So, we've already discussed why we believe that Billy Knight has gotten a bad rap in the past and that he really did yeoman work with the constraints he had to work under. Working on the cheap and trying to build a good team on the cheap is not easy.
We forget that all teams miss on moves. The critical component is whether you are able to recover when mistakes are made. And in many cases, that recovery takes money. So, no you can't forget a Shelden Williams selection (or forgive it), but I've continued to report (and wish Billy would stop being so nice about this and just confirm it) that ownership wanted Marvin Williams, not Billy Knight. So, all in all - the Knight era was a pretty good one. All of the talent and starters were brought to Atlanta by him. Now, you can debate whether he shouldn't have traded the two first round draft picks to the Phoenix Suns or not, but enough time has elapsed where we could have made up for that with shrewd decision making.
And shrewd decision making is what is necessary from GM Rick Sund, but it's hard to even get upset with his decisions because I'm not sure they are...HIS BASKETBALL FOCUSED DECISIONS. So, I like Rick Sund, but I was critical of our last offseason, but now looking back - almost everything we're doing is based on the bottom line first and basketball second. Which means Rick Sund has to be Jerry West-like to be successful (or Pritchard or Buford...hey, uh, does Pritchard work on the cheap?) and I don't think he has it in him, so now after all that - here are my draft thoughts....
1. I actually thought that Jordan Crawford was the best talent available at our part of the draft, BUT not so great that I thought his talent trumped our NEED. So, unless Jordan Crawford has some unknown Bruce Bowen like defensive abilities, he wasn't what we needed ESPECIALLY if you seriously want to bring Joe Johnson back (and we're unconvinced that bringing Joe back at a max contract is a good idea, so maybe that's a good thing...in that we're going to either not bring him back or are bringing him back at a reduced rate).
2. Like I said yesterday, why have faith that it's not about money? Now, I know why Mario West was brought back, why we got Joe Smith and Jason Collins. So, we sell a 1st round pick and we pick another 2nd round player that will never see the light of day in the NBA for our team. So, forget undrafted free agents...forget doing anything that helps us fill the need of toughness, rebounding, perimeter defense, sound basketball IQ, and LEADERSHIP!!!!
3. I am continually dismayed that we are paying veterans money they don't deserve, but won't pay rookies who can be productive the relative pittance to get better as a team. Meaning we could be paying $6M / yr for a player commiserate to that salary in a position of need AND have Teague starting CHEAPER than that vs. paying like $8M for 1 position and STILL needing a player (even at bargain basement prices) that will cost you more in the long run. For a team that is bleeding loot, what don't you get about this? So, you are stupid AND you are broke. I guess these two things could go hand in hand - being stupid usually leads to being broke.
If you gonna be cheap, be smart and cheap, not dumb and dumber. And that's what this is - dumb and cheap! Like Herm Edwards said, you play to win the game...too bad, the Atlanta Spirit Group missed that memo. Sell the team..seriously!
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