Did you all wake up?
Did you wonder if it was a dream?
Are you anxious to know that the deals yesterday that sent Joe Johnson to Brooklyn and Marvin Williams to Salt Lake City really happened? Or are you just wondering what Danny Ferry has up his sleeve next?
After all, it wasn't long after folks got the buzz of the stunning early evening trades that re-invented the Hawks' image across the NBA landscape that John Hollinger, Zach Lowe and the like were already framing the moves as a pre-cursor to ideas that Hawks fans thought never possible to associate with the franchise.
Dwight Howard? Chris Paul? Come on, stop it. Let's us enjoy the bold strokes of re-invention before we let ourselves dream again.
But it all happened. Joe Johnson and his contract are on the Nets' cap now. Marvin and the constant images in the mirror that are Chris Paul and Deron Williams are Utah's to discuss.
So what now?
Well, for some, it may be time for reflection -- a time to say thank you to a shooting guard who came into the franchise and immediately changed things -- though that change started in ownership.
Joe's arrival was disputed by Steve Belkin and the dissonance surrounding Joe never seemed to go away. From debating whether he was the type of player a franchise could build around (and given the cost of acquisition, that seemed his role) to what position could he truly play (was he going to run the team from the point) to ultimately how he would be used in games and his subsequent free agency, Joe Johnson never stopped being a focal point of some discussion about what he was and wasn't for the team.
Lost in all of that analysis was some fine production, league-wide recognition for one of our own and some very bold shooting late in games. Here's how he ranks in Atlanta Hawks history (as brought to you by basketball-reference.com):
- 11th in Games Played
- 9th in PER (18.1)
- 7th in Assist Rate
- 9th in Win Shares
- 4th in Offensive Win Shares
- 4th in Total Points
- 4th in Total Assists
- 2nd in 3-Pointers Made and Attempted
- 5th in Field Goals made and 4th in Attempted
Add in the All-Star and playoff appearances (six, famously) and given that he was the best guy on the court for the Hawks until Al Horford bloomed and Josh Smith fully developed and you can make the case for Joe Johnson to be the fifth or sixth best Atlanta Hawks of all-time.
While more than a few Hawks watchers wanted to get out from under the weight of his gargantuan contract so that the franchise can rebuild around Horford and Smith, I would wager that almost everyone appreciates what Joe Johnson was and what he did as a member of the Hawks.
As for Marvin, it will always be about who he wasn't rather than what he was for the Hawks. For a brief moment the season before he got his 5 year, 37.5 million dollar contract, Marvin seemed to be coming forward, attaining career highs in PER and Win Shares and was finding his sweet spot on the team. After returning from an injury, Marvin was greeted by the Philips Arena crowd with a standing ovation, a noted show of support from a fan base that still smarted from not getting Chris Paul instead. We were treated to Marvin's excellence at the Rubix Cube as well as his trademark (ahem) duck walk.
But something turned sour again for Marvin immediately after the re-signing -- his confidence fell off as did his numbers. His role in the starting lineup, once solid, was shaken. This past season he returned to shooting better from long range, and he still has excellent athleticism so there's hope that Marvin finds success and his place out in Utah.
In the bold strokes that Danny Ferry took July 2nd, Hawks fans got what we wanted -- and then some. A new re-shaping of the organization and hope. And while we look forward to the future we can now safely look back at these two players, players who represent two of the Top 13 Atlanta Hawks in games played and service, and say thank you and good luck.