Thursday, February 18, 2010


Michael Cunningham:
The Hawks are expected to be among the suitors for veteran center Zydrunas Ilgauskas if he receives a buyout from the Wizards, sources said today.
It's fitting that the organization would make noise about spending extra money on a player that probably won't come here and probably wouldn't help the team were he to be acquired. His name recognition outstrips his ability at this point and the organization is unlikely to be called on its bluff and have to pay him any money. Besides, every transaction the franchise has made so far this season has shown they are not serious about/incapable of upgrading the end of the bench.

Actually, the incapable half of that accusation could also apply here, were Ilgauskas to sign with the Hawks. Ilgauskas is a shadow of his former self. His scoring rate, shooting percentage, and usage rate are all down significantly this year and he's a terrible fit for Atlanta's defensive system. He's 34 years old and it's amazing he's lasted this long. He played 29 games total between opening day 1998 and opening day 2001 because of his feet. He's had a great and somewhat unlikely run, all of it taking place in Cleveland, a town where he's presumably settled, whose fans adore him, and whose team has a far better chance of winning a championship than do the Hawks.

The real story here (if there is a real story here, rather than a PR stunt) is the implicit concern within the organization about Zaza Pachulia's health and the possible desire to have someone available (i.e. not the third- and fourth-string centers they've wasted roster spots on this entire season) to back up Al Horford for the next three months.

And, for this...
Even if Ilgauskas didn’t start for the Hawks, the move would allow them to bring him off the bench in the postseason and shift Al Horford to power forward and Josh Smith to small forward (with Marvin Williams going to the bench), giving them a potent front line.
...Jeff Schultz is banned for violating the first rule of hypothetical transactions: planning on using Josh Smith at small forward.


Unknown said...

Well, I got excited just that the Hawks might make SOME change because one is so clearly needed but you definitely just killed any excitement I had brewing. When I heard the Hawks might be among suitors it didn't sound right to me anyway. Could big Z guard Dwight at all? Probably not any better than Collins?
What is the deal with Pachulia? I can't find any information on his injury. Is there concern about his season ending early? Might Teague make is way into more minutes by the time the playoffs roll around considering Bibby's horrid recent play?

Bret LaGree said...

It's Pachulia's left hip that's hurting (no news more specific than that), and, even though he looked spry last night, he said the pain wasn't gone.