“I thought we were pretty close this year,” Sund said. “Last year they were disappointed by the embarrassment [against Orlando]. ... This year they were disappointed that the opportunity was there, they were close, and they didn’t get there. There’s a big difference.”
Translation: Rick Sund has not been given the green light by ownership to make signficant changes to the core of this team, so expect the trio of Joe Johnson, Al Horford, and Josh Smith to be together for another season.
He said Larry Drew improved during the course of his first season as a head coach. “I think he was very good in the playoffs,” Sund said. “I think his confidence level and his belief in the players and the players’ belief in him improved, and that’s just the maturation process that coaches go through.”
Translation: Even if Rick wanted to make a change at the coaching position, he has not been given the green light by ownership to do so.
Sund said he expects point guard Jeff Teague to get regular minutes next season after his breakthrough performance against the Bulls.
Translation: Jeff Teague may play significant minutes, but he may not start.
Center Al Horford has expressed his preference to play power forward, but Sund said he wasn’t sure if the team would seek a full-time center.
Translation: Centers are hard to find, and Rick has not been given the green light to make any major changes to shake up the core.
Sund signed guard Joe Johnson to the richest contract in the league last summer, and Johnson had his worst season in Atlanta. But Sund said he was “really happy” with Johnson’s postseason play.
Translation: Ownership is happy with Joe Johnson despite the fact that he did not play up to his contract.
Sund declined to say if the team would offer Crawford a contract extension before he’s eligible to become a free agent on July 1.
Translation: Ownership hasn't decided whether they want to retain Jamal Crawford or not.
Honestly, I wonder what Rick's comments would be if he weren't being used as a mouthpiece for Michael Gearon Jr. I think Rick is actually a fairly astute scout when it comes to evaluating talent. He, along with Dave Pendergraft and Steve Rosenberry, have done a solid job of getting solid talent with later picks like Jeff Teague, Jordan Crawford, and maybe Pape Sy, while also picking up guys off the street who have some ability like Damien Wilkins and Magnum Rolle. However, these guys aren't being allowed to do their job by an ownership group (or an owner) that wants to interject his own ideas into the situation.