Crawford blindsided by Nelson (and another ESPN turnover)

Orson Welles can't believe Mike Woodson doesn't want Jamal Crawford.

Here's Orson Welles giving us the latest updates on martians, Mike Woodson and Jamal Crawford.

While we wait to see if there’s any ripple effect on the Hawks’ draft plans with their impending acquisition of guard Jamal Crawford from Golden State, I wanted to dispel rumors of two HUGE stories:

♦ 1. Martians did not land in New Jersey in 1938. It turns out Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” broadcast was just a goofy radio bit.

♦ 2. Mike Woodson is not holding up the Crawford trade. It turns out ESPN gets stuff wrong sometimes. Who knew?

The most entertaining thing about the NBA draft is not the draft itself but the rumors leading up to it. So it follows that ESPN’s Andy Katz had a whopper late Wednesday that Woodson didn’t want Crawford, in part because the Hawks’ coach was concerned about Crawford’s opt-out clause in his contract.

Of course, part of the fallout is, you read that and send me emails or post comments, reading: “Why is Woody blocking the deal?!” or “Crawford doesn’t want to come here!” or “Aaaaggh! My hair’s on fire! My hair’s on fire!”

And then I have to respond, “Calm down. No, those are not little green men you see out of your kitchen window. It’s only Andy Katz.”

This picture apparently was taken before Don Nelson told Jamal Crawford to leave town.

This picture apparently was taken before Don Nelson told Jamal Crawford to leave town.

First of all, Hawks general manager Rick Sund reaffirmed Monday that he would not draft or trade for a player if Woodson wasn’t on board with the move. Why would he? Know how many GMs have made that mistake, only to see their acquisitions sit on the bench?

Secondly, why would Crawford opt out? He’s due to make $19 million over the next two seasons. Do you believe he would get anything remotely close to that on the open market in today’s economy?

Thirdly (is that word?), is there any reason to think Woodson was married to Speedy Claxton or Acie Law?

Far more interesting — and as bonus, ACCURATE! — is some stuff coming out of the Bay Area. Golden State apparently had been trying to dump Crawford’s contract for months, and coach Don Nelson wanted him to exercise an opt-out clause in his contract. He told Crawford: Do it or you’re gone.

Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “Late last season, Nelson told Crawford that he didn’t fit into the Warriors’ plans and the player would be traded if he didn’t opt out.”

Crawford confirmed this to Marcus Thompson II of the Contra Costa Times. He said Nelson basically issued an ultimatum: “I didn’t want to talk about the ultimatum [during] the season. But I was shocked. I drove around for two hours after that meeting, just in shock. I basically saw the writing was on the wall, that my future wasn’t with the Warriors. It’s weird. With me first coming, [Nelson] said he wanted me to end my career here and that I was a godsend. Then he was saying he wanted me to be more aggressive and play my game. Then a week later, that happened. I was shocked.”

For what it’s worth, Crawford confirmed he would be crazy to opt out of his contract. He also apparently has an 11-year-old son who lives in Atlanta.

Feel better now?

35 comments Add your comment

JSS

June 25th, 2009
11:07 am

Well Jeff, you’d certainly know about getting things wrong… You know what about glass houses (See about Mark Sanford)…

ATL BRAVOE

June 25th, 2009
11:41 am

lol. Thank you for clearing this up Jeff.

ATL4Ever

June 25th, 2009
11:43 am

With this trade, this will put us a worst in position to repeat as 4th best team in the East behind – Cleveland, Orlando, Boston and Atlanta – At best – 4th in the East still. But that’s not a bad place to be. Keeps Miami, Chicago and Washington still a step behind. Good trade. Still need a PG.

DHD

June 25th, 2009
11:43 am

Welcome to the ATL!!

Jeff Schultz

June 25th, 2009
11:47 am

ATL4ever — I agree, but I’ll hold off on any declarations until dust settles. Still some players without contracts (Bibby, Marvin, Flip). More moves could be coming.

ATL BRAVOE

June 25th, 2009
11:51 am

Jeff, rumors are going around that Brandon Jennings might be at the 19th spot when the Hawks pick.If so, what is your take on that pick?

Jeff Schultz

June 25th, 2009
11:55 am

ATL BRAVOE: Had some baggage I think coming out of HS but might’ve matured in Europe. Depends who else is available. He’s all over the board in mocks, though. No consensus on him.

Ace111

June 25th, 2009
12:00 pm

If Don Nelson doesn’t think Crawford is worth $19M over 2 yrs, why does Rick Sund?

Mac

June 25th, 2009
12:13 pm

Sorry about your stalker, Jeff. Thanks for the information on Crawford.

Jeff Schultz

June 25th, 2009
12:15 pm

Ace111: You’re oversimplifying things. It’s about roles. Crawford was a starter who would’ve been a reserve next year and coaches/GMs don’t like that situation. Warriors have committed their future (financial and otherwise) to Monta Ellis. This makes that easier. Want a new young point guard, probably out of the draft. As far as “worth,” the contract already is in place, can’t do anything about that now. But he Crawford can fill a backup role in Atlanta much easier than Golden State and he’s an insurance policy if Bibby bolts. Make sense now?

JSS

June 25th, 2009
12:18 pm

No issues, he couldn’t qualify and clear the NCAA clearinghouse process… he decided that Europe and the pro game there was a better fit… He made a good choice in not chasing college if his heart and brain were not in it…

Jeff Schultz

June 25th, 2009
12:28 pm

JSS: I knew about academics and not getting into Ariz. Thought I remembered an “issue,” and this was it, related to the academics: a suspicious SAT test result, flagged by NCAA. But obviously he’s not the first. … Interesting case though because I’m sure he could’ve gotten in somewhere but he wanted to play pro so went to Europe for a year to navigate NBA eligibility rules. … From old L.A. Times story: “Ranked by some prep basketball talent appraisers as the top incoming freshman in the nation, Jennings told ESPN.com last week that he has taken the SAT three times, scoring poorly on the first and so much better on the second that the NCAA red-flagged the result and opted not to clear him for college.”

JSS

June 25th, 2009
12:42 pm

Yep, that is why I said “no issues,” the Clearinghouse can catch you up as I used to worn students who played sports and aspired to go to play D-1. His big mistake was renigging on his USC to go with Lute… The red flags went up, no other problem wanted in on him after that… See, I don’t bust your chops for nothing…

Jeff, is he insinuating I’m your “stalker?” I just dislike you intensely (as we have discussed), I’d never stalk you… You’re not in the least bit pretty…. (ROTFLMAO)…. Al Wood, that was hilarious… (Not personal)

Ace111

June 25th, 2009
12:44 pm

I get the insurance policy, although a bit pricey at that. Do you really think he’s going to be happy coming off the bench behind Bibby, if re-signed? “Coaches/GMs don’t like that situation.” It’s a better situation with the Hawks because Bibby is older? Seems to me Sund has decided not to re-sign Bibby, and Crawford is the starter. Add Flip and a PG @ #19 (Ty Lawson, please!) as back-ups and you’re set.

JSS

June 25th, 2009
12:47 pm

Better repost before I get waylaid…

Yep, that is why I said “no issues,” the Clearinghouse can catch you up as I used to worn students who played sports and aspired to go to play D-1. His big mistake was reneging on his USC commitment to go with Lute at U-A… The red flags went up, no other PROGRAM wanted in on him after that (See OJ Mayo)… See, I don’t bust your chops for nothing…

Jeff, is he insinuating I’m your “stalker?” I just dislike you intensely (as we have discussed), I’d never stalk you… You’re not in the least bit pretty…. (ROTFLMAO)…. Al Wood, that was hilarious… (Not personal)

JSS

June 25th, 2009
12:57 pm

Dang I have the Jeff Schultz’s today… My glass house is shattering!!! WARN, not “worn”

Al Wood, I can’t forget the old days at the old Jones County gym in Gray watching the Wood Brothers wear out the bigger GHSA schools back in the classic late 70’s…. Jeff Malone, Dale Ellis, and Al Wood all in the same time range, now that was BB…

Najeh Davenpoop

June 25th, 2009
12:59 pm

Poor/fake SAT scores didn’t stop Derrick Rose from winning Rookie of the Year. Jennings may not have received much playing time in Europe but he still has the same elite level talent he did coming out of high school. I think he will be a fine NBA player, and looking at just potential he’s a better pick than Teague, Lawson, Maynor, or Flynn.

Of course, potential has to be developed to be realized, and Woodson has already shown with one talented point guard that developing potential is not one of his strong suits…

Najeh Davenpoop

June 25th, 2009
1:01 pm

And I wouldn’t consider any decision made by the notoriously flaky Don Nelson to be relevant. I’m sure Crawford is not the first player who has been on the receiving end of some Nelson flip-flopping.

chemdawg

June 25th, 2009
1:34 pm

Crawford seems like an expensive “insurance policy” for Bibby. What are the chances he’ll be a backup on the hawks with the current payroll situation? This move seems to signify that Bibby is gone. He made $14 million last year. What is the market for Bibby’s services? Would he take a pay cut to ~$5 mill?

keanu scott

June 25th, 2009
1:42 pm

I like the trade for Crawford he is a scorer and he is under 30 years-old and we can get a chance on a center in the draft(Bj Mullens).I f we are lucky we can get Tony Douglass in the second round and he can play the point!!!!!!!!GO HAWKS

Jeff Schultz

June 25th, 2009
1:57 pm

JSS: I’m with you. I had always hoped if I was stalked, it would be by somebody kinda hot. … Too bad Jennings didn’t go to USC. He could’ve stayed in Reggie Bush’s house.

NAJEH. Agreed. There’s old school and then there’s OLD old school. Nelson’s the latter. He’s losing it.

CHEMDAWG: There’s a money issue in 2 years. But the difference in salary next season between Crawford and Speedy/Law is only about $2 million. No biggie. And Crawford will PLAY.

Tyger

June 25th, 2009
2:04 pm

Wrong Again…

The Hawks are not paying Jamal Crawford $8.6M to back up anybody. He is the starting PG or in this case, starting guard. Point guard, combo guard, scoring guard – whatever you want to call him – he’ll be on the floor at the tip-off.

Bibby still wants to get paid, but he’s in denial, and the Hawks don’t owe him a golden parachute. He’s better off going back West and retiring in Phoenix or California where he has roots. The last thing the ATL Spirit needs is to start paying Social Security Benefits to its players.

Crawford is another long, athletic, versatile player that fits in the BK mold and vision for this team. Give Sund credit, he got it right. This team needed an upgrade in talent moreso than to hold the line. The East has improved and the offseason games have begun are guess what? We’re off to a great start.

Some are trying to fit all the players into nice little square boxes: PG, SG, SF, etc. And there’s logic there, but not to the degree that you pass on pure ballers and Crawford is a baller w/ a capital “B”. Crawford simply upgrades our talent in the backcourt, we are closer now to where we were with Chills.

Everyone claimed we had too many similar players, but when every one of those redundant wings got hurt, as they always do, we didnt miss a beat, because we were loaded. We just reloaded again.

Next up, Drew Gooden, 6′10, 260, C-PF, 12ppg. 7 reb., $1.5M 2009 salary. Get’er done.

Hot Phone Sex Princess

June 25th, 2009
2:10 pm

Are you insinuating I’m not hot?

Martin Calloway

June 25th, 2009
2:16 pm

Much. I’m setting down the Advil, stepping away from the medicine chest.

Herschel Talker

June 25th, 2009
2:22 pm

BOBBY COX MUST GO!

Herschel Talker

June 25th, 2009
2:25 pm

HOW MANY FRICKING TIMES IS HE GOING TO BRING IN JEFF BENNETT?

Cutler

June 25th, 2009
2:49 pm

I think adding crawford means that Marvin is less likely to be resigned rather than bibby. That is fine with me though because crawford could easily start at the 3 next to Joe or vice versa. We could then either re sign Bibby or use Marvin in a sign and trade to acquire or a point guard. Another option would be using the Bibby money for somebody like Andre Miller. I think the direction we go tonight will be a huge indicator towards what route we decide to take but I like the deal.

Cutler

June 25th, 2009
2:50 pm

Amen to Herschel Talker…….Bennett and Kelly Johnson have no business on this team. How KJ keeps starting over prado is mind boggling.

bigjohnchopfan

June 25th, 2009
3:28 pm

Herschel Talker: I’m glad to know someone else was as ticked off last night as I was.

Did I say last night? I meant EVERY TIME I see Bennett run out from the bullpen!!!

Chris Reitsma

June 25th, 2009
3:30 pm

Have your people call my people.

As it turns out, I’m available…

Rumor Mill:

June 25th, 2009
3:48 pm

Rumor: Milwaukee is making salary cap space to sign Carlos Boozer. They are set on picking Tyler Hansbrough with the #10 pick in the draft. The Hawks will be picking Ty Lawson or Brandon Jennings with the 19th pick for Milwaukee.

The Hawks and Bucks have agreed to do a sign and trade of Charlie V. for the 19th pick (Lawson or Jennings) and Mo Evans.

SayWhatYouWant

June 25th, 2009
4:39 pm

But WOODSON does not want Crawford.. because he knows thats the END for Mike Bibby who is the Main reason he is still the coach. An ETO had nothing to do with it. Take away him the Hawks are nada nothing the last 2years. All for a guy that has won nothing been nothing on his 4th team and played only 64 games the last 2 years.??Do you REALLY think Sund or the ASGG gives a hoot what Woodson says or feels??? Listen People. Sund nor Woody are making any moves without the guys writing the checks permission.. You can belive all that stuff said in front of a camera and mic if you want to. But the TRUTH is KATZ hit this on tha NOSE. The picking of a PG tonight will seal the DEAL on Bibby who is looking for 10 to 12 mil vs the 4 or 5 mil being offered or no offer at all. The Hawks are gonna be a MESS next year. Its not about Winning its about COST! The Hawks have lost like 30 mil the last few years. How much you think they are losing every HOUR in this Economy?? How can you win with a Broke n Spirit?

Eric

June 25th, 2009
5:43 pm

If the deal for Crawford goes down he’s going to be the new starting point guard for your Atlanta Hawks period! You don’t go get a guy who averages close to 20 pts a game and flop him on the bench. It doesn’t make sense for Bibby to take less money to stay with the Hawks, when he can sign with a team like the Lakers for less. Bibby doesn’t make since for the Hawks because he getting old and you don’t want to break the bank with a player of his age. They’ll do every thing they can to sign Flip basically to fill the same role as last year, play both the 1 and 2 positions. This would also change the draft plans, the Hawks would now take a big at 19. Woody likes veteran point guards he proved that with Acie Law, the chances of the Hawks getting a point in the draft would be slim. My guess would be that the Hawks take a big at 19 or trade the pick for a veteran big.

Shane

June 25th, 2009
5:46 pm

Why has Ray Felton not been mentioned as someone we should go after to replace Bibby. To re-sign Bibby makes little sense now that we have Crawford. Crawford can play 3 positions – the 1, 2 or 3 – but not at the same time right? So, bring in Felton to play PG, Joe is at the 2, keep Marvin to be the 6th man. And if we can draft Hansborough, we’ve got a nice little rotation there of Felton/Flip/Joe/Crawford at the 1, Joe/Crawford/Flip at the 2, Crawford/Marvin/Joe/Mo at the 3 and Josh/The Freak/Mo at the 4 (with the occasional appearance by Solo. And Al and Zaza at the 5. Wouldn’t that work? But Felton hasn’t been mentioned whatsoever. . . .did i miss him signing an extension with the Bobcats?

Twinkie defense

June 26th, 2009
12:51 am

As a replacement for Law and Speedy this trade is just fine.

As a replacement for Bibby this trade is a disaster.

Crawford is not a point guard, he’s a (streaky shooting) scorer with a good handle who can make a pass. He’s also soft and is quite possibly the very worst defender in the League (no joke, look it up).

How long until Teague gets up to speed? That will determine whether or not the Hawks make a repeat visit to the playoffs next year.