Str8 Talk Fans,
Sorry for the delay, but between Stevie Wonder concert preparation & US / Spain - I was unaware that something was going on in Hawks land of any consequence, but then I got a Tweet and text during Do I Do (what a wondrous song!). So, GM Sund has pulled the trigger on the thing that we already knew to be true - Acie Law and Craig Claxton are useless to Coach Woodson. [Note: And we do hold Sund partially accountable for lying to me about Law's upside and importance to the Hawks when I told him that there's nothing we see that says that that's the case. Unless of course, he meant - his importance as trade bait.]
Which brings us to...Jamal Crawford. JAMAL CRAWFORD!?! Say word! Ok, since we're seeing a bunch of feedback from all quarters saying things like - great trade, good to get something for nothing, and what does this mean for the draft. I say a big collective YAWN!!!! Let's enumerate the ways...
1. So, we traded away 2 Point Guards, last year's point guard (Bibby) and last year's fake point guard (Murray) are free agents, which means we certainly were looking to get our starting point guard back....and we ended up with a $10M backup shooting guard. Color me unimpressed.
2. Now, Crawford playing and allowing Johnson to get some rest is really the only upside I see in this deal as it stands today. Obviously, it's a good deal if you don't bring back Murray and you go get a real penetrating, defensive minded, dish the ball point guard, but only b/c his contract requires that he will play. Law should have played but he didn't. I have serious doubts about Woodson getting defense and good decision making out of Crawford.
3. Well, this actually could be a good thing - I would revel in Acie Law showing that he's actually a great PG and further highlighting the biggest offseason problem (and this includes all the holes in the Hawks' roster right now) and that's coaching.
So, you're telling us that Crawford fills a glaring need...uh, no! You simply fortified the one position we have no questions about. Sure, you may try to convince again that a volume shooter is really part point guard. And I'd say - stop the madness! For all the love I have for Flip the shooting guard, I have as much antipathy for Flip the point guard. I anticipate having a similar reaction to Flip Murray 2.0. Microwave Jamal Crawford being used as the spark plug scoring machine on the 2nd team - AWESOME! Selfish Jamal Crawford being used as a point guard or allowed to take shots away from the 4-5 players that are better than him on the team - PERPLEXING!
So, what does this say to us? It says that we still don't have an identity as a team. We still haven't addressed our biggest holes - center (and no, we're not buying Al Horford as a center who you can win a championship with. Playoffs - Maybe! Win against poor/average teams - YES! Championship with Al Horford as your center - Absolutely not!), point guard (double no! In fact, we don't have a point guard on the roster right now.), and finally defense (a triple no!!!!! - I mean he has a reputation that puts him in the all-time not playing defense players...wonder how this is going to play in Woodson land! Expect more angst this season from Bret)
Which leads us to draft day:
Well, I would love to say I know what we're going to do, but here's what I would suggest. Pick from this group of players...Blair (PLEASE FALL TO US), Maynor, Lawson, Teague, or sell the pick. Yep, I said - sell it. Let us use the money to try to get Sessions or Milsap or some known commodity that Woodson will play. I don't see him playing anyone we select in either round, so why even pick. All I know is that if you select a scorer - he's not playing. If you select a low post guy who isn't Blair, he isn't playing (and Blair might not even play). If you select a point guard like Maynor (see Law - he AIN'T playing).
The biggest problem for our team is that our coach isn't going to develop our players. For as much as I don't blame him, the guy didn't even play Speedy when he was healthy (yes, he was healthy all season), didn't play Law when we saw the need for a point guard to play. There are just too many examples of Woodson coaching for the moment to believe that during his lame duck season that he's developing players that he doesn't have a contract to outlast and coach. And that's the biggest issue for the Hawks this offseason. If you aren't swinging for a 50 win season with vets that Mike Woodson can quickly trust and play, you are playing the fans for 2009-2010. So, we don't care who gets picked - we care about whether or not this coaching situation gets resolved (extend or fire) and then we'll tell you who we should select. Right now, the best answer is - get some money for the picks and put it into a coaching extension or new coach, getting Zaza back, getting a defensive presence at center or point guard. That's what I'd like for Christmas....and since I don't normally get what I want from the Hawks for Christmas - again, we say - color us unimpressed. See you at Draft Night!