Bradley’s Buzz: Draft grades for the Hawks (and Thrashers)

Hey, straight “B’s” put you in the Beta Club

A sentence seldom written: People really liked what the Hawks did in the draft! Chad Ford of ESPN.com gave them a B-plus, questioning whether Jeff Teague is truly a point guard but also saying this:

“On the other hand, he was ranked in our top five for much of the year, and had his team not crashed in the tournament or had he gone back to school for another year, he would have been a top-10 pick. So the Hawks got great value here.”

Writing for SI.com, Scott Howard-Cooper awarded a straight B and claimed taking big men B.J. Mullens or Taj Gibson “would have been a risk or a reach.” Adi Joseph of NBAdraft.net bestowed another B-plus, calling Teague “a great fit.”

And Joey Whelan of Slam Online handed down a B, saying “Teague has all the physical attributes you love to see in a floor general—athleticism, speed and quickness—but is he going to be a good distributor?” But Whelan also noted: “Eric Maynor, a more NBA-ready point guard, was still on the board.”

Quibbles about Teague led contrarian Ken Berger of CBSsports.com to label the Hawks one of the draft’s losers. But then, curiously, Berger averred: “The ever-wayward Hawks are in capable hands with Rick Sund. Before, there was madness with no plan.” In Sporting News Today, Mike DeCourcy voiced similar qualms, calling Teague “another lottery talent who sold his ability a year early and for short money.”

Me, I’d rather have had Maynor. But I do see Teague as having the greater upside, and if you’re drafting at No. 19 you’re not looking for a guy who’ll start tomorrow. Though I did, I must say, find coach Mike Woodson’s assertion, as quoted in esteemed colleague Sekou Smith’s story, that Teague is a purer point guard than Acie Law rather curious.

Those clever Hawks think outside the box

How did the Jamal Crawford trade arise? According to Ian Thomsen of SI.com, “the deal was dreamed up by Hawks’ director of pro personnel, Steve Rosenberry, who was assigned to scout rival NBA teams for potential acquisitions. ‘This is the first time I’ve had someone with that title,’ said Hawks GM Rick Sund of the pro-personnel job description. ‘Think of the money we spend scouting to make one NBA pick — the attention and the focus we put on making that one pick. Having someone scout the NBA teams is a new position in the league, and more and more teams are doing it.’ ”

Which Spirit property had the better draft?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Thomsen’s verdict: “It only makes sense to invest in learning the behind-the-scenes facts of players currently in the NBA. Based on Rosenberry’s recommendation, the Hawks now have one of the best clutch shooters in the league to pair with their All-Star in [Joe] Johnson.”

And now: Flatball!

Are we to believe what we’re hearing? That the ham-handed Atlanta Spirit actually went 2-for-2 in one long weekend of drafting? Well, the analysis of the Thrashers’ draft from Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com puts the local hockey team under the heading of “Smooth Sailing.”

Per Burnside/LeBrun: “The Thrashers continued on that slow road back to respectability, and perhaps even relevance, with what one rival GM described as ‘a terrific draft.’ GM Don Waddell told ESPN.com on Saturday that their top three picks — Evander Kane, Carl Klingberg and Jeremy Morin — were all potential first-round picks in the Thrashers’ draft mockup, and they got Klingberg at No. 34 and Morin at 45.”

And a mock to grow on …

According to NBAdraft.net’s 2010 projection, two Georgia Tech players will be taken in Round 1: Derrick Favors at No. 6 and Gani Lawal (by the Hawks!) at No. 19. And for those, like Kansas grad Dave O’Brien, who scoffed at me rating Kentucky the No. 1 team headed into 2009-2010, NBAdraft.net has three Wildcats being taken among next year’s first 21 picks, with incoming guard John Wall ranked No. 1 overall. So there.

55 comments Add your comment

sidslid

June 29th, 2009
10:55 am

Teague and all of Wake Forest fell victim to inexperienced coaching in the second half of the season. I will say ACC opps started guarding against Teague’s slashing style after his herculean first half of the season, and that showed; however, it is that slashing style which makes him more of an NBA point guard than Law.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

June 29th, 2009
11:06 am

Now if we can get a center in free agency, we could gain some grownd on the rest of the east

Hawk Str8Talk

June 29th, 2009
11:06 am

all I’m going to say is that – I’ve been blogging about the Hawks for a full year now and there’s nothing more disconcerting than watching this organization try to put a spin on things. How they handled Acie Law was less than honest and now, they are going to try to spin that Teague or Crawford can be point guards (or Sund trying to spin that Murray can play point guard or that Horford is a center). Listen, you can put players in a position and call them that, but that doesn’t mean that’s where they are most effective. No one at Wake Forest thinks Teague is a point guard, so why do we think he is going to turn into a player who can command grown men to follow his lead at a position he doesn’t play. Bottom line, I didn’t think this draft was going to help us, but I’m just tiring of us lying about what we’re doing. We’ve done nothing to address our defensive deficiencies, our size issues, and leadership voids.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

June 29th, 2009
11:06 am

Dan

June 29th, 2009
11:10 am

“I gave Acie some opportunities, and it just didn’t work.”

Like hell you did, Woodson. The kid did everything that was asked of him and worked harder last offseason than anyone else on the team and was never given one legitimate look by the team. Might he end up being a good player? Maybe. Might he never play consistently? Maybe. But it’s a flat out lie to say you gave him opportunities.

cdog

June 29th, 2009
11:28 am

ACIE LAW WOULD HAVE DEVELOPED INTO A GOOD GUARD BUT HE JUST DIDN”T HAVE THE TIME AND RIGHT SITUATION. TEAGUE WILL FIT THE HAWKS SYSTEM BETTER.RICK SUND, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HAWKS GETTING PAST THE MAGIC, CAVS, AND CELTICS IS A BIG MAN IN THE MIDDLE. EACH ONE OF THOSE TEAMS HAS A BIGMAN. HORTFORD IS NOT THE ANSWER TO PAST THEM. YOU NEED TO GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND FIND THAT BIG MAN NOW.

Dawg A

June 29th, 2009
11:31 am

Mark… I know you like Woodson but even you would have to admit that Woody didn’t give Acie the opportunity to succeed! I don’t like Woody and I have not been bashful about my feelings… but come on Woody don’t add being a liar to why I don’t like you. The countdown to a new coach is on!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2009
11:46 am

I wouldn’t say I like Woodson as a coach necessarily. I think he’s a decent guy and a solid coach, but I have suggested he be fired about a half-dozen times already. (Though not lately.)

Do I wish he’d given Acie a longer look? Definitely. I like Acie a lot.

Larry

June 29th, 2009
11:47 am

Professional Basketball? Who cares?

LAC

June 29th, 2009
11:57 am

I agree with Larry a COMPLETE waste of time… I’d rather lay in the yard and watch my grass grow, it’s FAR more exciting than The National BORING Assocation !

smartguy

June 29th, 2009
12:01 pm

TRADE JOE JOHNSON FOR RICKY RUBIO!

FIRE MIKE WOODSON!

Jesse

June 29th, 2009
12:05 pm

If you don’t like Pro Basketball Larry and LAC why are you reading this article?

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2009
12:06 pm

Joe Johnson for Ricky Rubio? Seriously?

Dawg A

June 29th, 2009
12:08 pm

For me personally I can’t say Woody is neither a solid coach or a decent guy. A decent guy wouldn’t lie or treat his players the way he does. He is from the Knight line of coaches and he spends all his time looking mad on the sidelines at either his players or the ref’s. I have a friend (local guy) who is a NBA ref and Woody is easily the least liked coach in his eyes. He gets tired of his whining. And Mark you should know this guy and can confirm this .
And as far as solid then I measure solid by not only improving but producing at a level that matches the talent. A solid coach would also not stunt a young players growth with his being so stubburn.
So Mark I agree you have called for his firing but how about starting that up again. Let’s not let Woody let another player move on when he should be here!

hawkster

June 29th, 2009
12:14 pm

i’m with you mark!!!! ABSOLUTELY!!!!

pritdapit

June 29th, 2009
12:14 pm

10 comments mark? no one wants to chat with you?

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2009
12:22 pm

Nobody likes me. What can I say?

Terrell

June 29th, 2009
12:25 pm

Dawg A
Can you blam Woodson for complaining? If you watched the games you would see many times they are one sided in terms of fouls being called. Joe Johnson can drive to the lane and get whacked upside the head and no foul would be called, but if Kobe gets a pat on the finger you hear all the whistles blow. When ATL played elite teams those teams got the calls. I would be complaining too. I’m still upset, however, at what he said about Acie as well as a lot of other people, and then his comments of Teague being a “true” point guard shows me that he envisions his PG to act more like a SG and that is one thing that bothers me.

Rufus1

June 29th, 2009
12:27 pm

The comments Woody made about Teague were for TY Lawson..When Lawson was drafted, he did not know what else to say. Teague is the same player without the 2 years of NBA experience. I could not figure out what woody wanted from AC. I believe Woody is a Mean SOB who hold grudes and Josh would share the same fate, but he cannot bench his most exciting player.

The talent level is ATL is better than most people think..We are trying to improve our team based on Woodson being the Coach…When we get a good coach and system that maximizes our talent, we will really compete in the East.

IN 2 YEARS VAN GUDY TURNED ORLANDO INTO CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER…THE ONLY NEW PLAYER WAS COURTNEY LEE.

Reid Adair

June 29th, 2009
12:33 pm

The consistent theme in the reviews of the Hawks’ draft seems to be the very thing you mentioned prior to the draft, Mark. Teague is NOT a true point guard; he is a combo guard. Will he be able to play the point in the NBA? I guess we will see.

But, Maynor was there … and went with the very next pick, as I recall.

Marcus

June 29th, 2009
12:36 pm

MB,
Your thoughts on rumors of J-Smoove for Amare Stoudemire…?!!?!?

also recently seems like you and Mr. Schultz have displayed some vitriol/cynicism towards ESPN (in general) and its rumors re: Hawks, Favre, etc.
In general, as a journalist, what is your take on some of the rumors they put on the website?

Ice Meister

June 29th, 2009
12:41 pm

MB-Thrashers had one of their best drafts in a long time. The 4th rated player on most board comes to Atlanta, along with 2 guys in the 2nd round that were on 1st round draft boards.

Now, July 1 free agency-can’t wait!

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2009
12:45 pm

Ice Meister, I tried to find more NHL draft grades but couldn’t. Looked at TSN and The Hockey News, to no avail. But I’ll keep checking, and if something pops up I’ll add it above.

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2009
12:46 pm

Regarding ESPN: It’s indispensable and an it’s institution, but there’s an arrogance about its TV side that troubles one or two of us in the print trenches.

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2009
12:55 pm

I’m sitting at the Jamal Crawford media gathering at Philips. If Amare Stoudemire shows up, I’ll inform you forthwith.

MightyQuinn

June 29th, 2009
12:59 pm

I STILL like you, Mark! I STILL really, really like you! (But still in a strictly hetero way)

Ice Meister

June 29th, 2009
1:04 pm

MB-I saw the Burnside/LeBrun info too. Hope Dudley had some influence on the selections. Duds was a great signing.

marcus

June 29th, 2009
1:07 pm

forget the whole inexperienced coaching crap. teague, johnson and the like, were all caught up in their own things toward the end of the year. once they had the quality wins and started getting pumped up by that clown vitale and his cohorts, they lost sight of playing together. for a team as talented as wake’s, they should have gone much deeper in both the acc/ncaa tourneys. teague is a poor man’s randolph childress at best and if the hawks think they have gotten themselves a competent, “all inclusive” guard, then they are wrong. with the trade with golden state, the hawks had gotten rid of two (2) mistakes and that acquisition also allowed them to get younger and save some bucks by not signing bibby. eric maynor’s maturity and willingness to work would have been the better complement.

Ted Striker

June 29th, 2009
1:09 pm

I predict that sometime in the next 10-15 years a startup TV network will greatly frighten ESPN. They may not overtake them but they will steal market share. Throughout early and modern history seemingly insurmountable powers crush every challenger. Then the rules change or David fells Goliath from nowhere.

Whether you’re Rome, Great Britain, Russia, AOL, IBM, GM, or Notre Dame, your day of reckoning is coming.

Ice Meister

June 29th, 2009
1:10 pm

MB-here’s a link -
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/26959-THN-at-the-NHL-Draft-Round-1-winners-and-losers.html

Also, If I were NY I would have taken Victor Hedman over Tavares.

HawkKingBibby

June 29th, 2009
1:10 pm

I like the Crawford trade if we get Bibby back and Crawford is the 6th man. That way when Crawford is cold and jacking up bricks Woody can sit him. I love the Teague pick and my favorite move is the drafting of GLADYR. He has got SUPERSTAR written all over him. Ok the real reason I like the Gladyr pick is because he signed my kids Hawks draft hat at the draft Thursday night.

ChippersLoveChild

June 29th, 2009
1:16 pm

I am hoping to see some new blogs on free agency for the Thrash on July 1st… maybe, hopefully? And MB, I know it isn’t your area, but any word on a potential new deal for Kovy? Progress?

smartguy

June 29th, 2009
1:27 pm

JOE JOHNSON WILL BE A KNICK IN 2010.

GUARANTEED.

HawkKingBibby

June 29th, 2009
1:40 pm

Yeah your blogs are good Mark especially since you are talking Hawks alot more lately. The national media acts like the Hawks have no fans but just check out thses blogs and sites like Hawksquawk.net and they would see people LOVE THE HAWKS. The best part about your blogs is that you dont just write one a vanish, you actually stay involved. cool stuff

Stating the Obvious

June 29th, 2009
1:40 pm

SMARTGUY WILL STILL BE A MORON IN 2010.

GUARANTEED.

niremetal

June 29th, 2009
1:41 pm

Wait….we have a hockey team?

niremetal

June 29th, 2009
1:46 pm

Wow, racists and idiots out in full force today. My stupid repetitive joke is actually of above-average quality among the past 5 posts…

Larry

June 29th, 2009
1:46 pm

Mark,

I like you! But I’ll respect you too when you pay your respects to a certain MLB manager then suggest the time has come for a new direction! Everyone will respect you more should you do this BEFORE it becomes more painfully obvious. Because, if you continue to wait on the inevitable, Mark, guess who will be there to say “I told you so, Mark!” :-)

Your pal,

Larry (1-14)

Mark

June 29th, 2009
2:07 pm

“But I do see Teague as having the greater upside, and if you’re drafting at No. 19 you’re not looking for a guy who’ll start tomorrow”

There goes that term “UPSIDE” again.

I know it’s a term that is commonly used in drafts, but dang every time I here the word it makes me think of one player that we shouldn’t have drafted: MARVIN “DUCK” WILLIAMS!

Hopefully Teague will show his unlike Marvin.

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2009
2:34 pm

I would imagine the next item on the Thrashers’ agenda is to trade for a veteran forward. Then, assuming that happens, they’ll move to Kovalchuk. It’s pretty much a given that he wants to see how many pieces Don Waddell can add before he commits.

whatever

June 29th, 2009
2:39 pm

mark,

can you give us some information regarding how well/poorly woodson had faired compared to other coaches at his level? in other words, before we start ripping this guy to shreds, lets do an apples to apples comparison. of course, i do realize that each situation is unique, but the information could be normalized at least a little bit by having some information regarding the draft and career status of the players playing for the guy. van gundy is a great coach, but one could argue that things were setup for him prior to his arrival.

whatever

June 29th, 2009
2:42 pm

and i agree with larry, mark, you have to admit that cox is done for in atlanta. he was a very good manager, but not great. he was consistently above average, but not fantastic. i am sorry, i would trade all those years of winning the division for at least one more world series trophy. frankly, i dont care about consistency. one year of winning it all equates to about 15 years of sucking. i would trade the florida marlins’ records for ours any day. when a team celebrates having divisional flags, like it means something (which in the end, it doesnt), you know you have to move in a different direction. sorry, love the man, but cox has got to go.

Melvin

June 29th, 2009
2:55 pm

Mark,

Did you pickup any Hawks inside info/rumors at the Crawford media gathering today?

Darrin "The Vent King"

June 29th, 2009
3:19 pm

Why should I believe Woodson is going to give Teague anymore of a shot than he gave Acie Law? I believe as long as we have the coach we have, we will be right back where we are- searching for another point unless they trade for a veteran because that is all Woody wants at that position. I’m not saying having a vet point isn’t a bad idea, but if the coach you have won’t give the rook point guards a chance why keep drafting them or why keep that coach? Wait a minute, I just thought about something….uh-oh Woody.

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2009
3:31 pm

A couple of things — nothing about Amare Stoudemire, though. Here’s one: If Zaza signs elsewhere, the Hawks will pursue David Andersen, the Australian power forward who played last season at Barcelona, aggressively. And also this: Some people in the organization would be comfortable with Crawford, who’s considered a combo guard, starting at the point.

Here’s my little post, if you’re so inclined.

TRobb

June 29th, 2009
3:51 pm

Crawford (nor Teague, from what I’ve seen of him) is not a distributor, per se, it’s true.

But I think you can run a guy like Crawford 60/40 point/shooting guard if your off guard is also able to distribute, which Joe is. He’s kind of 40/60 (plenty of times he gave Bibby a break and ran the offense).

If we had, say, Michael Redd at the 2, it wouldn’t work. But this might.

Dawg A

June 29th, 2009
4:07 pm

Terrell, I have season tickets ( I am not renewing because they didn’t get rid of Woody) and went to all but six games at home. I also catch a lot of the road games on T.V. and went to the Chicago/Hawks game this year on the road. So I think I qualify as “watching the games” and I can hear him from my seats and again the N.B.A refs don’t take to constant whining. So maybe he needs to learn how to pick and choose his battles and maybe he could win a few. Now … it just falls on deaf ears! And not just to the refs! Next subject Terrell!

BigTimeTECHFan

June 29th, 2009
4:11 pm

Trade Joe Johnson and Marvin William for Troy Murphy and Roy Hibbert
Fire Woodson
Starting lineup:
Bibby(1), Crawford(2)
J Smith (3), Murphy(5), Hortford(4)
Backups: Bigs – Hibbert(1), Zaza(1), S Jones(1,4), Hibbert can play center Murphy PF some which give twin tower look.
Guards: Murry(1,2), Teague(1,2), Evans(2), Gladyr(2)

bigjohnthrashfan

June 29th, 2009
4:55 pm

I like both teams’ draft decisions, but the real fun starts on July 1…

Ice Meister

June 29th, 2009
7:06 pm

MB-it all depends on how much money ASG gives him. There’s plenty of talent out there, more being bought out in anticipation of modnight tomorrow, when free agency begins. Should be fun.