...this is still a solid, young team that has a chance to make itself a playoff mainstay.When you read the whole thing, and you should, you'll realize that I'm fudging things a bit in dubbing this another perspective as there's nothing in the piece with which I strongly disagree. But it is a small treat for me to have the opportunity to link to a non-specialist writing something about the Hawks that's neither brief nor superficial.
But they're not championship material, even if the squad gets a best case scenario batch of contributions from every youngster on the roster over the next decade. Guys like Al Horford, Josh Smith, and the team's 27 year-old go-to player Joe Johnson are pretty good, but not the sort of transcendent stud you can bank on to move into the NBA's elite.
Consider that the Hawks have been dealing with ownership issues for years, the team just signed Mike Woodson to a potentially two-year contract extension, and it just sent some money toward Rick Sund to come in and make sense of former GM Billy Knight's up and down tenure.
Then understand that the 76ers, flush with just enough cap space once the cap holds are accounted for, can sign Josh Smith a front-loaded contract that would have the Hawks perilously-close to next season's luxury tax level (rumored to be about 71 million dollars) after the team re-signs Childress and adds to what would only be a nine-man roster once the two Joshes come back (Speedy Claxton may never play again).
The luxury tax for a team hoping to back it back to the eighth or seventh spot in the East, holding off Miami and Chicago as they race back into the playoff bracket, and with an ownership group that refused to make deals for years while they hoarded money and tried to figure out just who the head chef was. That doesn't add up.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Another Perspective on the State of the Roster
In what figures to be the most thorough examination this off-season written by someone not required (either by paycheck or custom) to consider the state of the Atlanta Hawks on a daily basis, Kelly Dwyer delineates the crux of the franchise's dilemma: