Keeping Mike Bibby: The biggest mission accomplished

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.

74 comments Add your comment

Ernest

July 7th, 2009
3:20 pm

As the old saying goes, “Slow and steady wins the race”. Hats off should go to the Hawks and Rick Sund for getting this deal done at a reasonable price. As Mark mentions, it also says something about Bibby by taking a substantial pay cut to stay with the team. Perhaps he believes it the team and wants to be a part of it.

Next we’ve got to get ZaZa and Marvin signed they review the ‘big man’ landscape for another rotation guy. I fee good about the management and direction of the team.

Glover

July 7th, 2009
3:25 pm

I think that the Hawks should resign Bibby under very specific conditions. The Hawks did a great job keeping him at the right price.

FIRST

July 7th, 2009
3:26 pm

Deep

July 7th, 2009
3:36 pm

Great job so far Sund. Now if somehow we can get something of use for Chills and resign Marvin and ZaZa within the next few days, we can then go sign another big body. If all that happens I will be very happy with the Hawks. Hopefully those David Anderson rumors are true also. Still what about Flip?

My realistic line up-

Pg- Bibby/ Teague/ Crawford
Sg- Johnson/ Crawford
Sf- Williams/ Evans
Pf- Smith/ (F/A or Chill trade)/Anderson
C- Horford/ ZaZa/ Anderson/ (F/A or Chill trade)

Reid Adair

July 7th, 2009
3:36 pm

I am impressed with Mike Bibby and this deal. I agree, Mark. I think this says a lot for where Bibby thinks the organization is at this point and, much more importantly, where it seems to be headed.

It would certainly seem more likely now that Flip Murray will be gone. I just don’t see how they can have Bibby, Crawford, Teague and Murray. Hopefully I’m wrong.

MikeInValdosta

July 7th, 2009
3:40 pm

Boy, a competent GM makes all the difference in the world. Now let’s see how Sund is w/ the courtroom stare down

A Tribe Called Quest

July 7th, 2009
3:43 pm

“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.”

What makes you say that? Have you seen our big man depth? Our big man depth this coming season might be so bad that we might as well have kept our big man core of Cal Bowdler, Jason Collier (R.I.P.) and Slava Medvedenko

We need some Chris Wilcoxes to round out this roster, or this team is done

mudcat

July 7th, 2009
3:47 pm

What held the team back last year was the lack of another shooter(which we now have in Crawford) and more defensive muscle under the basket. Signing Zaza is a must and we need another rebounding bruiser. Do that and we can compete with the Cavs, Celts or anybody else.

Steve Brown

July 7th, 2009
3:49 pm

On a team with its act together the point guard of the future would be eased in over a 2-3 year period of time and the Hawks just never seem to get it…hold it…they just did!
PS the brief action I saw of Teague early this past season was amazing, something to look forward to.

Mark Bradley

July 7th, 2009
3:54 pm

Believe me, the Hawks will not go into 2009-2010 with Randolph Morris as a backup center. Even if Zaza leaves, they’ll find somebody out there. And maybe not just David Andersen.

Signing Bibby for $6 million per season leaves some money still to spend, don’t you think? And there’s still the possibility of a sign-and-trade for Josh Childress.

O'Brien

July 7th, 2009
3:56 pm

Mark,

Although I preferred Jack or Sessions, I like the fact that the contract is $18 mil, which is reasonable. I wish the third year was a team option, but at $6 mil a year, Bibby could be traded as an expiring contract 2 years from now. (However, the Hawks still need a 3rd PG, because what happens if Bibby gets hurt)?

With the money saved on Bibby, there is no excuse for not resigning ZaZa, and also, using the mid-level on another FA big.

HawksNeedaBig

July 7th, 2009
3:58 pm

I agree with the other comments. I like Bibby, but he was far from the most important acquisition this summer. Why is Sund spending all his time on the 1 and 2 positions when we need help at 4 and 5?? Zaza is the only “big” we had, since Josh Smith plays “small” in the paint. Horford, Marvin and Solo are all finesse, and no brawn. Look at Orlando — all that speed and shooting on the perimeter does no good if you can’t get a rebound to either start a fast break or get 2nd chance points on the offensive end. Let Marvin go, and re-sign Zaza, then go out and pick up Leon Powe.

STRETCH

July 7th, 2009
4:09 pm

Well either way you want to look at it folks, no matter how you look at it, the starting lineup is pretty good up until you get to the center position, Horford is not a center. ZaZa is a banger and tough enough but if he jumped, you couldnt slide a AJC paper under his feet!

JMar

July 7th, 2009
4:09 pm

Why are we so content with mediocrity? Put this team in the west, and they’re still not a playoff team. Leave it in the east, and they’ll get trounced by the big three. And what does this really say about Bibby? He’s getting the most money he could have asked for, and the only other team to attempt to talk with him – Philadelphia – didn’t want him for more than a year, and rightfully so. We’re eschewing even a possibility of improvement to maintain the status quo.

STRETCH

July 7th, 2009
4:11 pm

HawksNeedaBig……ditto!

Herschel Talker

July 7th, 2009
4:12 pm

The Hawks won’t even make the playoffs next year. Which is fine because they are irrelevant.

FIRE BOOBY COX! HE IS A CLOWN!

HawksNeedaBig

July 7th, 2009
4:35 pm

JMarPut this team in the west, and they’re still not a playoff team. Leave it in the east, and they’ll get trounced by the big three.

This is what happens when you’re not accustomed to winning!! The Hawks are so used to losing, that they think squeaking into the 4th seed, and getting hammered in the 2nd round, is “winning.” The progression to “respected,” to “feared,” to “champion” will not happen with such small thinking. Nor will ticket sales increase.

shresee2

July 7th, 2009
4:40 pm

Mark wonderful read. I know Bibby is not in his prime and sometimes he can drive me crazy with the jump shots but what he means to the team as a overall person and calm spirit is vital on a team with young guys. I have seen him numerous times quiet Josh down and josh does not back talk like he would woody, he just goes. Woody can sometimes yell but Bibby motivates. JJ says how Bibby came in and gets the team together for dinners etc. This creates chemistry and will allow for maturing on this team. Crawford will be another mature piece that will help Teague, AL and Josh. I hope this Anderson can be effective off the bench and provide some tough play. For a Hawks organization that has done very little in previous off seasons, they are going in the right direction now.

Chris

July 7th, 2009
4:43 pm

Thankfully Acie Law IV was kind enough to give up his seat on the bench this year to Jeff Teague. Doesn’t this signing just say, hey Jeff, don’t bother suiting up this season? Last year we used Bibby and Joe for most minutes and interchanged each of them with Flip Murray. Now we have Jamal Crawford to take Flip’s spot and no room for Jeff Teague. This I wouldn’t mind so much for a year, but for 3? Is Woodson ever going to let a young PG develop on this team? Not to mention he’s going to have to compete with my favorite Yellow Jacket/Hawk Mario West for the scrub minutes.

Volman

July 7th, 2009
5:04 pm

Come on QUEST…ripping on someone who has passed? That’s low.

I’m happy that Bibby stayed. He’s a heckuva lot better than T-Lue and Anthony Johnson! Hopefully Teague can take the point position in a couple of years!

Matty Ice

July 7th, 2009
5:05 pm

Hawksneedabig,

are you serious? you said that Al Horford plays “small” in the paint. Sorry, but Al Horford is THE MAN in the paint – tough strong guy and good rebounder – take it back! :)

Volman

July 7th, 2009
5:07 pm

HawksNeedaBig… You’re saying that the Hawks should focus on getting “bigs”.. I understand, resign Zaza…

But, Leon Powe? Give me a break. He’s going to solve the Hawks’ problems at the 4 and 5 position? There aren’t any legit C’s out there that could make a difference from the FA market. Gortat is gone, and Zaza will be soon (but I think he stays a Hawk). The only option is to trade (someone from the “core”) to get a C. I’d throw Childress at the Clippers and see if they want to give us something.

Who knows though, right?

BrittishAnger

July 7th, 2009
5:12 pm

Somebody in the front office must have read one of my posts, my numbers were pretty much flawless (and it looks as though no team or player option for the third), and we now have a deep set in the back court to push things forward. Marvin and Zaza are the only pieces remaining, and thankfully Sekou said what I’ve been holding back on, that Marvin is an important part of our going forward and it will be hard to replace him (short of sending a 2-year 10.5 Mill a year deal to Odom, and we don’t have that kind of dough). Zaza I’m almost certain will come back without a ton of back and forth regarding the contract, and I figured I would have heard something regarding players entertaining offers to Marvin by now if somebody did really want him, so hopefully Rick Sund knocks those birds off the bath quick and efficiently. This is a really great move for the Hawks, it’s beautiful folks…Let’s go Hawks!

Sautee

July 7th, 2009
5:24 pm

STRETCH,

About this: “Well either way you want to look at it folks, no matter how you look at it, the starting lineup is pretty good up until you get to the center position, Horford is not a center.”

Here’s what Sekou said in an article rating past Hawks drafts:

“Horford was an instant hit and is one of the league’s top centers. ”

“The verdict: Horford’s a keeper and franchise cornerstone “

Don’t believe me, believe the beat writer who has more of an opportunity that you or me to actually SEE what’s what in the league.

bowman

July 7th, 2009
5:24 pm

Like the signing but without Woodson gone, this young team will play like an old team getting older. When is the last time — first time? — Woodson actually developed a player? Smith and Williams both have developed slowly, and incompletely, but neither are where they are today because Woodson motivated or nurtured them. Horford came in an almost complete player, and gets better because of his own drive. If Acie Law ever becomes an NBA-level player (worthy of his draft pick status), it will be because of someone other than Woodson. Additional proof that Woodson cannot develop young players: Boris Diaw and Josh Childress. Sorry, Jeff Teague, but your future with the Hawks is limited until there’s a coaching change.

Mark Bradley

July 7th, 2009
5:36 pm

Leon Powe would be an option as a backup, but he’s not a center, either.

DW

July 7th, 2009
5:47 pm

I guess I have to bring everybody back down to earth.I am a huge Hawks fan, and I must say I didn’t want Bibby back. Why? Because he can only take us so far. I’m tired of treading water. I want to try to compete with the big three. The only way we can do that is to acquire a superstar. Since that’s impossible until next year, we should save our money, let Bibby, Marvin, and chills go. Resign Flip. Give Jeff Teague the minutes that Bibby were going to suck up, and let’s play for next year when we can go after D-Wade, or Bosh, or a superstar. I know it hurts Hawks fans, but in the NBA, you can’t win with 2 players playing out of position (Horford, Josh) and a “tired” wannabe superstar (Joe) and NO BALL DISTRIBUTOR/PLAYMAKER AT POINT GUARD. I don’t even know if we are better than Detroit or the Wizards. Frankly, I was looking forward to seeing an entirely different team. “Expecting a different result with the same product is sports insanity”

Mac

July 7th, 2009
5:55 pm

I like re-signing Bibby. Lots of people on these blogs were saying Bibby would be easily replaced. But, you know, they were rudderless until he got here. He was the X factor in making strides forward. So, I feel better with him on board, rather than hoping another option will be just as good.

Arco Arena

July 7th, 2009
5:57 pm

Treading water? Lifeguard Bibby took a floundering team and gave it direction.

Dawg A

July 7th, 2009
5:57 pm

The signing of Bibby is good and will mean even more when Woody is fired and we get someone who can coach the talent we have. By the way……… I notice that Detroit ( where Woody came from ) has not tried to get Woody. That should speak volumes!!!!!

JMan

July 7th, 2009
6:10 pm

Please DO NOT RE-Sign Za Za! We need new blood in that position.
A true Banger. Even though he is 7ft tall, you barely notice him in the flow of the game. I say take that money and get a big man that’s a physical defensive threat and maybe a bit of an offensive project. I say take a chance on Sean May. He may be ready to resurrect his career. He’s young, and full of potential. Za Za has reached his peak. Sorry!

DW

July 7th, 2009
6:11 pm

Did you guys see how we were almost beat by the pathetic HEAT! Bottom line, we need an upgrade! Bibby is not an upgrade! He had his season with us. He served his task. (Getting us to respectability) Now we’re using the Bobby Cox “keepem till the wheels fall off approach” Take a page from the Steelers. You got to know when to let’em go. We will never have a rookie of the year on this team. Besides Al, our rookies don’t even play.

Sautee

July 7th, 2009
6:11 pm

An easily overlooked fact is that the Hawks cut their turnovers by over 2 per game with Bibby. That’s the difference in MANY close games.

kjb

July 7th, 2009
6:14 pm

Great job Rick Sund….now let’s keep it going with some more moves (inside help)please!!!!

Sautee

July 7th, 2009
6:15 pm

“Even though he is 7ft tall, you barely notice him in the flow of the game.”

Did you happen to notice the EIGHTEEN FREAKIN’ REBOUNDS in Game 4 against the Heat? When Al was out and we needed him most?

Peter

July 7th, 2009
6:23 pm

I agree Mark, I said in one of the blogs sign him for $5 mil, and he got 6 mil X 3. Plus he will be a good teacher for the new guy.

I want Flip back as well……… he is Big for a guard and can create his own shot !

Sautee

July 7th, 2009
6:24 pm

“I say take a chance on Sean May. He may be ready to resurrect his career. He’s young, and full of potential. Za Za has reached his peak. Sorry!”

May is a whopping 53 days younger than Zaza. Zaza is 25. Why do you think he has “peaked”?

Go look at their career stats. They are nearly identical. Except that Zaza is bigger and tougher than May.

Fixing the Hawks IS NOT THAT HARD!!

July 7th, 2009
6:27 pm

This was an ABSOLUTE TERRIBLE MOVE!!!!!! I have NO IDEA what the Hawks or Rick Sund THINK THEY R DOING!!!!! Bibby is a good point guard but he WILL NOT take us to the next level. While he can hit SET SHOTS because of a team double teaming Joe, he can NOT DEFEND the dribble penetration by ANYBODY, NOR can he create his own shot if things break down.

I just do not understand how we can have a team with the frontline consisting of the heights of 6′9, 6′9, and 6′10. Thats like a GOOD COLLEGE TEAM front line. Not one that can seriously compete in the loaded east where the Celtics go 6′11 twice and a 7 footer, Cavs have TWO 7 footers and the Magic have Dwight Howard. They ONLY way to compete against those teams from our standpoint is to out run them up and down the court. But the problem is, who is the only player in our starting lineup that is not suitable to the up and down running game? BIBBY!!!!!!! And he is the most important part of the running game being the POINT GUARD! I just dont understand why we would sign him unless he will lead the second team. Mark my words this team will finish 5th at best this year in the East 42 win season MAX, either get BETTER or take a chance to ATTEMPT to get better and end up being worst. But for please just dont STAND STILL, and thats what we are doing with a LAME DUCK Coach who has NO stamp on this team.

BraveFan73

July 7th, 2009
6:31 pm

DW, hold your roll on all of this Jeff Teague chatter. I will remind all of you Hawk fans about the hype that followed Acie Law, who has materialized as yet another Hawks first round bust. Mike Bibby provides consistency. He comes for an average of $6M/year. Remember that Billy Knight was paying Speedy Claxton over $6M. I don’t quite get the criticism of Bibby. I definitely do not see the hype over Teague, who has proven nothing. His college team, Wake Forest, proved to do less with more than any major college team in America. Teague is 19 years old and was the sixth point guard taken.

You guys who talk about Atlanta unloading our team to acquire Dwayne Wade have lost it. I was born and raised in Georgia before moving to Washington DC to graduate from George Washington University. Our fanbase is pathetic. We rarely sell out Philips Arena, which is one of the nicest arenas in the world. Nonetheless, Atlanta fans do not show up. If anyone thinks Wade or Bosh is coming to Atlanta, I have some oceanfront property to sell you Nevada.

Bibby, Joe, Josh Smith, and Al Horford give us consistency. Joe Crawford gives us a give time scorer with experience. We MUST resign Zaza Pachulia and I will remind you guys that there are no promises about Marvin Williams. Players with back problems usually continue to have back problems. We need Flip Murray because there are no promises that Marvin Williams will be able to produce at an NBA level.

Are we as good as Boston, Orlando, or Cleveland? Of course not. Are the Washington Wizards going to be better than us? Probably. Will we be better than Miami? I do not know. What I know is we will be consistent and we will have an opportunity to win every night with Bibby’s leadership. I like that!

doc

July 7th, 2009
6:33 pm

you tell em sautee! save my keyboard.

DW

July 7th, 2009
6:36 pm

Well put, “Fixing Hawks” you took the words right out of my mouth. All I can think about is the playoffs. That’s what kind of fan I am. Bibby did hit some 3’s in the playoffs, but he didn’t do anything else. Hawks nation listen to me WE NEED A PLAYMAKER AT THE POINT. If you fans are happy with a 5th or 4th seed so be it. I will cry loud and spare none until we get a floor general and a Big Banger in the middle that can knock somebody down like ZaZa did.

niremetal

July 7th, 2009
6:50 pm

DW,

You’re right!!! Let’s trade Mo Evans for Chris Paul and Randolph Morris for Dwight Howard! Only then will this offseason be a success!

doc

July 7th, 2009
6:52 pm

braves fan …. yawn, boring stuff when you start digging at fanbases then immediately say the wiz are going to be better … well maybe with the boring and yawn stuff delusion is in there also.

the criticism of teague is unfounded. wake’s problem was the coach as he moved teague out of point to play two and inserted a guy who did less than teague is the story i read. glad you like bibby and agree at 6 mil sort of a bargain. also agree the need to get zaza is imperative or replace him with two guys that will produce like flip did last year only as bigs rather than front court players.

George W. Bush

July 7th, 2009
6:57 pm

What, no banner?

Kevin M

July 7th, 2009
6:59 pm

Having Bibby keeps us from depending on a non-proven rookie Teague, who has no idea about an 82 game schedule and ‘Jamal’ Crawford, not Joe.
It doesn’t look like Flip will get a call to come back and that is a shame IMO. I like him almost as much as JJ. Sounds crazy, but he does good things when our starting backcourt was not getting anything to fall.
Now, saying that we will retain our 4th slot is not over reaching. If we can pry and difference maker using our other roster pieces, we could do some damage in the playoffs. Wouldn’t a big man like an Aldridge look good on this roster? I still have a ray of hope that we offer Big Baby just to get Boston to either match or let him go. He would help our toughness down low IMO. While not a great rebounder yet, he has that energy level that we need to pull in missed 3 pointers from JJ, Bibby and Crawford.
Having those 3 guys on the team should spell the end of Smoove’s presence on the perimeter. Marvin has become a good 3 pt shooter as well. Our low post play is in need of an upgrade and I would prefer a proven upgrade. Just not Dampier, Curry or anh of the Clippers front line.

wink

July 7th, 2009
7:02 pm

Teague, Bibby, Crawford, JJ, Josh Smith, Horford are set on roster.

Bring back Flip & ZaZa next challenge;

Williams & Chillz ( offer scoring & defense)

Bring Anderson ( the Aussie) to work the paint.

Mario West or Bowen for situational defense.

The best we can do this off season, but it would be an improvement.

Sautee

July 7th, 2009
7:05 pm

GW,

We’ll wait until we actually accomplish something. See us in late August or September.

Evander Hossafield

July 7th, 2009
7:15 pm

niremetal: there’s coffee all over my computer screen, and it’s all your fault! :)

Joe Crawford

July 7th, 2009
7:24 pm

I’ve been a machinist in Walton County for 30 years. How did I get dragged into this conversation??

Suckers.

Eturn

July 7th, 2009
7:35 pm

DW and Fixing the Hawks I agree with you guys about the Bibby signing. I guess we are some of the few that see the real picture down the line.He dont penetrate , no defense, I just dont see it. Im a Hawks fan form way back in the day. In time the others will see.