Running with Zaza

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Opportunity Is Knocking, Will Sund Open the door?

If you are looking for my column on possible NBA assistants the Hawks should pursue, you have to wait a couple of days; because, I have to comment on Mark Bradley’s AJC online article (you actually have to pay to get the real paper) about Rick Sund from Friday. This passion-less, analysis free article is what drives me crazy about AJC writers. Bradley describes what a great quality it is for Sund to come to the Hawks with an outsider’s perspective; and then later in the column, he quotes Sund as saying that he wants to keep the Hawks top eight intact for next season. Does Bradley make any analysis about Sund’s statement? No, he just wraps up the column with a few throw away sentences, and the inane from juvenile Atlanta sports fans commence. We need analysis, commentary, ideas. Try to get Sund to admit that staying the same is not going to work in today’s NBA.

Today, at least Sekou Smith tries to analyze the situation (you can tell he has a passion for the Association), but he clearly has fallen in love with Josh Smith. There is a man crush there. Listen, the Hawks have developed Smith, and now is the time to get something for him. In the NBA, you do not lose a guy without getting a player in return. Josh Smith has qualities that other NBA teams want. The Hawks do not have a position for Smith. The Hawks fill a huge need with the right player. The Hawks need a Number 1 guy! That allows Joe Johnson to be your Number 2 guy. Al Horford gives you another borderline All-Star. You have Marvin Williams to start or come off the bench with scoring. Zaza can start, or he can come off the bench if you sign a veteran big for comparatively little money—maybe Kurt Thomas (fill in your own relatively cheap NBA center that can play 20 minutes a game). Will Josh Smith put fans in the seats? Some, but the evidence is overwhelming that Atlanta needs a winning team. Veteran leadership with experience wins games, puts people in the seats, and makes Philips Arena into a great home court advantage.

My guess and hope is that Rick Sund was spreading a little misinformation. Hopefully, he is involved in some talks with other GMs for some of these guys that clearly are being shopped around. What if the Hawks could deal Josh Smith and Marvin Williams for Carmelo Anthony? Anthony is a star. He would be the biggest star in this town. Bigger than Vick? Close. The Highlight Factory would have every major music and entertainment person in the front row. All 41 games would be happenings—the place to see and be seen. Plus, with Anthony, there would be no question who the number one option is on offense. Carmelo would be a good fit in Atlanta, but the better deal for the Hawks is to deal Mike Bibby (and his expiring contract) and Josh Smith to the Pistons for Tayshaun Prince. You say the Pistons would never do that. The Pistons could start Rodney Stuckey, Bibby’s contract comes off the books next year, and then they could go after another max free agent. The Hawks might actually save money on that deal next year with the rumors the Josh Smith is looking for $11 million in the first year of his deal. On October 1st, your Hawks potential starting line up is A.C. Law, Johnson, Prince, Horford, Pachulia (or Solomon Jones or someone else). You probably still are way under the salary cap and can get someone for the veteran minimum to play the point. The Celtics picked up P.J. Brown out of semi-retirement and he played huge, crucial minutes for them in the playoffs. Please, Rick Sund think outside the box, be creative, fill the Hawks’ need for a great player. Prince and Anthony are Olympic team caliber players. Prince is a proven winner, one of the most clutch players in the Eastern Conference, and a game changer at both ends of the court. This Detroit guy knows Mike Woodson, and after squabbling with Flip Saunders, they have motivation to get deep into the post season.

The Hawks need a couple of 50 win seasons to fill the seats and get season ticket holders. If they fall back a little after that, people will still buy the tickets. Look at the Chicago Bulls. In many respects during the Tim Floyd years, the Bulls were at a lower point than the Hawks. They made some moves, and now the Bulls still reap the benefits of the recent winning seasons under Scott Skiles. The Eastern Conference is going to be better next year. Rick Sund and the Hawks have to make some moves to get better as well. The opportunity to be in the top 4 in the Eastern Conference is knocking--Rick Sund and the Hawk’s ownership group (which includes a small group of Georgia Tech students that meet every Sunday afternoon for coffee) need to open that door and pull a true NBA star into our foyer and into our success-starved city.


Post a Comment 1 comments:

the Internet nigger said...

you know, i like Sekou Smith, i think he's a fine writer with colorful analysis and good feature stories, and unless you've written for the #1 newspaper in any major city, u can't talk down on that man or his company, the AJC, in my opinion.

in analyzing your article, it seems clear you are a hater of Josh Smith. There isn't a man-crush with Smith and Smith, Sekou Smith just knows real unique talent and skill when he sees it, right now its looking like you don't. As if there are any other 22 year old forwards that play defense first leading the league in blocks, being a very good rebounder, and a raw great offensive talent like Smith.

"The Hawks do not have a position for Smith!" that's ludacris, shout out to the rapper.

the truth is the Hawks do not have a position for WILLIAMS, it really shows your basketball bias for you to be hating on SMITH the way you do and then praise MARVIN WILLIAMS a guy who really has no specialty or skill set.

Marvin Williams and Josh Smith for Carmelo Anthony? i disagree, maybe Marvin Williams and Mike Bibby for Allen Iverson, that would be a GREAT trade, but let make one thing clear.

Niether of them, and no one ever will be a bigger star in ATLANTA than Micheal Vick. Especially when he returns.

if the Hawks can sign a legit center (DESANGA DIOP!) to get rebounds and block shots and not do too much scoring, the Hawks can get 50 wins. If Josh SMITH is the #1 guy and JOHNSON is #2, AL Horford would be a 20-10 PF and the Hawks would be one of the best in the east, and eventually challenge for a championship.

But we're gonna have to trade Marvin Williams.

June 30, 2008 at 9:55 PM

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