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 of his contract. The authors opine that “[Al] Horford is the only key player who is both signed [long term] and guaranteed to make an impact.”

The Hawks rank No. 13 in the “management” category (200 points), up from No. 17 in the previous rankings. Ford and Hollinger give Danny Ferry high marks for both his tenure as Cleveland GM and his initial moves with the Hawks.

Atlanta ranks No. 14 in the “market” category (100 points), up one spot. The considerations: “Appeal to future acquisitions based on team quality, franchise reputation, city’s desirability as a destination, market size, taxes, business and entertainment opportunities, arena quality, fans.”

Finally, Ford and Hollinger place the Hawks No. 13 in the “draft” rankings (100 points), up from No. 19. That’s based on future draft picks and draft positioning.

The teams ranked ahead of the Hawks in the overall rankings, in order: Heat, Thunder, Lakers, Jazz, Pacers, Mavericks, Nuggets, Bulls, Spurs, Celtics, Hornets, Cavaliers, Rockets, Nets.

(Note to blog people: Please respect the paywall and refrain from reproducing substantial portions of the ESPN.com link.)

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat
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464 comments Add your comment

SteveW

August 17th, 2012
7:12 pm

We’ve got 2 of the top 30 players in the NBA in Josh and Al, 3 of the Top 50 w/ Lou, 5 of the Top 100 w/Teague and Harris, and 7 of the Top 125 with Zaza and Morrow.

Now all that is my opinion of course.

And they are all in their 20’s, experienced, and near their prime.

My only point is we have above average talent, should have an above average team if LD Coach’s them right, are a very good wing away from being a very dangerous team, and are going to be exciting to boot.

The only thing not to like is doesn’t look like we’re Championship good.

Get Ainge good and drunk, or blackmail him or something, and get him to trade us PP for Korver, Stevenson and all 4 picks we have next season,, and we may be close to Championship good.

SteveW

August 17th, 2012
7:16 pm

Get Deng for all I care, the point is we are very close too being an extremely dangerous team this season, regardless of cap space and looking forward too next season.

This is a good, young, quick, and talented team.

It’s just not quite there.

Slimjr

August 17th, 2012
7:19 pm

bjerry, keep an eye on Andrew Nicholson with Orlando. He is a true big that will flourish with his “post” game and more..So much potential he has..

Ask yourself this question, can Al being an “AllStar” carry a team like Josh did for weeks on end last season?

Has he possibly peaked and is sliding the other way post injury like Rev mentioned several blogs ago. We shall see along with Danny..

Stay tuned.

Slimjr

August 17th, 2012
7:30 pm

Don’t be Sad Sautee its only one fans opinion out of many.

Now lets keep this in perspective..I’m only critiquing his game nothing more.. This is not personal. I dont know the man from a dude on the street corner. And he maybe a great guy?

steven a smith

August 17th, 2012
7:31 pm

I truely do not understand the “Man Crush” some of you guys have on Alfonso Horford. I just can’t see it. If Al were a Kardashian, he would be the “mother” or Kourtney. Maybe even Bruce Jenner. Al most definitely wouldn’t be “Kim” or “Kloe”Kardashian.

The Truth

August 17th, 2012
7:33 pm

FTPB

“Truth,

I think Denver would be willing to trade Wilson Chandler. They already have Andre Iguodala and Gallinari on the roster. And if even Gallinari plays as a stretch 4, I don’t know if Denver will want to pay Chandler $6+ mil to be their backup SF. However, I’m not sure if Danny would be interested, because that eats into our cap flexibility next year.

Mike Dunleavy is not on the same level, but he is expiring, and with Ferry’s strategy, that makes him a better fit (imo).” – OB

Based on the availability of SF, this trade would be about as good anything else I’ve seen. But I doubt it’ll get beyond fantasy because assuming AI starts and Chandler backs him up, 6M+ for an impact backup SF is not that bad. I’ve seen worse thinking about Marvin (8M), J Crawford (10M) and Hinrich (8M) as backups just to name a few. Chandler unhappiness may drive a trade if this plays out, but there are other options in which the two players could co-exist especially since AI is no spring chicken anymore, meaning his may get scaled back for a playoff run.

The Truth

August 17th, 2012
7:37 pm

“meaning his minutes may get scaled back for a playoff”

Sautee

August 17th, 2012
7:41 pm

slim, that kind of fanhood is what makes me sad. I guess I’m old school but when I’m the fan of a team, and one of the players gets an accolade from the league, I’m overjoyed.

And, no doubt, the paucity of true centers is partly responsible for his being chosen, but didn’t SOMEONE have to be the backup All-Star center? And why on earth if you are a Hawks fan would you be BOTHERED by his selection?

I sent you a long post showing Horford in the top 5 of 7 of 9 statistical categories. Your only reaction was to further denigrate him.

You act like you’d rather that Horford had been at the bottom of the stats, so it would justify how you feel about him. I find that not only odd, but disconcerting. It doesn’t seem like a Hawks fan reaction, IMO.

Slimjr

August 17th, 2012
7:47 pm

He said what?

Denigrate?

You old timers make it seem like I spit the on guy..C’mon man. You guys need to take the load off..
Throw your stats around all day my friend..The eyeball test says he aint the one “Grasshopper”..

Sautee

August 17th, 2012
7:52 pm

“The eyeball test says he aint the one “Grasshopper”..” – slimjr

More straw, slim. nobody here is saying he is “the one” are they?

The stats were to show you how he fared against other centers in the league. Sorry you didn’t care for what those stats implied. That says a lot more about YOU then it does about Horford.

Slimjr

August 17th, 2012
7:55 pm

Sautee for the record you sent that post of Statistical info to another blogger[Steven a. Smith]..

Nice try though. No insult taking..

Sautee

August 17th, 2012
7:56 pm

slim, you must have missed the first time I sent it. It was to you, initially, and I reprised it for sas..

Slimjr

August 17th, 2012
7:57 pm

” More straw”, call it whatever you want Sir to appease yourself..

I call it: You and I will have to respectfully disagree.

Slimjr

August 17th, 2012
8:00 pm

[taken]^^^^

Feel better Ms. Dept?

Sautee

August 17th, 2012
8:18 pm

slimjr,

If only you would be so respectful to the Hawks players you say you are a fan of.

brigadierjerry

August 17th, 2012
8:21 pm

slimjr,

i see so ur issue is more he has been selected for all star teams instead of josh and he isnt deserving correct?

i think horford is a good player solid. i dont get rapped up if he makes all star teams. players like him make all star teams. no one is saying he is the one. i get the impression u feel he is a better talent then what he has shown.

stephen a smith,

who is in love with al horford? there isnt any problem discussing him.

Disgusted

August 17th, 2012
8:28 pm

The Hawks will never be more than middle of the pack till the ping pong balls bounce right for them.

And no more Marvin Williams over Chris Paul draftees.

Only luck will turn this mess around.

Disgusted

August 17th, 2012
8:30 pm

Its too bad we had a GM like Billy Knight who knew nothing abut basketball and less on PR and fan relations.

Billy Knight set this team back 10 yrs. Face it, its never gonna work here.

Disgusted

August 17th, 2012
8:32 pm

Cap space means nothing if guys want no part of your city.

IF you have to overpay to take up your cap space to average players like Joe Johnson its not worth it.

Go Winnipeg Jets, they will win a championship long before we ever see one here in the ATL.

brigadierjerry

August 17th, 2012
8:33 pm

slimjr,

thanks for the explanations for horford. question is if u put horford as a pf, who r ur type of pf i means ones u think r horford peers in the position closely to him that play in the game today?

also same question in regards to centers if u feel horford is a center. that is all i have wont ask u anymore horford questions we agree to disagree in perception of horford. still waiting on guinness drink

Disgusted

August 17th, 2012
8:33 pm

“We’ve got 2 of the top 30 players in the NBA in Josh and Al, 3 of the Top 50 w/ Lou, 5 of the Top 100 w/Teague and Harris, and 7 of the Top 125 with Zaza and Morrow”

Josh is gone after this yr & Lou being in the top 50, that is a laugh.

Sautee

August 17th, 2012
8:34 pm

slimjr,

For your edification: denigrate: to treat or represent as lacking in value or importance; belittle; disparage: to denigrate someone’s contributions to a project.

Not exactly spitting on someone is it? You, without a doubt, constantly denigrate Horford on this blog. Now you know what denigrate means. You’re welcome.

steven a smith

August 17th, 2012
8:34 pm

I was mainly referening to “2″ of my favorite guys on this Blog and also “2″ of the “Dumbest” guys on this Blog, Ken Stickland and Buddy Gizzards. President and Vice-President of the Al Horford fan club. I did not like AL.s game in High school, College, or Pros.

Najeh Davenpoop

August 17th, 2012
8:58 pm

I’d be surprised if Wilson Chandler was available for anything less than Teague or Lou Williams. I know the Nuggets have a glut at SF but that doesn’t mean they are just going to give Chandler away. Chandler is a very good player and is still relatively young. His trade value is going to be pretty high.

Fart

August 17th, 2012
9:06 pm

Does anybody read Cunningham? How does this guy even have a Job?

BORING….

Let me guess AJC….Sells are down?

pointguardslim

August 17th, 2012
9:10 pm

Dwight is gonna be off the market, Josh Smith is on his way out. Book it. And I don’t see Zaza being tortured and yanked around either.
And then you think Horford will stay without a significant pay bump? Even when he doesn’t become a dominant leader?

Guys have fun with your Wilson Chandler Josh Childress and Mike Dunleavy fantasies.
you won’t have the guys you take for granted.
All we had to do was experiment with bigger lineups and focus on defense. Detroit model not Phoenix model. Not golden state model.

Josh aint Amare. He’s not Shaq. He’s not Rasheed. He’s not Ben Wallace. He’s closer to Tayshaun Prince if anything. And Larry Brown never put Tayshaun at the 4 to bump up his scoring he packed it in with Tay at the 3. With Corliss williamson at the 3. Even if they werent that good offensively they locked down. They didn’t put Korvers Mo Evans and Marvins and Childresses on the perimeter and funnel everything to Ben Wallace and make him waste his knees jumping futilly to cover weakness of teammates.
Ben was a last option. An auxiliary player. His teammates held their own. Whatever…

After this year Hawks fans can rest easy now that they won’t have any championship potential to squander. Then they can play Horf at the PF and then sign Rudy Gay and some golddigging center or something to (not) compete with Miami.

Pit Bull

August 17th, 2012
9:11 pm

“I was mainly referening to “2″ of my favorite guys on this Blog and also “2″ of the “Dumbest” guys on this Blog, Ken Stickland and Buddy Gizzards. President and Vice-President of the Al Horford fan club. I did not like AL.s game in High school, College, or Pros.”

Yea, we know Al is a average player and a good utility player. By the way. no one is a greater Al horford Ball rubber than Michael Cunningham.

We are really really trying to get a lottery pick and start all over with Al having any significant role on this team. Like Cunningham, Al is very boring.

Big Dog

August 17th, 2012
9:20 pm

Pit, I agree. I guess Cunningham is trying to dissuade Ferry from pursuing Chris Paul and D12 by resigning J Smoove. The future of this team is to resign J Smoove 1st then go after Paul and D12 and use Al as trade bait if we can find any takers. We ought to get something for Al even if its a draft pick.

Sautee

August 17th, 2012
9:20 pm

Good evening, T-s

Hope it’s a good one for you.

pgslim, about this: “And then you think Horford will stay without a significant pay bump?”

Are you aware that Horford has 4 years left on his contract? That’s a very long time, and IF he is kept until then by Ferry, a LOT will be different by then. And unless Horford’s production increases, he’d likely have to sign a lesser contract next time. IMO, he’s a decent value now, but I’d like to see something more like 18 and 10 for $12M. If he proves to be worth less four years from now, c’est la vie. But I don’t think Ferry keeps him without greater production. Or I would hope not.

Big Dog

August 17th, 2012
9:24 pm

“And then you think Horford will stay without a significant pay bump?”

What idiot would pay Al more than the 12,000,000.000 he already makes at a career average of 12pts.

Really?

Last season the duo of Ivan and Zaza carried the paint better than Al for 7million less. So why in the ….. would any body pay Al any more? He actually should give some of that money back just for sorriness. Ferry would be a fool to give Al any thing but a swift kick in the butt on his way out the door.

Pit Bull

August 17th, 2012
9:27 pm

Damn!! Sautee has come to his senses!!! WOW!!

Greeting Tee

Sautee

August 17th, 2012
9:28 pm

“Ferry would be a fool to give Al any thing but a swift kick in the butt on his way out the door.” – T-s

Ultimately, we’ll see just what Ferry thinks of Al. His personnel decisions will let us know.

Sautee

August 17th, 2012
9:30 pm

My senses were always here, but some missed my points at times.

Najeh Davenpoop

August 17th, 2012
9:30 pm

” Then they can play Horf at the PF and then sign Rudy Gay and some golddigging center or something to (not) compete with Miami.”

But if those centers are gold diggers, they ain’t messin’ with no broke owners, so that’s probably not going to happen.

Pit Bull

August 17th, 2012
9:33 pm

Sautee congratulation on your detox and sobriety I hope you keep your senses this time.

Pit Bull

August 17th, 2012
9:36 pm

The hawks have tried to trade Al 3 times this summer to no avail. How can you wonder what the opinion of Al is?

brigadierjerry

August 17th, 2012
9:43 pm

pointguardslim\ Ruhiel on realgm on Atlanta Hawks blog

You stated a few days ago that you was going to give up posting on this blog. What happened?

Ron jones

August 17th, 2012
9:48 pm

Curiuos…we have Josh Smith,Al Holford,Jeff Teague and shooters!!! Are we REALLY that bad?????

doc

August 17th, 2012
9:50 pm

if howard paid 20 mil cash for a house he better maybe check into getting a new cpa and tax atourney. seems he might have lost a few tax deductions there.

speaking of which, anyone know who romney has doing his taxes? hr block? not, if he has gleefully bragged about paying 13% a year over the last decade. guys like him are like alcoholics when it comes to greed. ask an alcoholic how many drinks a night? i am positive you can double or triple his response to get a real reflection of what he imbibes. the filthy rich and taxes? take what they say and probably divide it by a half or maybe more if it is for public consumption. in the locker room they are telling the truth, however to their buds.

Slimjr

August 17th, 2012
9:52 pm

bjerry why are you bringing up Josh when we were talking about All NBA and then was conveniently interrupted by the President of Al’s fan club…[You know he gets off on that all the time].. Thank you..

Nice one…Nice one bjerry

Pit Bull

August 17th, 2012
9:53 pm

Jun 28, 2012 – The latest NBA rumors has the Charlotte Bobcats possibly trading the number two pick in the draft for Al Horford

basketballiq.wordpress.com/tag/al-horford-trade-rumors/
Tag Archives: al horford trade rumors. Post navigation. Would Spurs Trade Parker? Posted by jrtowles81 — June 16, 2012. 0. Photo courtesy of SI.com.

NBA Trade Rumors: Al Horford for Danny Granger. Who says no …
http://www.peachtreehoops.com/…/al-horford-for-danny-granger-who-say...

w.kanyetothe.com/forum/index.php?topic=162600.0
One of the articles I read said that it was actually Joe Johnson and Al Horford that were offered in the trade.

Slimjr

August 17th, 2012
10:06 pm

Mr Satuee, you need to be reminded that basketball is a team game.There is no I in team. This is not Golf or Tennis[ were individual stats] weigh more..

You love to throw his individual stats out there to justify what, that’s his game is AllStar material. I know that makes you feel better so feel better Sir…

Here’s a stat, a very telling one indeed. It tells the story of the work Danny has ahead of him to take this team to whole new level for the very 1st time.

28-47 against the winners with your favorite player [All NBA] himself Al Horford contributing and without him.

Thank you very much…

Slimjr

August 17th, 2012
10:25 pm

All that was said, I believe what the ESPN rankings have stated. The Hawks do have a brighter future ahead..

Go Danny!

brigadierjerry

August 17th, 2012
11:10 pm

slimjr,

good to hear that you have faith in the Hawks going forward as I do as well.Might come down and check some of the preseason games

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

August 18th, 2012
1:53 am

Can the Hawks get some preseason games on television? Falcan’ts have theirs televised and the Braves have some of theirs on tv. No respect for the Hawks mane.

BIG IVAN FOR PRESIDENT

Dr. Warren

August 18th, 2012
2:25 am

I’m tired of hearing Atlanta called a mid-market team. 14th? What a joke. Atlanta’s metro area ranks 7th or 8th in the country. We had the Olympics–and we’ve doubled in size since then. You know who is mid market? Our owners, who suck.

Najeh Davenpoop

August 18th, 2012
2:34 am

Adrian Wojnarowski ‏@WojYahooNBA
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka has reached agreement on a four-year contract extension, league sources tell Y! Sports.
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Really interested to see how much he got. If he got eight figures per year, Josh can easily justify asking for the max.

JaeEvolution

August 18th, 2012
2:46 am

I wonder if they convinced him to take less for a chance at Harden.

vava74

August 18th, 2012
4:16 am

reportedly the deal is 40 million for 4 years

vava74

August 18th, 2012
4:20 am

On the blog’s subject… there are fewer things less interesting to debate than Hollinger and Ford’s “insider” purely speculative cr@p.

This is even less interesting than JJ selling his ATL home and that was already close to rock bottom…