State of the Hawks point guard

The Hawks point guard situation is the most convoluted of the five positions. I do not really know what the Hawks have, what they want, or what they need. So let the baseless speculation begin.

A look back

If you want to know what you are going to get from Mike Bibby, check the stats from the last year. 91% of his shots were jumpers. 0% were dunks. He dished out five assists and shot a career third best from behind the arc at 39%. Bibby wanted to take advantage of his hot stroke because of his 12.4 shots a game, 42% came from three point land.

So what you know you are getting is a guy that can distribute the ball but is not a distributer. He is a vocal leader on the court, but since the captain only allows himself three primal screams per 82 games, it is a role easily occupied. He is a man who will hit the open three and drill a jumper but scoffs at layup line in practice and downright will perform sit ins on the court before trying one in a game.

Oh, and he plays bad defense.

Acie Law played really well against the Hornets one game. He gave Chris Paul a good game on the butt in the middle of the second quarter. The one game I remember him starting, the Hawks lost to the Clippers by about 62 points. In the end, he played in one less game this year compared to his rookie season and averaged a full five minutes less on the court per game.

He showed a glimmer of hope in his three point shooting, but in the end, Acie barely ever got time with the first team and played a majority of his minutes in mop up duty.

At this point, I have no idea if Acie could be a starter in the league, a serviceable back up, or a complete bust. Let's just hope some of those answers come in practice because they certainly were not answered during the 82 game season.

Speedy Claxton is not getting a recap.

A look forward

Mike Bibby is an unrestricted free agent. Acie Law has one year left on his deal before he has restricted status, and Speedy Claxton is a 6 million dollar hit to the cap for a final year.

Mike Bibby certainly is not getting better, but if he stayed healthy and consistent, a two year deal at around five or six million dollars seems reasonable. I expect Bibby to want three years and more money so that could be a difficult negotiation.

In the end, I struggle to see how Bibby helps the Hawks that much in the short term that he would be worth jeopardizing the long term with a three year deal.

There are a lot of guys in the league that can hit the three, dish out four or five assists, and not play defense. Leadership and the love fest Joe Johnson has with him are the two intangibles that might be hard to replace.

At the same time, I would be very nervous handing over the reigns to Acie Law, but what  eases my nerves/frustrates me beyond belief is that I could never see Woodson doing it. The coach has made no effort to develop him as a player, and therefore placing Acie in the starting lineup would only highlight that Woodson either has no long term vision for this team, has no idea how to develop a bench, and/or holds little control as to the make up of this team.

The good news is this draft is deep with supposed first round talent. Picking at 19 means that the Hawks sit in the realm where some of that talent will turn out to be an illusion, but with some luck and good scouting, a starter could easily be there for the taking. Chad Ford has a staggering 11 point guards going in the first round. Granted a few of those are tweeners like Step Curry, but even 7 pure point guards is a lot. The value the Hawks could get at 19 at this position may be the highest it has been in years.

Jarret Jack and Raymond Felton are the two most intriguing free agent point guards, but they are both restricted. Jack would seem the easiest and most willing to be pried away, but he is not a true point guard.

Final thoughts

It is my belief that unless the Hawks stake their point guard future on a free agent not named Mike Bibby, they have to draft one in the first round. That either means they then trade Acie Law and let the rookie learn under Bibby for two years, or they allow Acie and the rookie battle for the starting job and make a decision next summer on the direction they plan to go.

I assume many of you disagree. Good thing there is a comment section.

Go Hawks!

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