Posted on: June 30, 2011 4:54 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 5:21 pm
Posted by Royce Young
A report from Sports Illustrated indicated something like 25-30 players might take their talents across the Atlantic and play in Europe next season because of all this lockout talk. Not nearly the mass exodus that some have been picturing.
Well, count one in already though.
Hilton Armstrong, most recently of the Hawks, has signed with ASVEL in France, according to Sportando. Armstrong was drafted in the first round by the Hornets in 2006 (No. 12 overall) but never has lived up to expectation. He's a good sized center with a solid skillset and quality athleticism, but has never played more than 16 minutes a game in a season.
He was traded to Atlanta from the Wizards in the Kirk Hinrich deal. He's never had a major impact and with his contract up this summer, he just decided to go to Europe. I don't know if this had as much to do with the impending lockout as it does with the fact Armstrong simply isn't a consistent NBA rotation player.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 3:28 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 3:53 pm
The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly targeting Enes Kanter and want to trade Josh Smith to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 2 pick. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Earlier this week, we noted that the Atlanta Hawks and forward Josh Smith could be on a path to parting ways.
On Thursday, hours before the 2011 NBA Draft, Yahoo! Sports reports that the Hawks are pushing Smith on the Minnesota Timberwolves, in hopes of landing the No. 2 overall selection.
In a lust to draft center Enes Kanter, the Atlanta Hawks are trying to engage the Minnesota Timberwolves in discussions to trade Josh Smith for the No. 2 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.The presence of power forward Kevin Love in Minnesota makes a straight-up Smith trade questionable, however the Timberwolves could always send him elsewhere or turn this into a three- team deal, using their cap space to facilitate player movement. If he was there to stay, he'd swing to a wing position, prompting mismatches with his size and length but causing headaches any time he attempted a shot from the perimeter.
The Hawks' pursuit of Kanter also comes with questions, as Arizona forward Derrick Williams has been the consensus No. 2 overall pick in the lead up to the draft. Most analysts have Kanter going No. 3 overall to the Utah Jazz, but the Jazz don't have much room in a crowded frontcourt to add Smith. Meanwhile, the Hawks already have a franchise center in place in Al Horford. At 6-foot-11, 260 pounds, Kanter is generally projected as a five but could possibly be shifted to the four.
The primary motivation for any Smith trade is financial. From Atlanta's perspective, being able to dump his contract outright on a team with cap space, like the Timberwolves, would be ideal.
Posted on: June 22, 2011 11:17 am
Edited on: June 22, 2011 12:14 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
From Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:
A source also said discussions between Atlanta and Orlando with Josh Smith going to the Magic are "totally legit." Executives say the Hawks have expressed an eagerness to move Smith and would like to shed salary in the process.via Draft buzz: Nash, Smoove, and more - CBSSports.com.
You tell me that discussions with Otis Smith, one of the biggest traders in the GM market, are "totally legit" and you have my attention.
Smith's at once a perfect and terrible fit in Orlando. Let's examine:
Smith provides an athletic wing who can create opportunities by driving and slashing. The death of the Orlando offense is predicated by ball stoppage and useless perimeter passing to whoever can find an inch to launch a 3-pointer vs. working to collapse the defense and initiate the perimeter rotation to a wide-open shooter. Smith brings a weapon the defense has to commit to stopping, which will free more opportunities. He's also a willing passer, which could be extremely dangerous if he could work to find opportunities for the other Magic players, or in lobbing to Dwight Howard. Smith would also help considerably with rebounding both when Howard is on the floor and off. When on, the Magic would unquestionably have the best rebounding combination in the league. Defensively, they'd be even more of a nightmare. Smith is able to corral perimeter wings and has incredible instincts for weak-side block situations. The Magic might double up the next team in offensive rebounds and blocks with that pair.
The worst part of Smith's game is his preference for 3-point shooting when he doesn't have a 3-point shot. A hilarious memory from the playoffs was listening to the Atlanta crowd scream "No!" whenever Smith found himself open on the perimeter debating a heave. So to give him more chances at that in a system that so often allows for both those shots and mid-range jumpers is a terrible plan. Additionally, Smith's good at driving and capitalizing on opportunities, but he's definitely not a "pull-up jumper" kind of scorer. He's not going to work well in the pick and roll with Howard. If the defense cuts off his path to the basket by help or positioning, the offense has to reset. His passing is solid, but he's not going to be a creator in an offensive set. He's an end point or near end point, not a playmaker. And defensively, were he assigned to cover the faster forward with Hedo Turkoglu covering the other, Smith would perform ably but wouldn't be best suited.
It's a good fit should the trade go down, but not perfect. The question will be what more salary the Magic can take on, if any, to get a deal done. They've already got what seems like billions wrapped up in Turkoglu and Gilbert Arenas, neither of whom is a player the Hawks will want to take on.
We'll keep you updated on the Hawks' efforts to move Smith.
Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:38 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 9:53 am
The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly considering trading forward Josh Smith. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Finally, someone other than Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala is involved in a trade rumor!
Yahoo! Sports reports that the Atlanta Hawks and forward Josh Smith might be headed for a break-up.
The Atlanta Hawks have started to gauge trade interest on forward Josh Smith, and Smith isn’t averse to ending his seven-year stay with his hometown team, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Monday.Smith is on the books for $12.4 million next season and $13.2 million in 2012-2013. Those are hefty numbers but his versatile game is probably worth it.
At 25, Smith has flirted with figuring it out over the course of his NBA career, but always seems to revert back to his bad habits: poor shot selection and moody behavior. An exceptional athlete and game-changing defender, Smith is at his best when fully motivated and engaged, attacking the basket and using his leaping ability to play above defenders.
He stuffs the stat sheet, averaging 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals in 34 minutes per game in 2010-2011. Smith has never been selected as an NBA All-Star, but he's been on the fringes of the discussion in recent years.
Smith should be able to produce those numbers, or similar, for at least the next three to five seasons. One factor for teams interested in trading for him: He will likely command a sizable contract when his current deal is up, as he will be hitting free agency at the age of 27.
Of the teams listed, the New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic jump out of the group in terms of having a specific positional need. In Orlando, Smith would be paired with childhood pal Dwight Howard to make the best four-five combination in the league. Houston would be an intriguing option too, and the Rockets, with two first round picks and lots of young talent, might very well be able to present the Hawks with the best offer.
Posted on: May 23, 2011 2:36 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The ownership group that is selling the Thrashers won't be selling the Hawks, for now at least.
Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The Spirit and outgoing San Diego Padres owner John Moores agreed Friday to terminate Moores' exclusive negotiating period on a possible purchase of the Hawks, Spirit partner Michael Gearon Jr. confirmed.The ownership group has been looking for new investors since 2007 and is interested in selling the Thrashers because of major financial losses there. The Thrashers are nearing relocation to Winnipeg.
The Hawks though won't be leaving Atlanta. According to the report, "The agreement with the city and Fulton County on the bonds that funded the construction of Philips Arena stipulates that the Hawks 'have agreed to play all of [their] regular season and playoff NBA home games' in the arena 'for as long as the [bonds] are outstanding.'" Those bonds won't be paid until 2028. So yeah, lots of time there.
Posted on: May 20, 2011 12:29 am
The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly the next NBA team up for sale. Posted by Ben Golliver.
After the NBA's takeover of the New Orleans Hornets, the successful sale of the Detroit Pistons and the near relocation of the Sacramento Kings, another franchise has emerged as potentially being on the selling block.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Atlanta Spirit ownership group are considering selling both the NHL's Atlanta Thrashes and the Atlanta Hawks.
The Spirit, in the process of negotiating a deal that would send the hockey team to Winnipeg, also is in talks about a possible separate sale of the basketball Hawks, who would remain in Atlanta.Forbes.com recently ranked the Hawks as the 23rd most valuable NBA team, valuing the Hawks at $295 million. The valuation noted that a recent refinancing of the Philips Arena stadium debt helped the Spirt group deal with "hefty losses."
The Atlanta Spirit, the partnership that owns the Hawks, NHL's Thrashers and operating rights to Philips Arena, refinanced the $123 million of debt remaining (the original principal was $130 million) on the building prior to the start of the 2010-11 season. The net effect of the new bond sale is that the Hawks franchise is no longer collateral for the Atlanta Spirit's debt obligations on the arena. The means the team is more portable then it was prior to refinancing and its owners can tap into the NBA's credit facility. Prior to the refinancing the Hawks were the only NBA team not eligible for the league's credit facility. This helped the owners, who have been funding their hefty losses with cash infusions, borrow $125 million from the credit facility in December.A key issue facing the franchise has been indiferent fan support. Despite playing in a major market and making the playoffs for the last four years, the Hawks have just the 22nd best home attendance in the NBA, averaging less than 16,000 fans per game in a stadium equipped to hold nearly 19,000.
Also worth noting: CBSSports.com's Eye on Hockey Blog reported Thursday night that a completed Thrashers sale is "at best premature."
Posted on: May 13, 2011 12:50 am
An arrest warrant has reportedly been issued for Derrick Rose's brother. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose isn't the only member of his family making headlines.
On Thursday night, Rose led the Bulls past the Atlanta Hawks to qualify for the Eastern Conference finals, marking a high point in the MVP point guard's career. Unfortunately, news broke the same night that an arrest warrant had been issued for his brother, Allan, who failed to appear in court two days prior.
The Chicago Sun-Times has the full details.
The warrant was issued after Allan Rose, 26, did not appear in court on Tuesday — the same day the Bulls beat the Hawks to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.The paper also notes that Rose was previously arrested for "manufacturing and delivering cocaine near a school or park" and pleaded guilty to felony drug charges.
The worst part of this story? The paper notes that Rose managed to attend the Bulls' Game 5 win over the Atlanta Hawks at the United Center on the same day that he was supposed to appear in court. Judges hate that sort of thing.
Posted on: May 12, 2011 11:05 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 11:40 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The Bulls finished off the Hawks in six games with a 93-73 win in Game 6 in Atlanta. It was a Chicago clinic of defense, quality offensive execution, strong rebounding and really good stuff from Derrick Rose. Also, Carlos Boozer did something for once.
Let's hand out some grades.
Derrick Rose: In terms of shooting the ball, Rose wasn't great. He hovered around 40 percent took too many 3s. But he averaged 29.8 points per game in the series and provided the Bulls with just enough offense to get it done. I don't think anyone would say he was spectacular at any point, but he was most definitely always good. His 44-point, seven assist Game 3, though, was certainly something special. Grade: B+
Carlos Boozer: It was almost as if Boozer was trying to redeem himself with a great Game 6. At one point during the series in Game 1, Chicago fans actually had booed Boozer for his failing to produce. He finished the series averaging 13.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game on solid percentages, but the way he checked out in Games 2 and 3 were what concerned people. Maybe he's just now getting healthy, because he certainly looked good in Game 6, putting up 23 points and 10 rebounds. Grade: B-
Tom Thibodeau: The NBA's Coach of the Year gets a gold star for his brilliant move of letting Taj Gibson and Omer Asik finish out Game 5 for the Bulls. Most coaches would come back to their higher paid starters, but Thibodeau saw something in that second unit and rode them to the end. It paid off too, as Gibson put up 11 points in the quarter to squash the Hawks. The Bulls finally started showing consistent signs of being that feared 62-win defensive juggernaut in this series, and I think Thibodeau is getting them back into their style. Grade: A
The Chicago Bench: The role players always play a really key part for the Bulls because they have to spread things out a bit. When their bench is scoring and producing quality, productive minutes, they are really tough. Game 5 was a great example of how good the second unit can be, and they showed up again in Game 6. Somewhat inconsistent, but that's bench play in general. Grade: B+
Joe Johnson: The Hawks did an admirable job of pushing the Bulls in this series and took a surprising Game 1 because of a stellar performance from Johnson. And that's what it was going to take for the Hawks to pull this out. Johnson was going to have to rise to another level for at least four games and carry the Hawks. He wasn't able to. He was good in the series (19.7 ppg on almost 50 percent shooting), but he needed to be excellent. Grade: B
Jeff Teague: In terms of the future, the best thing that happened to the Hawks may have been Kirk Hinrich's injury. It gave Teague a chance to shine against the league's MVP and maybe prove he can be the Hawks point man of the future. In more than 229 minutes, he only turned the ball over seven times against the Bulls ball-hawking defense. He also had three games of scoring 21 points. Stepping up in such a big spot, he did a great job. Grade: A
Jamal Crawford: Much like Johnson, the Hawks needed something big from Crawford in at least four games. And he just never really showed up. He absolutely killed the Magic, but was a non-factor in five of the six games. It's is bad news when he's the team's X-factor. He averaged just 10.3 ppg on 35 percent shooting and never really got much going for Atlanta. Grade: D
Al Horford and Josh Smith: Matching up against Boozer and Joakim Noah, the interior battle had the feel of being where this series would be decided. Horford had just one good game, while Smith, despite being widely criticized for shot selection, turned a pretty solid series. Together, they needed to be better on the glass and defensively on the inside. Combined, they averaged under 25 points and 20 rebounds a game. That just didn't cut it: Grade: C+
Tags: 2011 Bulls-Hawks. Bulls-Hawks, 2011 EC Conference Semifinals, 2011 EC Playoffs, 2011 Hawks-Bulls, 2011 NBA Playoffs, 2011 second-round playoffs, Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks, Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls, Conference Semifinals, Derrick Rose, EC Playoffs, Etan Thomas, Hawks-Bulls, Jamal Crawford, Jason Collins, Jeff Teague, Joakim Noah, Joe Johnson, Josh Powell, Josh Smith, Keith Bogans, Kirk Hinrich, Kurt Thomas, Kyle Korver, Larry Drew, Luol Deng, Marvin Williams, NBA Playoffs, Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer, second-round playoffs, Tom Thibodeau, United Center, Zaza Pachulia