We are now about twenty four hours removed from last night's draft festivities and I still think that KB21 describes it best when he calls it a Good Draft That Could Have Been Great. Quite frankly the Hawks draft was met quite positively by the mainstream media. AJC columnist Jeff Schultz was very pleased with the pick of Jordan Crawford. Even ESPN analyst Chad Ford graded the Hawks draft out with a solid "B" grade.
More after the Jump
Still here at Peachtree Hoops, a sense of disappointment set in once the Hawks sold the 31st pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder as we were once again jolted with the constant reminder that this team is financially strapped. Twenty Four hours later I can now see that the Hawks front office had to be overjoyed at the development. They were able to draft the player they wanted the most and move down in the draft to do so. As Bret over at Hoopinion points out the savings on Crawford's contract over the next three seasons alone is $306,400. Factor in as well the reported 3 million that they obtained for the 31st pick and Rick Sund had to walk away feeling pretty good considering the parameters financially that he must have to deal with.
The selling of a draft pick is never perceived as a wise business decision. Why? Well because fans don't get anything to show for it. There is no player or future draft pick. Obtaining money for it just makes it feel like you gave it away no matter if it actually makes sense or not. Reportedly the Hawks stated that they want to use that money to help acquire a free agent. They in fact have a rather large one in Joe Johnson that will command a lot of money to bring back. Still fans won't actually know if that extra 3 million puts the Hawks over the top in the Joe Johnson negotiation, they won't know if it was key in bringing back Josh Childress. The fact is we will never know where that money was actually used.
The Hawks will once again probably field the league minimum of 13 players. They will once again ignore taking a young player and trying to develop him. There won't be any utilization of the D-League because as Rick Sund stated before with a minimum roster you just can't afford to. Currently the Hawks have nine players by my count under contract. That doesn't include Josh Childress as the thought today is he will either return or maybe get moved in a trade that brings back a player. Joe Johnson is also not counted and like Childress can either resign or be moved in a sign and trade for a player or players in return. Which leaves bargain basement veteran signings like Joe Smith and Jason Collins yet again rounding out the roster. That is not meant as a slight against them but one of the perceived problems of this team is a lack of depth. They were extremely fortunate last season when virtually everyone was healthy for the entire season.
So twenty four hours later I feel better about this draft. Jordan Crawford appears to be an excellent pick especially with the 27th pick. Pape Sy who was picked with the 53rd pick will probably remain in France for the foreseeable future. The Hawks made some solid financial moves in the draft and still came away with the player that they wanted. Maybe I feel a little better just by realizing that things aren't worse, but have just remained the same. Still it appears Larry Drew will go into his first season with the Hawks with a limited roster and limited flexibility. Even now it is hard to make concrete judgments as free agency and what happens with Joe Johnson still will play the biggest part in what shape this franchise takes in the future.