Posts Tagged ‘draft’

A modest proposal: Flip free agency and the NBA draft

Rick Sund makes a good living, OK? (And he’s doing a nice job, OK?) But Rick Sund is an NBA general manager, and NBA general managers have it tough, logistically speaking. They have to draft players to fit a team that might not be their team at all.

The Hawks have the 19th and 49th picks in Thursday’s draft. In a perfect world, the GM would target positions of need. But the Hawks also have four key players who will become free agents July 1. One’s a backup center. One’s a starting small forward. One’s a starting point guard. One’s a backup combo guard. How can you fill so many potential holes with two picks? How can you know which potential holes will become actual holes?

Even with Jamal Crawford apparently on board, if Mike Bibby (starting PG) oe Flip Murray (backup combo) decide to sign elsewhere, the Hawks will need another guard. But, as Sund said Monday, “Let’s say Zaza [Pachulia] doesn’t re-sign with us and Al Horford gets hurt next year. In hindsight, I’ll be wishing I …

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The Hot Button: Why the Hawks still must pluck a PG

It became clear the moment Mike Bibby arrived from Sacramento: This is how it’s done. You find a point guard and put the ball in his hands and live happily ever after. And that’s why, in a draft deep in nothing except point guards, the Hawks should take one with the 19th pick tonight.

Let’s assume the Jamal Crawford trade is consummated, and let’s even assume the Hawks re-sign Bibby: Even then, there’d always be a need for a distributor, and no team knows it better than the one that passed on Chris Paul and Deron Williams in 2004. It took the Hawks until February 2008 to find a real point guard, and once they did they were never the same.

With Bibby on the floor, they were transformed. They were creative. They were properly positioned. They were, for lack of a better word, good. They took the Celtics to Game 7 that spring, and they were even better in 2008-2009, winning 47 games and a Round 1 series. They know now what they should have known all along: Unless you have a …

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A big idea: Hawks should take Augusta’s Siler in Round 2

I stand before you a weary man. I’m tired of hearing that Al Horford isn’t a center (because he is) and that the Hawks won’t amount to anything until they find a center. But being my dogged self, I wasn’t willing to sit idly by as the conversation raged on the ol’ blog. I actually went out — at the prodding of reader JSS, who put a bug in my tin ear — and found the Hawks a center.

Actually, Rick Sund and his crew beat me to it. They had Garret Siler of Augusta (Ga.) State in for a workout last week. But I’m not just giving him a look. I’m saying: Take him in Round 2! Make him the draft’s 49th pick! And then hire Tree Rollins, who helped groom Shaquille O’Neal in Orlando, as a special assistant and let him spend two years tutoring the big man.

Garret Siler is, as we say in the trade, a great story. He attended a fine arts school — he was a singer and played in the band — until moving to Richmond Academy as a senior. That’s where Dip Metress, the coach of Augusta State, saw him, …

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Hawks fans, don’t expect the moon and stars at No. 19

The 19th player taken in the 2008 NBA draft was J.J. Hickson. If you’ve heard of him, it’s doubtless because he played at Wheeler High in Marietta and spent a season at North Carolina State. It isn’t because he did much of anything as a professional rookie.

Hickson was the 11th man on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won more regular-season games than any other. Come the playoffs, Hickson got to sit and cheer as LeBron James and the other nine guys did their work. This isn’t to derogate Hickson, who’s 20 and who could yet develop into a fine pro. This is to offer a sobering glimpse of NBA reality.

The Hawks hold the 19th pick in Round 1, and if they find someone capable of offering immediate assistance that late they’ll consider themselves outrageously fortunate. The 19th player drafted in 2007 was Javaris Crittenton of Georgia Tech, who’s already on his third NBA team and who has started a total of 10 games. The 19th player taken in 2006 was the legendary Quincy Douby, who hasn’t …

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A special Bradley’s Buzz: Updated all-NBA draft edition!


Those darned folks at are killing me. When I went to bed last night, they had the Hawks taking Wayne Ellington, the elegant North Carolina shooter, with the 19th pick in Thursday’s draft. At 3:02 a.m., they updated their mock, and now they have the Hawks choosing Jrue Holiday, a point guard from UCLA. And I’m doing some rewriting because …

I like Ellington a lot.

I don’t like Holiday at all.

He averaged 8.5 points and 3.7 assists in his one season at UCLA. True, he was playing alongside/behind Darren Collison, a more seasoned point guard, but the consensus across college basketball was that Holiday had underwhelmed. (He actually seemed a better defender than an offensive player.)

Holiday has been projected to go in the upper half of Round 1 but could be sliding. Me, I think there’s good reason. Me, I think he’s way too raw. Me, I’d much rather see the Hawks take Eric Maynor of VCU or Ty Lawson of North Carolina, both of whom …

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The Braves’ No. 1 pick: A Minor addition or a major reach?

Nobody would ever suggest the Braves don’t know what they’re doing — on second thought, that’s pretty much all anybody ever suggests on the ol’ blog — but taking Mike Minor with the seventh pick in Round 1 seemed, shall we say, unusual.

He’s a college pitcher. The Braves tend to prefer high school pitchers. (Fewer innings in the arm.) And it’s not as if Minor was considered the class of this college class. Indeed, Baseball America had him ranked a “second-round talent” and the 10th-best lefthander available in its pre-draft issue.

Baseball America’s capsule: “Minor could be the third lefthander drafted out of Vanderbilt in the past six years, and he’s more Jeremy Sowers [who's 13-22 with the Cleveland Indians] than David Price [the Tampa Bay phenom]. Like Sowers, Minor has more pitchability than stuff, with a fastball in the 86-89 mph range and a plus changeup that grades as his best pitch. His other strongest attribute could be his pickoff move … Minor’s success could depend …

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Draft 2009: Will the Braves take best available Georgian?

The Braves prefer homegrown. This we know. Consensus holds that they’d love to take Zack Wheeler, a right-handed pitcher from East Paulding High, in Tuesday’s baseball draft. But what if he’s gone when they pick? And what if Wheeler isn’t even the best Georgian on the board?

Jim Callis covers the draft for Baseball America, which covers the draft like no other publication. He calls center fielder Donavan Tate of Cartersville High – he’s the son of Lars Tate, who was the first Next Herschel Walker at Georgia a quarter-century ago – “far and away the best athlete in the draft.”

Baseball America has Tate going third overall to San Diego. (The Braves hold the No. 7 pick in Round 1.) But what baseball folks call a “signability” issue exists with Tate – he’s represented by the demon agent Scott Boras, and he has signed a football letter-of-intent with North Carolina – and Callis sees Tate’s circumstances as, shall we say, fluid.

“More teams question his bat than people realize,” …

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Bradley’s Buzz: “With the 19th pick, the Hawks take …”

To go big or go small?

The first real wave of NBA mock drafts hit this week, and there’s no consensus regarding the Hawks’ Round 1 selection. Chad Ford of has them taking point guard Jeff Teague of Wake Forest at No. 19. Sean Deveney of Sporting News Today opts for Jonny Flynn, a point guard from Syracuse. Ian Thomsen of goes with yet another point guard — Eric Maynor of VCU. And, which last week had the Hawks taking Teague, has changed its mind and now has them choosing center B.J. Mullens of Ohio State.

For those keeping score, that’s three point guards against one center. In yesterday’s lengthy Q&A with GM Rick Sund, he said: “I pretty much lean, when you’re picking 19th, to take the best player with the most potential.” Of the four, Mullens might well have the most potential. He’s a skinny big man — he’s 7-foot, 275 pounds — with good hands, and he was considered one of the top five prospects for 2009 five months ago. But he had a tepid …

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Bradley’s Buzz: The Hawks win a series, and people notice!

A change of pace: Glowing Hawk reviews

Back in October, John Hollinger of picked the Hawks to finish 31-51, 13th among the 15 teams in the NBA East. On Sunday he sat in Philips Arena and watched them beat the Miami Heat to advance to Round 2, and it’s safe to say he was duly impressed.

Focusing on Joe Johnson’s breakout game, Hollinger also wrote: “If Atlanta’s All-Star could match Miami’s All-Star [Dwyane Wade} shot for shot, as he finally did Sunday, there was no way Wade’s supporting cast could lift him past Johnson’s.” (Oddly enough, a guy I know had been saying much the same thing. Not that I’m ever right. Though I was, kind of, this time.)

For the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Ira Winderman wrote essentially the same thing and played heavily off Wade’s assertion that the Hawks have five guys who can make a play. And five tends to beat one.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

On, Bill Trocchi called Zaza Pachulia’s dive-on-the-floor offensive …

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Bradley’s Buzz: “The Falcons select Terrence Cody”

After the draft, more draft!

Before we take our leave of the 2009 NFL draft, we look ahead to the 2010 edition. Andrew Perloff of has been kind enough to do a mock for next year and, while it’s way too soon to take such things overly seriously, a mock draft is always fun to scan. And Perloff has the Falcons, who just took a big defensive tackle from the SEC West in Round 1, taking an even bigger one 12 months hence.

He’s Terrence Cody of Alabama, also known as Mount Cody. (He weighs 365 pounds, or thereabouts.) It’s also interesting that Perloff has the Falcons, who drafted 24th overall this time, picking 16th in 2010, which would seem to indicate he foresees some slippage in the 2009 season. Feel free to disagree. But, as you’re griping, take note of these names:

  • Sam Bradford, the Heisman holder from Oklahoma, goes No. 1 overall;
  • Eric Berry, the Tennessee safety, goes No. 2;
  • Tim Tebow, who plays for some school (I forget which) goes 13th;
  • Jonathan Dwyer, the Georgia …

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