Quick hits: With Jamison to Cavs, do Hawks need upgrade? (UPDATE II)

The Hawks' now will face Antawn Jamison in a Cavaliers' uniform, not the Wizards'.

Josh Smith and the Hawks now will face Antawn Jamison in a Cleveland uniform, not Washington's. (Jenni Girtman/AJC)

Hello. I am back.

After a few days off for family reasons, I wasn’t sure what to lead with this morning. So I figured I would just offer up this snack pack of morning items. Let’s call it, “Quick Hits.” The NBA trade deadline is at 3 p.m. today and I plan to speak to Hawks general manager Rick Sund about the Hawks’ plans (which is expected to be to do nothing). Which leads me to the first item:

♦ 1.) The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Antawn Jamison from Washington Wednesday as part of a three-team trade with the L.A. Clippers. Great trade for the Cavaliers. It now gives them a front court of Jamison (power forward), LeBron James (small forward) and Shaquille O’Neal (center). The Cavaliers also had a chance to get Amare Stoudemire from Phoenix but it’s hard to argue with this deal, which gives them a 6-9, 235-pound forward averaging 20 points and nine rebounds. They’re clearly the team to beat in the East.

Question: Are you OK with the Hawks’ standing pat, or do you think they need to make a move to try to keep pace with Cleveland and Orlando?

(UPDATE: For what it’s worth, Sund, who had been open to speaking this morning, now has passed along through a spokesman that he would prefer not to talk until after the 3 p.m. trade deadline. Read into that what you like. If there are any worthy developments Hawks-related, I’ll pass them along.)

(UPDATE II: The Hawks will go after former Cleveland center Zydrunas Ilgauskas if he is released by the Washington Wizards, which is expected. Here’s why it’s a good move.)

This is Michelle Damon. And that's all I have to say.

This is Michelle Damon. And that's all I have to say.

♦ 2.) When I left town, I expected Johnny Damon to be signed by Detroit by the time I returned. Hasn’t happened. If the reported numbers are accurate, the Tigers have offered by far the most dollars (two years, $14 million or one year, $7 million), far north of the Braves and Chicago White Sox. So why hasn’t Damon signed? There have been reports that his wife, Michelle, doesn’t want to live in Detroit. I would say that makes her fairly human. She prefers something more “cosmopolitan.” Hey, Michelle — how about Atlanta?!? I’m posting a picture of Michelle Damon. I figured that would be the best way of starting a write-in campaign for Damon to sign with the Braves,  even if the letters come from mostly dirty old men.

♦ 3.) Speaking of letters: Got an email a week ago from somebody wanting to know if I thought the Thrashers-to-Winnipeg rumors were true. Never had a chance to answer before my time off. But I see where the rumors mutated to the point where the team felt the need to respond. For the record, only half the rumor would shock me: It’s easy to see the Atlanta Spirit putting the team up for sale, but the relocation part doesn’t make sense — at least not yet. Commissioner Gary Bettman reaffirmed he wants the franchise to work in Atlanta.  He presides over a league with a number of weak

Tiger Woods won't be taking questions at his news conference.

Tiger Woods won't be taking questions at his news conference.

markets already. Do you believe he really would be open to swapping Atlanta for Winnipeg? The Phoenix Coyotes went into bankruptcy and were taken over by the NHL. That puts them far ahead of the Thrashers as a candidate for relocation. This doesn’t mean the Thrashers aren’t in danger of being moved — they are. But I don’t believe it’s imminent. Bettman wants to make sure all avenues of possible strong local ownership are exhausted first.

♦ 4.) Tiger Woods has announced he will end the silence on his personal problems and sex scandal Friday. He will meet with the media but only a select few members. (The Count has not received an  invitation.) He will read a statement but will not take questions. I understand the whole “this is between my wife and I thing,” but I’m not sure this is the way to go about it either. This saga has grown far beyond the usual celebrity marriage infidelity story. Fortunately, Nike has a lot of skilled speech writers.

191 comments Add your comment

TimBo

February 18th, 2010
7:34 am

Tokyo Bravo

February 18th, 2010
7:55 am

Well golly, am I first?!?

Tokyo Bravo

February 18th, 2010
7:56 am

Golly, guess not.

Woods needs something more than lawerly boilerplate at this point, btw. It may be all between him and his wife, as it should be, but he at least needs to man up and speak honestly on why he needs time off.

Holey Moley

February 18th, 2010
8:00 am

Michelle, we’ll give you keys to the town if you bring Johnny here just so we can see a little more of you.

Clay

February 18th, 2010
8:00 am

The Hawks need a legitimate big man to compete with the Magic and now the Cavs. So, yes they need help, but just can’t afford it, or won’t move anyone they could to get what they need.

Jt

February 18th, 2010
8:07 am

NO!!!!! There are no options that make sense. Ride it out! Not going to win a championship this year anyway. The best the Hawks can hope for is to go farther in the playoffs while being more competitive in the playoffs and maybe pulling an upset. Stay fiscally sound! Resign JJ in the off seasona dn look for reasonable ways to upgrade roster. They are getting there, so HOLD THE LINE!!!!!

Tigers Wood

February 18th, 2010
8:12 am

Forget Johnny sign Michelle she comes with her own bonus

Jeff -

February 18th, 2010
8:12 am

You sure were not gone long…

Yes, Michelle...

February 18th, 2010
8:16 am

…Damon has good “points” about not wanting to live in Detroit – just think what this picture would look like if she were really cold…

dub366

February 18th, 2010
8:18 am

better sign J. Dye

Jeff Schultz

February 18th, 2010
8:23 am

Tokyo Bravo — No, but with the time difference, we’ll cut you some slack.

Jeff Schultz

February 18th, 2010
8:24 am

Holey Moley — I’m guessing you’re not alone in that position.

Jeff Schultz

February 18th, 2010
8:24 am

JT — The counter-argument to that is re-signing JJ is no guarantee and this is the window.

Jeff Schultz

February 18th, 2010
8:25 am

Jeff — Not really a vacation, just a few days off for some personal stuff.

Jeff Schultz

February 18th, 2010
8:26 am

Dub366 — Why Dye? I know some have pushed for him but he hit .250 last year.

Peachtree John

February 18th, 2010
8:29 am

Not complaining, but it appears that Michelle’s doctors forgot where her nipples were originally.

Saabotager

February 18th, 2010
8:32 am

The Hawks are on their own no help in sight. They should have made a run at Gortat last year. The Hawks can still make it to the eastern conference championship, but an athletic big would get them over the hump. Woody needs to start preparing Collins.

The Grinch

February 18th, 2010
8:34 am

I bet she has to balance herself carefully walking down steps.

Tokyo Bravo

February 18th, 2010
8:36 am

You are kind, JS.

Hitting the sack now here (yeah, 10:30pm is early, but man, has it been a bear of a day!. Maybe I’ll catch some more curling live in the AM before heading off to work!

BTW – the whole Dye thing is a fetish for former players. Dude hit what, .250 last year and is reaching Julio Franco age. Wish him the best, but not a fit for ouir club.

The Grinch

February 18th, 2010
8:36 am

Woody? Preparing? Ha! He’s still running Bibby out there half an hour a game on shot out knees while Teague gets everyone Gatorade.

Helloooooooo Michelle Damon!

February 18th, 2010
8:40 am

Cold outside??

DHD

February 18th, 2010
8:46 am

Big Z would look good as another backup C for the rest of the year. As for long term..Marvin, rights to Childress and a draft pick for Amar’e would work for me.

dangerousdan87

February 18th, 2010
8:48 am

Hockey CAN and DID work in Atlanta. The Flames averaged 14,000 a game in the last season of 1980 before Tom Cousins took the boatload of cash from Calgary. By the way the population of Atlanta was only 1,500,000 in 1980. Atlanta’s population is approaching or passing 6,000,000. If Turner had bought the Flames, as he had wished in hindsight, one would have to have season tickets via a family will. B

All I'm Saying Is...

February 18th, 2010
8:50 am

Schultz: First of all, welcome back and hope all is well with the family.

Second, asking if the Hawks should make a move is an attempt to pander to the uninformed but easily riled (and I don’t fault you for taking the ‘layup’ Schultz as opposed to trying to come up with something more original—at least you didn’t work in MV7 again). Hawks cannot make a move now before trade deadline because of the contract re-signings (Bibby, ZaZa, and Marvin) done during the off-season which provided stability but eliminated flexibility.

Third, I don’t fault JJ for testing free agency but we all know he cannot get more money anywhere else than the Hawks unless he does one of those one year deals and then re-ups with the same team for a max deal, assuming they have cap room. A lot of caveats in the second half of that sentence so the sure thing is to resign with the Hawks after he gets another team to offer him a deal to set the market ensuring he gets the max from us.

Fourth, with the preponderance of shall I say pictorial chest augmentation on the web and the recent publication of the SI swimsuit issue, we don’t need Johnny Damon’s wife as badly as some think.

Dye gets raised because some think Nate will bounce back and that we need power in the outfield more than we need Damon. Plus, Dye seems to be a good guy and many do remember him fondly. He’s probably best suited for the DH league than the NL but I don’t see $7 mill per year with a two year minimum as appropriate for Damon.

egeagle

February 18th, 2010
8:57 am

We need to nip these Damon rumors in the bud. But wait, it might get Tiger here for some tournaments. You reckon she might Dye her hair or lighten it naturally in our sunny clime? She also might get an endorsement deal for an alignment service before her hubby. It’s always wise to check the focus on those headlights. But then exploring side roads with her might not be a bad thing. I’ll bet Johnny would pull over before circling the perimeter a la Pascual Perez. I’ll bet she could get many to point the way.

Dr. H

February 18th, 2010
8:58 am

Great point by dangerousdan87!! With the population increase since the Flames, it should have been a given. What is missing is leadership and decent ownership. It goes part winning. It has much to do with stability and an obvious plan to get better. The Thrashers have shot themselves in the foot too many times to have a fan base build loyalty. Really miss those Flames days!!!

Tacusa

February 18th, 2010
8:58 am

If I recall, the Hawks have lost all their games against Orlando and Cleveland this year. “Keeping pace” still translates into a second round sweep by one of those two teams. The Hawks record might be better this year than last year, but they still get booted in the second round.

dangerousdan87

February 18th, 2010
8:59 am

Hockey worked in Atlanta with the Flames. Contrary to misinformation we averaged 14,000 fans a game in 1980 when the city was only 1,500,000 in population. Tom Cousins took the boatload of cash from Calgary and the dael was done. It was not due to fan support. Ted Turner, in hindsight, wishes he had purchased the Flames. I’m sure Phillips would be sold out every night as the population is now over 6,000,000. Different sport but the Georgia Bulldogs went to the Final Four AFTER Dominque Wilkins left early. Will the Thrashers make it to the Stanley Cup? Maybe not, but don’t listen to the sports talk radio dweebs. They just got here, except for Buck.

jarvis

February 18th, 2010
9:04 am

Looks like it was cold that day.

jarvis

February 18th, 2010
9:06 am

Michelle Damon, the infamous raison smuggler.

PMC

February 18th, 2010
9:07 am

Would have been nice to have Chris Kaman starting at Center for this team and Al and Josh at Forward but it is what it is at this point.

JC

February 18th, 2010
9:08 am

I was reading a Hawks blog yesterday and really liked the idea that one fan had. Since the Spurs are looking to unload McDyess and he would definitely help us, it was suggested that McDyess/Bogans for Mo/Joe Smtih/Jason Collins. I believe the Spurs want Thomas from Chicago and this would give Chicago some expiring contracts to maybe go after D Wade in the offseason. Is this a possibility?

jarvis

February 18th, 2010
9:11 am

Marrying Michelle is so easy, even a caveman could do it.

Go Hawks

February 18th, 2010
9:12 am

Hawks need someone to defend Dwight Howard, a strong veteran like Kurt Thomas, just to give six hard fouls and frustrate Howard. They also really need a better, more reliable backup small forward. Marvin is up and down and Mo Evans is starting to show his age.

Jeff Schultz

February 18th, 2010
9:13 am

All I’m saying: 1) Thanks; 2) Obviously contracts make deals difficult, particularly during the season. But deals can always be done, especially if you’re moving bodies. We just saw that in Cleveland; 3) You might be right about the money thing. But honestly I’m not sure where Joe’s head is at right now, and I don’t mean that as a criticism. It might not be a strict dollar situation for him. He might want to leave. Free agency is an unpredictable process; 4) But what would she do for Braves’ attendance? 5) I like Damon over Dye because I think the leadoff position is more important than adding power, not that adding power isn’t important.

Jeff Schultz

February 18th, 2010
9:16 am

Tacusa — Point taken. And yes, they the Hawks are 0-5 this season against Cleveland (0-2) and Orlando (0-3).

Jeff Schultz

February 18th, 2010
9:17 am

Any way to call for a moratorium on “it was cold outside” jokes?
No.
Probably not.

doyle, winder

February 18th, 2010
9:19 am

Michelle? OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let’s start a slush fund NOW to help pay for Damon to come to the ATL. And Johnny can go where ever he wants!!!

DDog10

February 18th, 2010
9:21 am

Clay, The Cav does not have a “legitimate big man “, they have Shaq.

gabugman

February 18th, 2010
9:22 am

Welcome home Schultzie. How was Mardi Gras?

Hope all is well w/the family.

Thanks for the Damon pic. If I was the count, I would get stuck on two this morning.

Ross

February 18th, 2010
9:23 am

The Hawks need a big man to be real contenders this year, but they just don’t match up well for trades at all. It isn’t that they don’t want to do something, it’s just that they can’t.

Peter

February 18th, 2010
9:24 am

JJ will leave the Hawks, so we can use his projected $17 million a year to get new young talent both at the shooting guard, and at the big man spot.

When Bibby leaves, hopefully the only dead wood left will be Marvin, and maybe he will wake up ?

AtlSouthside

February 18th, 2010
9:28 am

Jeff, surely ownership knows that the Hawks need a legit Center. Orl: Howard & Gortat, Cleveland: Shaq & Jamison, Celtics: Perkins & KG.

We are athletic but we can win a game against Orlando (and possibly Cleveland) because he lack size in the paint. What options do we have to upgrade the front court? Or are our hands tied because of Joe Johnson’s pending free agency? And Crawford’s too?

L.Young

February 18th, 2010
9:32 am

The Hawks need to move Marvin Williams to the bench and pick up a Center (5). Horford needs to move back to his natural position of the 4.

JC Season Ticket next to ATL Bench

February 18th, 2010
9:35 am

Jeff,
Thanks for your insight. Ive been to every home game (4 season tickets)this year including preason(Larry Brown was ejected- still laughing). We HAVE to make a run at ZYDRUNAS. We need to RUN-trust me EVERY COACH WANTS TO RUN BUT WOODY & THEY ALSO DONT WANT TO DOUBLE D HOWARD ANYMORE BUT NOT WOODY. Woody better hope that we dont draw Charlotte in the Playoffs or he will be outcoached in that series.Al scored 31 last night running, HELLO can we draw some plays for HIM. I love Defense but we cant forget about OFFENSE. Thanks

jarvis

February 18th, 2010
9:35 am

You posted the picture….and YOU’RE calling for the moratoium?
Glass house my friend!

Sleeze

February 18th, 2010
9:36 am

Jeff, You’re back. Darn..

Asheville Dawg

February 18th, 2010
9:43 am

Hope things are well with the Schultz’s. I missed the count.

Obviously, we need Damon to…..ah…………..leadoff.Other benefits to follow. I’m talking baseball wise guys.

The Hawks lose in the second round. That’s better than three years ago.

Barrington

February 18th, 2010
9:46 am

Of course the Hawks need an upgrade. Have you watched Marvin Williams play this year? We definitely could use a “true” center and another scoring swing man to replace Marvin. Bradley is killing you Jeff. Step up your game. This is a weak article. Additionally, Damon’s wife is not cute!

Dr. Warren

February 18th, 2010
9:50 am

Some serious man-hands on Michelle.