The working hypothesis in the Atlanta Hawks front office appears to be that, if you get the chance to follow up your inexplicable decision to re-sign Jason Collins to be your third-string center by signing a free agent center six months older than Collins who has played 1082 fewer minutes than Collins over the previous three seasons to create competition for the role of third-string center, you have to make that move.
Enter Etan Thomas.
That difference in playing time isn't entirely fair to Thomas, as he missed the 2007-08 season after undergoing open heart surgery and Thomas was useful more recently than Collins (that being the 2006-07 rather than 2005-06 season). Therefore, let it be noted that, since his return from open heart surgery, Thomas has, over two seasons, played 90 more minutes in 6 fewer games than Collins.
Thomas was unproductive in limited minutes in each of the last two seasons but not, it should be further noted, unproductive to the comical extent to which Collins was unproductive. Still, with the Wizards in 2008-09, Thomas set career lows in scoring rate, eFG%, OR%, DR%, steal rate, turnover rate, usage, and PER. With the Thunder in 2009-10, Thomas set new career lows in scoring rate, eFG%, TS%, OR%, DR%, assist rate, usage, and PER. Oh, and not that it's statistically significant given how little he played, but the Wizards allowed 4.5 more points per 100 possessions with Thomas on the floor in 2008-09 and the Thunder allowed almost 2 more points per 100 possessions with Thomas on the floor last season.
Looking at his career stats, there's a sharp line drawn between the useful role player Thomas was in his 20s and the guy in his 30s who could play or produce for either a terrible team or a good team following open heart surgery. And now he's a Hawk. And now the Hawks are $854,389 closer to the luxury tax line. And still the roster includes neither a proper backup for Marvin Williams nor a guard with a track record of staying in front of opponents.