First, the good news: Josh Smith is visibly slimmer. Cunningham:
I noted he looked to be in good shape when I saw him at the local pickup game back in October, but he’s even slimmer now, suggesting he’s been putting in work since then. The torso is slimmer but the shoulders are still stout, as you can see here at the Hawks web site.In reviewing Josh Smith's 2010-11 performance, I speculated that his weight might have contributed to his perimeter-oriented play, a situation that rendered the value of his improved shooting essentially nil. Josh Smith, in better shape, might more regularly make the effort to take the shots he can make most often, while also getting back to the offensive glass and the free throw line.
Now for the bad news: the Hawks have just seven players under contract, are $7 million over the cap and one of those seven players won't be healthy to start the season. Kirk Hinrich had shoulder surgery about a month ago:
Hawks general manager Rick Sund said guard Kirk Hinrich had surgery to to remove a cyst and repair the labrum in his left shoulder and is expected to miss at least the first month of the regular season.(NOTE: Ken Berger first reported Hinrich's surgery).
Hinrich experienced discomfort in his shoulder as a result of offseason workouts and had the procedure in early November.
“The injury typically requires three to four months of recovery,” Sund said
Based on that timeline, Hinrich could be out through the end of February. The 66-game NBA regular season schedule is to begin Dec. 25 if there are no snags in the ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement.
The Hawks figured to augment the seven players under contract by picking up Pape Sy's unguaranteed deal, trying to re-sign Damien Wilkins and Jason Collins, and possibly Magnum Rolle if he has an opt-out to his Korean deal. With Hinrich out for up to two months, the Hawks will have to acquire a cheap backup (or backups) for both guard spots. Obvious candidates such as Mustafa Shakur and Garrett Temple are in Europe and they aren't coming back for the season. Not that the Hawks need any encouragement to look to veterans to fill out the rotation.