It's been asked by a few that I reveal my inner most Hawks Dream, so I finally have some time to identify what would make a 'status quo keeping' Hawks offseason that makes me feel as though we are headed for a first round loss in the playoffs (i.e. playing one of the East's big three in the first round).
So, here's the Hawk Str8Talk version of a Dream Offseason** that could keep the Hawks in contention for 2nd and 3rd round playoff possibilities
** This would be using the remaining free agents available (obviously, this would have been a more useful and impactful blog after the draft, but before free agency began).
Dream Hawks Roster
PG - Ramon Sessions (via a sign and trade of Ramon Sessions and cash for Mike Bibby)
SG - Joe Johnson
SF - Lamar Odom (if everyone else can make a play for Odom, why not us - shoot, if we have $8M for Marvin Williams over 5 years - I'm cool with giving 4 yrs and $8M/yr for Odom)
PF - Josh Smith
C - Al Horford
BPG - Jeff Teague
BSG - Flip Murray (Re-sign)
BSF - Maurice Evans
BPF - Hakim Warrick (yes, he is limited offensively, but he's a significant upgrade to Solomon Jones)
BC - Zaza Pachulia
3rd String Center - Randolph Morris
3rd String PF - Othello Hunter
3rd String Big Man/Vet/Leadership Glue Guy - Joe Smith
3rd String PG - Free Agent Guy who can play defense and handle the ball
3rd String SG - Free Agent Guy who can shoot and defend at the league minimum
Coach: Jeff Van Gundy (would take a shot at Kurt Rambis or Mark Jackson)
Now, this would solve several issues for the Hawks. First, there are enough players for a 11 man rotation. The top 10 plus Joe Smith. This would give the Hawks enough players to actually use competent players in the event of slump, matchup purpose, or injury. Currently, we are unable to make adjustments b/c we only play the same 8 players each game. This provides some coaching flexibility. Obviously, the first benefit would be from a change in coaching philosophy, but even if we didn't change the coach. You'd have to cater some of the offense to the strengths Sessions brings to the table in terms of penetration & defensive presence.
The move to bring Odom on board provides a veteran presence, better rebounding, the same 3 point range, and versatility on the defensive end. Sure, Odom can be inconsistent, but inconsistency is Marvin Williams' middle name. The second team is also stronger - we'd have a PG to groom into the position, but with a player in Sessions that he'd have to take the position from. Additionally, Warrick provides a shot blocking and athletic presence that's a better than Solomon Jones. If Warrick doesn't provide that presence - you have Joe Smith waiting in the wings for PT as well as providing a solid locker room presence to assist the new coach (or old coach - as it were).
This, people, is the Hawk Str8Talk dream offseason team using players that are actually still available this offseason. Now, let's go make it happen, GM Sund. Leave any bargain PG/SG options in the comments section...
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