1. Our ownership is not willing to invest more money in a team that is still working at a deficit (and from a business perspective - I don't blame them...as a fan who wants a title - I 100% blame them.)I think the first point is absolutely true from every perspective. I'm not so sure about the second.
2. Our fan base and organization is going to be happy as long as the Hawks win the first round and compete in the 2nd round.
There's plenty of talk about why the Hawks aren't trying to get X. Jeff Schultz asks if the Hawks should be trying to add someone in order "to keep pace with Cleveland and Orlando?" Michael Cunningham devoted a thorough and insightful blog post on Tuesday to this question. Also, there's the 700+ word post linked and quoted above and I've seen more than one thread at Hawksquawk lamenting the team's inaction.
My thoughts as to reasons for the organization's inaction:
- Money. They've allocated so much of their budget to acquiring or keeping the first seven guys in the rotation that was nothing left over to acquire or keep tradeable assets deeper on the depth chart. Which leads us to...
- What do the Hawks have that another team wants? Joe Johnson (both the player and his expiring contract), Josh Smith, Al Horford, maybe Marvin Williams, maybe the rights to Josh Childress, maybe Jeff Teague, maybe the Hawks' upcoming late first-round pick.
- Would the Hawks trade any of those? I think they definitely would not trade Johnson, Smith, or Horford.
- Could the Hawks trade any of the rest? Childress' rights, in that they'd add salary without providing any present production, have little value to a team in the middle of the season. Williams is a base year compensation player until July 1st. As for trading Teague and/or the first-round pick, the Hawks are $18 million over the salary cap and could only bring back a salary of equal or lesser value.
- Would a hypothetical trade actually and reasonably be expected to improve the Hawks? I don't think any deal that involves acquiring a big man (Stoudemire, Jamison, Camby) that could not be on the court at the same time as Smith and Horford is unlikely to be a net positive. Nor is trading Smith or Horford for an older player of roughly equal current value likely to improve the team to an appreciable degree.
- What about the summer of 2010? Joe Johnson is an unrestricted free agent. He could leave. He could leave for money. He could leave to chase a championship. None of this should be a surprise. He left an excellent Phoenix team for a terrible Atlanta team for some combination of money and shot attempts. The Hawks overspent to get him and Billy Knight wasted several draft picks and the Hawks haven't succeeding in building a championship-caliber squad around him. If Johnson leaves, the Hawks will have $47.6 million committed to eight players (assuming Mo Evans exercises his player option) plus a cap hold on Josh Childress, plus a cap hold on empty roster spots, and the cost of their first round draft pick. The salary cap is expected to be between $50-54 million next season. There is obviously no money there to sign somebody else's impact free agent. Any deal that would further inhibit the Hawks' ability to replace Joe Johnson (if necessary) is risky in the general sense and would be out-of-character for an organization so averse to change that they've used the thirteenth roster spot all season on either a guy who can't play or a guy they don't think can play rather than bring in someone new who might contribute.
I'll start the speculation with a link to a post entitled "Nine Potential Kwame Brown Trades" from Dan Feldman at Piston Powered. Dan proposes Brown for Mo Evans, Jason Collins, and a pick. My response is over there. What say you?