Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hawks Trade Andersen To Rockets

The return:
The Atlanta Hawks traded the rights to forward-center David Andersen to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday for an undisclosed second-round draft choice, cash and future considerations.
Daryl Morey:
"David has been a winner with every team he has played for in Europe. He is a very well-rounded player who possesses good offensive skills and a very good shooting touch for a big man."
The surprise would have been an announcement that the Hawks were bringing Andersen over to play in Atlanta as there's been no inclination the organization has any interest in building a deep bench.

The decision to pay Jamal Crawford $9 million to replicate Flip Murray's 2008-09 production suggests that cost is not currently an obstacle* so I suspect the driving force behind the (apparent) preference for bench players of the Solomon Jones/Mario West/Randolph Morris variety is the realization that (at least when given a real, live starting point guard) an eight-and-a-half man rotation is the most Mike Woodson** can manage, and, considering the list of players (Zaza Pachulia, Josh Childress, Anthony Johnson, Acie Law IV, Salim Stoudamire) who have been unconvinced by or simply left in the dark regarding the decision-making process by which minutes are allocated, perhaps it's best to augment that short (for an 82-game regular season) rotation with guys who are just happy to be there.

*Deciding to pay Jamal Crawford $9 million dollars does limit your remaining options, though.

**Who, it should always be pointed out when discussing personnel moves catering to his predilections, is in the final year of his contract.

A quick glance over the fence and it appears that the Rockets will have, if Yao Ming misses the entire season, a post rotation of Luis Scola, David Andersen, Carl Landry, and Chuck Hayes for the cost of three second-round picks, cash, and the rights to Vassilis Spanoulis. The injuries to Tracy McGrady and Yao (who combine to make up more than 55% of Houston's payroll) probably preclude the Rockets from contending for an NBA Championship but that hasn't stopped Morey (and Carroll Dawson before him) from making lemonade.


M said...

although i would take andersen over solo and Morris anyday of the week, I don't see much playing time for him playing behind Zaza.. i'm sure he would have wanted some decent money but we didnt wanna pay decent money for our backup's backup... i wish him well in Hou... alas I wish sund could have made the move to bring him over those two bozos we currently have

Bret LaGree said...

I think the minutes could be there. Horford, Smith, and Pachulia combined to miss 33 games last year. Pachulia missed 20 the year before that. Plus, I don't think it would be the worst thing in the world to have someone ont he bench capable of pushing Josh Smith for playing time on the nights he struggles to maintain focus and effort.

But, the Hawks, under Woodson, are going to try to do one thing. They aren't going to play matchups or try and force the other team to adjust so players with a specific skill set probably have less value to the Hawks than they would playing for a different team.

jrauch said...

I don't understand where Andersen wouldn't have had minutes?

Jones and Morris aren't viable NBA players. They unlikely would have been able to crack the starting rotation of Andersen's Euroleague team.

He'd be a perfect backup for Smith at the 4. Having a back-up for both the 5 and the 4 would preclude us from having to play the awkward three-man dance Woody does with Zaza/Al/Smith every night.

Particularly given Woody's preference for pulling guys who might even sniff foul trouble for long stretches, Andersen would have been a nice piece off the bench, rather than our usual substitution gymnastics.

I'm betting Daryl Morey wins out with this one. Not as big as when he plucked Scola from the Spurs, but they'll get good mileage from Andersen.

Unknown said...

I definitely agree that Andersen is better than Solo and that crew. But, I also think we're forgetting that DA may not have wanted to come over here for less money if he had to sit around and hope for an injury in order to get playing time. In fact, I think Sekou said on his blog that DA requested a trade for this very reason after the signing of Zaza.

Also, Bret, I have to disagree with you continued assertion that Crawford is an overpaid version of 08-09 Flip. While I don't think Crawford is the savior by any means, I do think he is an upgrade for a few reasons. First, Flip played a large majority of his minutes against 2nd team defenders last year while JC has consistently played much more time against 1st teamers. Second, I think JC will be much more adept at keeping the bench offense consistently scoring than Flip (anyone else remember the nights when Flip would just shoot jumpers and clank them all?). Finally, I think there's a huge indirect benefit to adding JC in that it MIGHT get Woody to stop wearing down Joe (because Woody can run the same "offense" with JC...i.e. let him dribble around and take all the shots).

Anyways, I'd love to see some statistical analysis on players moving from starters to the bench players (I'm not talking Jason Terry or Manu-type guys that are really just starters). I think Ben Gordon last year v. this year is a good example. When he came off the bench last year, almost all his numbers were better than when he started. Anyways, that's just my two cents.

Bret LaGree said...


It's weird to be both one of the biggest critics of signing Flip Murray and one of the biggest defenders of what he did last year. Not that I think he would be a good bet to repeat last year's performance.

That's a good idea about players moving into a reserve role. I don't know of any studies on that subject. Once I finish up my don't-expect-much-from-Jeff Teague-as-a-rookie-post, I'll look into that.

I think it's a genuine possibility that Crawford helps save Joe's legs but I'm skeptical about the degree of impact of that because 1) Crawford's not much better than a worn-out Joe Johnson and 2) every shot that Crawford takes is one that Horford or Williams (who have the most room for improvement) or Josh Smith (if we're going to keep a low-percentage shooter happy, let's at least give those shots to the guy who can play defense) or Jeff Teague (for long-term developmental reasons).

I really don't see what Crawford has done, other than play lots more minutes on bad teams, that's better than 08-09 Flip Murray. As always, though, the lack could be my own.

rbubp said...

If Andersen were a combo guard you can bet he would have been on the roster.

rbubp said...

And yeah, I think the cheap bench thing is a strategy the way the Braves used to go cheap on middle relievers in the 1990s. Andersen wanted too much money for what his role would have been, and Woody would rather put that money in 2 guards who can run isolation half-courts.

Unknown said...


You make a good point about Crawford sparing Joe. I hadn't considered the fact that Crawford's minutes in place of Joe would essentially equal a less pass-oriented JJ. But, maybe...just maybe, I'm hoping that Marv, Smoove, and Al will be less inclined to defer to JC like they do with JJ (or Woody will actually opt to run a real offense when JJ is out). Even if a worn out JJ might be better than JC, I just can't support running him into the ground every year. And, of the options to replace JJ's minutes, I have to think JC's not the worst option.

Again, I totally understand your opinion that JC is nothing more than a high minutes points scorer on bad teams (i.e. Al Harrington, Antoine Walker, etc. on the Hawks back in the dark days), but I still believe he'll be much better off the bench than RFP last year. I guess my hope (and you hit on this) is that JC will keep the offense going but that players (and Woody) won't look to him be the whole offense like JJ (and thus opening opportunities for Marv, Al, and co.).

Clearly, I hope for a lot of things...

Bret LaGree said...


I don't begrudge you your hope, it's just not in my nature to share it. I will say, though, that something worked for Flip Murray last year (I think it's the decision made around the new year to stop trying to play point guard and just look for his shot.) and Crawford certainly could flourish in a new role.

As for deference to Crawford, I fear that'll be less of a problem for the frontcourt than getting to touch the ball before he shoots it. However, if Al Horford has a great offensive rebounding year, Dave Berri might write a blog post declaring him the best player in the league, so we're got that to look forward to.