Thumbs up or down: Josh Childress a Hawk again?

Is there any interest in Atlanta if Josh Childress flies back to the NBA this summer?

Josh Childress could fly back to the NBA this summer.

The Hawks still entertain hopes of making it a competitive series against Orlando. A significant percentage of Atlanta — at least according to my unscientific sampling of emails, blogs, comments and sports talk — seems focused on something else: change.

Given that, here’s one name to keep in mind: Josh Childress. He is still playing in Greece and his NBA rights are still owned by the Hawks. Childress wouldn’t solve the team’s deficiencies at point guard or center. But he’s another potential body in the mix as general manager Rick Sund considers trade (or sign-and-trade) possibilities this summer.

The only reason I’m bringing this up now is a Washington Post reporter caught up with Childress in Paris at the EuroLeague Final Four. There wasn’t a lot new in today’s article but Childress reminded us that he has until July 15 to opt out of the final season of his three-year, tax-free, $20 million contract.

A few excerpts:

♦ When asked to compare the EuroLeague playoffs to the NBA playoffs with the Hawks: “I don’t know. In Atlanta, we never got out of the first round.”

♦ On criticism that followed when his statistics didn’t meet expectations of fans, given his inflated salary: “It was tough, real tough. When you play for one of the top teams over here, there’s no such thing as flying under the radar. You’re nitpicked on everything, and there were a lot of expectations about me. … I had to learn to be thick-skinned.”

♦ Greek journalists interviewed were “virtually unanimous” that Childress would return to the NBA next season, according to the Post, but his only comments were: “”I’ll decide by July 15. But right now, I have a lot to accomplish still — this tournament, and then the rest of the season in the Greek league. … It’s been an excellent two years. It’s been a growing experience, yes, but I never saw this as a temporary fix. I thought of it as a three-year deal, and it could very well end that way.”

So, do you see Childress playing for the Hawks again, or as a valuable piece in a trade?

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and on Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

Earlier posts

Mike Smith demanding more from Falcons in year three

A.J. Green ranked No. 4 in draft (and Bama’s loaded again)

136 comments Add your comment

Nickz

May 7th, 2010
11:28 am

Chris

May 7th, 2010
11:34 am

second…trade him or stay in greece. we don’t need another wing type player.

Nickz

May 7th, 2010
11:36 am

Childress would be a good addition, but just as another valuable guy off the bench, but we already have a few of those guys.

The real problem is Joe Johnson, who hasn’t decided to show up at all during the playoffs. And what’s worse, he doesn’t even look like he cares. And what’s even worse than that is his “stand still and dribble the shot clock down to under 5 seconds move” only to throw up a ridiculous shot that has no chance of going in…which he does 20 times a game…get a freakin clue and move the ball around!!!

We really need him to step up…it’s just not happening…

kent

May 7th, 2010
11:39 am

in lieu of that chump Joe Johnson!!

GT Alum

May 7th, 2010
11:40 am

I don’t know that Chill has any interest in playing for the Hawks again. If he wants to come back, he could be a valuable addition, especially if Joe decides to bolt.

However, if Joe decides to stay, I don’t know how feasible bringing Chill back would be financially, and it seems like Marvin and his contract would spend a lot of time sitting on the bench. If Chill took Mo’s spot on the roster, he should be able to give the Hawks more than Mo does, and it would be interesting to see if they put him in the starting lineup or give the bench a lot of firepower with both Crawford and Chill coming off the bench.

marvin williams

May 7th, 2010
11:43 am

i’m the real reason he left for greece…he knew he was better than me but my pimp billy knight wouldnt allow him to overshadow me…im the #2 pick…i mean what more do you want from me?….i love handicapping this team’s future for 7.5 mill a year….in addition, one of my legs is 2 inches shorter than the other, hence my baby calf like strut.

Jesse

May 7th, 2010
11:44 am

I say the Hawks should sign Childress as a starting SF, then trade Marvin and Teague for Devin Harris if the Nets get John Wall with the number 1 pick.

Jeff Schultz

May 7th, 2010
11:45 am

Nickz — Yez.

Jeff Schultz

May 7th, 2010
11:46 am

GT Alum — You might be right. But I don’t know how much of those feelings are related to the Hawks in general and how much of it is Mike Woodson.

Dr. Warren

May 7th, 2010
11:46 am

I doubt he would come back to play under Woody. Also, at that age, when a kid leaves somewhere to have a life-changing experience abroad, I bet he’d hope to start fresh somewhere else back in America. My take: hire Kevin Loughery as the coach, and all the pieces just might fall into place all around.

Jeff Schultz

May 7th, 2010
11:48 am

Dr. Warren — Kevin Loughery? That’s one name I haven’t heard in a while,

DP

May 7th, 2010
11:50 am

Bring him back. Childress was a good team player before he went to Europe and I’m sure he understands the game even better now.

Let the ball stopper Joe Johnson go elsewhere or do a sign and trade for him if possible, then move Crawford into the starting 2 guard spot. Bring Childress back to start at the 3 ahead of Marvin Williams because Childress is a better all around player. Trade Williams if you can get fair value for him, trade Bibby if you can get anything for him. Use the money freed up from Johnson and any other deals to find help at point guard and center. Teague needs to play a much bigger role at point guard so the Hawks can see what he’s capable of. They must have somebody who is quick enough to guard other point guards

A nucleus of Horford, Josh Smith, Childress and Crawford gives you 4 guys who can score and who will pass the ball.

some sense

May 7th, 2010
11:51 am

We need players; he’s a player.

DP

May 7th, 2010
11:52 am

And of course Mike Woodson should not be resigned. This team has maxed out with Woodson as coach and the current roster.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

May 7th, 2010
11:53 am

how good a deal do you think they could get for him in a sign and trade

Dr. Warren

May 7th, 2010
11:54 am

He’s barely 70. He’s won everywhere he’s been–including 2 playoffs with the Hawks. Jordan has said that, of all his coaches, he had the most fun playing under KL. This team needs that type old-schooler. I’m just putting this out there. Gearon, are you listening?

THE TONE

May 7th, 2010
12:02 pm

I have it from a very reliable source ( a waitress at a huddle house ) that Kevin Willis will be the next hawks coach, and he will spend a lot of time on working individually with the players on shooting three’s. we all know kevin loved a three in the warm ups. we should sign him for a ten day contract now he wouldn’t back down from howard.

Gary

May 7th, 2010
12:04 pm

Jeff,

I like Childress, and I would love to see him back in a Hawks uniform. I also think he is a better option than Marvin, and would probably cost less than the $7.5 mil that Marvin got.

If he does not want to play for the Hawks, or if Sund does not think he is worth the price, then sign him and trade him. There is no use of having the rights to a 6th man who averaged double figures mostly off hustle plays, and not getting anything out of him.

Willy

May 7th, 2010
12:07 pm

Barely 70? That’s still drop-dead-at-any-minute territory.

Willy

May 7th, 2010
12:08 pm

Maybe Loughery could coach AND play center?

3DawgKnight

May 7th, 2010
12:27 pm

Jeff:

We must look at this two ways and perhaps even three.
(1) If Woody leaves, he is more likely to want to return a hawk.
(2) Depending on other parts that may be dealt, say,
Joe as a free agent leaves via sign and trade, or Josh leaves in
some sort of a blockbuster, then he may stay as an integral part
of a new and intelligent highly functioning team with shrewd plays
designed by a bright new coach with an offensive plan.
Sorry, did I start dreaming for a moment?
*(3) Marvin Williams, they are close friends as I understand,
and were Marvin to be dealt, then J.Childress may have less
incentive to return to Atlanta. Then again, that may open a
percieved starting position, which I’m certain he has no
desire to return as a sixth man.

naganole

May 7th, 2010
12:28 pm

JJ hasn’t shown up in the playoffs? WOW….

soldierman

May 7th, 2010
12:32 pm

For all this Center talk, let’s not forget Al may not be the biggest but hell he is an all-star and that has to mean something. Most nights Al is the most dominating center. I can see getting an upgrade to back him up when we have to tangle against more physical centers as za-za (as much as I love him) just can’t get the job done consistently. But a frontcourt of Al and Josh are one of the best in the league. If anything is an weakness for the hawks it’s the guard play and well we all know marvin is like the guy you have to and tolerate because he’s family but no one really likes him.

Dap01

May 7th, 2010
12:37 pm

Josh would be a valuable member of any team but the trouble is that he would want to be paid a lot of money. We simply do not need a wing player who can not shoot.

soldierman

May 7th, 2010
12:40 pm

Imagine this Starting 5 for the hometown team next year for a second. Teague, Wade, Childress, Smith, and Horford. To get there we send bibby, joe, and marvin to make the money work. What do you guys think?

gmoney

May 7th, 2010
12:41 pm

What were those point guards that the Hawks brilliant management team passed on?

Craig

May 7th, 2010
12:44 pm

soldierman, I like your 5. I would really like to see Wade in a Hawks uniform. To make this work team wise we may need a different coach.

Jeff Schultz

May 7th, 2010
12:50 pm

South Ga Dawg Fan — Probably limited in a 1-for-1 deal, but he could greatly enhance a package of players.

Jeff Schultz

May 7th, 2010
12:50 pm

Dr. Warren — Well, if we’re going to go old, why not Hubie Brown?

Jeff Schultz

May 7th, 2010
12:51 pm

The Tone — Tell me when you get a second source on that story, and I’ll go with it.

PMC

May 7th, 2010
12:51 pm

Question: Can he play Point Guard or Center at a high level?

or can he replace and improve on whatever it is that Marvin is supposed to be doing?

Jeff Schultz

May 7th, 2010
12:51 pm

Gary — I agree on taking Childress over Marvin, if it comes to that.

Gman

May 7th, 2010
12:52 pm

Childress can’t make his own shot, can’t shoot, can’t handle the ball, and can’t defend on the perimeter! You be the judge…

Rock Preston

May 7th, 2010
12:53 pm

Sign and trade Joe Johnson and a draft pick for Rudy Gay and a bag of balls.

Jeff Schultz

May 7th, 2010
12:54 pm

3DawgKnight — Woodson only WANTS to leave if he can get another job, it won’t have anything to do with potential personnel moves. Bottom line for a coach: They need a job. As for Chills, I also don’t think Marvin being here or not being here is a major factor for his desire to return.

soldierman

May 7th, 2010
12:54 pm

Hubie is a great choice Jeff, But I’m not sure he would leave the booth. Listening to the way he talks about he team during the games gives me the impression he’s just as pissed as we are that the Hawks don’t utilize the talent we have now.

mike

May 7th, 2010
12:55 pm

i think childress would be a good fit… but it is known he doesn’t like woodson.. i even saw a tweet he sent to zaza once referring to woody as zaza’s “daddy”

No One Knows You're a Dawg

May 7th, 2010
12:56 pm

Last thing this team needs is another somewhat talented goofball.

.

May 7th, 2010
12:56 pm

Trade man, trade. Fire Woody and GT needs to fire Paul Hewitt too

Jeff Schultz

May 7th, 2010
12:56 pm

Soldierman — I was kinda half-kidding. Hubie wouldn’t be my first choice. But I’d rather not get into potential replacements as long as Woodson still has a job.

atlienforlife

May 7th, 2010
12:56 pm

I would love to see Childress back. I’m sorry but the hawks have to let Joe Johnson go, he is just not a max player. Sign bosh in the offseason (dream about d-wade, but I don’t see it) and move horford to pf. By the way, I might have been the only one wishing for the hawks to get the 4 seed, because I knew we had no answer for orlando and I truly believe we had a very good chance of beating Cleveland in the second round. The cavs are overrated!!!

KFish

May 7th, 2010
12:57 pm

I’d just like to point out that he’s posterizing his own teammate in the picture. Great indication of character, I’d say.

Spud Webb

May 7th, 2010
12:58 pm

Josh who?? hahahahahhahaha
Stay in greece josh.

Marcus

May 7th, 2010
12:59 pm

I believe I posted something similar to this yesterday in Hawks Fan Blog and MB’s pre-game post. Might as well make the trifecta:

[*Marcus/decatur g on 5/6/2010* -
From my few posts, you guys know I am all about looking ahead .... even in the midst of our present playoff push :)

I think someone openly pined for Josh Childress during last years 1st/2nd round playoffs, esp. vs. CLE.

Taka a gander at this recent article on SI.com re: the other Josh

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/ian_thomsen/04/23/countdown.euroleague/1.html

taking special note of this quote at the end of the article:

"Consider how much one year in Europe did to elevate and harden Bucks rookie point guard Brandon Jennings. Childress, 26, has undergone similar improvements. Not only is he tougher, but NBA scouts say he has become a better shooter and a more versatile decision-maker. As one NBA team executive put it, "He's making more money over there than he could have made in the NBA, and he's going to come back with a better understanding of how to play different positions. At the end of the day, he made a good decision to go over there."

But he insists he hasn't decided whether to stay with Olympiakos for a third year, or to try to return to the NBA before the anticipated lockout of 2011."

Now, couple this ... with the recent news I thought I had heard about the govt. in Greece basically getting a buyout/grace from debt from the IMF (International Money Fund?) due to its economy ..... How big a role is THAT for Josh

--------
Would Josh C. be open to come back to the ATL and is Mr. Sund capable of doing a mea culpa with Kumbaya playing over the Philips Arena speakers?!?!?!?

Would we have the cap room?

Would Josh be willing to be a super-sub (aka Manu Ginobli) coming off the bench with Jamal (or becoming our 6th man if JJ leaves and Jamal is elevated to starting SG)?

Heck, there was an article/blog/rumor that Mo Evans may opt out this summer, so Josh can even have his old jersey no. back (LOL)

-----------------
more fom Josh in SI.com article

• Josh Childress, Season II. Childress has come to accept the pressure of European basketball to win every game. In his second year with the Greek club Olympiakos, the former sixth man of the Atlanta Hawks has helped lead his team to the Final Four while emerging as arguably the second-most-important player in Europe behind Rubio.

"I read an interesting quote by his coach [Panagiotis Giannakis], who pointed out how Josh managed to understand the pace of his game depending on the situation — when to go slow, when to go fast,” Messina said. “When he arrived in Europe last season, he could only play one speed. Now he reads the game much better. He is much more a complete player. He has been a tremendous piece for Olympiakos. He has always played with a very good attitude, always been open to the mentality and culture of Europe, to understand Europe and how we live sport.”

Childress had a frustrating “rookie” season in Greece after leaving the Hawks in 2008 to sign a three-year, $20 million contract. He averaged a disappointing 8.8 Euroleague points last year, and then, to his credit, appraised himself with painful honesty.

“I wasn’t really the focus of their plans last year,” he said. “I was kind of an additional piece, and they wanted me to learn and to grow into the system. It’s different in the NBA when you’re the highest-paid player — whether it’s LeBron or whoever it is — you’re going to get a bulk of the minutes, the touches, all of those things. That wasn’t the case last year, but in all honesty that helped me mentally. I went through a lot — I was frustrated, angry, whatever — but I think I grew from that. I learned I have to be more patient, smarter. I have to think the game.”

Expatriate American players often play with one foot in Europe and one foot in the NBA — they think of Europe as a penance to be paid before they can return home. This season Childress stopped thinking about how things used to be for him in the NBA, and he clearly devoted himself to the European style. The result has been a 15.1 points Euroleague average and a more dynamic role in the offense.

“It’s a common misconception that people think the basketball is weaker over here, that it’s the J.V. league,” he said. “That’s definitely not the case. I did have to prepare for it physically by getting stronger, and also with my game, by working on more specific things tailored for the European game.

“After the season I watched some film and broke down parts of my game that I felt I could work on. One of them was my shooting. One was also being able to make a move on a second defender — I didn’t have any issues getting by one guy, but it was the second guy coming over and being able to make a pass or a move on that guy. And also the pick-and-roll and being able to read those better, because that’s pretty much all we run.”]

Astro Joe

May 7th, 2010
1:00 pm

Let’s see, an unselfish player who plays well without the ball, only shoots when he has a makeable shot, brings energy and passion for the game, shows effort all the time and in every game, has a high b-ball IQ and was seemingly loved by teammates. So what’s the question? Heck, no you don’t trade him, you smack the GM for treating him like he is Keith Bogans and you sign him regardless of what Joe does.

S Hawk Fan

May 7th, 2010
1:03 pm

Jeff… First, I really think getting Childress back would greatly enhance our roster. He is a solid player and seems to be a good team player. But it will not matter if Woody is back. Please tell me that the ASG is not bringing him back! The playoffs have once again proven that he is clueless! He is being ripped on both ESPN and TNT. Certainly the powers to be can see this!!

atlienforlife

May 7th, 2010
1:05 pm

Hire Lawrence frank!!!

JT

May 7th, 2010
1:12 pm

I’m glad this is just a hypothetical situation being discussed. Why would the Hawks add Childress to the team now? He was never worth the draft spot he garnered, but then again, neither were ANY of the people B Knight picked. Mo Evans is a considerably better defender; stronger, bigger and can shoot the 3(on occasion). People keep knocking Johnson for coming down, dribbling out the shot clock and MAYBE getting a shot off(he won’t be in this round, the defense is too good at this level) but it’s not his fault, he doesn’t coach the Hawks!! He’s doing what the offense calls for. I’ve said it lot’s of times, the Hawks have no offensive identity and haven’t since Woodson arrived, don’t rememeber what they were doing before that. Until OUR Hawks stop making LATERAL MOVES and make MOVES UP, we will continue to be where we are…..ya’ll be easy….

Reid Adair

May 7th, 2010
1:13 pm

Josh Childress doesn’t fill one of the more critical needs on the Hawks’ lineup. If he returns to the NBA, hopefully Atlanta can get something they need for him through a trade.

Ted Striker

May 7th, 2010
1:22 pm

I’d like to see him return.