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Next 48 hours huge for Hawks' fans

Well, in 48 hours, fans of the Atlanta Hawks will know what the Hawks need to do to improve and solidify their roster for 2008-2009. Tonight, everyone finds out what the salary cap is for next year and that determines how much money teams can offer the remaining NBA free agents. Rick Sund is doing the right thing and waiting to see what happens with the two Joshes. Childress needs to be in a Hawks uniform next year, but the rumors of other teams interest in him have to be exaggerated. Nobody thinks that he is a starter in the NBA. He brings great intangibles to the game, but he cannot stretch the court or create his own shot. Yes, he has a great shooting percentage, but nearly all of his shots are layups and dunks. Josh Smith would be a big loss, but not a catastrophic loss for this team. Losing J-Smooth frees up money for Sund to go after other players that are a better fit for the Hawks roster and better for the team financially. The next two years’ crop of free agents are much better than this years’ group. By losing Josh Smith, the Hawks actually are in a better situation to land a true superstar in 2009 or 2010.

Here are a couple of scenarios that could play out for the Hawks in the next 24 to 48 hours:

1. Philadelphia offers Josh Smith a five year contract worth $66 million. The Hawks have seven days to match. That also means the Hawks have seven days to pursue other free agents. The three guys that could replace Josh Smith are Corey Magette, Andre Iguodala, and Monta Ellis. Ellis and Iguodala are restricted free agents. Their respective teams can match any offers. Iguodala makes so much sense. The 76ers probably do not want to pay both Josh Smith and Iguodala for the next 5 years. The Hawks can get Iguodala. He gives the Hawks a perimeter slasher that can create for other teammates. He averaged more points, minutes, and steals than J-Smooth. Plus, down the stretch of clutch games, Iguodala is better. He was the 76ers go to player. Maggette is a great fit for Atlanta. He is in a precarious position of signing for one year for under $7 million. He could get hurt next year and be in real limbo. Offer Maggette a 2 year deal worth 16 million. That gives him some security and freedom. That offer also positions the Hawks for financial flexibility in 2010.

2. Josh Childress signs with Golden State or some other Western Conference team to be a 6th to 8th man. The market for Childress cannot be that strong. Hawks should match the offer, but they should not over pay. Some possible replacements for Childress are James Posey, Mickael Pietrus, Jarvis Hayes, and Sasha Vujacic. All of these guys are available for less money than Childress. Pietrus is intriguing because he shoots the 3 point shot very well, he has great size, and he is a good defender. James Posey would be perfect, but he can determine where he wants to go. Posey might listen to a 3 year deal worth $15 million. Vujcacic is a young guy with lots of potential as a shooter and scorer. He would come off the bench for Atlanta on the perimeter. The Hawks would have a four guard rotation of Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, Sasha, and Marvin Williams. Keep Marvin happy with a starting role, but you could motivate him with more bench time if he does not play defense.

3. Josh Smith and Josh Childress receive no major offers from other teams. The Hawks negotiate extensions with both players. Treat the Joshes fairly. Look for another offer to Josh Smith like his October offer. Maybe, add another year to Childress’ contract with a percentage raise. If you look at what has happened to Ben Gordon and Luol Deng in the year since they turned down long term extensions, you might convince Josh Smith to sign.

What happens with the Joshes determines what the Hawks and Rick Sund can do to get better for next year. There are a couple of other guys that the Hawks should be looking at over the next week. Kurt Thomas is a player that could start and be a nice complement to Al Horford. He can guard a bigger player and he can make the perimeter jump shot. Thomas can keep the big double team in the post off Horford. This might sound crazy, but the Hawks should take a long look at Kwame Brown. He is an unrestricted free agent. The Hawks might be able to get him for cheap to play along Horford. Kwame might be willing to come to Atlanta, because of a chance to start. Here are some possible starting line-ups to think about for 2008-2009:

Hawks – Bibby, Johnson, Magette, Horford, Kwame
Hawks – Bibby, Johnson, Iguodala, Horford, Kurt Thomas


Post a Comment 1 comments:

tha DJ said...

looks like you've still got it all wrong about the Hawks Mr. Jack Bender.

you are right about a few things; Childress is not a starter in the NBA, but he brings alot of intangibles to his game, but the skill and intangibles of Josh Smith are more than any other player on the Hawks team as it is.
its a good thing the Hawks fans dont have to worry about the CATASTROPHIC loss that Smith would be, cuz we aren't gonna lose him, or trade him.

seriously, by keeping Josh Smith and Childress, the Hawks have a great core and after trading marvin williams for a good center will challenge for the whole eastern conference.

as for your three scenarios

1.smith is better than iggy, he is a better defender, better rebounder, better slashing scorer, and averages the most blocks of any SF of all time. plus, in the cluth, iggy SUCKS, he did nothing in the playoffs in 08. maggette signed with golden state

2. josh childress will return, james posey is only gonna sign with an immediate championship contender or starting position, pietrus signed with magic, jarvis hayes is a good idea, and vujacic is a good idea, but we're sure he's gonna return to the lakers.

3. sounds good to me, keep the joshes and go after some free agents

after seeing u trying to get rid of Josh Smith, campeigning for Marvin Williams playing time, and tryin to sign KWAME BROWN i am convinced that u are hell-bent on destroying the potential successful atlanta hawks. how can u not see that this is a young athletic team and KURT THOMAS and KWAME BROWN dont fit that, ur thomas admiration is probably mostly from your spurs obsession, thinking he is actually a good player. and kwame brown is cancer in its purest form, every team that gets rid of him improves drastically, why would u invite him to the hawks?

the current hawks can make some noise in the playoffs, but understand that josh smith is the foundation of that, he is every bit as important as joe johnson and al horford, so recognize or step aside

the truth

July 9, 2008 at 3:32 PM

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