Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ESPN.com (Insider): Ford: Offseason Grades

Chad Ford gives the Atlanta Hawks a grade of C for their off-season decisions:
The Hawks surprised just about everyone this summer by giving Johnson a max contract. The conventional wisdom had the Bulls, Knicks or some other team with major cap room sneaking in and stealing him away. In the short term, it was a great move by the Hawks. In the long term? The franchise may really regret it.

A six-year, $123 million contract is huge for a 29-year-old guard who absolutely fell apart in the playoffs versus Orlando in May. The deal could also have some long-term effects on the Hawks' ability to pay free agents going forward. Al Horford will be looking for a big extension this fall. Can the Hawks really afford three max players?

The team's other move was more Hawks-like. They let head coach Mike Woodson go and replaced him with the cheapest possible alternative, assistant Larry Drew, who is an unknown at this point. But hiring a head coach with no experience is a strange move for a team that is trying to take the next step in the playoffs.
It's the joint-10th highest mark Ford gives out to an Eastern Conference team.

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