"As everybody knows we’ve been searching for a point guard for a while, somebody who can come in and run this club. Not saying that Mike didn’t go a good job, but there just comes a point where a change has to take place. We as an organization felt like it was that time.Joe Johnson:
Kirk brings such a wealth of toughness at that position. He’s a heady guy, he’s a smart guy. All the intangibles you are looking for he brings to the table."
"We let three good guys go who I had become really good friends with. But at the same time we understand the business aspect and this is the profession we chose knowing that trades happen. You have to deal with it. Getting Kirk and Armstrong is definitely going to contribute to what we are trying to do. Kirk is very defensive-minded and a guy who can really knock down the open shot and penetrate and make plays for others as well. I think he is going to be beneficial for us."Jamal Crawford:
"It’s tough to tell now [how the trade will work]. Mike was the leader at point guard for a while. Jordan has a bright future. Mo is just solid, gives you defense and 3-point shooting. But I played with Kirk Hinrich and I know what he’s about."Michael Cunningham:
Moving Jordan and the first-round pick is the latest indication the Hawks, when push comes to shove, are more focused on making moves they think will help now vs. player and asset development in the future.Which is true except when it isn't: like when the Hawks take Jeff Teague instead of DeJuan Blair or Darren Collison, or when they sell the 31st pick, then buyout Pape Sy's contract.
Mark Bradley deems the trade OK:
Best-case scenario: Hinrich does his hybrid-guard act — he used to be quite good at it, but his numbers haven’t been anything special the past four seasons — and puts the other Hawks in the right position and this team manages to win a first-round series.It comes as no surprise that this trade is met with scorn at HawkStr8Talk:
Worst-case scenario: Hinrich fails to mesh with Joe Johnson — say what you want about Bibby, but he and Johnson made a nice tandem — and the Hawks, who have bombed out in Round 2 the past two seasons, bomb out in Round 1 this spring.
Either way, the addition of Hinrich and Armstrong is no cause for re-calibration of this team’s ceiling. The Hawks aren’t much different today than they’ve been for the past three years. They’re a pretty good team in an Eastern Conference that keeps getting more competitive at the top.
The trade sucks - Kirk Hinrich, age 30, is not an NBA difference maker at a position that is full of difference makers. The defense gets better, but only incrementally. The Hawks needed a difference maker at PG and so, they got another guy to join Collins and Thomas and Powell on the bench twiddling their thumbs. And so what did they give up - the guy you drafted and raved about who could replace a one dimensional Jamal Crawford (furthering my fears that we could actually RESIGN a guy who isn't going to help your team win a title) and a first round draft pick who could help you build depth on the cheap. Doesn't matter to me that Bibby and Evans needed to leave town, but a lateral at BEST move just sucks.I think it's the extra stuff the Hawks gave up to get Joe Johnson that's the root cause of the team's current second-round ceiling and the lodestar of the organization's limitations. The Joe Johnson sign-and-trade worked as well as could be expected but didn't bring the team significantly closer to winning a championship (at least not nearly as much as drafting Josh Smith and Al Horford did). That's why you don't see typically see teams build around the fourth-best player on a conference finalist.
What else do we lose? Future flexibility come 2012 to actually sign someone who matters. Or in other words, fail, fail, fail!!! If the player you trade for doesn't change your seed and doesn't change your lot come playoff time (I mean does ANYONE think Hinrich is the difference in the Hawks winning and losing vs. the Orlando Magic). So, I say again - this organization is completely and utterly clueless. Period. I'm on record as saying this trade will blow up in the Hawks' face. At least we got a 4 time all star for giving up extra stuff that wasn't necessary in the Joe Johnson, but going overboard for Kirk Hinrich...REALLY!?!?!
The Hawks were right about Johnson having more potential than his production in Phoenix indicated. They were (and are) wrong about how good he could be (and is) in absolute terms.
Sekou Smith (who wanted the Hawks to draft Mike Conley, Jr. rather than Al Horford):
Jeff Teague, the Hawks’ second-year point guard, is clearly not ready for a starring role and might not be anytime soon. He was as given every opportunity to supplant Bibby and couldn’t do it. He’s the latest in a long line of supposed point guard solutions that ended up being a problem (Speedy Claxton, Acie Law) for the Hawks.Zach Lowe thinks the trade helps both the Hawks and the Wizards:
They’ve tried everything at the point from Royal Ivey to Anthony Johnson to Tyronn Lue to even playing Joe Johnson at point guard during his first season with the team. That’s nine different point guard options spanning two different regimes (former general manager Billy Knight is the man who drafted Marvin Williams, paid Claxton, drafted Law and also traded for Bibby while current general manager Rick Sund is the man who shipped Claxton and Law out of town for Jamal Crawford, drafted Teague and made the deal for Hinrich).
While Hinrich is clearly an upgrade over Bibby, particularly at the defensive end, he still doesn’t solve the Hawks’ seemingly eternal point guard problem.
John Hollinger gave the Hawks a B:
Nabbing Hinrich doesn’t make the Hawks a title contender, but it feels like the kind of move that could have a bigger impact on the court than many anticipate. Start with this: Hinrich can defend point guards. Very well. And that addresses the main problem with Atlanta’s defense, which ranks about average despite the Hawks’ having faced the easiest schedule in the league. It isn’t just that Bibby can’t defend point guards; it’s the degree to which the Hawks have had to compensate for the 32-year-old’s defensive issues. They’ve had to tire out Johnson by assigning him point guard duty. They’ve gone to zone defenses that haven’t really worked. They’ve switched too often, though less so this season under rookie coach Larry Drew.
They can toss out those gimmicks now and go to work with lineups like Hinrich, Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith and Al Horford. That works.
The Hawks will miss Bibby’s shooting, but it’s not as if they are losing a pick-and-roll stud who initiates most of their sets. Bibby handles the ball some, but he’s usually a spot-up shooter and screen-setter in Drew’s offense, which mixes in motion plays, post-ups and lots of off-the-dribble work for Johnson and Jamal Crawford. Hinrich, 30, can step into Bibby’s role immediately, and he happens to be shooting a solid 38 percent from three-point range (and a career-best 45 percent overall) this season.
One small bonus that Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel picked up on immediately: Hinrich is 6-3, tall and strong for a point guard, and he has defended a ton of shooting guards through a career of shifting between the two backcourt positions. That gives Atlanta a nice answer for when Miami goes to lineups that don’t include traditional point guards, and if the Heat earn the top seed in the Eastern Conference, there’s at least a small chance the two teams will meet in the second round.
As far as need goes, it's tough to do better than this. Atlanta Hawks fans who have spent half a decade watching their point guards get torched night after night will now have to cope with the shocking sight of Hinrich competently defending opponents at either guard spot.Kevin Pelton summarizes what the trade might mean for the Hawks on the court the rest of this season and beyond:
Hinrich isn't as good a spot-up shooter as the departed Mike Bibby but he's better at everything else, and his ability to play off the ball should make him a solid backcourt cohort with Jamal Crawford or even Jeff Teague. Look for Joe Johnson to also benefit, as he'll no longer be spending his nights chasing all the point guards that Bibby couldn't contain.
Oh, Hilton Armstrong is in the trade too. He'll make Jason Collins and Josh Powell feel better about themselves in practice.
How much is that upgrade worth? I’d say maybe a game or two over a full season. Ordinarily, that’s an enormous difference. But the gap between the Hawks and the East’s best teams is so large that I’m not sure this move makes much of a dent. Atlanta still looks to me like first-round fodder for the Magic. That’s when you have to start wondering about the Hawks’ future. This deal means giving up two years’ worth of young contributors on cost-effective rookie deals. Backup point guard Jeff Teague is the only growing player of note on the Atlanta roster, and this deal along with rumors involving Teague seem to indicate the Hawks don’t view him as a starter any time soon. So Atlanta isn’t good enough right now, and can’t count on adding young talent. That’s a pretty bad recipe for long-term relevance.At Bullets Forever, Mike Prada is just lukewarm on the trade.