The dog days of August are upon us.....
You can tell by the same worn out discussions about what should've or what should currently be happening in free agency.
I'm not exactly enthusiastic about the players who were brought in, but I can't say, and I don't understand how anybody else can say that these are horrible moves when we haven't seen this currently assembled team play basketball yet. For this same reason, I also can't understand how anyone can be extremely optimistic.
While it may sound good to try and "win" free agency, what good is it exactly doing to sign a bunch of slightly better, more expensive players who will achieve nothing more during the playoffs than maybe getting past the first round? It makes no sense to me. I also can't help but think back to the paper tiger that the Lakers built last summer who ended up having to claw their way into the playoffs in game 82....like I said, it's too early to pass ANY judgment.
I know some people are a little (or a lot) upset because we now supposedly can't "tank" because the team is "too good", but I honestly don't see why you can't.
Again, I'm not willing to judge this offseason or this roster until games start being played, but if we're actually going to be counting on guys like Gustavo Ayon and Pero Antic, who have been described by some as "garbage players", DeMarre Carroll, who is supposedly the equivalent to Joe Smith or Vladamir Radmanovic, Elton Brand, who is too old and too finished to be counted on, and Paul Millsap, who isn't even a 2nd tier free agent in a horribly weak free agent class to be meaningful contributors on the court this year, then how does that not sound like a team who will be "tanking", whether purposely or just by circumstance?
Some factors that haven't been discussed as much as much as whether or not signing Paul Millsap over Al Jefferson was a good move or not, and whether it makes us better than the Bobcats, which should really should be discussed are......
- How much better does Jeff Teague get in a new offense in which he is going to be counted on to truly lead?
- Does Al Horford have what it takes in order to become a legitimate #1 option, or does he fail at it much like Josh Smith did a year ago?
- When does Lou Williams come back, and when he does, how long does it take him to play at his pre-injury level again?
- How good is Paul Millsap and what will his role on the team be?
- Will Dennis Schröder be effective enough in real games to make a positive impact?
Then there is the good old factor of team chemistry.....Will this team even have any? And if so, will they have enough of it?
Those are all things we have to take into account before saying this team is "too good to tank" or that this isn't "the best possible roster".
As far as Danny Ferry's plan goes, I know a lot are going to disagree with me, but I think he does have a plan, and it isn't to collect assets to trade for a "superstar" like the Rockets did.
I believe that "Plan A" is to see if the team plays well on the court, and if the team sucks on the court, then "Plan B" is to trade off the veterans (yes, the ones we're currently complaining about having) for young, unproven talent who don't have extremely high trade value like a Tobias Harris or a MarShon Brooks. Not these guys, but young guys on playoff teams who don't get a lot of run.
We should all know by now that there was no contender to be built this offseason, so any discussion about how this free agency period has turned out shouldn't really be that big of an issue RIGHT NOW.
Now, if a 35 year old Kyle Korver making $5 million in 2016 is stopping us from signing the "superstar" that will take us to a championship, by all means we can point back to this offseason and say that Danny Ferry "F'd up". Right now, it's just too early to say much about that deal other than to say that Korver may be a bit overpaid.
The last point I want to bring up is next summer...
How exactly does the signings made this offseason stop us from being able to get a "superstar" next summer any more than if we had gone after slightly better players? Are we completely ignoring the fact that those other players would still be under contract next summer too? You can't get who you can't pay.
And can we please stop with this whole "We can't get superstars" thing?
Ask yourselves two questions.....
- Other than Dwight Howard, who we knew (or should have known) wasn't coming here for an entire year, what "superstar" didn't come here?
- When was the last time before this offseason have the Hawks had cap space to sign a "superstar" in free agency, pursued a "superstar", and had their advances rebuffed by said "superstar"?
I may be underreacting (if that is a word), but I truly believe that it is way too early to be overreacting, whether it is optimism or pessimism.