Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Hawks Have Plans For Jason Collins

From Michael Cunningham's return blog post:
Atlanta thinks Collins will be more effective in 2010-11 because he will be in better shape. Word is he’s already lost a significant amount of weight. Also, ASG’s Michael Gearon Jr. is on record as saying (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) he didn’t think Collins was properly utilized by Woody.
This is a crackerjack example of how this franchise limits itself. Last Summer, they sign Jason Collins to be the team's third-string center. He's 30-years-old and already three years removed from his last useful season. Collins is visibly overweight and immobile (even by his own established standards). He plays 115 minutes, almost 5 of those being productive minutes. He commits more fouls than he scores points or grabs rebounds.

Do the Hawks then look to replace Collins with someone younger or more likely to produce in such a limited role? No. Collins is a nice guy. Certain members of the ownership group may come to like him personally. So, on a promise of getting in better shape (as if there's an alternative) and granting the organization another opportunity to blame everything on Mike Woodson*, Jason Collins gets another contract. Had he gone to high school within a 100-mile radius of Atlanta it probably would have been a 2-year deal.

*At this point I wouldn't be surprised to read someone in the organization claiming, on the record, that Woodson is all that kept the team from winning 60 games last season. I hope Larry Drew can stave off frustration over being asked to win more with a team possessing the same inherent problems. It won't be easy.

Signing Collins to fill out the roster is uninspiring. Signing Collins because you think he needs to play and that, in playing him, the team will win more games is breathtakingly misguided.

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