Atlanta Hawks: Brighter future for Hawks in 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 (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 link.)

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat
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464 comments Add your comment


August 21st, 2012
4:40 pm

Ken Strickland,

I read that article. I still see the Hawks as a winning team that makes the playoffs. I think the national media is underestimating the ceiling for Teague. I see Teague as a 18 & 7 guy with JJ gone. I see Josh improving to 20 & 10 and Horford around 18 & 9. I see us as a better offensive team because the ball will move better because of the fast pace the Hawks will play.


August 21st, 2012
5:28 pm

Slimjr, Gerald Green is a Pacer. Been signed for close to a month.

Gee is lookingfor multi-year deals. Hawks aint getting him.

and to KenS. the Hawks aren’t contenders period. Looking for other teams to have injuries hasn’t mean squat in the past because we simply didn’t match up advantageously.

We sometimes overrate our core and it showed with crummy supporting casts and stupid contracts.

Come playoffs it never fails. Josh and al get beat up on the boards and no one wants to watch them because that keeps teams in the game. It doesn’t matter how many 3s you get if you let teams right back into the game.

Milwaukee Bucks without Bogut, lose to the Celtics without Rondo, if we hadn’t played Jason and Zaza in a big lineup we would have lost to the Magic in the first round.

Injuries happened last year to the Bulls and Celtics and Hawks. Hibbert vs Horford and Garnett vs Josh.
Hawks lost in the 1st round. Hawks could very well get the #2 seed and then play small ball and die in the halfcourt setting. But we’ll see what happens come playoffs. If our undersized “big” men are still healthy. Which wasn’t the case last year.
Last year the guards were supposed to rebound. Now they’re supposed to be lockdown defenders with their quickness and lead the Hawks to the promised land.
We’ll see Ken.

steven a smith

August 21st, 2012
5:28 pm

The Atlanta Hawks will be much better with Johan Petro starting in the middle. The more i think about it, the more i like a line-up of:

SF-J. Smith
SG-Lou Williams
PG-Devin Harris

Having looked at the roster, a stretch “4″ would be nice,ie Ryan Anderson type. This would open up the lane even more. Channing Frye may be available.

Just Joe

August 21st, 2012
5:30 pm

I’m not buying that we can compensate for Korver’s lack of D with a good game plan. This is a guy that the Bulls had to hide in the playoffs. He went from averaging 22 minutes a game in the regular season, to only 15 a game in the playoffs, and only played a combined 11 minutes in games 5 & 6. Chicago just gave him away for cap relief and some here want to start him?


August 21st, 2012
5:50 pm

Interesting article here suggestin the Hawks might not be as bad off as we think. It suggests that Lou should be able to replace the offense of Joe, and talks of the merit of D Harris as a defensive player.

The Truth

August 21st, 2012
6:25 pm

“Are the Atlanta Hawks a Playoff Team Without Joe Johnson?”

We Shall See

Much depends on the other EC teams since more of these teams are on the bubble and in desperation mode this upcoming season. Teams like:


Should be very competitive for 7/8 seed. They have season veterans now and will not yield to defeat so easily.

The Nets should replace the Hawks (or higher) in the upper 4 seed group. New York replaces Orlando within the 4-6 seed range. Boston, Philly and Indy maintain their higher echelon ranking between 2-5. Chicago will likely be a dark horse for seed 5 or 6.

The most competitive dog fights might be for seeds 7 and 8 especially since the bubble teams are feeling better about their roster additions and last season momentum. The Hawks can’t even sleep on the Wizards anymore with their roster upgrade.

I’m sure teams will exploit the Hawks “new” perceived weaknesses. If Hawksville can see them, I’m sure the coaching experts can as well. However, their new strengths will be a concern as well. With the Hawks roster, it would seem the opponents would just pace the Hawk shooters with higher % shots (in the paint) and take the win with defense plays.

Since LD hasn’t shown the ability to manager (properly) the players’ minutes from the sub-par bench of the past, this year’s talented (but uneven) bench maybe the straw that breaks the camel back (for him).

The Truth

August 21st, 2012
6:31 pm

“ability to manage”

steven a smith

August 21st, 2012
7:00 pm

I Like Kyle Korver starting at the “2″ guard. Only problem is that we have no one athletic enough to provide help defense!

Barney Rubble.

August 21st, 2012
8:10 pm

steven a smith I know you smoke a lot of pot and every thing but even delusional people know that Josh is a top 4 power forward. So what is your logic (lol) for moving Josh out of the position to make room for Al who ranks between 15-30?

Is it a cult thingy that I wouldnt understand or what?

Yaba daba doo

August 21st, 2012
8:14 pm

Hes Just plain Stupid Barney, He has no fcking logic. Hes just stupid. Try to look past his as

Show Time

August 21st, 2012
8:17 pm

Steven is not as stupid as his posts, He makes a lot of sense If you just dont think about what he says.


August 21st, 2012
8:47 pm

A lot of media buzz for the Hawks. One article has them 2nd in the East. Another has them 8th. Myself, Strickland, Sautee and a couple of other Hawk fans really think this team will do well – as long as LD does not screw with JT0.

steven a smith

August 21st, 2012
8:58 pm

We will be fine once the over-haul is complete! Once we jettison Big Al’s sorry behind somewhere else, true progress will be made!


August 21st, 2012
9:10 pm

“Myself, Strickland, Sautee and a couple of other Hawk fans really think this team will do well – as long as LD does not screw with JT0. ” – AG

Wait, AG, I haven’t said that. I’m waiting to see what the team makeup is at training camp before deciding about any prediction. My optimism is based on Ferry and the overall direction of the franchise, more than the current roster.

steven a smith

August 21st, 2012
9:12 pm

My vision for the Atlanta Hawks Basketball team moving forward is as follow:

PG-Lou Williams/Jeff Teague
SG-James Harden/John Jenkins
SF-Rudy Gay/Kyle Korver
PF-Al Jefferson/Ivan Johnson
C–Andrea Bargnani/Zsa Zsa

Stop Ignoring Reality

August 21st, 2012
9:34 pm

Jeff Teauge
Devin Harris
Anthony Morrow
Josh Smith
Al Horford

Lou Williams
John Jenkins
Kyle Korver
Ivan Johnson
ZaZa Pachulia

Deshean Stevenson
Johan Petro
Jordan Williams
Mike Scott


August 21st, 2012
9:35 pm

steven a, good luck staying out of the luxury tax with that lineup. Harden, Gay and AJ are gonna be worth 17-18M each on the open market. And Bargnani’s contract goes from 10M this year 11M next and 12M in the last year. I don’t think there’s enough headroom to have Bargnani, AND sign 3 star FAs.


August 21st, 2012
9:37 pm

Also, steven a, this is Teague’s last year on his rookie contract, so he’ll be getting a decent raise.

steven a smith

August 21st, 2012
9:46 pm


August 21st, 2012
9:35 pm

steven a, good luck staying out of the luxury tax with that lineup. Harden, Gay and AJ are gonna be worth 17-18M each on the open market. And Bargnani’s contract goes from 10M this year 11M next and 12M in the last year. I don’t think there’s enough headroom to have Bargnani, AND sign 3 star FAs.

I have a feeling that AL Jefferson will not command a max deal. We may be able to get him for Serge IBaka type money.

steven a smith

August 21st, 2012
9:49 pm

Also, I believe that Jeff Teague will only command a salary of 4yr 20mil, at best, base on his stats. His stats will drop off this year.

Ken Strickland

August 21st, 2012
9:52 pm

GLW-That was a very interesting and informative article. It answered a very important question that really changes things as far as our backcourt DEF is concerned. Several have commented that DHarris and AMorrow are DEF liabilities. Now I read an article that says DHarris was once an All NBA caliber DEF PG, and any decline is due more to disinterest than a lack of ability.

Harris, Teague and LWilliams have the ability to form a 3 guard rotation that could remind us of the 3 guard rotation of IThomas, JDumars and VJohnson, as far as potential OFF and DEF impact. Could those same pundits be as wrong about AMorrow’s DEF ability as they were about Harris’? Considering the number of fans that insist on making one excuse after another to doubt the potential of this yrs team, I’ll be so glad when the season starts so we can find out who’s right.

It’s simply amazing how fans were bashing JJ for being unable to carry the team on his shoulders, and not living up to his contract. But now some of those same bashers are claiming the team will collapse because his OFF and DEF can’t be replaced. Go figure.


August 21st, 2012
10:13 pm

Yeah after the trade, I wasnt really worried about replacing Joe’s offense. I figure with Josh, Al and Teague getting more touches, plus the guys who were brought in (Williams, Morrow, and DHarris) his offense would be easily replaced. of course, that go to guy at the end wont be there, but that allows Drew to draw up plays and teams not really know who to expect will get the ball. Defensivelyy, sure Joe and to lesser extend Marvin, length will be missed, but the team def concept is what will be most important. I mean if their is a guy that is going crazy like a DWade or Kobe or Joe…I figure we can throw D Stevenson out there to get under their skin a bit. Otherwise we will be fine. and Im sure, Ferry will bring in a guy in that 6′7 range who can give us some D at the small forward spot. I think we will be fine.

steven a smith

August 21st, 2012
10:21 pm

We will not miss “Joe-sephine” Johnson at all! Not 1 iota. This was one of the happiest sports days i have had in my life. 1. Trading Joe
2. Trading Marvin
3. Braves winning world series
4. Falcons going to Super Bowl!

steven a smith

August 21st, 2012
10:24 pm

We will never win an NBA champonship with Al Horford starting! Never! Josh Smith can be a role player on a champinoship team(4th option).

steven a smith

August 21st, 2012
10:32 pm

Some “Bloggers”, and i use this term”loosely” have “No Clue” about team building and Big time Basketball. They think that the more words they you use will qualify their weak Azz analysis. Statistics do not always “quantify”a players value to his team. Watch your reality shows, Jerry Springer, and Pro Wrestling, and please leave the Blogging to “Experts” such as myself!!!

Stop Ignoring Reality

August 21st, 2012
10:33 pm

The Teague/Harris back-court will without a doubt be the fastest in the league….and they get to run with the thoroughbreds Smoove/Al with Morrow flashing to the corner for 3. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.


August 21st, 2012
10:49 pm

This doesn’t sound like a guy that’s ready to leave the Hawks nest to me…

Josh Smith ‏@JSmooveNBA
Hawknation are you ready for another season already!!
Reply Retweet Favorite


August 21st, 2012
11:14 pm

Stop Ignoring Reality –

Teague 6′1

Harris 6′3

Morrow 6′5

Josh 6′9

Horford 6′10

This team lose 150 to 120 every night with no defense, JUST DAM



August 21st, 2012
11:16 pm

When will you guys learn your not winning unless your playing good defense.



August 21st, 2012
11:59 pm


Stop Ignoring Reality

August 22nd, 2012
12:04 am

Chalmers 6′2

Wade 6′4

Lebron 6′8

Battier 6′8

Velociraptor (Bosh) 6′11

^ They won a title

Stop Ignoring Reality

August 22nd, 2012
12:06 am

Nash 6′3

Joe 6′7

Richardson 6′5

Marion 6′8

Amare 6′10

^Western Conference finals

Stop Ignoring Reality

August 22nd, 2012
12:24 am

JJ Barea 5′9

Jason Kidd 6′3

Marion 6′8

Dirk 6′11

Chandler 7′1

(Backup SG 6′3 Jason Terry; Backup SF 6′5 Deshawn Stevenson)

^ Won NBA Title over Miami Heat

Stop Ignoring Reality

August 22nd, 2012
12:31 am

Joe Johnson Career High 42 pts. (Although I admit he could’ve gone for more but he went to the bench because all of his 40+ point hawks games ended with us blowing the other team out)

Devin Harris Career High 47 pts.

Anthony Morrow Career High 42 pts.

^The main point here is that Harris gets buckets…and he went 17-17 from the FT line that night, Has Joe ever gotten to the line that much in his life?

Stop Ignoring Reality

August 22nd, 2012
12:34 am

……and Joel Anthony is 6′8 at best

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

August 22nd, 2012
3:01 am

Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013


August 22nd, 2012
3:38 am

Good grief… talk about delusion.


Quentin Richardson is 6′5” but his wingspan makes him easily an equivalent to 6′7” AND he was always considered a defensive specialist.

Ditto for Marion, whose wingspan makes him equivalent to 6′10” and always has been a well above average defender.

With JJ, PHO had THREE guys whose defense and size were well above “average”.


Miami cannot be used as an example just because of Lebron and Wade.

Anyhow, Lebron is a 6′8” freak/monster on both ends of the floor, who played SF AND PF in the playoffs, Bosh is 7′0” (not 6′11) and bulked up to play D last year with minutes being distributed to Joel Anthony (who plays bigger than 6′9” and is a good defender) and Haslem who is 6′9” but is a rugged player who also likes to bang and play D.

Battier is a lock down defender, whose size does not matter and even so is more than adequate to man the SF position at 6′7”.

Wade is only 6′4” but is a tremendous help defender and rim protector due to his spunk, stamina and jumping ability.


Marion – as mentioned above-

Dirk is 7′0”, which makes him, at least long. His defense is nothing to write home about, but he has improved and is now at least disciplined.

Chandler is 7′1” and an excellent defender.

and they played Stephenson (a defensive specialist in good condition at that stage) for extended minutes.

Kidd, although old, has always been a very good Defender.

Length and defense were present.

You can argue that Dallas had Terry and Barea on court for many minutes but we are not talking about having 6 smallish SG/SF which do not play anything remotely describable as consistent D as we have.

The best defenders in the lot are a washed up Stephenson and Teague, virtually a second year player whose man to man D is promising but still prone to lapses, in particular on pick ‘n roll situations.


August 22nd, 2012
5:18 am

Stop Ignoring Reality
August 22nd, 2012
12:34 am
“……and Joel Anthony is 6′8 at best”

JOEL ANTHONY may be only 6′9” but he has a standing reach of 9′6” due to his 7′5” wingspan.

YOU should stop ignoring reality. Joel Anthony has the size and the willingness to do all the hard and dirty work (rebounding and defending) necessary to be a rotational player in a playoff team.


August 22nd, 2012
6:34 am

Dont you idiots have a life?

SAS got 1 thing. You will never ever ever win a NBA championship With Al Horford starting on your team. Al Just doesn’t play on that level nor have the talent too.

Hawks this year?

7th or 8th seed in the conference at best. Look for Josh to get frustrated at being forced to play with Al and demand a trade to the Lakers. Josh is now coming of age and wants a championship ring. Al really doesn’t care whether he gets a ring or not. He just wants a paycheck.

While the Atlanta Back court has changed personnel there is not a lot of confidence in Teague and DHarris is instantly the best POINT guard on the team. He is a much better thinker orchestrator than Teague.
Teague’s claim to fame is he is young.and fast, which could also qualify him to join the Army, but out side of physical qualifications nothing about Teague resembles a point guard.

The 2 most skilled positions on the court, Center and Point guard, have been the weakest for the hawks. While bringing over Harris to play point the Hawks did nothing to address the Center role.

Look for opposing teams to continue to assault and exploit the hawks in the paint, show casing Dunks over Al horford who will find his way out on a wing or perimeter rather than defend the rack.

Look for Josh, the hawks best talent, to get frustrated with the lack of championship desire on this team and demand a trade (oh Ive said that already)

Look for the hawks to fight for the 7th or 8th seed and have a legitimate chance to not make the playoffs altogether as they continue their backwards slide post Woodson.

The number one problem facing the hawks has been the hawks problem for the last 7 years.


Funny thing, Its was published that the hawks tried 4 times this past summer to trade Al and got no takers, yet the few but loud Horford cultist on this site act as if he is the second coming of Christ.


We cant get rid of Al and we cant raise our level of play with Al so we are hopelessly stuck in an average season where at the very very best, we make it to the second round and lose. This year there is a good chance we will be fighting to make the playoffs.Hawks will win 37-44 games marginally making the playoffs (ss the roster stands now).

The better case would be to miss the playoffs, hit the lottery top 5 and have tons of cap room and spending money. That would be the best case for the hawks.


August 22nd, 2012
6:38 am

* as the roster stands now


August 22nd, 2012
7:05 am


Two words: Lithium pills


August 22nd, 2012
7:09 am


Just a quick query in order to see if you are still in touch with reality:

Who and how should the Hawks sign to fill the C slot instead of Al?

Who and how?

You know that we made a move for Howard but it did not pan out due to the Magic preferring to make an horrible deal rather than trade Howard within the division.

Now, who else in the league is the C which the Hawks should covet and go for?

And how do you think that can be accomplished?


August 22nd, 2012
7:11 am


And your answers have to take into consideration that the C position is – by far – the most overpaid position in the league.

The position where the is the smallest differential between the best C in the game and his potential new contract (Howard ± 20 million) and the rest of the pack.

You have mediocre Cs (much worse than any negative view of Horford’s game) earning 10 million per.

Ken Strickland

August 22nd, 2012
7:22 am

No matter how many different names he goes by, T-S still has the same narrow minded thought process, assuming there’s any thought involved in anything he says. And we have one delusional jackass that thinks he knows more about basketball than any player, coach, GM, fan, or owner alive. He’s allowed fantasy basketball to go to his weak minded head, and it has now become his reality.


August 22nd, 2012
7:39 am

What center should we try to get? I have asked this questions so much in these blogs with NO response! Bynum and Howard are gone…PERIOD! Should we get Spencer Hawes….Kendrick Perkins….maybe Andrew Bogut..?????? maybe would should have drafted Fab Melo….. or start Keith Benson…. oh I got it.. start ZaZa and resign Damp since Collins is gone!


August 22nd, 2012
7:45 am


IF I could push a button here on my desk which fired LD and hired Conner as next year’s coach I would push that button so hard that LD would be in orbit in 15 seconds.

I have soooooo much more trust on Conner than I have on LD… (which is not saying much since I have ZERO trust on LD).

I think Conner is the main responsible for our 40-26 record last year. Our guys played hard on D virtually all the time and we only had a few letdown losses.

I think Conner is a guy who values accountability and just by looking at him I think he conveys more authority and generates more respect.

I think Conner will be an above average HC in the NBA someday.


August 22nd, 2012
8:10 am

Okay.. Anderson Varejae, Emeka Okafur, Ian Mahinmi, Darco Miliic or Byron Mullens…. Nazar Muhammed????


August 22nd, 2012
8:25 am

@ vava74

Been a min

But you’re right LD is more or less Rick Sund in a head coach spot just sitting there babysitting until a better one shows up.

Look at Danny Ferry only had this guy for 1 small summer and within a few weeks Joe was gone, Marvin gone, Other players were let go signed some quality guys, and we even got a commitment from Josh that he would stay put and even try to recruit D.Howard.

Here is the thing about D12 he might be gone to L.A, but who’s to say he doesn’t open up and try to join another team after this year?

Same thing with Bynum who’s to say that he’ll still be playing with 76ers or whoever he went to(mind been on the Olympics anything NBA related kind of flew over my head even the D12 to L.A it was such a moot point lol).

Look People are down on the hawks right now I understand, but you can’t tell me you’re not more excited then years past?

For the first time we really get to see what Josh and crap OKC Thunder had every advantage in the book into the finals the only thing they didn’t have over Miami Heat experience and maybe even some pride because they kind of went home with tails between their legs.

I think Kevin Durant will be back though with a fire burning in his stomach unlike LBJ and the rest.

Just Joe

August 22nd, 2012
8:39 am

ag/vava…The NBA centers (not draft prospects) that I would watch or target in no particular order (outside of Howard’s & Bynum’s free agency):

Joakim Noah & Deandre Jordan are two guys that may be cap casualties soon. Jordan could be another guy like Tyson Chandler that doesn’t “get it” until his late 20’s. With a new CP3 deal looming, and Blake Griffin’s extension, can they afford to be patient with Jordan, and still surround those guys with talent? I just like the edge & hustle that Noah plays with. Can Chicago afford to keep him ($60M+ for Rose, Deng, Boozer, Gibson, Noah)? Do they amnesty Boozer?

I also like the young center Nikola Vucevic that Orlando just picked up from Philly. 7-footer with 3-pt range. Would fit nicely next to Josh & Al if he can play a little more physical.

Demarcus Cousins. Will he clash with Mr. Robinson, and if so, who will the club side with, poster-boy Thomas Robinson or coach-killer Demarcus Cousins?


August 22nd, 2012
9:16 am

Just Joe,

Of the lot, only Cousins has the package to be a difference maker (IMO he can be a dominant C).

The rest are filler and not an upgrade in relation to Horford IF he made his mind about playing the C slot.

Jordan has already flamed out after his contract was signed. Not a good sign, when a guy gets his $$$ and his stats drop all round.

I like Noah, but the Bulls will not part with him. He is their energy/glue guy and it will be far easier for them to find a suitable replacement for Boozer than for him (it can be argued that Taj is that guy already since he played very well two years ago when Boozer injured his toe).

The harsh reality is that at the C slot there’s a grand canyon between the few who have the physical and technical attributes to be dominant and the rest.

Howard/Bynum/Cousins (if he gets his mind straight and starts to play D).

Then we have the defensive, mobile and energetic specialists in Chandler and Noah (a smaller and less mature version of Tyson).

And then it can be argued that we have Horford/Jefferson/Bogut/Hibbert as the third pack.

Jefferson is not a great rebounder, nor defender, Horford seems to be shying away from the position’s staple and does not have the length to protect the rim and Bogut is injury prone and always had trouble moving laterally but protects the rim, passes well and has a decent back to the basket game. Hibbert is prone to disappearing and playing smaller than he is, so I am not sold on him yet.

Then… we have Perkins/Jordan/Okafor as the physical enforcers with various and diverse degrees of shortcomings. Maybe we can put Nick Pekovic in this pack.

Then we have the rest.

And please don’t bring Nene to the table. That guy is allergic to rebounding, a definitive no-no for me.