Mike Bibby was the key to this offseason. If he re-signed, the Hawks would be OK. He’s going to re-sign, and that means they’ll be more than OK. They’ll be really good.
Bibby was always going to be the toughest case. He made $15 million last season, and he has been a big name since he was a freshman at Arizona. He’s not the player he was in college or at Sacramento, but he’s ideal for what the Hawks do, which is play off Joe Johnson.
Bibby also represents the line of demarcation for the Hawks. Without him they were rudderless. With him they became a real team. To have gone so long without a point guard and to lose him now would have been a blow. But they kept him. They kept him and they added Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague, and no matter what else happens this summer must already be deemed a success.
The key was that Bibby didn’t overrate his current value. He’s 31. He’s not a point guard who penetrates and dishes (or, as we know, defends). He administrates and he hits open shots, and for a team that has Johnson that’s plenty. He’s taking roughly a $9 million pay cut per season to remain a Hawk for three years more, and that says something about Bibby the pragmatist and more about the Hawks as a growing concern.
It says Mike Bibby really likes where this team is headed. You should, too.