Friday, June 25, 2010

Draft Debriefing: Jordan Crawford, Pape Sy, and Money

It says something about the profound lack of confidence Hawks fans have about the organization that acquiring a legitimate prospect with the 27th pick fails to convince. Jordan Crawford does two things this organization has long valued (shoot and score) and could have an immediate role if Joe Johnson leaves via free agency. The resources wasted in acquiring Crawford reminds one, on a much smaller scale, of the deal that brought Johnson to Atlanta in a first place, a deal in which sound player evaluation was undermined, at least in terms of building a championship-quality team, by the cost of the acquisition.

Both deals also demonstrate the team's disinclination to build through the draft* or develop the talent** they do draft. As with the Larry Drew hiring, it will take time and perspective to adequately assess these as basketball decisions but it's immediately apparent that, as financial decisions, they're intended to limit short-term costs. By drafting Crawford at 27 instead of 24, Hawks ownership will save $306,400 over the next three years (should the team pick up Crawford's first option), and, rather than investing the gain of the 31st pick to immediately address either of the team's long-standing and glaring weaknesses (perimeter defense, defensive rebounding), they sold the pick for approximately $3 million before again, at the 53rd pick, declining to add a possible contributor for 2010-11 in favor of a 22-year-old wing (though the Hawks seem to think he's a power forward or center), Pape Sy, who played 14 minutes a game for the 13th-best (out of 16) team in the French League.

*13-win teams probably shouldn't be trading two first-round picks; teams with weak benches probably shouldn't treat the top of the second-round as an ATM.

**The Hawks had no idea that including Boris Diaw in the Joe Johnson deal meant including a league-average starter; drafting Crawford puts a serious damper on any hope of Sergiy Gladyr contributing in the near future.

The Hawks have concluded a head coaching search and the draft and the only certainty is that ownership turned a profit.

Some key Jordan Crawford collegiate stats...

CrawfordPts/1002PTFG%3PTFG%3PTA/FGATS%FT Rate


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