Atlanta Hawks and the Search for the Small Forward

Could the Stache replace Marvin's pencil thin cookie duster in the Hawks starting lineup?

In trading one player for many the Atlanta Hawks rapidly filled up their roster for the coming season. In making a second trade the Hawks freed up cap space next summer, but at the same time freed up the position of small forward which had been manned by Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson for many years. Who will the Hawks start? I don't have that answer, but I can lay out the options for you. I'll even go a step further and don the swami cap to handicap the competition.

Already on the Roster

Josh Smith - The big lineup would start Zaza Pachulia at C, so Al Horford moves to PF and Josh Smith slides to SF. The advantage to this is that it would likely shore up interior defense and rebounding and could create post-up opportunities for Josh. The downsides of this lineup are actually many: lack of depth in the bigs would require more signings, could take Josh away from helping defend the lane, doesn't get playing time for the shooters that have been acquired, might encourage Josh to shoot low percentage shots and doesn't space the floor well.

Probability: 9%

DeShawn Stevenson - This defensive specialist strategy has been used by some other teams in the past like Dallas and Washington. The advantage is that DeShawn could shut down or at least annoy the top wing scorer of the other team. The disadvantage is that he isn't the most reliable shooter. He's had years where he's shot 38% from 3 point range, but it is far more common for him to shoot under 30% overall.

Probability: 10%

Kyle Korver or Anthony Morrow - Shooting specialist strategy #1 and #2. What's the point of trading for shooting if you don't get it on the floor? The advantages are that stretches the defense and gives a 3 point weapon to work off the dual PG penetration or Josh or Al passing out of the post. The disadvantage is clearly on the defense side of things. Morrow is undersized and Korver isn't that athletic.

Probability: 60%

Veteran Free Agents

Carlos Delfino - Probably statistically the best offensive candidate among available vets. Downside is that he's been playing more SG over the last several years and might require the biannual exception to sign. Word going around is that he wants more than a one year deal.

Probability: 10%

Matt Barnes - Mr. One Year contract. Has all the attitude you'd want from a defensive specialist. The downside is that his shooting has been on steady decline. Not a horrible solution at the veteran's minimum.

Probability: 5%

C.J. Miles - The ironic candidate in that the acquisition of Marvin Williams by the Jazz contributed to his free agency. Only 25 years old, Miles has spent his entire career with the Jazz. The most I can say is he's an adequate player shooting around 33% from 3 point range and not being much of a defensive presence.

Probability: 3%

Josh Childress - The return of the Fro would excite some fans. He was very productive in Atlanta, but if he plays like he did in Phoenix he'd delight no one. His shooting is so poor these days that I don't think he even gets a call

Probability: Less than 1%

Trade

Mike Dunleavy - This idea likely excites no one, but Dunleavy's skill set fits the job well and his contract is expiring so it doesn't interfere with long term plans. The downside of doing a trade is that while his contract matches up well with Johan Petro, Petro's trade value to the Bucks is probably low right now which means it would likely cost a pick. I think that's too high of a price at this point. The other risk is that Mike Dunleavy doesn't have a great reputation for staying healthy.

Probability: 1%

Summer League Free Agents

Adam Morrison - The stache didn't have a good first stint in the NBA, but he worked hard to get back. He looked good in summer league for the Clippers and deserves a camp invite from someone. He can provide offense from the SF position, but it is still questionable that he can guard anyone at the NBA level. For that we already have Kyle Korver.

Probability: 1%

What would you do at SF this year?

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