10 not-quite-random thoughts on the Bibby-for-Hinrich deal

Will Bibby's replacement do better against Jameer Nelson? (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Will Mike Bibby's replacement fare better against the pictured Jameer Nelson? (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

1. Kirk Hinrich is much better defensively than Mike Bibby and will be more than a swinging gate versus Rajon Rondo or Jameer Nelson or Derrick Rose come the playoffs.

2. Hinrich might be better able to play alongside Jamal Crawford than Bibby was. But I’m not sure Hinrich will play as well in tandem with Joe Johnson, who’s not easy to complement.

3. When the Hawks traded for Bibby in February 2008, he was 29 and had started nearly every NBA game since leaving college. Hinrich is 30 and hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2008. (Granted, it was Hinrich’s misfortune to have been on teams that drafted two point guards — Rose and John Wall — No. 1 overall.)

4. Hinrich’s career three-point percentage is .379. So is Bibby’s. Hinrich has averaged 5.7 assists per game. So has Bibby.

5. Hinrich is under contract through 2012, which gives the Hawks a year’s cover if/when Crawford leaves as a free agent.

6. Hinrich makes more money — $9 million to Bibby’s $5.5 million this season, $8 million to Bibby’s $6.2 million next — so we can’t accuse the Hawks of taking the cheaper way this time. But it’s unclear whether this trade pushes the Hawks above the luxury-tax threshold, which is always a concern with the Atlanta Spirit. (And you’ll note that the Hawks currently have only 14 players on their roster; the NBA allows 15.)

7. As much as fans had soured on Bibby, he remained hugely respected by teammates. Josh Smith told me earlier this season that Bibby set the best screens of any Hawk — try finding another point guard who fits that description — and he was utterly unafraid to take the big shot.

8. The Hawks had better win now because they punted away much of their future. They traded two No. 1 picks — Jordan Crawford and this year’s first choice — for Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong. That’s a lot to spend for a 30-year-old point guard who has never been an All-Star and who hasn’t been starting at the position he’ll be asked to play.

9. Given the draft record of Rick Sund and Dave Pendergraft, not having a No. 1 pick this year might not be so damaging. In two years they’ve landed Jeff Teague, who has disappointed two head coaches, and Jordan Crawford, who scored 67 points as a Hawk.

10. There’s little time for assimilation. Of the Hawks’ remaining 25 games, 15 will come against teams that currently hold winning records. (Heck, 12 of the next 15 will be against opponents above .500.) The Hawks are fifth in the East, a game and a half behind Orlando and four games ahead of the Knicks. It would be surprising if that position changes before the playoffs commence. Which would mean: Kirk Hinrich would indeed get his chance to chase Jameer Nelson in Round 1.

Oh, and one thing more: According to esteemed former colleague Michael Lee, now of the Washington Post, Bibby was so upset by the trade that he is considering buying out his own contract. (In the NBA, this is known as going the Zydrunas Ilgauskas route.) Lee reports, however, that such a tack might not be feasible for Bibby.

By Mark Bradley

155 comments Add your comment

juvenal

February 25th, 2011
10:44 am

juvenal

February 25th, 2011
10:45 am

stopped caring after Paul & “the landlord”

Mark Bradley

February 25th, 2011
10:51 am

Juvenal earns the coveted kudos.

ICECOLD

February 25th, 2011
10:52 am

DANG … ALMOST FIRST !!!!!

J.J.M.

February 25th, 2011
10:54 am

good job mark…true stuff

Billy Knight

February 25th, 2011
10:56 am

Let’s give the long athletic players a chance again.

Hankie Aron

February 25th, 2011
10:57 am

Good points to mull over MB

Dawg A

February 25th, 2011
10:58 am

Right on target Mark!!! It’s sad that we are alright with losing a first round pick because the powers to be don’t have a good history drafting a good pick!!
Mark if the sell happens and we rid ourselves of the ASG and their idiotic ways…. would they be better off to clean house of both the Thrashers and Hawks? I sure hope your answer is YES!!!

Hankie Aron

February 25th, 2011
10:59 am

I guess my question to you is does this make the Hawks better? I say it does but only marginally. Certainly on those dreaded ball screens it does defensively. Maybe someone else now will step up, take, and make those shots Smoove was talking about now that Bibby is Bye Bye

JM

February 25th, 2011
11:00 am

We may have new owners. See the Thrashers page. Please ASG, sell this team to someone who will not nickle and dime every decision. Go Hawks!

Hankie Aron

February 25th, 2011
11:01 am

LIke Mark noted yesteday, at least the Hawks did something instead of waiting on the ” core” to finally figure it out which they never going to as assembled.

Hankie Aron

February 25th, 2011
11:01 am

were going to

JM

February 25th, 2011
11:01 am

And if Bibby buys himself out. I would bring him back for a spot up shooter role and cut Thomas.

DGutt

February 25th, 2011
11:02 am

A late 1st rounder and Jordan Crawford can hardly be considered “much of their future” Mark. But it looks like the beginning of the end for this crew. Next year the Hawks blow up and rebuild around Joe and Al?

Larry

February 25th, 2011
11:03 am

When it comes to player personnel decisions, the Hawks NBA’s version of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. They are no longer just sad to watch, they are quickly becoming weekly fodder for comedians.

Then there’s the ownership. Which is worse, a senile, perverted looking old fart or a merry band of idiots?

steeldawg

February 25th, 2011
11:05 am

Mark,
The real question is why did the Hawks overspend for Bibby, Marvin and Zaza. All of them seem average and expendable. Not to mention average Joe’s not so average contract. They want to save money but arent very smart with the money the spend. At least Hinrich will help Horford in the toughness dept.

Mark Bradley

February 25th, 2011
11:06 am

I’d venture that my answer would depend on who buys the teams, Dawg A.

J.J.M.

February 25th, 2011
11:08 am

If the hawks want to get serious…go hard after dwight howard 2012….I mean why wouldnt he play for us? isnt he from here? he and josh are like best friends right?

Johnny MoneyBags

February 25th, 2011
11:09 am

A businessman or group buying the Hawks? Are you serious? I’ll take my money and spend it with Gordon LIbby

Lew Burdette

February 25th, 2011
11:09 am

Yawn. Please, please, please pray for opening day for MLB.

Dave

February 25th, 2011
11:12 am

Don’t forget the potential intangibles here. The Hawks need a leader on the court and Bibby wasn’t that guy. Maybe, just maybe, Hinrich can help this team develop a little discipline and play harder as a unit.

schmeckdawg

February 25th, 2011
11:14 am

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWKKKKKKKKKSSSSSSSSSSS!!! And take The Thrashers with you!

@DanWeiner

February 25th, 2011
11:15 am

In the past 25 years the Hawks have drafted 3 players worth a damn: Jason Terry, Josh Smith and Al Horford. Don’t give me this punted on their future nonsense.

Jay W

February 25th, 2011
11:21 am

Amen, @DanWeiner. Amen. Dallas Comegys, anyone?

jfreak13713

February 25th, 2011
11:22 am

I like having Hinrich on the team but just think they gave up too much for him? In my opinion this doesn’t make the Hawks that much better? Are they now going to be beat Orlando, Miami, Boston, or Chicago? No! Not in a seven game series anyway. Had they not given so much to get Hinrich I would be happy with the deal because everyone knew something had to be done but we’ll just have to wait and see? I still see a second round knock punch coming for the Hawks?

Horford is our Savior

February 25th, 2011
11:24 am

Atlanta…Imagine is we could buy alcohol on Sunday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TOM_UuQzc0

@DanWeiner

February 25th, 2011
11:25 am

Also, this is looking like a historically bad draft potentially so getting out of it is smart.

elevator

February 25th, 2011
11:26 am

The Hawks ended their near future by extending Bibby and giving Joe his contract.

gcs

February 25th, 2011
11:27 am

This was an awful trade. Why won’t Atlanta Spirit just go away?

.

Sick and Tired

February 25th, 2011
11:28 am

The only person that lost here is Mike Bibby. Did he really have to be traded? Was there not any other way to do this deal and keep him? After all…he is still a great shooter. One that many of you fail to appreciate for what he has provided for this team since his arrival. If I remember correctly the Hawks were close to worthless before he arrived. I hope he ends up on a team that has to play the Hawks in the playoffs and hopefully his three point dagger will close the curtains on the season. Seriously….what I hate is the total lack of appreciation shown by the fans and ownership, therefore the Atlanta Spirit just lost a season ticket holder!!!

jond

February 25th, 2011
11:32 am

So two teams that Hinrich played for felt the need to draft a point guard and they were both able to grab one with number one picks. Hmmmmmm? At least he’s marginally better than Bibby! LOL Do you think there is a chance the Hawks make a play for Ryan Gomes now that he has been released by Cleveland? It’s crazy how it wasn’t that long ago that we had nothing but 6-8/6-9 tweener forwards and now we have 6 centers, most of which don’t or can’t contribute and very little depth at the 3/4 spot. We need Zaza to contribute ASAP!

Greg

February 25th, 2011
11:34 am

Mark, you said it all: “The Hawks had better win now because they punted away much of their future. They traded two No. 1 picks — Jordan Crawford and this year’s first choice — for Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong. That’s a lot to spend for a 30-year-old point guard who has never been an All-Star and who hasn’t been starting at the position he’ll be asked to play.” I just don’t see the value. And the Wizards fans, from the look of the Washington blogs, LOVE this trade. They think they were big winners. They especially love getting the #1 pick.

Chris

February 25th, 2011
11:35 am

Point #1 is the whole reason this trade was necessary. Bibby was a sieve on pick and roll defense in a conference where Rondo, Rose, James, Wade, and Howard/Nelson run pick and rolls all game and Teague has developed and has no confidence. Bradley you complain about giving up Crawford and #1 draft pick, but Crawford wont be ready for 2+ years if at all and the #1 draft pick would be like the 22nd pick. Name the last starter to be taken at that pick. It just doesnt happen after around pick 15 unless you get lucky or they develop overseas. So to me they gave up a decent backup in Mo Evans and that is all we are gonna miss.

Mark Bradley

February 25th, 2011
11:37 am

I submit that Rajon Rondo was the 21st pick of the 2006 NBA draft.

Chris

February 25th, 2011
11:38 am

Sorry, Teague hasnt developed, the pick is way overrated, and Joe Johnson wouldn’t be hard to play with if he actually moved the ball around. Its just to bad we cant trade for some heart, that way the team would play with passion and not wilt every time they’re hit in the mouth.

jond

February 25th, 2011
11:52 am

I mentioned Ryan Gomes in my earlier post but I meant to say Leon Powe.

Dawg A

February 25th, 2011
11:52 am

You can draft a player lower in the first round if you know what you are doing!!!! So I submit…. that we get people in place that know how to do that! Don’t appear as though we have that now!

P. Bull Terrier

February 25th, 2011
12:02 pm

2. Joe doesn’t care about anyone’s complements.

dap01

February 25th, 2011
12:06 pm

Thanks MB. This team has deep problems from Management to coaching to a severly imbalanced team.

J-bone

February 25th, 2011
12:09 pm

Anyone ever see Bibby and Amy Winehouse together? Didn’t think so.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 25th, 2011
12:12 pm

The Hawks “punted away much of their future” and entered win-now mode when they gave Joe the max contract. Sund’s history in the draft, even prior to coming here, is just plain awful. I’m not sweating the picks much at all. Hinrich is an upgrade over Bibby, too. The only major disappointment is that three point guards who would have been long term solutions at the point guard position got traded this month and the Hawks couldn’t get any of them, instead settling for a short term band aid (which is basically what Bibby was himself). Deron Williams’ price may have been too high, but Felton and Harris could have been had if Sund knew how to be creative.

twitter.com/fakericksund

kaminari

February 25th, 2011
12:12 pm

I’m thinking now that this was a good trade for the Hawks where before I was thinking the ASG were idiots, but maybe that’s still true. But just being a casual NBA fan (though Hawks fanatic) and not really caring much of the other teams except when they play us, I never knew KH and he didn’t see worth 2 #1s. But watching his highlights from past games this year on rewind, I see this guy is pretty good and could jump start these guys. I can’t find much of the center playing and still wonder why we got him. Is he gonna make any difference? We need big men and he won’t hurt what’s not there already, right? He won’t need to score cause I’m sure KH will pass it to the scorers and if not Smoove will shoot threes. I digress. I really don’t mind Smoove shooting threes if they go in, but I just hope this guy gets our guys in the paint more where we can do damage. But from the looks of it, KH can get there on his own.

KevinM

February 25th, 2011
12:12 pm

Please Bradley followers……….we talk like Bibby was NOT part of the problem, when in fact, he and JC1 play the bulk of every 4th quarter…that is a 5 on 3 defensive scheme…that isn’t going to work against teams ABOVE .500. Seriously, ‘Bibby is a great shooter, Bibby sets the best screens on the entire team’….nonsense.
What I’d like to see going forward:
1) No more open looks on the perimeter for Josh Smith to be enticed to take a 25 footer. Get back inside where you are belong! Tell Larry to grow a couple and yank him if he keeps jacking those things up. If we’re down, he only compacts the problem.
2) Put JC1 on the bench in the 4th when we need defense. Throw nephew Wilkins out there with Hindrich and see if we can consider stopping someone in the 4th quarter. Phoenix just lit us up time and time again…can’t blame Bibster for that showing. And yes, Marvin is part of the problem still.
3) Mark, we gave up 2 #1s for Hindrich and Armstrong, so true, but the reason is you had to get Bibster off this roster, because Larry was playing him 30 min no matter the situation! Larry is in over his head because unlike his words, he doesn’t stand by what he says and doesn’t hold the players accountable. I will say Marvin is the only one who has caught any brunt of Larry’s dissatisfaction.
Fact is, we have still a young group….why have we given up a big part of our future, when Joe is our future plain and simple? JC2 wasn’t helping anytime soon…and you win now, not tomorrow. You have no clue what is coming tomorrow in the NBA. Larry will tell you he may not be around to see tomorrow as he has the shortest contract short of 70+ years old Paul Silas.

As Rick Sund said on that glorious day we resigned our leader: “We go as far as Joe takes us; he’s our leader.” There you go with what’s in store for the future of the Atlanta Hawks.

Joe has a sweeter deal than Michael Vick got…..do you see the potential with Joe as you saw in Vick at the time? Next question…..

KevinM

February 25th, 2011
12:14 pm

Speaking on Leon Powe, would anyone be surprised to see the Celtics pick up Leon again for the playoff stretch? Insurance against the ailing O’Neals?

Najeh Davenpoop

February 25th, 2011
12:17 pm

I also think this idea that Bibby complemented Joe well is a little overrated. With Bibby and Joe in the backcourt, the Hawks had two players who couldn’t penetrate off the dribble and settled for jumpers. Yeah, Bibby is a good screener, but Joe isn’t quick enough to turn the corner and get inside off a screen anyway. I don’t know enough about Hinrich’s game recently to know how good he is at penetrating off the dribble, but the ability to do that will open up easy shots for Joe a lot more than Bibby’s screens ever did (which is partially why I’d like to see Teague play more).

nate

February 25th, 2011
12:17 pm

The Hawks just made a great trade for Kirk. The guy is a feisty defender who can create in the lane, has a great shot, and brings a lot of toughness and leadership. He has unfortunately been one of those players who were overshadowed by a first overall pick(D Rose & J Wall) on each of the teams he has played for. How excited and how hard would you play if you had waited this long for the opportunity to shine, and then you find out you get to play with one of the most athletic squads in the league. Kirk Hinrich is salivating and ready to do some damage for the hawks

NCBravesFan

February 25th, 2011
12:17 pm

Mark: do you agree with the idea that major changes are in the offing for the Hawks if they do not progress in the playoffs this year, and if so, does that mean blowing it up and starting over or trading core pieces for new core pieces?

If the plan is to potentially blow it up in five months and start over, I’m having a hard time seeing how this trade makes a lot of sense (because of the picks surrendered).

JeJe

February 25th, 2011
12:17 pm

MB, great article.

Would the new group consist of a PRIMARY owner or 34982 owners like we currently have?

JeJe

February 25th, 2011
12:18 pm

If we do not get past the 2nd round this year, I’m pretty sure Smoove will be traded

KevinM

February 25th, 2011
12:18 pm

The #1s we give to a team are of very little value to us year in and year out. Now, the current basketball expert can save face and not have to worry about making a bad pick at #20.
We should sell our picks every year and keep reinvesting into the core……..crickets!

Anyone convinced that the basketball expert thinks we need a real PG? So far, he hasn’t shown that to be the priority.

Mark, get Sund to fill that slot at #15 so Bibster has no room to come back here!