Monday, July 05, 2010

FanHouse: Povtak: Shaq Weighing Hawks Offer

Shaquille O'Neal to put the Hawks over the luxury tax? Tim Povtak reports:
Free-agent center Shaquille O'Neal is seriously considering a two-year deal with the Hawks that starts at the mid-level exception of $5.8 million, according to NBA sources close to both the team and the future Hall of Fame player.

...

"I think he wants to see how everything shakes out with all the free agents, but he's seriously considering Atlanta's offer,'' said the source who asked that his name not be used. "He wants to play two more years, and he wants it to be with a contender. He thinks he can help them become a serious one."
Paying Shaquille O'Neal approximately $12 million for his age 38 and 39 seasons to be a marginal upgrade over Zaza Pachulia while taking minutes away from the three Hawks on the most reasonable contracts (not to mention potentially increasing the chances Josh Smith plays the 3 more often) doesn't strike me as a great allocation of resources but, hey, Shaq's really, really famous and nothing says a franchise is serious about winning like signing famous people, right?

UPDATE (7/5/10 -- 10:17pm): Michael Cunningham reports:
...a person familiar with Atlanta’s plans said it’s doubtful the team has made such an offer this early in the free-agent process. The Hawks are seeking a bulky center, and ASG is said to be willing to use the mid-level exception and pay some luxury tax if necessary to do so, but so far it doesn’t appear the Hawks have decided whom else to target after re-signing J.J.
A bulky center? Should go great with half a dozen guards who can't play a lick of defense.

UPDATE (7/6/10 -- 8:20am): As commenter Glenn references, David Aldridge has further information regarding the Hawks' thinking on Shaquille O'Neal, Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Zaza Pachulia:
An NBA source confirmed a FanHouse.com report Monday evening that the Atlanta Hawks have an interest in signing free agent center Shaquille O'Neal, and sources have told NBA.com's Sekou Smith that the team has discussed a two-year deal worth $11.7 million for O'Neal. However, the source cautioned that the Hawks' interest in the 38-year-old O'Neal is "preliminary" and that the team, no matter what big man it brings in, has no intention of moving All-Star center Al Horford to power forward in any scenario.

The source said the Hawks' interest in O'Neal is not significantly greater than the team's interest in other free agent centers like Zydrunas Ilgauskas or Brad Miller, and that the team has just begun examining whether it needs another big man to play with Horford and backup Zaza Pachulia, who Atlanta likes a great deal as a reserve.

...

The Hawks also do not want to mess too much with a team that won 53 games in the regular season, even though Atlanta was taken apart by Orlando in the second round. There have been murmurs that the Hawks are shopping forward Josh Smith, who had one of his best seasons last year. However, a source with knowledge of the Hawks' thinking said that the team would only contemplate moving Smith for a major, star player at power forward.
This is more reasonable (and encouraging) than Povtak's original report though I think you'll again notice no mention of perimeter defense despite the Hawks being just as likely to face a team built around Dwyane Wade or LeBron James in the playoffs as the Orlando Magic. Not that an inability to guard Dwight Howard was even the team's most pressing problem in this Spring's obliteration at the hands of the Magic.

UPDATE (7/6/10 -- 8:54am): ESPN.com's Chris Broussard reports that the Celtics and Mavericks have also contacted O'Neal but:
The discussions have been in the preliminary stages and no financial terms have been broached. But with each team being over the salary cap, they can offer O'Neal no more than the mid-level exception of $5.8 million per season.

9 comments:

CoCo said...

So as it turns out Shaq is the "right player" they'll pay the luxury tax for???? *rolls eyes*

Arif said...
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Arif said...
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Arif said...

Oh Dear God. Looks like we weren't misjudging ownership, after all. This is what they meant by "necessary pieces?" Please please please stop them. Please.

Bronn said...

The Hawks effort to find a "bulky" center seems to be contrary to coach Larry Drew's stated goals of playing more up-tempo. Ideally, the best acquisition would be someone like, say, Josh Childress, who can play back-up minutes at the three. More realistically, Matt Barnes would be a great pick-up if the Hawks are serious about improving the roster.

Still, someone has to play back-up minutes at the 4. So much money is invested in the players they already have that they may see the benefit of improving over the minutes that Mo Evans plays at the 3 as less cost efficient than getting Josh Smith's back-up. That makes sense. What doesn't make sense is addressing the position of third-string center while there are two gaping holes on the roster, which were already filled with non-productive players in the previous season.

Glenn said...

I hope this doesn't happen. Surely they can do better than Shaq. Trade Marvin Williams (if anyone will take him) but don't add to the payroll with Shaq. Interestingly David Aldridge says the Hawks aren't interested in moving Horford to the 4 so Shaq would presumably be a backup if this went through.

jrauch said...

They're assembling the best 2005 team they can under the circumstances.

I'm beginning to like Belkin more and more.

Bret LaGree said...

Updating this post may have rendered some comments hidden. I'm working to restore them. If I can't, I'll cut and paste them from the archive.

Bret LaGree said...

begin restoration of comments

CoCo (7/5, 9:33pm): So as it turns out Shaq is the "right player" they'll pay the luxury tax for???? *rolls eyes*

Arif (7/5, 11:10pm): Oh Dear God. Looks like we weren't misjudging ownership, after all. This is what they meant by "necessary pieces?" Please please please stop them. Please.

Bronn (7/5, 11:24pm): The Hawks effort to find a "bulky" center seems to be contrary to coach Larry Drew's stated goals of playing more up-tempo. Ideally, the best acquisition would be someone like, say, Josh Childress, who can play back-up minutes at the three. More realistically, Matt Barnes would be a great pick-up if the Hawks are serious about improving the roster.

Still, someone has to play back-up minutes at the 4. So much money is invested in the players they already have that they may see the benefit of improving over the minutes that Mo Evans plays at the 3 as less cost efficient than getting Josh Smith's back-up. That makes sense. What doesn't make sense is addressing the position of third-string center while there are two gaping holes on the roster, which were already filled with non-productive players in the previous season.

Glenn (7/6, 4:57am): I hope this doesn't happen. Surely they can do better than Shaq. Trade Marvin Williams (if anyone will take him) but don't add to the payroll with Shaq. Interestingly David Aldridge says the Hawks aren't interested in moving Horford to the 4 so Shaq would presumably be a backup if this went through.

jrauch (7/6, 8:32am): They're assembling the best 2005 team they can under the circumstances.

I'm beginning to like Belkin more and more.

end restoration of comments