The Atlanta Hawks have signed free agents Thomas Gardner and Othello Hunter to contracts, it was announced today by General Manager Rick Sund. Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not disclosed.Thomas Gardner could fill Salim Stoudamire's (shooting) shoes, but, unlike Stoudamire, there's no reason to expect Gardner to make many shots. Disappointment pre-empted, I guess. Gardner's much bigger than Stoudamire but unless he added some skills while playing in Belgium, he's no better a defender.
Othello Hunter, I like. Given the opportunity, he could go a way toward replacing some of Josh Childress's offensive rebounding contribution. Though undersized (6-7, 220) even as a collegiate post player, Hunter grabbed 15.7% of possible offensive rebounds on Ohio State's 2007 NCAA Runners-up team and 11.2% of possible offensive rebounds on Ohio State's 2008 NIT Champion team.
Hunter should be capable of backing up Josh Smith on nights when the opposing team does not make it necessary for Al Horford to playthe 4 much, if at all. Even better, unlike recent, previous iterations of energy guys (Shelden Williams, Lorenzen Wright, Solomon Jones, Esteban Batista) on the Hawks' bench, Hunter both comes at relatively little cost and provides actual energy rather than mere plodding or awkwardness.