Sund allowing Woodson considerable input

this is a caption

Even Mike Woodson must be wondering what his lineup will look like next season.

If it’s past 4 p.m., it must be time for the 3 p.m. blog . . .

Spoke to Hawks general manager Rick Sund today. Wanted to ask him about a variety things leading up to Thursday’s NBA draft but one in particular: The input he will afford coach Mike Woodson on the team’s decisions before the draft and potential trades and signings thereafter.

That might seem like an automatic, given the Hawks are coming off of good season. But coaches and GMs often are not on the same page in pro sports. It also became clear that Woodson and Sund’s predecessor, Billy Knight, were in a completely different library two years ago — particularly after Knight went to ownership more than once and tried to get approval to fire the coach.

“Philosophically, I believe the head coach should be involved in the process,” Sund said. “I don’t know what they’ve done here in the past. But certainly Woody’s involved here now. He has been in the meetings. I’m a consensus type of guy. I really and truly believe that the league is so difficult now and there’s so much to do as a general manager that you have to have a good division of labor. [Assistant GM] Dave Pendergraft, [director of operations Mike] McNeive and [pro personnel director Steve] Rosenberry and our scouts have done an outstanding job. I like them giving their presentation and doing film analysis and rankings and then sharing information with Woody and I. And then I like Woody and I making sure we’re asking the correct questions. Then on Wednesday or Thursday morning, we’ll break it down who we want to draft.”

Sund wasn’t not done yet. (Just so you know,  this long answer followed one question.)

“I like my head coach being involved. I’m a firm believer that the coach is involved in this process. If a coach isn’t involved in the process and you draft somebody, he doesn’t know what his strengths and weaknesses are. Then you’re running the risk that he’s going to fail.”

I’ve been critical of Woodson in the past. (He would be the first to tell you, between expletives.) But after the Hawks won their first-round playoff series against Miami, I believed it validated the team’s 47-win season and Woodson as a head coach.

Imagine my surprise when several readers took issue with that. (Mike: I’m not making that up.) Woodson will enter the final year of his contract next season. But Sund waved off any question that suggested that situation would prompt him to change his consensus philosophy.

“It doesn’t matter,” Sund said.

And later: “I won’t draft a player without a coach’s input. I won’t make a trade without talking to him. I want him to listen and talk to the scouts. Now, I may pull rank at some point. But I want him there, listening and talking to everybody. One thing I don’t do is is make decisions alone.”

Any thoughts?

58 comments Add your comment

tale of woe

June 22nd, 2009
4:53 pm

Fire Sund for wanting input on a lame-duck coach.

tale of woe

June 22nd, 2009
4:54 pm

Ohhhh…crap! FIRST!!!!!! (I always wanted to write that)

shresee2

June 22nd, 2009
4:57 pm

Jeff, with that being said. Do you think that this is why some players like acie have not developed as first thought. Maybe Knight did not ask Woody’s opinion at all and these players did not fit into Woody’s system. If Woody is extened past his contract or not, it would seem that the best transition for both players and coaches is to believe they will fit together and create positive team chemistry, better then a player just put on a team and not really wanted.

Ted Striker

June 22nd, 2009
5:01 pm

In reference to an earlier column, which was evidently closed due to improper behavior: The only race baiting you’ll ever see Ted Striker doing is trying to get multi-racial hottie chicks to nibble my bait.

The Grinch

June 22nd, 2009
5:03 pm

This all smells pretty fishy to me. You don’t want to give Woody an extension (which is understandable; his “style” is horrible for the makeup of this roster) but you want his input on all roster decisions? Why? That would only make sense if he’s going to be the coach of the future. Sund has already proven he’s smart enough not to give Woody a big deal; is this just some sort of P.R. window dressing? Or are they fixing to sign Woody long term and blow the team up (I’m sure Woody would love a 5 man rotation and the Spirit would love the cap space it generated)?

Billy Knight

June 22nd, 2009
5:04 pm

Hey Rick, don’t trust Woody. In previous drafts, I wanted to select Loul Deng, Chris Paul, and Brandon Roy when they were still available to us. But Woody demanded that I take Childress, Marvin, and Sheldon “The Slumlord” Williams. It’s all Woody’s fault I tell ya!!! He’s not to be trusted!!!

The Grinch

June 22nd, 2009
5:04 pm

Amen, Ted Striker; hottie variety is the spice of life.

JSS

June 22nd, 2009
5:12 pm

Folks, Acie is not developing because he is not taking advantage of his resources… 1. Stay out of Texas unless it involves ballin’ with Tony Parker or Jason Kidd. Guys they are never in Texas unless it near the season. Be a man and get with Mike Bibby and work, work, and work on your game…. Ask Josh Smith and M. Williams to go to UNC and work with the guys who come to play ball during the summer. Especially work on screen setting and running two man games… There’s a reason Woody won’t run it, it requires someone besides Hortford or ZaZa setting a pick properly…

Jeff you know I could bust about that Woody crack… Still I won’t this afternoon… You know how I feel about you (and it ain’t good), but I’m calling a truce till you do something crazy again..

cp

June 22nd, 2009
5:23 pm

If Woody has any input on the draft then I might not even watch it now. This is the same guy who did not like Chris Paul, Derron Williams, and Rondo. There is no telling who else he did not like. Not the news I wanted to hear. With Sund’s draft history and Woodsons talent evaluation this could be another botched draft by the Hawks.

O'Brien

June 22nd, 2009
5:24 pm

Jeff,

I want my GM and head coach to be on the same page. And thats what we have seen with the Falcons (Smith and TD). Maybe the Hawks are taking notes.

I mentioned this on Mark’s blog, and I’ll mention it here. Woody did not like Chris Paul and Deron Williams coming out of college, and maybe Woody had input in the Shelden Williams pick. Sund picked Sene, Swift, and Petro.

Since this is their first draft together, I just hope they are able to get it right. Like Sekou said, our drafts have always led to “what if”. What if we had drafted Deng or Iggy (instead of Chills). What if we had drafted CP3 or Deron (instead of Marvin). What if we had drafted Roy or Gay (instead of Shelden). I just want the Hawks to get a player who lives up to expectations.

O'Brien

June 22nd, 2009
5:30 pm

cp

You and I were thinking the same thing. And the fact is, Woody is a lame duck coach. If Sund was impressed by the “validation” of the Hawks and Woody as a coach, then why not offer Woody an extension?

Jeff,

When Sund said Woody validated himself (leading the Hawks to 47 wins), You should have asked him why not offer him an extension then..

niremetal

June 22nd, 2009
5:39 pm

O’Brien,

Read the post again. Jeff, not Sund, said that about Woodson.

Red Auerbach

June 22nd, 2009
6:36 pm

Tony from Stone Mountain

June 22nd, 2009
6:43 pm

O'Brien

June 22nd, 2009
7:06 pm

nire,

you’re right. I read that wrong.

Jeff,

I withdraw my question (but I do disagree with you that Woodson is validated). I need to see how next season goes.

rms

June 22nd, 2009
7:25 pm

Yikes, your’re getting input from a guy that thought Chris Paul was too small and Deron Williams was too slow and gave Sheldon Williams starter minutes. I can imagine what he thinks of Ty Lawson. I aint all that impressed with Sund either. I think I may watch the draft with my eyes closed hoping they dont pick another forward of some unheard of Euro player.

rms

June 22nd, 2009
7:28 pm

althought the falcons GM and coach are on the same page, the difference between them and the Hawks is that the Falcons are actually better at evaluating talent, the hawks pretend like they know what they are doing but are really clueless

Tyger

June 22nd, 2009
8:01 pm

Where’s BK when we need him??? Saer Sene, Johan Petro, Luke Ridenour, Robert Swift….

Jeff Schultz

June 22nd, 2009
8:05 pm

TALE OF WOE: How do you know Woodson is lameduck?

SHERSEE2: Horford developed quickly, Smith is a mixed bag, so to some degree is Marvin. So I don’t know yet if it’s fair to blame Woodson for Acie Law’s slow development. It might be he’s just not that good. Bottom line: We don’t know the answer yet.

STRIKER: Thank you for your perspective, as always.

THE GRINCH: Are you sure the Hawks don’t want to give Woodson an extension. Because it is also possible Woodson didn’t want one, given the way he thinks he’s been treated. I don’t know. I’m just saying either is possible. If the Hawks have a great season next year, Woodson has leverage. If not, he doesn’t. Could go either way.

O’BRIEN: Fair enough. I know you’re not alone. So what would it take next year to convince you. Two playoff round wins?

willie

June 22nd, 2009
8:12 pm

Is there a more overrated position in all of sports than NBA head coach? Players win championships…period.

AB

June 22nd, 2009
8:18 pm

Jeff Schultz,

How can you say Woody isn’t the one to blame, when he doesn’t even play Acie Law? You can’t gain confidence sitting on the bench! I wouldn’t be suprised if Woody walked out on our a#*es.

Astro Joe

June 22nd, 2009
8:39 pm

OB, what if we had drafted Rudy Gay? On a team with Marvin, Josh & Josh? Come on, man.

Jeff, Sund had 3 consecutive 1st round picks with not one of them being better than Solomon Jones (a second round pick). The real question isn’t will Woody have input, the question is what has our long-winded, lecturing GM going to do to avoid yet another coloasal failure in the draft.

Big Ray

June 22nd, 2009
8:40 pm

Jeff,

Woody has two playoff seasons, and one winning season under his belt. He has more or less given credit to Mike Bibby for both, and I can’t disagree. Now while he undoubtedly said this for the sake of vehemently advocating the re-signing of Bibby, he also told on himself (in my opinion, which is worth less than two cents).

If he coaches this team to a 2nd consecutive winning season, I think most of us ought to lay off. Until then, he’s a one-time winner. That doesn’t get anyone an extension, unless the GM is really committed to the guy.

As for Sund’s method of involving the coach, that is what SHOULD happen, and I applaud him for doing what he should do. But Billy and Woody started out that way, too. And I’ll give Sund a golf clap for the moment. Why? Because it’s also the SMART thing to do, and not for all the obvious reasons. If the coach’s input is included, he also shares the blame.

Sund can always go back and say, “Hey, we talked about this. We agreed to go with this or that guy, or in this or that direction. We were on the same page, and we agreed to what it would take for us to accomplish our task. We did this together. You didn’t pull through. Now we’re going to go in a different direction.”

It’s probably more complicated than that, but you get the idea. If a GM begins to disagree with his coach, and then begins to exclude him from decision-making and any applicable “need to know” information/meetings, then the situation will erode for the GM. After all, the GM is upper management. And if upper management is cutting middle or lower management out of the scene, then how can one reasonably expect the lower/middle management to perform adequately?

I suspect this is where Billy Knight went wrong. As he and Woody disagreed, he began to exclude Woody, and make all kinds of decisions without Woody’s input. I think we began to see that leak out onto the court a little bit, as well. And then, when Billy wanted to fire Woody, he didn’t have a leg to stand on, as he had cut him out of so many things, fracturing what should have been a good working relationship.

But it’s all just a guess….

Big Ray

June 22nd, 2009
8:43 pm

Astro Joe,

Well, apparently he’s going to listen to Woody. Better come up with a new alibi if this draft pick stinks, pal, because Woody will get just as much dirt thrown on him as Sund will (well, we both know it’s going to be lopsided anyway). At the same time, if the pick is good, we have to give Woody as much credit as we do Sund.

Shall we also assume that the decidedly NOT long-winded former GM also listened to Woody (at least for the first 2-3 years)? Ah yes, the technicalities of the blame game…

Fade

June 22nd, 2009
8:47 pm

If I am under the right impression, this is meant to be a blog about Woodson’s credibility. Yeah, he has been a moderate head coach to this point, but he has experience now. Experience in losing and in winning, and I believe that goes a long way. Time will tell whether becomes a great coach, or remains to be a decent coach.

Sautee

June 22nd, 2009
8:55 pm

Jeff,

About this: “So I don’t know yet if it’s fair to blame Woodson for Acie Law’s slow development. It might be he’s just not that good. Bottom line: We don’t know the answer yet.”

I posted this before on Sekou’s blog, but it’s no less illuminating here:

When Acie has gotten time, he’s produced. In the 12 games where he got at least 15 minutes he averaged: 7.2 pts., 2.4 reb., 3.1 ast. to .08 turnovers.

Bibby in 34.7 minutes averaged 14.8 pts., 3.5 reb., 5.0 ast. to 1.62 turnovers.

VERY comparable numbers relative to their respective minutes.

I agree that his jumper was seriously lacking, and if he had shot a higher percentage, he would have had more playing time. But those figures show ME enough to say don’t give up on Acie until he’s had a little more time.

The REAL question is, why he didn’t GET more minutes producing at that level?

And a cautionary word: Don’t you KNOW Dallas is wishing they hadn’t given up on Devon Harris?

Reid Adair

June 22nd, 2009
9:07 pm

If Mike Woodson is going to be the coach for 2009-10 (and he is), let him have a say in the draft. Sund didn’t say he would necessarily go with the coach’s opinion; he just said he wanted to hear it.

Astro Joe

June 22nd, 2009
9:19 pm

Ray, no alibis will be needed. Whomever they draft at #19 may not earn the time. Espeically if they draft an SG. Why would anyone be upset if Ellington can’t earn time ahead of Joe, Flip (assuming he resigns) and Mo? And, there is another piece to the “playing time equation”… the player needs to earn it. Like I always say, this isn’t YMCA youth basketball. And notice, I didn’t even mention the chances that Woody would play a rookie over vets in his final contract year. Nope, never crossed my mind.

Seriously, Sund makes the ultimate decision. Should we blame the previous Seattle coaches for Swift, Petro and Sene (now that we know Sund’s grand cooperative philosophy)? I don’t.

niremetal

June 22nd, 2009
9:22 pm

Sautee,

Weren’t you the one of the people that has warned against projecting a player’s numbers out to higher minutes? If I’m misremembering, my bad. Just was joshin’ you anyway.

I also don’t think Dallas is kicking themselves too hard about Devin-for-Kidd and I wouldn’t either. The stats make that trade look bad. But Devin is not a leader or a winner. Kidd is. They made that trade a couple years too late, but Devin did not and does not have the leadership skills they needed to break through. They might not be heading to the Finals with Kidd, but I highly doubt they would have with Devin Harris either. And when you’re a 50-win team like Dallas, all you’re looking for is ways to break through and win a title. (And I’m saying this as a guy who can’t stand Mark Cuban)

All that being said, I definitely don’t disagree on Acie. It boggles my mind that Woody hasn’t used him more and better. I think he has shown the ability.

Sautee

June 22nd, 2009
9:38 pm

Nire,

I actually was NOT projecting Acie’s minutes. I was trying to show what he was capable of when given a decent amount of playing time. I’m sure you noticed that I didn’t draw a SPECIFIC CONCLUSION, other than saying the numbers were comparable for the minutes played.

If that’s split hair, so be it. And of course I’ve proudly earned any joshing I get from you. ;-)

rms

June 22nd, 2009
9:41 pm

we might as well let schultz throw in some input since noone in the Hawks organization have a clue. Its just a shot in the dark and hope for the best. I honestly believe it starts at the top with the owner and then down to the GM and head coach if you want to have a championship caliber team. This team is only capable of making the playoffs and maybe winning a round. That its!! That mediocrity, not winning!!!

newkid

June 22nd, 2009
10:18 pm

I’m afraid it’s already ‘game over’ as regards the draft if Sund indeed said “…then on Wednesday or Thursday morning, we’ll break it down who we want to draft.” Sir, if you won’t know until Wednesday or Thursday who you want to draft, then you’re not at all prepared. Teams with proper player evaluation systems not only already know who they’re targeting, but have already done much of the negotiations (with other teams) necessary to move up (or down) in the draft to get that player. If we’re never going to be more competent in our preparations, the draft will ALWAYS be nothing more than a complete crap shoot. Imagine Mr. Blank, Mr. Dimitroff, and Mr. Smith not knowing who they’re targeting until the day of the NFL draft. Unreal.

Astro Joe

June 22nd, 2009
10:36 pm

newkid, I would suggest that there is no reason to be ready any sooner than the day of the draft. Why not use every possible minute to gather information before writing sceanrios on a board? And I don’t understand the value of discussing your draft board with other teams. Why would we tell Utah (picks after us) our plans? Why would the T’Wolves (choosing ahead of us) give us their plans? Doesn’t that compromise our ability to negotiate deals?

But if TD knows more about preparing for a draft as a GM after 2 drafts than Sund after a few dozen drafts, then yes, we are in major, major trouble.

MannyT

June 23rd, 2009
12:08 am

Good job security for Sund to include Woody. The coach has already won one executive cage match here. It also gives Sund some wiggle room.

For all the worry about this draft, it is a great piece of luck if we get a starter out of a #19 pick. We will hopefully get a contributor off the bench, but I’d be shocked if #19 got 20 mins/game during the course of the season.

Given those realities, I am ready to accept the best player available pick on Thursday.

I really hope that we have no plans to move up in this draft. I’d rather add a veteran to this team than add an expensive rookie that we are unlikely to start. I think the back office has ideas about who they like, but there is no need to lock it in much in advance of Thursday. That only creates the opportunity for leaks.

…and Jeff, you posted this blog in perfect Moses Malone time–fo, fo, fo.

BWAF

RealSquawk

June 23rd, 2009
12:12 am

I love Cameo post. I.E. Joe Johnson after the playoffs, Josh Smith after the trade rumors, and now Billy Knight. The funny thing about it is and call me naive, but I really think that is Billy Knight or at least that is what he would have said. But i think its him just like i think it was joe just like i think it was josh. i am probably horribly mistaken.

If it is Knight thanks for putting the truth out there, thanks for trying to fire Woody. and thank-you for not writing a tell-all book we don’t need the drama and the market is not big enough for it to sale unless you put some donaghy allegations in it then your looking at best seller and broken knee caps.

BarkingBulldawg

June 23rd, 2009
12:26 am

This BETTER be lip service.

And Woodson BETTER be a lame duck. Please don’t tell me you’re a Woodson apologist in addition to wanting to acquire Rafer Alston?

And I still want to know who ultimately favored Shelden Williams. I have heard varying accounts, so could you please that to rest once and for all, Jeff Schultz?

BarkingBulldawg

June 23rd, 2009
12:39 am

“So I don’t know yet if it’s fair to blame Woodson for Acie Law’s slow development. It might be he’s just not that good. Bottom line: We don’t know the answer yet”

You really don’t get it, Jeff. After two frickin’ years, we SHOULD KNOW. That is the point! Woodson hasn’t given him even a semblance of a consistent role, even off the bench! It’s been two frickin’ years!

“So what would it take next year to convince you. Two playoff round wins?”

Again, you just don’t get it. Obviously you don’t watch all the games or are just not that much of an NBA fan. It’s the bonehead coaching decisions, the complete lack of an offensive plan, terrible substitution patterns (JJ plays more minutes than Kobe, LeBron and Wade – Woody ran him into the ground not just one season but twice now), etc, etc, ETC! That is the indictment on Woody.

And you think that first round “win” over Miami gets him off the hook? Did you watch the series, Jeff? That was easily the most horrendous display of basketball in the entire NBA playoffs. We squeaked (and I mean SQUEAKED) by a team that honestly would have lost to every other team in the playoffs. Every single one sans MAYBE the Pistons. Maybe.

I’m going to stop here. This really isn’t worth my time. But your basketball articles continue to astound me. They really do.

RealSquawk

June 23rd, 2009
12:51 am

BarkingBulldawg,

I know you are looking for something a little more concrete when referring to the sheldon decision, but lets think about it.

There are two answers both of them blame Woody because Knight just picking sheldon to pick him doesn’t make any sense. no sense what so ever. why would someone who so constantly picks athletic players go with someone so unathletic. Look at all rounds all years of the Knight era no unatheltic players just wasn’t his thing. And knight was a good drafter an excellent dealer. he got bibby he got pau gasol i mean just based off of those two things it makes him better than sund. And please believe if it was up to knight both joshes would be here. but i digress.

1. Knight said Woody who do you want? And woody said no to several people. he said he needed toughness and someone who could play right away. someone with a great resume. BOOM sheldon williams.

2. Knight after seeing so many of his draft day steals not properly used or maybe just one salim stoudamire, and then his other players not being able to find consistent minutes, royal ivey, solomon jones, he decides to draft someone he knows Woody will play. There is no use in drafting a guard if we have Joe Johnson and Woody is hell bent on getting him to the allstar game and trying to win him an mvp. nope no reason get somebody who he will play and if you look at the draft. Sheldon Williams is the only one for sure you know Woody might play. maybe lamarcus gets minutes maybe.

Mike is back

June 23rd, 2009
1:29 am

Jeff, CMON MAN!!! U know Gearson Sr is pulling all the strings…why all the hype about Sund…that’s why Gearson Sr stirred up things between BK and Belkin…he didn’t have the money to buy the team without him…so he came up with a plan…just kidding…don’t ban me.lol

Sund has made all the right moves so far…and including the coach in this process makes good business sense…even if it is Woody…Dam, did I just write that. The puzzling thing is…how can Woody know who to draft…when his team has no identity…his bread and butter is ISO Joe.

I wish Sund and Woody the best for Thursday…they will need it…too many question marks in this draft.

Man, first Bradley…now you…things are looking up for us long suffering ATL sports fans. I would give my main Blogster a shout out for bringing some civility…and snap crackle and pop to AJC sports section…Oh and guess I should give the AJC credit for hiring him…but u know who it is…tha know who it is…u know who it is…tha know who it is.

Sund has made all the right moves so far…and including the coach in this process makes good business sense…even if it is Woody…Dam, did I just write that. The puzzling thing is…how can Woody know who to draft…when his team has no identity…his bread and butter is ISO Joe.

I wish Sund and Woody the best for Thursday…they will need it…too many question marks in this draft.

Man first Bradley…now you…things are looking up for us long suffering ATL sports fans. I would give my main Blogster a shout out for bringing some civility…and snap crackle and pop to AJC sports section…Oh and guess I should give the AJC credit for hiring him…but u know who it is…tha know who it is…u know who it is…tha know who it is.

Mike is back

June 23rd, 2009
1:32 am

My apologies for the double post…no pond intended.

tale of woe

June 23rd, 2009
6:04 am

Jeff – I know he is a lameduck coach because he won 47 games last year and didn’t get a contract extension. If Sund really wanted to keep him he would have extended the contract. Sund knows we are going to take a step back this year and then he can fire Woodson and get the coach he wants instead of one that he inherited.

JSS

June 23rd, 2009
6:08 am

For all of you Hawk Speculators… I want to share how the LA Times presents their Blog on the Lake Show…
http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2009/06/mitch-kuphcak-exit-interview.html

Tell me what you think?

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2009
7:02 am

Astro Joe,

The purpose I can see in discussing draft strategies with other teams is if two teams have agreed on an engineered trade. Let’s say we really want Jarrett Jack, and the Pacers really want (fill in the blank). Instead of handing them Speedy and the #19 pick (which wouldn’t work anyway, since Jack is restricted), we could instead trade Speedy along with the rights to (fill in the blank).

Maybe that was what Newkid was referring to, maybe not. I don’t know. But that’s what came to mind, along with any other deals that include moving up for down in the draft. What gets discussed in detail is up to the teams involved. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to discuss draft strategies with one’s opponents, as you suggested.

As for the Woody/Sund thing, this: “And notice, I didn’t even mention the chances that Woody would play a rookie over vets in his final contract year. Nope, never crossed my mind.” …was funny as hell!

As for Sund making the final decision, that’s true (and obvious). But his involvement of the coach still implicates the coach. As in, the coach can’t claim he was left out, when in fact he was “on board” with the whole thing. No, I am not saying blame the coach for who was drafted. I’m saying he gets to share in the glory…or the ingloriousness of whatever happens. As MannyT says, it gives the GM some wiggle room. Sund learned from Billy’s mistakes, I think.

Anyway, that’s a moot point. We all know that it’s not the coaches fault at all when things don’t go right, and he deserves all or at least a large part of the credit when they do… ;)

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2009
7:06 am

Mike,

One of things Sund said struck a chord with me. He talked about having patience with a draft prospect, particularly one that is not drafted high. Patience is something many coaches don’t have (especially in the last year of a contract, blah blah blah), and Woody is no exception. And yet, I doubt handing the man a brand new 4 year contract would change what he does at all, especially since he claims he is doing the same thing, regardless of where his contract status is (and he is doing exactly that). An extension means finding another alibi for the things he does, because “coaching scared” will no longer apply, no matter how his publicists try to spin it…

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2009
7:30 am

Niremetal,

Kidd has the leadership skills, but the other skills are flagging something fierce. Kidd wasn’t getting them anywhere (I seem to remember a little guy by the name of Chris running circles around him a couple years ago). I still think it was a bad trade.

Seems to me that Dallas was a 50-win team WITH Devin Harris, and perhaps he and Avery Johnson would have grown together. Biggest difference between Kidd and Harris (besides a number of years) is that Devin has the physical skills to go for miles, and may yet develop into a better leader…while Kidd has all the leadership skills, but the body is no longer able. I’m still siding with New Jersey on this one. Unless Dallas makes some other big move, Kidd’s leadership gets them no further than they are now, unfortunately. They better get a young pg for him to groom, before he has nothing left to give.

regina

June 23rd, 2009
8:09 am

Its going to be the same thing with Woodson having input. He’s not a good coach. He can’t get the most out of the players he has. He only plays one-Joe Johnson. Why “damage” a young player’s psyche by drafting one? The Hawks will get rid of all their players who have an upside and keep one-check the history- and become the same potential team that have a history of being. The Hawks will never pay more that one player and have bench player who will ’support’ the one super player they have.

mountain_jim

June 23rd, 2009
8:27 am

“And I still want to know who ultimately favored Shelden Williams.”
I agree. Even though it’s water under the bridge, I remember reading that BK allowed Woody that pick because Woody wanted him for the middle, thinking that was what the Hawks needed. If that is true, then that was one more reason for BK to want Woody gone… That pick did not really match BK’s usual draft style, but even if he did allow Woody his choice there, he should have traded down and taken him much lower.

7

June 23rd, 2009
8:58 am

The blind leading the blind.

Mike is back

June 23rd, 2009
9:23 am

Yeah, I hear ya Ray…Woody can say one thing…he has been afforded many opportunities a lot of young coaches like himself never get…I tired of excuses. Certainly, having the GM and the Coach on the same accord bodes well for the team…not to mention contract negation. You never want to see a fiasco where your Coach and GM are getting into a pissing contest over the direction of the team.

Hey, if Bradley and Shultz can make a change…Maybe there is hope for Woody. Heh heh

newkid

June 23rd, 2009
9:56 am

AJ, negotiations with other teams to position oneself for the player you’re targeting need not – and should not – include discussion of the player(s). It’s foolishness to behave in that manner, and – while we may disagree on this point – in my opinion it’s incompetence to not know who you’re targeting until the 11th hour. NO there’s no reason to reveal your priorities to Schultz or any beat writer, but gosh don’t tell the world that you’ll arrive at Thursday morning still unsure of who your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd priorities are, and that because you haven’t developed this ranking until the last minute, you could not have taken any steps to position yourself to acquire your priorities. That’s simply inviting failure; that’s the sort of ‘planning’ that leads to getting screwed by allowing Memphis to offer Smith a contract that straps you in unanticipated ways; that’s being completely unprepared for the Childress fiasco; that’s our history and it’s one of incompetence.

Now none of what I’ve said argues for making premature judgments about players, team needs, etc. It merely argues for due diligence, not just the week prior to the exam, but throughout the semester and year. This cat has been ‘evaluating’ ALL YEAR (supposedly). The draft night moves the Blazers have made the past few years could not have been made if they’d waited until the 11th hour to identify targeted players, and I think we can be reasonably sure that the front office wasn’t going about its business discussion it’s master plan. No way they could’ve devised and executed such intricate strategies as they did (along with the cooperation of several other teams) if they’d screwed around until draft day deciding who they wanted. And the consequence of proper and early preparation (and yes some luck, which we’ve also had, but bungled royally) is seemingly an emerging powerhouse in the West.