Atlanta Hawks: Latest Trade Rumors, Free-Agent News, Draft Buzz
The 2012 NBA offseason began in a rather abrupt way for the Atlanta Hawks, as the promising franchise once again fell short of their NBA championship aspirations. Unlike the previous three seasons, however, the Hawks were unable to advance to the second round of the postseason.
After falling to the older, less athletic Boston Celtics, the Hawks have every reason to wonder what's next. Fortunately for fans and staff, alike, the answers lie in the following slides.
Willie Green Latest Hawk Traded
According to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Hawks have parted ways with scoring guard Willie Green. In return, the Hawks receive the rights to Greek center Sofoklis Schortsanitis.
A player who may not even join the Atlanta Hawks.
Schortsanitis signed a three-year contract with Athens club Panathinaikos earlier this month so chances are he won’t be joining Atlanta’s roster. The value for the Hawks in the deal is gaining a trade exception in the amount of Green’s first-year salary with the Clippers, which wasn’t immediately known.
This pads a solid offseason by the Hawks, as they've cleared plenty of cap space for a major offseason campaign in 2013. This also adds to a series of moves that have made the Atlanta Hawks a much younger team than they were a year ago.
As for the Clippers, this is yet another move that bolsters their solid perimeter. Green's 7.6 points per game on an average of just 17.4 minutes would certainly be welcomed.
-- Report via B/R's NBA Trade Rumors tracker
Hometown Hero Lou Williams Joining the Hawks
Update: Tuesday, July 24 -- Joel C. Cordes
Though terms of the deal were not announced, Lou Williams has officially signed with the Atlanta Hawks according to NBA.com.
It's believed that Williams will receive a three-year, full mid-level exception contract. With Jeff Teague and Devin Harris already at the point, along with shooters Anthony Morrow, Kyle Korver and John Jenkins at the wings, it's unclear what Williams' exact role will be.
Still, loading up on outside firepower was part of the plan for Danny Ferry, according to HoopsWorld.com, and the team is excited to take their first step beyond the Joe Johnson era.
- End of Update -
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, the Atlanta Hawks may have cured their point guard inconsistencies. The lucky man to be brought in for the job is none other than Georgia-born Lou Williams.
The Atlanta Hawks have agreed to a deal with free agent G Lou Williams, a source told ESPN.com. Story posted soon.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 10, 2012
Williams will likely play a role with the Hawks that is similar to that of Jamal Crawford, who once helped lead the Hawks to substantial postseason success. Regardless of what role he ends up playing, consider his ability to score in the clutch and handle the ball key to Atlanta's lack of depth at the point and 2.
Josh Smith Will Be Around in 2012
Update: Wednesday, July 18 — Ethan Norof
Two weeks after first speaking out on the issue, Smith has reiterated his desire to remain in Atlanta.
Smith told Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated that he's no longer angling for a trade.
"I think we have a great GM in Danny Ferry, and he has a plan that he's putting together. It looks good. I really am just trying to get to know these guys, to build a relationship and see where the team is going to end up closer to veterans' camp. I'm just excited. We have a lot of elite shooters, and I can see us being a run-and-gun shooting team."
Asked if he still wants to be traded, Smith promptly responded, "No."
That should end the Smith trade rumors for the time being.
- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Josh Smith offseason tracker.
- End of Update -
There isn't much certainty in Josh Smith's corner now that the offseason is officially upon the Atlanta Hawks. What is known, however, is that Smith will be in Atlanta come the 2013 season. According to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Smith said:
All I know is I have one more year on my contract so I will definitely be here. I just have to go into the offseason to better myself and do whatever I have to do to help this ballclub. I was an Atlanta Hawk after the trade deadline and I’m one now, so I have to look at some of the things I can do to help my basketball team win ballgames, especially in the postseason.”
The question is, will Smith remain in Atlanta beyond this season?
Kyle Korver to Hotlanta
As stated, the Bulls will receive cash consideration in return for Korver. The Hawks, meanwhile, continue to add depth to their perimeter and have firmly established themselves as a threat to put up 100 points a night.
Joe Johnson Traded to Nets
Per a report via Marc Stein of Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, the Atlanta Hawks have sent Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets. The six-time All-Star will leave the Hawks after a storied seven seasons in Atlanta.
In return, the Hawks will receive the expiring contracts of Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams. They will also receive DeShawn Stevenson and a future first round draft choice which is lottery protected in 2013.
This opens up a significant amount of cap space for the Hawks, who appear poised for a major 2013 period of free agency.
Hawks Send Marvin Williams to Utah for Devin Harris
According to Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, the Atlanta Hawks have traded forward Marvin Williams to the Utah Jazz in exchange for point guard Devin Harris. The deal sheds the Hawks' second most overpaid player, just hours after they sent Joe Johnson to Brooklyn.
Devin Harris has underachieved in the two years since those very Nets sent him to Utah. Previously, Harris had averaged 21.3 points and 6.9 assists per game in 2009 and 15.0 points and 7.6 assists in the first half of 2011.
The Hawks are likely hoping that Harris can rediscover that form and add an explosive ball handler on the second unit.
Atlanta Hawks Remain in Chase for Dwight Howard
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Atlanta Hawks have not yet removed themselves from the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. In fact, the Hawks believe they have a solid chance.
Hawks, I'm told, still think they're alive in Dwight trade chase. With plenty of pieces to offer and Josh Smith to lobby Howard to stay— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 11, 2012
There is a fair point being made. Josh Smith and Dwight Howard are great friends and the Atlanta Hawks certainly have the draft choices, young talent and cap flexibility to get the deal done. The question is, do they have more to offer than the Brooklyn Nets or Los Angeles Lakers?
Larry Drew Re-Signed
According to Frank Pingue of Reuters, head coach Larry Drew has signed an extension with the Atlanta Hawks. This comes on the heels of the Hawks posting the Eastern Conference's fourth-best record in spite of Al Horford missing a majority of the regular season with a torn pectoral muscle.
Under Drew, the Hawks had their first winning road record in 13 years. Atlanta also finished sixth in the NBA in scoring defense and fifth in three-point percentage.
Josh Smith Has Not Signed an Extension
As alluded to in the previous slide, Josh Smith's future with the Atlanta Hawks is in doubt. He's yet to sign a contract extension and, judging by his following statement, will not be doing so any time soon. Via the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
“I can’t get extended,” Smith said. “They didn’t give me the money; I had to go get it. That’s something I have to play it out and see how it goes from there.”
Smith is referring to the 2008 free agency period when the Hawks only gave him the money he had requested by matching an offer sheet from the Memphis Grizzlies. With Smith poised to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2013 season, the Hawks will not have that luxury.
Time to make a decision.
Portland Trail Blazers Interested in GM Sund, Atlanta Declines Request
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, the Portland Trail Blazers are interested in speaking with the Atlanta Hawks' current general manager, Rick Sund. In all likelihood, Portland would attempt to sign him to the same position.
As Chris Haynes of CSNNW reports, however, the Atlanta Hawks declined the Trail Blazers' request to interview Sund. Haynes continues to state that the Hawks are currently in discussions with Sund to extend his contract.
Seems as if Rick Sund is staying put.
Nine Hawks Enter Free Agency
The Atlanta Hawks have a majority of their roster entering free agency this offseason, including Ivan Johnson, Kirk Hinrich, Tracy McGrady, Willie Green and Vladimir Radmanovic. This leaves six players on the roster, along with voids at the backup point guard and remaining reserve positions.
So what's next for the Hawks?
Some have speculated that Atlanta will look overseas, potentially signing their 2009 second-round draft choice Sergiy Gladyr. Others are looking at players such as Brian Butch of Wisconsin fame to join the Hawks' summer league team and eventually make the NBA roster.
No news yet on a big signing. More is certain to come, however, as the Hawks need plenty of help.
Jeremy Hazell to Join Hawks?
According to Adam Zagoria, former Seton Hall star Jeremy Hazell will be taking part in Atlanta Hawks minicamps. He will follow that up by playing for the Hawks' summer league team.
For those unfamiliar with Hazell, he was a 20-plus point-per-game scorer for Seton Hall when the Big East was at its best. The 6'5" guard is an excellent shooter, can penetrate off of the dribble and finishes well around the rim. The main reason for his going undrafted was the fact that he was shot in a robbery.
Hazell could be the next feel-good D-League story.
Trading Josh Smith May Become an Option
Believe me, you're not the only one who is confused.
Roughly two months ago, Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson claimed that Josh Smith was not going to be traded. With the Hawks' roster gutted via free agency and very little money to be spent, however, J-Smoove could be on the move before you know it.
Let's see if the Hawks grant his wish this time around.
The Hawks need to make a decision as to what to do with J-Smoove, because the team needs to find a way to get over the hump after being sent home early in the playoffs on a yearly basis.
With just one season left on his contract, his expiring deal could be an awfully attractive trade chip before next season begins.
Realistic Draft Targets
The Atlanta Hawks will be selecting 23rd and 43rd in the 2012 NBA draft, hopefully adding depth to a rather thin roster. While reports of who the Hawks are interested in have become scarce, it's important to gauge who will be available around the time the Hawks are prepared to draft.
Point guards Tony Wroten Jr. of Washington and Marquis Teague of Kentucky could both be options with Kirk Hinrich hitting free agency. Teague is also the younger brother of current Hawks point guard Jeff Teague.
Wingmen Quincy Miller of Baylor, Royce White of Iowa State and Jeffery Taylor of Vanderbilt would also fill needs. As would a big man such as Fab Melo of Syracuse.
An eventful night awaits the Atlanta Hawks.