Friday, August 06, 2010

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Why didn't the Hawks sign Shaquille O'Neal? Michael Cunningham reports:
I’ve been told that Atlanta wouldn’t budge on giving Shaq a starting nod over Al, who is after all still only 24-years old and an All-Star. Shaq believes he will get the starting nod over Jermaine O’Neal in Boston as Kendrick Perkins rehabs from his knee injury.

Atlanta also wasn’t willing to pay Shaq more than the minimum and that was a sticking point for him. He didn’t want to sign for the minimum when the Hawks had their bi-annual and mid-level exceptions available because of the perception that would create–as in the Hawks could have paid him more but didn’t. That’s not the case with Boston, which had neither of those exceptions and so could only give him the minimum.

The big guy still has his pride.
Sound decision making, though, I have to deduct a couple of points for the answer not being "Because there's little reason to believe that Shaquille O'Neal will be more productive than Zaza Pachulia next season, taking minutes away from Horford, Josh Smith, and Pachulia would not lead to significant improvement, and we have far a more pressing concern in needing to improve our perimeter defense."

The latter point is clearly not a concern in-house. Cunningham also reports that the Hawks are looking at adding Francisco Elson, Brian Skinner, or Josh Boone to fill the 13th roster spot. Elson and Skinner would be marginal improvements over Jason Collins in the (apparently) crucial* third-string center role. Boone, at least, could reasonably be expected to outperform Josh Powell.

You may be asking, what about Garret Siler?

Well, Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside makes the case for Siler:
Siler is probably the most obvious player to include on this list since Cunningham suggested there is "some interest" in the 6-foot-11, 300-plus pound big man out of Augusta State. Though Cunningham suggested that "he's got a lot to prove after a bad showing at Summer League," I'd like to counter that THE DUDE MADE 75% OF HIS SHOT ATTEMPTS AND PULLED DOWN 3.8 BOARDS IN JUST 14 MINUTES OF ACTION. I've been driving the Siler bandwagon for awhile, sure, but the kid deserves an opportunity. He has great size, soft hands, scores as efficiently as anyone and seems to be willing to do whatever it takes to get an opportunity - I mean, he runs the court very well for a guy his size.
Siler is very efficient but because he's big and slow and can't create his own shot, he's not especially productive. And that's in NCAA Division 2 and the Chinese League. He did appear slimmer in Las Vegas and I'd rather the Hawks anchor the bench with Siler than Collins but he's probably not an untapped resource.

As for the other four names on Schroeder's list of non-retreads, I whole-heartedly support the idea of signing Pops Mensah-Bonsu or Alade Aminu (though I've still no reason to believe he's not going to play for Elan Chalon next season) while signing Chris Hunter or Kurt Looby would likely be, relative to Collins, Powell et al., more interesting though no more useful.

*Almost 5% of the Hawks' regular season games will be against Dwight Howard, after all.


Bronnt said...

What's your opinion on Trey Gilder? He, or a player like him, would comprise the top of my wish list for a body the Hawks could use to fill out the roster. Unfortunately, the Hawks probably place undue weight on his poor jumpshooting ability.

Bret LaGree said...

Gilder or Kyle Weaver would be a nice addition. Weaver played pretty well in Oklahoma City two years ago and (in a very small sample size) tore up the 2010 D-League playoffs to the tune of 24/6/6 (67 TS%).

Steve said...

You really don't think Shaq's a better bet for next season than Pachulia? I find that shocking. Pachulia would kill to have the year Shaq had last year. Actually, he would probably kill to shooting over 50 percent from the field once instead of missing so many bunnies.

Shaq shoots much better from the field, with the added bonus that you can throw him the ball in the post and have him create his own shot, which is something Pachulia can't do and shouldn't. He also blocks more shots and grabbed a higher percentage of rebounds.

jrauch said...

It also pairs with this notion bubbling up that Al's going to be playing more at the 4 spot this year under Drew.
As Bret's mentioned, the Zaza/Horford combo is one of the better big-man combinations the team used last season, only it didn't use it nearly often enough.

Though it does make me wonder if that means we'll be seeing Josh Smith more at the 3 (the mind boggles) and Marvin spending more time on the bench at $7 million per.