has been invited to join the team’s veterans camp. Anderson apparently will accept, according to a tweet by former teammate Danny Green.

Anderson, 23, likely will join the Hawks on a summer contract. If it proves to be a good fit for team and player, Anderson would be signed to the roster on a non-guaranteed contract to fill the defensive-minded wing role Ferry is seeking (though it’s notable that Anderson has played most of his minutes at shooting guard).

Anderson, San Antonio’s first-round pick in the 2010 draft, has played just 889 total minutes in two seasons. During that limited time his offensive production and efficiency have been bad. Anderson’s defensive on-court, off-court and opponent PER have been positive but his Synergy defensive stats have been poor, especially in isolation.

All of that comes with the usual Small Sample Size Disclaimer. Obviously Ferry, who saw Anderson up close as a Spurs executive, …

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Atlanta Hawks: Season Review: Willie Green

Season reviews presented in alphabetical order. Previously: Jason Collins and Erick Dampier.

The fact that Willie Green was an offseason afterthought, signed-and-traded to the Clippers in what amounted to a housekeeping transaction for the Hawks, shouldn’t overshadow the fact that Green probably ranks second to Ivan Johnson among the team’s unexpected surprises in 2011-12.

The Hawks were keen on Green as soon as the free agency period opened but figured he’d be out of their price range. Green thought the same. But then the post-lockout market was harsh for an undersized, 30-year old shooting guard who had put up middling numbers for his career.

“It was a crazy free agency,” Green said at the time of his signing. “There was a lot of scenarios with players going different places and no one knew where they were going to go. It’s a blessing to be here. I’m excited about the opportunity.”

Green made the most of it by turning in a career year with the Hawks. For the first time, …

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Atlanta Hawks: Finding a good fit for Lou Williams

Lou Williams (Photo: Scott Cunningham, NBAE/Getty Images)

New team, good fit? (Photo: Scott Cunningham, NBAE/Getty Images)

The Hawks will have to work out the Jeff Teague-Devin Harris backcourt (assuming it stays that way if/when Danny Ferry is done making trades). They need a true wing player, too.

But I’m most intrigued to see how Lou Williams fits. He’s a very effective scorer but, if he’s going to remain in a role similar to the one he filled in Philly, he may need to play alongside either Harris or Teague.

“I was off the ball [in Philadelphia], I would prefer to be off the ball, and I think both of those guys [Teague and Harris] are on the ball,” Williams said. “So I don’t think it will be an issue as much as people think it is. Once we open up camp I’m sure Coach [Larry] Drew will do a good job in figuring out where everyone is going to go.”

I can’t see any reason why the Hawks would want Williams to change up his game. What’s not to like?

For three seasons Williams was the best kind of bench scorer for the Sixers: high …

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Atlanta Hawks: Brighter future for Hawks in ESPN.com rankings

In a few short weeks the Hawks transitioned from a good-but-not-great team with no financial flexibility to a franchise that can clear gops of cap space and has a long-term plan.

No surprise, then, that the Hawks moved up in Chad Ford and John Hollinger’s latest future power rankings at ESPN.com (Insider). The rankings are Ford and Hollinger’s attempt to project the on-court success for the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

The Hawks improved from No. 19 to No. 15 largely on the strength of their dramatically improved salary-cap situation. That development moved Atlanta’s “money” ranking (worth as much as 200 points) from No. 26th to No.1 Ford and Hollinger noted this “25-place jump was the largest of any team in any category.”

That was offset by Atlanta’s league-high drop in the “players” ranking (600 points), down to 23rd from 12th. Ford and Hollinger dock the Hawks not just for the talent disparity in the Joe Johnson deal but also because Josh Smith is in the last year …

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Atlanta Hawks: Joe Johnson’s Atlanta house on the market for $4.7 million

Will Joe throw in the car? (Photo: estately.com)

Will Joe throw in the car? (Photo: estately.com)

Former Hawks guard Joe Johnson is like many of the rest of us: relocating for his job and looking to sell his crib. Most of us aren’t putting our house on the market for $4.7 million, but still.

The listing at estately.com notes J.J.’s “grand estate” includes eight bedrooms and eight full baths among its 13,822 square feet. There’s a weight room, a recording studio, and a basement spa that appears to include a salon with a barber’s chair (helping to explain why J.J.’s waves always were so tight).

Personally, I would never buy a place with a weak Walk Score (at least it’s ITP, though). Then again, if I could afford this mansion, someone else would run my errands and I’m pretty sure I’d have a few friends willing to move in visit every once in a while.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat
Follow @ajchawks on Twitter.

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Atlanta Hawks: Danny Ferry and Mark Cuban seek similar paths

Each time Hawks GM Danny Ferry does an interview, the recurring theme is how he’s being “opportunistic.”

As in, after trading Joe Johnson and clearing the books after 2011-12, the Hawks now have the flexibility to take advantage of pretty much any opportunity that comes along.

That’s true, but now what?

The Hawks already missed out on one opportunity when Dwight Howard was sent to the Lakers before Ferry could even measure Dwight’s feelings about returning home. Next summer Ferry probably will get another crack at Howard (though the Lakers will own Howard’s Bird rights) and any of the other star free agents set to hit the market.

Financial flexibility is good, and there will be other opportunities, but how to turn that potential into a superstar player(s) that is (are) essential to competing for championships?

“Read an article about what Mark Cuban is doing,” Ferry said.

Cuban struck out with his plan of clearing cap space to acquire star players last summer. He’s since …

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Atlanta Hawks: Danny Ferry covets wing player but no hurry to add one

Yes, Hawks GM Danny Ferry is considering using the final open roster spot (assuming Ivan Johnson eventually signs his qualifying offer) to add a small forward.

“I would say probably a wing that can compete defensively at a high level would be a good thing to be able to add at some point,” Ferry said.

Ferry taking his time with 15th roster spot. (Photo: Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Ferry taking his time with 15th roster spot. (Photo: Johnny Crawford/AJC)

But, no, that doesn’t mean he’s in a hurry to acquire such a player.

“That may happen,” Ferry said. “How that happens, I can’t sit here and tell you. Could it be someone we sign? Could it be a trade at some point and, if so, when could that be? Trades happen in their own time. We have until February to do it.”

And, Ferry said, if the Hawks do sign a free-agent wing, it’s likely the player would have to accept a non-guaranteed contract.

“There is a good chance we will carry 15,” he said. “But preferably that 15th person will be on a ‘make good’ situation that allows us the flexibility needed in case injuries …

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Atlanta Hawks: Can Harris-Teague in Atlanta work like Harris-Terry in Dallas?

Good together? (Photo by Getty Images)

Good together? (Photo by Getty Images)

Devin Harris is asked how he will fit on a team that already has Jeff Teague and lets out a chuckle before the question is even finished.

Apparently, he’s heard this one a few times before.

“They’ve been talking a lot about playing us together,” Harris said. “That’s something I’m accustomed to doing. I played with Jason Terry in Dallas with a small backcourt. We played a similar type way, getting up and down the floor. I think it can work out the same way [with Teague]. Obviously he’s one of the few remaining guys on the team that knows the system and knows it well. I think if we play together it can be a good tandem.”

The Hawks can only hope Teague-Harris works out the same way as Harris-Terry. In 2006-07, their one full year starting together, both Harris and Terry had strong seasons as Dallas won 67 games and scored 111.3 points per 100 possessions (second in the league).

According to Basketball-Reference, in 2006-07 Dallas used nine …

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Atlanta Hawks: Former Hawks All-Star Dan Roundfield drowns in Aruba

Former Hawks All-Star Dan Roundfield drowned yesterday off the coast of Aruba.

According to reports, Roundfield’s wife became distressed while swimming off of Baby Beach and Roundfield tried to assist her. The Aruba Herald reported that witnesses saw the woman return to shore but that Roundfield was taken out to sea. Authorities found Roundfield’s body under some rocks, the Herald reported.

A police spokesman in Aruba told the Associated Press that Roundfield and his wife went beyond a protected reef area and got caught up in rough waters. The couple were vacationing at the Renaissance Resort.

“It’s a real tragedy,” the spokesman, John Larmonie, told the AP. “He drowned saving his wife.”

Roundfield’s sister-in-law, Julia Roundfield, also confirmed his death to the AP.

“He was a real sweet guy,” Julia Roundfield told the AP. “He really was a sweetheart.”

Roundfield’s survivors include his wife, Bernie, sons Corey and Christopher, and their grandchildren.

Roundfield, 59,

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