Even with the departure of Josh Childress to Greece, the Hawks made out like bandits on the free-agent scene. They kept Josh Smith in the fold for a mere $58 million and added much needed veteran help in Mo Evans and Flip Murray at crucial backup backcourt positions at minimum prices. A six-year deal for Smith with the same annual salary would have ended up being around $72 million, which is a bit more than the Hawks were willing to pay their starting power forward. But the Memphis Grizzlies did the heavy lifting for them by presenting Smith with an offer sheet the Hawks matched within hours after receiving it — making good on their promise to do just that when Smith turned down a $45 million offer before the start of his fourth season.I like Sekou Smith. He takes his job seriously, writes well, and deserves all our sympathy for having to read even some of the comments left on his blog. But I'm not buying this.
- Josh Childress's departure is, in and of itself, seriously damaging. Factor in that Childress was a restricted free agent and the Hawks lost him for nothing and it was, as international media attention would lead you to believe, an historical blunder by the franchise.
- Josh Smith is a relative bargain financially but that figures to be off-set by Mike Woodson's inability/disinterest in maximizing Smith's on-court contributions.
- Maurice Evans should be a slight positive addition. He is not capable of replacing Josh Childress's value, however.
- Flip Murray is a bad basketball player who figures to take minutes away from Acie Law IV, who might be a useful basketball player. Rick Sund signing Murray to play basketball will prove to be worse a worse allocation of resources than Billy Knight signing Speedy Claxton not to play basketball.