My Dream Hawks Offseason for 2009
My Dream Hawks Offseason
So it’s a dream, right?? So the first thing is we have issues. As we are currently built we have reached as high as we can go. Even with the addition of Childress if he decides to come back to America after a time in Greece that was probably less than favorable, we can’t beat the Cavs, Celts, or Magic with the rosters they and we have currently constructed. Why you ask? It’s because our superstar, our two (or is it three now…oh well) time all-star is inconsistent, on any given night JJ could give us 25 and 10 or 8 and 2. Any team needs to be able to depend on their star and we can not. When it all rolls down we are without a number one, and I know the number one often alludes to a point guard…and yes we need one of those too (just keep reading). But here I’m talking about a number threat/option on the offensive end, someone who opposing teams must double EVERY time down the court, and who knows what to do when the double team comes. Joe is a 2 at best, Bibby, Josh, Horford(although he’s climbing toward a 2) are 3’s, Marvin has the potential to be a 2 if he were more aggressive and didn’t like the back seat so much…that makes him a 3 as well. The bench is full of 4’s and lower, save Flip who is a 2 in our offense when the second unit comes in. Have I lost you yet? Okay now I know folks are saying “it’s the system….It’s the coach” and I understand and agree, defense is playing a lot better but on the Offensive end we seem to have no effective half court sets…seems like Woody’s plan is to have the guys stand around until theres 10 seconds left on the clock and then have Joe go one on one against whoever is defending against him at the time. So fire the coach, right? WRONG, we can’t fire a guy who has increased our win total every year after we made it to the second round of the playoffs, granted we got embarrassed…but that was an accomplishment. So he’s gonna be here for another year at least…so what do we do….? GET AN OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR and a good one with some plays, and I know the triangle is a reach and we can’t really do that…but how about some motion or picks that allow folks to drive to the cup and dish out or to the open man….now that would be something….
So back to the team. Here’s our current roster and my thoughts on all over the players.
PG Mike Bibby (UFA)
Let him walk…will cost too much to keep him
G Flip Murray (UFA)
would like to keep him in the fold but he’s gonna be too expensive too
C Zaza Pachuila (UFA)
RESIGN this man…excellent backup at the 4 and 5, wish he played better defense though
PF Solomon Jones (RFA)
RESIGN and start getting him on the floor…he can help us.
SG Mario West (RFA)
would like to say reisgn but while he’s great on D his offense suffers…let him walk
F Othello Hunter (RFA)
Would have liked to see him play…at all so I’m not too sure here
SG Thomas Gardner (RFA)
RESIGN and let him play on the second team he can be the scorer we loose in Flip walking
SF/PF Marvin Williams* (RFA) RESIGN IMMEDIATELY. I wanted to trade him last year, but he found his consistent Jump shot and a 3 point shot to boot…becomes our Hedo/Reshard Lewis for years to come.
PG Speedy Claxton
Get him and his oversized contract the heck out of town, include him in a trade or cut him…you choose
SG/SF Maurice Evans
Thought we should keep him at first…but looking at trades, signing and the draft we let him go
PF/C Al Horford
Probably too early to start talking about resigning him but he should be a life time Hawk, point blank
SG Joe Johnson All-Star…yes…inconsistent…very…I’ll get to this a bit later PG Acie Law
Still have no idea what kind of player this guy is…I say we trade him or something
C Randolph Morris
How much are we paying this kid to keep the seats warm…oh that little? Let him hang around…maybe he’ll surprise us one day
SF/PF Josh Smith
PLEASE find a jumper this off-season OR work on your post game and stay away from the 3 point line…you have 2 options here, no more no less
SG/SF Josh Childress
I’m including him because I’m hoping he comes back…and this is my dream right? So I’m gonna keep dreaming.
FA and TRADES – Here comes the fun… all aboard…seriously I am gonna try to keep this realistic, even though it’s a dream
Sign PG Raymond Felton…a RFA in Charlotte, but the addition of Augustin makes him pryable… is that a word???
Sign PF Charlie Villanueva…if we can get him he drastically improves our bench
TRADE Joe Johnson and Josh Childress to the Washington Wizards for #5 and Nick Young.
TRADE Acie Law and Speedy Claxton to the LA Clippers for Marcus Camby
TRADE #19 to the Portland Trailblazers for #33, #38 and #56
After all that the depth Chart is looking like this.
SG-Nick Young/Thomas Gardner
SF-Marvin Williams/Nick Young/Josh Smith
PF-Josh Smith/Charlie Villanueva/Al Horford/Solomon Jones
C-Al Horford/Marcus Camby/ZaZa Pachulia/Solomon Jones
In the Draft I believe we take SG James Harden USC at 5 (favorite player in the Draft…a 1 if there ever was one…trust me on this one…I called D.Wade when he came out and I’m calling this) PG/SG Toney Douglas FSU at 33 (second favorite player in the draft great on defense flashy on offense) SF/PF Dante Cunningham Nova at 38 (just depth really…) and PG AJ Price UCONN at 56 (depth)
So the depth Chart looks like this…
PG-Raymond Felton/Toney Douglas/AJ Price
SG-James Harden/Nick Young/Thomas Gardner/Toney Douglas
SF-Marvin Williams/Nick Young/Dante Cunningham
PF-Josh Smith/Charlie Villanueva/Al Horford/Solomon Jones
C-Al Horford/Marcus Camby/ZaZa Pachulia/Solomon Jones
That’s a solid winning team that can challenge the big 3 in the east… I know what you’re thinking…with so many young players we could really do a lot of nothing this season as well….but you see, I think we go high risk high reward. We can either keep everything the same as last season and stay right where we are…we won’t move further in the play-offs or up the draft. So either we loose, get a new coach and a high draft pick or this guys play like I know they can and we seriously close the gap between us and the big 3…
I think the only thing your dream scenario is ignoring is the tremendous progress the Hawks have made over the last five years. You're immediately saying that a team that just got over the .500 hump and won a first round playoff series has topped out. Major adjustments like this will prevent the Hawks from steadily growing, and cause them to, more than likely, bottom out.
Now, yes, if you're telling me that by bottoming out, the Hawks would be in position to draft the next Dwyane Wade or LeBron James, then by all means, blow it up. But that's never a stratigical option. Never! You have to luck into a great player.
Also, you're assuming that this is a deep draft, and that a players drafted in the 2nd RND are ready to play important minutes off the bench their first year.
And, what if James Harden is a bit too slow to create his own shot. Those two NCAA tournament games really didn't give me the best impression of Harden (where, in the same tourney, Wade went for a triple double in the Elite Eight). Joe can create his own shot. Don't forget that only fifteen guys out of fifteen teams make the Eastern Conference All-Star roster, and a lot of times, the teams with the best records get multiple players, and Joe has made this team 3 years in a row. He's really good. He just needs some help on the offensive side of the ball.
I would be happy with Raymond Felton, keeping Marvin Williams, and trading for Marcus Camby. I would also be happy to use the rights of Josh Childress, Speedy Claxton's expiring contract, and the inconsistencies of Acie Law to improve our team, but a major face lift like this should only be done if a team has topped out, and the Hawks have shown no signs that they have topped out (now, the beating against the Cavs could appear to be that sign, but the Cavs could've easily been swept by the Magic, so that was really just a matchup issue that the coaching staff couldn't figure out, but a healthy Marvin Williams and Al Horford would've gone a long way into helping solve that problem).
I do like that other Hawk fans are out there and wanna see this team get better, just like I do. Let's hope that, regardless of what the Hawks do this offseason, they won't back away from spending the appropriate money to keep this team on track of becoming an Eastern Conference contender!
never trade joe johnson
Akintu, You have to be the dumbest person alive. Why would you even think about trading Joe and you arent even getting anything close in return. Nick Young???You can't be serious...If they traded him, who is going to be the No.1 Guy, it sure cant be Josh Smith. He can't get in the post without turning it over and still doesn't understand how to play basketball at this level yet. James Harden will be a bust, and it was proved in the NCAA Tourney. He has some skills, but he struggles when people get into him and thats not a good thing coming to the NBA. Raymond Felton is another joke of a PG in this league. He still cant shoot and is average at distributing the basketball. Portland is not going to trade 3 picks just to get to #19. That is impossible, their GM isn't that desperate for a player. Your other problem with the depth chart is this: Our issue since Horford has gotten here is he has played out of position. He is a PF, not a Center. They need to get a guy who can come in play center for the majority of the minutes and keep Horford at the 4. Josh isn't strong enough to play the for or a good enough on-ball defender to be successful against other PFs. You don't blow teams up to hope for a good player down the line. You cant take what this team did this year and put all these young guys who either are just drafted or never play significant time and think they are going to be a top 3 team in the east. You forget other teams will improve like Chicago, New Jersey, New York will be better next year, Philadelphia,Detroit,etc...IF we court this team you want, they would be lucky to make the playoffs. No no.1 option on offense,no back-up PG, players playing out of position,no continuity,etc...
If you disagree that's your opinion but looking to offend me is completely out of bounds, I'm not expecting you to say sorry just need you to know that you're out of line with that.
Ok here's the thing, I know we have loyalty to folks sometimes and for NO reason. No one on this board with Stats are after actually going to more than one Hawks game or watching this team on tv can refute that while Joe is a great player some nights he disappears on other nights. That kind of inconsistency is not something that we can take from the person who is supposed to be our number one option and superstar. the entire team will continue to suffer if our number one guy can't be counted on for the same amount of effort and contribution on a night to night basis, the NBA doesn't work that way.
I NEVER said that Josh Smith should be our number one option, I didn't even hint at it. I actually thought I offered that he was a solid 3rd option at best...but I digress. The moves I made may or may not be a fix, but what I do know is that I am not okay with this team becoming the Sacramento Kings of the east...
That means I don't want a team that is consistently just good enough to be at most a 4 seed in the East and then bow out in the second round in the playoffs. A team that is just good enough to not be in the lottery therefore seriously impending it's chances of getting the player(s) that could help the team progress. I loath mediocrity and that is what we have. I want a team that can do what the Lakers did last night. If that's not what we guys on this board want then so be it but be clear that my aim is to create a team that can compete against the Big dawgs wherever they roam and just being good enough to make the playoffs year after year will not suffice. I know high risk, high reward and that's a chance I'm willing to take.
The way I see it, we try and make some moves and maybe next year we're competing in the NBA finals or maybe we have the number one pick, to me either would be better than this middle of the road state we're currently in.
I would also like to make it clear that I AGREE that Horford would be a better 4 than 5, however I am not convinced that Josh can be effective at the 3 at all. If we take Marvin out of the current line up for good then where does that leave us as far as a jump shooter in the starting line up goes? I'll tell you, it's no mans land. I would have liked to have traded Josh last year because I saw this coming...but we held on to him and payed him big money so now we're stuck with him....I have loyalty, but at the same time I want us to floor a team that can win it all....so trade Joe to Miami for D. Wade (dream) or do something because picking 19 for the next 5 years will suck!!
Well of course everybody wants to compete for the NBA Finals. I would rather be in the playoffs then trying to get the No.1 Pick. You have to understand the teams in the East you will have to get through to make the finals. I mean Cleveland, Boston and Orlando are 3 of the best teams in this league and it was a success for Atlanta to get into the 2nd round this year. They need to keep the core and find a good center to help out defensively. There are good centers available-Kaman, Chandler is on the block and so is Camby. This isn't a one year fix, those are just hard to come by. You can find some good pieces later in the draft. Some of the best players in the game werent top 5 picks. I mean Kobe was the 13th pick, Hedo Turkoglu was 15th, Tony Parker 28th, Tayshaun Prince 23rd just to name a few. The Hawks have a long way to go to become the Sacramento Kings of the east. They just need to decide on what they feel is best to do with Mike Bibby and how much Marvin is worth to them. As long as they dont make the mistake they made with Josh Smith and pay him as much as Joe is making. A good question to ask is would this team be better if Joe wasn't on the team. He is more valuable than just scoring all the time, plus this year he had to play more minutes than usual which made his shooting suffer a bit. He is still the leader and best player on this team.
Okay here's the thing that I think you keep skipping over. Without changes I see us spiraling toward mediocrity. I don't think bringing in back up players will fix this. While more help for the bench would improve the team I don't think it gets us past Orlando, Cleveland or Boston. There are some stellar players that are picked later in the draft, but as our luck goes we draft horribly whether it be at the top or bottom of the draft, but on average potential superstars are taken earlier on in the draft.
Here are a couple questions for you. If we draft/acquire a center who goes to the bench? Do you think Josh Smith can successfully run the 3? Joe Johnson is in the last year of his contract, do you think he resigns with us? Do you think we'll be able to afford him and keep the core of the team set as it is? I'm not at all debating that right now JJ is the best player on the team, I agree, my beef is that once again HE IS INCONSISTENT, and as long as he is inconsistent...and the best player on the team, we are an inconsistent team, and inconsistent teams do not win championships and I want a championship so....where does that leave us? Either we get a superstar at another position and move, Josh, Marvin or Bibby so that we're not paying our bench players like they're starters or....we move Joe, either way as long as he's inconsistent I will be dissatisfied...because we will continue to loose games we shouldn't...
Well let me answer these questions for you:
1. IF we can get a good center we can move Al to the 4 and josh to the 3 and marvin can come off the bench. It would add some &$#%#&@! coming from the bench, like Lamar Odom did for the lakers this year.
2. Josh is better equipped to play the 3 than the 4. He could be a offensive mismatch for other 3's because of how athletic he is. If he can develop a better mid-range jumper as well as some post play without the turnovers he can add a dimension to the offense.
3. Joe would resign because of the progress of the team since he has gotten here. He is not a guy that is hung up on making all the money. He wanted to come to Atlanta and build something special.
Yes, Joe is inconsistent, but he had to play much more than he has in years past with the lack of help on offense as well as Josh missing time with the injury. If we can develop more guys to help with the offense he will be more effective.
We need Josh to be more efficient on Offense, we need Marvin to become better all-around, we need Al to keep doing the double-double play he had. Bringing back Flip will be a help too. Our pick at #19 will determine what they do in free agency. There are some good FAs out there that we could go out and try to get. They could also trade the contract rights of Josh Childress to a team if they wanted to add a player and /or pick.
I would give our new GM regime a draft before assessing that our drafts are terrible. See what they do at #19 and then in the 2nd round. Rick Sund is the type of guy to bring in good players that fit what teams are trying to do. He has made some good trades during the offseason too. He was able to bring Ray Allen to Seattle and made the playoffs a few years with some under manned teams he ahd out there. We will see what he does in 10 days and what happens in July