This is the 3rd installment in my 5 part Hawks Offseason Review. Since the end of the 2009-2010 season, the Hawks Front Office has had a full plate of question marks on their table that need to be answered: will head coach Mike Woodson be back next season, will they resign Joe Johnson, will Josh Childress come back from Greece, will Marvin Williams or Mike Bibby be moved to upgrade at the 3 or 1, will they finally get a 7 foot Center to place next to the undersized Al Horford. We are near the end of the NBA 2010 – 2011 Offseason with most of these questions fully answered. In this 5 part series, I will deliver a full answer and explanation to each of these questions.

3. Will Josh Childress return to the NBA from Greece?

Yes, but playing for the Phoenix Suns. Once the Atlanta Hawks starting SF/SG, Josh Childress (6th Pick in 2004 Draft) felt pressure for his job in 2005 once the Hawks drafted the Highly Prospected SF, Marvin Williams, with the #2 pick in the NBA Draft and acquiring SG star Joe Johnson in a Sign and Trade. It was clear the Hawks were looking to put Childress in a 6th Man reserve position. In 2007 – 2008, both equally as efficient at SF, Josh Childress (a free agent) was ranked 19th in SF with a 14.3 efficiency rating, right behind Marvin Williams (14.6 eff.).

In the 2008 offseason, Josh (a free agent) made a groundbreaking decision to leave the NBA and play with the Olympiacos in Athens, Greece (signing a 3 year $20 Million deal) to become the world’s highest paid basketball player outside the NBA. Why? After his decision, Childress stated, “I get paid double, my role increases, I have no expenses, and I move to a nice city? How many guys wouldn’t do that, regardless if you’re a lawyer or a doctor?” After 3 years, winning the Greek Cup (2010) and All-Euroleague Second Team (2010), this offseason is the end of his contract and will be coming back to the NBA, but not to the Hawks. Why?

This offseason, the Atlanta Hawks, after the ridiculous Joe Johnson signing, have decided to cut down spending by trading Childress’ rights to the Phoenix Suns for a Future 2nd round pick and a $2.5 Million Trade Exception. WHAT?!?! Here’s a player that’s a aTop 20 SF (can play multiple positions, is an above average athlete, and just won the 2010 Greek Cup) and you GIVE HIM AWAY! If money was the issue, then go back to when you overspent on Joe Johnson… BY $20 MILLION, and I’m sure you could cut off a little of his piece of his pie. But money isn’t even the issue here is it? Phoenix signed Josh Childress to a 5 year contract worth $6.5 Million/year. Talent wise… that is a STEAL!You are pinching your wallets shut on a team that is not improving, unlike the rest of the league. Here are the only 2 reasons you need to know why I would rather have Josh Childress  over Joe Johnson on the Atlanta Hawks:

Reason 1: Cheaper. Obviously you would lose a lot of production, but with more cap space, you could round this team well and use Joe Johnson as bait for a Sign and Trade to possibly balance out the loss of production and fill a couple of holes in the roster.

Reason 2: Makes Team Better. There is not one thing Josh is great at, but he fills the holes of a team to get the job done (bangs the boards, plays hard-nosed defense, etc) He could be considered the exact opposite of Joe Johnson. Here’s a breakdown of Josh’s game with clips.

So thank you Josh Childress for so many years of doing the Hawks’ dirty work. I will always remember how you were the only player on this team that would clean up the offensive boards, and even though most of your attempts were unsuccessful, the fans appreciated it. We wish you the best of luck in Phoenix. In the meantime… lets see what the Hawks will be missing next season:

  1. If he does, it will make things more interesting and add excitement for next seasons opening.

    • Yes. Either way… Josh Childress is going to be fun to watch next season with the Phoenix Suns.

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