What free agent(s) do you think would be the best fit in Coach Bud's system next year?
There are a number of guys that would fit well in the system but it in a lot of cases it comes down to price. There are the big names like Luol Deng, Gordon Hayward and Greg Monroe. I think offensively Monroe would be a great fit next to Horford but with Paul Millsap already here that probably isn't likely to happen. More and more I think the Hawks will stay under the radar like last season when they pounced and signed both Millsap and DeMarre Carroll to team-friendly deals. They have several internal options at center but a guy Spencer Hawes who is a center with a strong perimeter game seems like a logical fit. Another name that intrigues me is Shawn Marion. A good pro who wants to win who is capable of defending the SF or PF slot. We will have more on free agency coming up over the weekend.
I realize that Danny Ferry and Coach Bud come from the old school, hush-hush world of the Spurs but sometimes I wonder if we really have been involved in any major free agents chases. (Kevin Love, Carmelo, Chandler Parsons, Eric Bledsoe, Lance Stephenson, etc) I feel like every time I see a major free agent player there is zero connection with the Hawks and I just wonder if we are actually involved or if we're looking elsewhere. The only time I felt like we chased anyone was with Dwight.
First, free agency doesn't open until July 1 so no one is currently chasing this year's free agents openly except for their current teams. Kevin Love still has a year remaining on his contract so his summer frenzy is still a year away. Trust that a lot of wthat happens behind the scenes with the Hawks and most NBA teams goes unreported. As yesterday's whirlwind involving Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James suggests, the Hawks are in good position to clear cap space if some of the big names show interest. In this sense it is all about the timing.
There is no question that Jeff Teague is a talent. What often gets overlooked in evaluating our players are the intangibles such as leadership. I've seen Teague show emotion, but never have I seen him inspire his teammates. Championship teams have passionate point guards. Tony Parker - leader, Chalmers - not a leader, but LeBron more than makes up for it, Derek Fisher - leader, Rondo - similar to Teague, but with a competitive streak that is off the charts. Could a team win a championship with Jeff Teague at the point?
I think leadership comes from within and in particularly the head coach. Teague made great strides as a player and as a leader last season in his first season under Mike Budenholzer. I expect to see further development this season. One overlooked aspect about Teague is that last season was the first time he had long term security with his contract. This season will be Year 2 under the new coaching staff and getting Horford back should go a long way towards Jeff's comfort level. From a leadership standpoint he is quiet but that doesn't mean he can't lead. Tony Parker just goes out and does his job. Leadership with the Spurs comes from Parker but also from Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli. Atlanta not only lost its best player last season when Al Horford went down but also its most vocal leader. I wouldn't write off Teague just yet.
What are the chances that Lou Williams gets moved on draft night in a deal to pick up an additional 2nd rounder or to facilitate another trade?
I think Lou is a player that the Hawks probably aggressively shopped at the deadline and his name is another that we could hear come up quite a bit this summer. Will a team be willing to take Williams as a salary dump? I can't answer that but I don't see the Hawks moving Lou just to take back an unwanted contract.
Do you think Ferry will agressively pursue Melo (or LeBron if he opts out), or do we stay flexible for another season?
This question pretty much got answered on the site yesterday with Ramona Shelburne's report of the Hawks being a sleeper for Carmelo Anthony. Later Brian Windhorst listed the Hawks among teams that are exploring trades to clear enough cap space to be able to pursue Anthony as well as LeBron James. I expect Danny Ferry to explore every available opportunity to make the team better.
Would Melo fit into the system or would he ball-stop like he's done for the last 10 years?
I saw a lot of angst from some Atlanta fans yesterday over the thought of adding a guy like Carmelo Anthony to the roster. Rather ironic in my opinion given the cries about a lack of superstar talent on the team over the last few years. Would there be concerns? Of course but the Hawks wouldn't be bringing Anthony in without talking to him about his role and what would be expected of him. There would most likely be multiple meetings between Anthony and the coaching staff before a decision would be reached.
Anthony wants to win and at some point he is going to have to adjust his game accordingly. He had one of the best statistical seasons of his career last season and is drawing a lot of criticism in my opinion for playing the exact type of game that his then head coach Mike Woodson champions. Everyone plays ISO ball under Woodson because that is what he teaches.
Is Chad Ford the only doofus to report that the Hawks may not be that thrilled with Teague?