The Hawks’ free agents: Hope for three, settle for two

Mike Woodson is a coach, and every coach wants more and better players. On Monday, as the Hawks welcomed Jamal Crawford to Atlanta, Woodson spoke of the Hawks’ four key free agents and said this was how many he wanted to see back here.

“All of ‘em,” he said.

This is how ambitious Woodson is: He wants to keep the four free agents — Mike Bibby, Flip Murray, Zaza Pachulia and Marvin Williams — plus add “another veteran big, and there are some out there.” But that’s a coach talking, not a general manager. And Rick Sund might have a more pragmatic take.

Me, I can’t see any way the Hawks keep all four. Nor should they. With Crawford and Jeff Teague in a mix that already included Joe Johnson, there wouldn’t be enough minutes for both Bibby and Flip. And if Bibby returns to start, then Crawford becomes Flip and Flip becomes Acie Law, who barely played, and Teague becomes Thomas Gardner, of whom some of you haven’t even heard.

A reasonable scenario is for the Hawks to keep three of the four. There’s a chance Williams will sign a one-year qualifying offer, which would keep him here for next season but enable him to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and one of the two guards should be amenable to sticking around.

How many free agents will the Hawks re-sign?

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Zaza is a tougher call. The rumor is that San Antonio is interested, and that’s a great organization. But the Hawks might even have a fallback there. If Zaza leaves, then the Australian power forward David Andersen, who played last season for Barcelona and whose NBA rights the Hawks hold, could well become a person of interest.

Keeping three of the four would be good. Two of four would be acceptable. One of four would be a net loss, but the belief here is that the Hawks will do better than that.

Woodson: “It’s going to come down to money. You know that. You just hope it’s not a case of a guy [determined to take the highest offer]. Because we’ve built something here.”

And they have, as hard as it might be for some of us long-suffering Hawk watchers to admit. This is a good team, and it has a chance to be better still next season. On Monday the newcomer Crawford spoke with unbridled enthusiasm about joining “an up-and-coming team,” and when last could any new Hawk say that and mean it?

149 comments Add your comment

Mac

June 29th, 2009
3:23 pm

First! Wanted to see what it felt like, now I’ll read the blog.

Mac

June 29th, 2009
3:28 pm

They need to keep Bibby. He’s the one who took them to a new level. Flip is expendable now, though I like him a lot.

Tell me about this Anderson guy, Mark. Haven’t the Hawks held his rights for a couple of years now, but they can’t get him on the roster? Is he a legitimate prospect, or is he another Solomon Jones or Randolph Morris – good enough for blowouts and emergencies, but not enough to provide meaningful minutes?

Hoops

June 29th, 2009
3:33 pm

I don’t see the necessity of signing Bibby and Flip both since we signed Crawford and Teague. Marvin and Zaza will be re-signed along with one of the two guards.

Hoops

June 29th, 2009
3:43 pm

Mark,

Do you think the Hawks are looking @ trading Josh after August 11 for a center? Amire/Bosh/?

Reggie

June 29th, 2009
3:49 pm

Mark

I think its a absolute MUST that the Hawks keep Mike Bibby. If the hawks lose Mike bibby I think they take a step back. 2yr & 13 million dollar contract I think is reasonable

Chris

June 29th, 2009
3:50 pm

Reggie, FYI we just got jamal crawford and jeff teague, we really don’t need to pay an aging mike bibby anymore

CTrim

June 29th, 2009
3:52 pm

Enter your comments here

mountain_jim

June 29th, 2009
3:53 pm

Resign Marvin, Sign Zaza or Gortat AND bring over Anderson and sign/trade for Jack. We need one PG that can play defense, and Bibby is not that guy, plus too expensive.

Reggie

June 29th, 2009
3:54 pm

jamal crawford is not a point guard. jeff teague doesn’t have to play right away. Mike bibby was great this past season. His outside shooting is important to this team. You cant go wrong with signing Mike Bibby to a 2 or 3 year deal.

Melvin

June 29th, 2009
3:56 pm

Mark,

3 out of 4 would be okay and bring over Andersen and Chill. Speaking of, do you think we seen the last of Chills in a Hawks uni?

mountain_jim

June 29th, 2009
3:57 pm

Bibby equals matador defense, waving as they go by, forcing our bigs into foul trouble.

Reggie

June 29th, 2009
4:02 pm

but his outside shooting & leadership are helpful to this team. if Flip Murray & jamal Crawford are the starting point guards this team takes a step back. Both guys do the same things.

ant banks

June 29th, 2009
4:07 pm

why keep bibby? you have to get younger and cheaper at the same time. not re-signin’ bibby accomplishes that. re-sign flip. it will be awhile before teague is ready.

trade marvin NOW, while you can get somethin’ for him. makin’ a qualifyin’ offer will leave you feelin’ funny next year.

gotta get zaza and if anderson is available, bring him now and re-sign solo.

even with all of this, we are STILL lookin’ up at the big 3. hawks are in a 4way tie for the 4th seed right now: 4.hawks, chicago, miami, philly. we will make the playoffs, but at what seed? 4 is not a lock.

nola hawk fan

June 29th, 2009
4:09 pm

Mark – if you had to make a call right here, right now… what does your crystal ball tell you?? Who are those 3 of the 4? (and I know, I know… enter your “i was the one who predicted UGA would win it all” comments here.

OrlandoGeorgian

June 29th, 2009
4:09 pm

Bring back ZaZa, Marv, and Flip. Jamal isn’t a true PG but he can do all that Bibby has done and can also create his own shot while get to the rack. Unless Bib is ready to take an aging player pay cut???

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2009
4:09 pm

My sense is that the Hawks’ brass really doesn’t know what Childress is thinking.

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2009
4:10 pm

My guess would be two of four — Marvin and Flip.

Jesse

June 29th, 2009
4:12 pm

Clip of David Anderson:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZlnVzmOn3c

Has nice jumper and McHale like post moves.

nola hawk fan

June 29th, 2009
4:12 pm

I would like to see those 3 as well Orlando. As much as Bibby was a great floor leader and locker room guy, he just can’t defend anymore. And you have to hope and pray Woody will get Jamal to play some for the first time in his career.

nola hawk fan

June 29th, 2009
4:14 pm

thanks Mark…

Reggie

June 29th, 2009
4:14 pm

Mark

you think Bibby is gone?

Glenn

June 29th, 2009
4:15 pm

I say try to get Jack with a swap for Marvin Williams (I think they’re both restricted so sign and trade). Don’t resign Bibby but keep Zsa Zsa, and sign another big to give Horford a break from minutes and/or let him slide back to his natural position when Josh comes out. At least that’s a start.

O'Brien

June 29th, 2009
4:16 pm

Mark,

We dont need Flip. Tender Marvin, resign ZaZa, sign Bibby (or Jack or Sessions), and sign a backup PF. Some PF options:

Drew Gooden/Joe Smith/McDyess/Birdman/Brandon Bass

If we lose ZaZa, we can go after Gortat (from Cleveland).

I think that would be an improvement over last year’s team.

outlaw30079

June 29th, 2009
4:18 pm

David Andersen bring him cheaper keep flip try sighn marvin if not try get Villanueva cut west and see what we can get out of gardner whats da deal with J chills

Melvin

June 29th, 2009
4:25 pm

Couldn’t help but notice Crawford is holding up a number 11 jersey. I guess they are planning to resign super MARIO. Mark, maybe we resign 3 out of 5….

Joe's place Joe speaking

June 29th, 2009
4:25 pm

I say trade Josh Smith for Amare Stoudamire! Then pick up the Bird Man to take the place of Josh Smith! Their defense is about the same. And resign Marvin ( strong SF who can guard the bigger SF in the league like Pierce, LBJ, etc. ), resign Bibby ( let’s be honest he is the reason why we took that next step toward the elite! ) , resign Zaza ( he us one of the best offensive rebounders in the league ), and there you have it.

Pg: Bibby, teague, crawford
Sg: Joe, Crawford
Sf: Marvin, Evans, Joe
Pf: Horford, Birdman, Solo
C: Amare, Zaza

Extended Bench: Mario, Hunter, Gardner, Randmo.

What do you guys think? Nire, Big Ray, Sekou, I know you guys can break it down for me do please let me know if this is at all possible with the salary cap and all. Thanks!

Mark I asked this question on Sekous blog and got no response. Will you please answer the question?

Just Wondering...

June 29th, 2009
4:29 pm

Let go of Flip and Zaza…sign anotherbvet. big…and for god sakes TRY TO DEVELOP Randolph Morris…

DTfor3

June 29th, 2009
4:32 pm

Marvin for sure (at least use him as trade bait)… Zaza (or another C or PF) is also needed. Flip would be good – but, hopefully we can go after another younger PG.
Jarret Jack (or comparable) would be nice fit and we could sign to a longer term ( 4 or 5 year deal) if possible – but, he is an unristricted FA. Also – noticed he made it to a few Hawks playoff games…. Maybe a sign/trade (Marvin?) for Jack – if he re-ups w/ Indy… who already has TJ Ford.

Bibby was a solid help to get us to the playoffs – but, his age and he is a defensive liability – that will only get us so far.
I would see him a better fit as a back-up to a top level team… if he is your starting PG at this point – you are in trouble when it gets to playoff-time.

We need to look at a younger, running PG to help push (not gingerly walk) the ball up the floor. We are better when we are able to push it – and get Josh, Al (and now Crawford) to get some easy baskets.

We will see…

STRETCH

June 29th, 2009
4:33 pm

If i were in charge, there would be a bounty on my head cause J Smith the head case(showboats at the wrong times, cant hit free throws, no jump shot and Rasheed in the making) would be gone for whatever i could get for him.

Dont get me wrong, i like Bibby, but the Sacremento Bibby’s the one i liked. Eventhough Bibby; like Mountain Jim say’s (great analysis though), plays matador defense, they still need his veteran presence.

Would be nice if Chills fell back in to the nest as well!

From SI.com, word is Mehmet Okur is leaning toward opting out of his contract with the Jazz. I would go after that guy, he’s 6′ 11″ and shoots the 3 really well!

Hows this lineup?

PG BIBBY/TEAGUE
SG JJ/CRAWFORD/EVANS/CHILLS
SF M WILLIAMS/EVANS/JJ
PF HORFORD/ZAZA/SOLO
C AMARE or BOSH or OKUR/ZAZA

HAWKMAN

June 29th, 2009
4:38 pm

marvin williams. is very inportant to this club. he must be resigned, same as zaza. after those two. the only person that the hawks really need is another big maybe r,wallace, c.villanueva,or d.gooden.

Daddyrich

June 29th, 2009
4:43 pm

Id say here are the priorities for signing the 4 guys
1-Marvin
2-Zaza
3-Bibby
4-Flip

Joey

June 29th, 2009
4:44 pm

Much as I like Bibby, he is a defensive liability. I say keep Flip. Let Bibby go.

Joe's place Joe speaking

June 29th, 2009
4:44 pm

Hey Mark,
Niremetal and Big Ray just responded to the question/statement I asked. But I’d like to know what you think of my proposed team? Thanks for your time Big Guy!

Joe

June 29th, 2009
4:44 pm

Bring in Amare Stoudamire or Chris Bosh and it would be over! There is nobody in the East that will be able to stop us!!!

Stat Man

June 29th, 2009
4:44 pm

Really don’t see paying what it will take to keep Bibby. He did a great job directing the offense, but had really become a defensive liability for any opponent that had a decent first step.

Another thing that I haven’t seen really get it’s due is that, since we gave up nothing, basically Crawford was a free agent signing. With his enormous contract (especially compared to what was freed up) that immediately eliminates resigning all 4 guys.

I’m hoping for 3 (sans Bibby) and expecting two (ZaZa & Williams)

Volman

June 29th, 2009
4:46 pm

Mr. Bradley, no offense whatsoever…

but you’re a long-suffering Hawks fan? I remember when all the AJC talked about was how the Hawks’ franchise was such a joke. Nobody cared about the Hawks, until now (when they’re shining bright). I love the effort of late on keeping us posted on the Hawks, but watching only when the big dogs (LeBron, Kobe, Shaq. D-Wade) are in town does not make it acceptable! We want you at the Memphis and Oklahoma City games! :) I assume you were watching the Hawks on PAX-TV about four years ago when the Hawks were 13-69, right?

HAWKMAN

June 29th, 2009
4:46 pm

for all those who want to trade j.smith and or m.williams, two of the best young players in the nba. please tell me or us, who are you going to get in return? thats going to be an upgrade over them. please tell me who?

Joe's place Joe speaking

June 29th, 2009
4:47 pm

I say trade Josh Smith for Amare Stoudamire! Then pick up the Bird Man to take the place of Josh Smith! Their defense is about the same. And resign Marvin ( strong SF who can guard the bigger SF in the league like Pierce, LBJ, etc. ), resign Bibby ( let’s be honest he is the reason why we took that next step toward the elite! ) , resign Zaza ( he us one of the best offensive rebounders in the league ), and there you have it.

Pg: Bibby, teague, crawford
Sg: Joe, Crawford
Sf: Marvin, Evans, Joe
Pf: Horford, Birdman, Solo
C: Amare, Zaza

Extended Bench: Mario, Hunter, Gardner, Randmo.

What do you think Mark? I know you can break it down for me so please let me know if this is at all possible with the salary cap and all. Thanks!

PMC

June 29th, 2009
4:48 pm

If you had Stoudamire Zaza would be perfect coming off the bench.

Then you might have

PG Crawford
SG Johnson
C Stoudamire
PF Horford
SF M. Williams.

That’s a pretty nice starting 5.

PMC

June 29th, 2009
4:50 pm

I just wonder if Josh Smith is all they are going to want for Stoudamire and how healthy a player we may be getting for Josh Smith who is a heck of a defender.

What it does though is allow the team to move Horford over to a more natural position.

JSS

June 29th, 2009
4:58 pm

Almost LA Times style… Good stepping up!!! And “Wacko” did it feel that good? “AL WOOD!!!” Hilarious!!!

VoIman

June 29th, 2009
5:01 pm

and I would like to reiterate no offense whatsoever….I love you man

Matty Ice-man

June 29th, 2009
5:04 pm

Mark, I’m not in love with Marvin Williams but he is a decent piece. If we sign him to a one year deal and then lose him after next year – that is not acceptable to me given that the Hawks used #2 overall pick for this guy. I would rather go ahead and do some sign/trade deal for him – can we do that? if Hawks don’t plan to keep Marvin beyond 2009-2010 season, how can they afford NOT to trade him?

JSS

June 29th, 2009
5:07 pm

All joke aside at the sake of the helpless… But again, isn’t it good to be relevant? Volman, Real, Najah, Big, and countless others have kept HAWK WORLD alive through all of the horrible times… I salute you all and I thank you…

I don’t what you think of Woody; but it is good to him up on dais with our Gm and actually saying something… Now comes the hard part, you’ve got to back it up!!! I hope he and the players can do it… Wednesday morning is the beginning of Rick Sund earning his money too!!! GO HAWKS!!! Gee… Hawk World, I kinda like that!!!

nuhawkfan

June 29th, 2009
5:12 pm

Mr. Bradley,

Why is it that you believe the Hawks will only offer Marvin a one-year qualifying offer? Why not go for a mulit-year deal?

Big Ray

June 29th, 2009
5:18 pm

Keeping Marvin and Flip is the cheaper way to go. Is it the better way? Hard to say. Jamal Crawford is a combo guard, not a pure point, but he brings what Woody wants. In other words, he can handle the ball as well as put it in the basket.

Bibby helped us get where we are, and it would not be bad to get him back if the money is right. But I’d not keep Flip if I’m signing him. Conversely, I’d not keep Bibby if I’m signing Flip.

Hard to say what should be done with Marvin. Trade him and you can really mess up. I’m guessing the one year qualifier might be the safest all around way to go. And I’m still not overly comfortable about that, either. Oh well….

Big Ray

June 29th, 2009
5:20 pm

Billy Knight initially offered Josh Smith a 5yr/$45 million dollar deal. Sund came in and told him (and Childress) to go find offers. Would he do differently with Marvin? If you think he would, why would that be?

NEW CARS

June 29th, 2009
5:21 pm

Don’t want Stoudamire…If we trade Josh it needs to be for Bosh…period

brokenarrow

June 29th, 2009
5:22 pm

Nuhawkfan – Marvin is a restricted free agent I doubt both he and the hawks could agree on his worth .Im sure he would want a 5 yr 50 million dollar deal so in this situation since he is a RESTRICTED FREE AGENT and the Hawks can match any offer you allow him to go out talk to teams and get a idea of his worth and if someone offers him a contract we can match . The best thing for Marvin to do would probably be to sign a 5 yr deal worth around 42 million dollars with a opt out clause after 3 years .He gets to raise his value being a key contributor on a playoff team and we dont have to commit major yearly dollars to him right now .

Anthony

June 29th, 2009
5:23 pm

Hey, I would like for th hawks to pick up Gortat from Orlnado. Especially if ZaZa leaves for the Spurs. This will be a great addition. Is there any word if the Hawks are looking at this guy?