Atlanta Hawks Looking For Bigs In All The Wrong Places
The Atlanta Hawks missed out on their preferred backup big man when Shaquille O'Neal signed with the Boston Celtics earlier this week.
This, of course, meant that the Atlanta Hawks would be looking for other big men options to fill the front court void behind Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia and Co.
This, of course, shouldn't have meant that those options consisted of Francisco Elson, Brian Skinner and Josh Boone as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Michael Cunningham suggested in a blog post Thursday.
Yes, you read that right - the team that has already re-signed Jason Collins this summer is now interested in bringing in Francisco Elson or Brian Skinner - but not Kwame Brown, I guess, because he's apparently seeking more than the minimum.
Here's what I'm going to suggest - instead of bringing on a minimum salary player that hasn't shown to be worth a roster spot over the course of their career right now, why not instead give an opportunity to a player with something to prove in training camp (which seems to be Option C according to the article)?
Garret Siler - Siler is probably the most obvious player to include on this list since Cunningham suggested there is "some interest" in the 6-foot-11, 300-plus pound big man out of Augusta State. Though Cunningham suggested that "he's got a lot to prove after a bad showing at Summer League," I'd like to counter that THE DUDE MADE 75% OF HIS SHOT ATTEMPTS AND PULLED DOWN 3.8 BOARDS IN JUST 14 MINUTES OF ACTION. I've been driving the Siler bandwagon for awhile, sure, but the kid deserves an opportunity. He has great size, soft hands, scores as efficiently as anyone and seems to be willing to do whatever it takes to get an opportunity - I mean, he runs the court very well for a guy his size.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu - I'm going to let Mark Deeks from ShamSports explain this one: "Mensah-Bonsu always sports a great rebounding rate, can get some points through sheer hustle and athleticism, and has a good handle for a power forward. He is prone to the occasional delusion of grandeur, but he causes turnovers, wins possessions, scores some baskets, grabs some rebounds, blocks some shots, runs the bejeezus out of the floor, and is disruptive around the basket. No team can have enough of that."
Alade Aminu - Aminu is probably a lock for a training camp invitation after starting all five games for the Summer League Hawks. I wrote in March about the 6-foot-10 big man that "if there was a stat that combined youth+athleticism+length+untapped potential, Aminu would lead the D-League." Well, the not quite 23-year-old would probably lead the D-League in that statistic again this year, but it certainly wouldn't hurt the Hawks to pick up his rights if he's able to put a solid training camp together.
Chris Hunter - Hunter really was the weakest link of the Golden State Warriors D-League foray last season, but that might be more of a testament to the solid D-League players that the Warriors called up as opposed to Hunter's NBA talents. For Jon L's scouting report prior to Hunter's call-up last season, check here. Basically he's pretty good on offense, has good size and doesn't mistakes.
Kurt Looby - Looby fills a role that the Hawks currently don't have - long weakside shotblocker that will run the floor and try to get better. He's currently not tremendously adept at doing anything other than that, but there are a lot worse end-of-the-bench options out there that don't deserve this sort of opportunity (take Brian Skinner or Francisco Elson, for example). Looby has led the D-League in blocked shots for the past two seasons (4.7 per 36 last year) and is still improving after starting to play basketball late in life. He was in camp with the Denver Nuggets last season and will more than likely be in a training camp again this year
Oftentimes, picks come with protections.