Thursday, June 25, 2009

Draft Day/Trade Thoughts

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!


emcee fleshy said...

Yeah. . . Damn.

But Rondo's a free agent next year - and he's in a pissing match with his GM right now.

Pardon me while I fantasize about next summer, picking up Van Gundy and a young point who looks kinda like one of my favorite emcees (Bis).

Reminds me of a few years ago, when we spent all our time fantasizing about what to do with that infinite amount of cap room.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

truth be told - I'd do everything I could right now to trade for Rondo - I'd give up Joe Johnson and then just sign Rondo to an extension. That would make me happy. That and Van Gundy - not the biggest VG fan, but it would be like going from me to Phil Jackson in coaching acumen as far as I'm concerned.

thirdfalcon said...

I want Ramon Sessions really badly, He'd solve almost all of our problems. The only downside is he's not the shooter Bibby is, but he penetrates, dishes, and is an upgrade defensively over Bibby.

The best news is I hear he's availible. and he's not even restricted, so we don't have to worry about waiting for the Bucks to match while Bibby signs elsewhere.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

hold on, thirdfalcon. Sessions is most definitely a restricted free agent. That's not as big a worry, though since the Bucks are trying to save money. I certainly think it's worth the effort, though - we need a player who penetrates, plays defense, and is a distributor. We haven't had a distributor play for the Hawks since Mookie Blaylock.

Plus, Sessions lives here. I'm sure that we can get him for a reasonable price. I don't see Bibby coming back for $5M (about as much as I'd give him to not play defense one more season). From a chemistry perspective, we need a PG with enough respect to handle giving the rock to our selfish players (Crawford and possibly Murray).

thirdfalcon said...

Crap your right, Hoopshype's salary page didn't show the Bucks having to make a qualifying offer for him, so that complicates things a bit lol.

In all seriousness I just don't want Craford to be our starting PG. If we get Bibby back i'll be happy, but Sessions would fit the team better, and will be good for much longer than Bibby.

It depends on what the Bucks do though, It looks like they can pay Villinuaeva or Sessions, but not both. I'm counting on them to make the dumb choice and sign Charlie Tweets. Who knows though, maybe they find a way to sign both.

The nightmare would be if we sign Ramone to an offer sheet, the Bucks wait a week to sign him, and in the meantime Bibby decides he doesn't want to wait, and signs elsewhere.

5 million a year for Bibby isn't gonna get it done though. we have to offer him at least more than the midlevel or else someone like the cavs, or the Lakers will sign him.