Its been three games since Al Horford was lost for the season and the Atlanta Hawks is are currently evaluating its current situation for the remainder of the season. Losing Horford is a big blow and lets face it the Hawks aren't going to be anywhere close to the same team without him. He is too important at both ends of the floor.
That is what makes this column by the AJC's Chris Vivlamore strange. Vivlamore talks about the Hawks facing tough roster decisions in hopes of replacing Horford. That part is true. Atlanta has 15 players currently under contract and would have to cut ties with a player to sign a new one.
The most logical choice would seem to be Jared Cunningham who was just assigned to the NBA D-League for the third time this season. He however, has a guaranteed contract and the Hawks would still have to pay him should he be waived.
Atlanta does have three players on non-guaranteed deals but two of them are rotation pieces in Shelvin Mack and Mike Scott and the other, Cartier Martin played a big part in Tuesday's win over the Celtics. I'd be shocked at this point if Mack or Scott went anywhere at this point. Scott has shown tremendous improvement as a scorer and Mack might be the best story on the team.
Martin on the other hand is an interesting case seeing as how he has fallen recently out of the rotation. Part of that was due to an ankle injury but the return of Lou Williams has played a part as well. Still, Martin is capable of playing stretches at small forward and that is the position that the Hawks are weakest at even with Horford's injury.
Essentially Vivlamore suggests the Hawks would have to consider waiving any of Mack, Scott or Martin to sign the likes of Lou Amundson?
The Hawks could decide to pick up a player such as Lou Amundson, who was waived by the Pelicans Wednesday, or go after a player like Jason Maxiell, who is stuck at the end of the Magic bench. (Just names I'm throwing out).
My reaction? Why Bother?
This Hawks team has three players that are capable of playing the center position. Elton Brand, Gustavo Ayon and Pero Antic. Lou Amundson or anyone like him isn't a significant enough upgrade to even have a discussion. They added three centers this offseason and shouldn't expect to find one with comparable talent at this point. Besides if they are in the market for a player it should be for a wing where they have needed depth since the preseason.
If the Hawks said they were "exploring options" with this team then they have been exploring those same options all season long. If a trade that benefits the team and its future emerges I expect them to pursue it and pursue it hard. That is pretty much what Danny Ferry has been saying since he became Hawks GM.
The Hawks shouldn't be reactionary in this situation. They should stay the course. That is unless they know of an All-Star caliber center that is some reason out of a job.