Posts Tagged ‘ NBA ’

Hawks Can’t Move Smoove Before Deadline

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With the 3:00pm trade deadline coming to a close, the Hawks were unable to trade Josh Smith. Josh this season has recorded 17.2pts, 8.6reb, 4.2ast, 1.2stl, and 2.1blk in 35.8mpg (as of 2/21/13). The 6’9″ PF has been a hot commodity in the trade market the past few months, but due to his contract expiring this summer, teams were left conflicted with the thought of trading young and valuable assets to Atlanta for an unrestricted free agent that could go play somewhere else in the offseason. Multiple suitors including Brooklyn, San Antonio, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, Houston, Phoenix, and Milwaukee were in the hunt in the weeks coming up to the deadline.
The offer most aggressive came from Nets’ offer of Kris Humphries/MarShon Brooks/1st (or rights to Bojan Bogdanovic). Atlanta crowdsourced other offers without any luck, getting offers like Sprus’ DeJuan Blair, Sixers’ Evan Turner/Spencer Hawes, Celtics’ Paul Pierce, Wizards’ Emeka Okafor, when they were looking for younger, more talented offers like Omer Asik/Chandler Parsons from Rockets, Marcin Gortat/Jared Dudley/picks from Suns, and Monta Ellis/Ekpe Udoh from Bucks. The Bucks were in talks up to the deadline, but were reluctant to trade Monta Ellis due to Josh Smith’s request for them to keep their backcourt of Ellis and Brandon Jennings and to find other trade pieces for him. In final minutes, Atlanta was in a three-way trade with Milwaukee and Orlando, with Milwaukee receiving JJ Reddick and Josh Smith, but pulled out at the last minute.
Atlanta was rumored into looking for young prospects, draft picks, and expiring contracts to help Atlanta build a young core with enough cap space in the offseason to go after big free agents (Dwight Howard).

GRADES:
JOSH SMITH: Josh gets half a season to prove he’s worth a max contract when he’s an Unrestricted Free Agent. If Josh is traded at the deadline, he would have to see a dip in his numbers in a contract year due to the time it would take for him to get comfortable in another teams system. A-

HAWKS: By keeping Josh, you risk seeing your most talented player walk with nothing to show for it. Although this is the most likely scenario, Atlanta can still offer him a contract this offseason. With Joe Johnson’s contract off the books, Atlanta is in a rare position to attract two big free agents while keeping their core of Al Horford and Jeff Teague. Even if Josh signs a max contract with another team, Atlanta can still go the Sign and Trade route, bringing in something, although the return would be far less than the offers given at the trade deadline. Still, this gives Hawks basketball a half season of what if, and who knows, maybe can go far in the Playoffs. Either way, Atlanta is going to have a lot of money to play with in the future and Ferry knows how to spend wisely, possibly by signing Josh to a contract up to 5 years $94 Mil. B-

HAWKS DECLAW RAPTORS

With an impressive win Sunday, November 28, the Hawks overpowered the Toronto Raptors 96 – 78. After beating the New York Knicks 99 – 90 less than 24 hours ago, the Hawks were able to keep that momentum and not skip a beat in the Raptors beat down. Toronto’s defensecould not keep up with the Hawks OUTSTANDING ball movement as we saw Atlanta operate Larry Drew’s motion offense to a “T”.

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JOE JOHNSON AFTER CONTRACT REVIEW

After signing the largest contract by any Free Agent this summer (6 year, $123 Million), Joe Johnson has gotten a lot of heat from fans and critics alike. After 14 games into the 2010-2011 Regular Season of Joe’s new contract, the 29 year old has not even been close to proving his contract. Where we have seen our frontcourt of Josh Smith and Al Horford scream out of the gates putting up numbers that have them both ranked #1 in the NBA for their respectful positions. Joe has put up numbers that don’t even rank him in the Top 15 SG in the league (16). Coming off of a 2009-2010 campaign with regular season stats of 21.9 ppg / 4.9 apg / 4.7 rpg, this season we have seen a drop in all categories except assists. After the Boston Celtics game, Joe this season has scored 17.6 ppg / 5 apg / 3.6 rpg. Joe’s shooting % is the lowest it’s been since his rookie year (42.8%) and is shooting the  lowest 3 point % in his 9 year career (25.4%).

Here are 2 reasons why Joe has been sub par this season:

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HORFORD IS EXTENDED

With a 50-50 chance on November 1st for the Hawks to resign the All-Star Center to a contract, Al Horford and the Atlanta Front Office have agreed to resign him to a five year $60 Million. This deal is equivalent to the extension deal Joakim Noah received from the Chicago Bulls a couple months ago. This is fair due to Horford and Noah both being highly valued, servicable, young Centers in the league. The Hawks had to resign the Restricted Free Agent (RFA) by the 11:59pm deadline on Monday to prevent him from being on the market next summer.

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HAWKS ROSTER GRADES

The 2010-2011 regular season starts on October 27 and the Hawks have their roster set. Here’s the depth chart. Let’s take a look at the Hawks roster from Point Guard to Center and pick apart the Hawks changes this offseason to see how this team is different from earlier years. Here are the 2010-2011 Atlanta Hawks position grades, head coach grade, and overall grade:

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PRESEASON MAGIC @ HAWKS

Dwight Howard, Josh SmithConsidering we were fresh off of an embarrassing Playoff series with the Orlando Magic, losing by an average of 25 points, people predicted this game to be a heated battle for the Hawks to reclaim their credibility. Boy were they wrong. This nationally telivized game was no different than the playoffs with the Magic dominating the Hawks in a 102-73 beat down. 29 points… 29 POINTS!!! I don’t care if this is a playoff game or a preseason game, this game was a measuring stick to determine whether or not our team has turned the other cheek and improved mentally. They didn’t.

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HAWKS PRESEASON OPENER

In a losing effort (115-111), the Hawks preseason opener went to Overtime against a healthy and determined Memphis Grizzlies. Jamal Crawford and rookie Pape Sy (6’7″ PG) did not play due to injury. These were two of the players that I wished to watch due to their drama packed summers. Jamal is dealing with trying to get Atlanta to offer a contract extension and Pape had to come to terms and be bought out from his international contract with the French Club, LeHavre. After it was clear Pape had come to terms and was coming to play in the NBA, Atlanta signed him to a 3 year contract with a guaranteed contract for rookie minimum in the 1st year. Even though these 2 were sidelined, I was still excited to see what kind of role players like Jeff Teague and rookie Jordan Crawford were going to have on this team. Overall, this game was a showcase for players with question marks on what they were capable of.

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