- If Acie Law couldn't see significant run in two years under Mike Woodson, I don't see Teague seeing the floor much more. With Crawford, JoeJ and Bibby and/or Flip returning, there's not room in the backcourt for another guard that needs touches to be effective. I suppose that with Mike Woodson's "pass to Joe with 18 seconds left on the shotclock and let him run the offense" offense, the Hawks don't need a true pass first PG, but they've seemed to corner the market on veterans like Teague.
- Still, I'm more bullish on his long term potential than I ever was on Law's. Teague will be two years younger than Law was his rookie season, is significantly more athletic, and played at an elite level of college ball from the second he stepped on the court at Wake, while Law didn't really come into his own until his senior year at Texas A&M. Like most Hawks bloggers, I never felt that Woodson gave Law a fair shake and I hope he does well with GSW, but I don't think we will feel much of a difference with Teague receiving Law's 10mpg.
- Much like his Spanish national teammates Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro, I don't think I will ever be a big Ricky Rubio fan, albeit for different reasons from those two maricons. Okay, so the kid doesn't want to go to Minnesota. They have a solid young nucleus, but whatever, you were hoping for a bigger market. Unfortunately, you knew you were going in the #2-#6 range this whole time. You know what teams/markets were picking there? Memphis, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Washington (pick traded to Minny - by the way...how fucking stupid to the Wizards feel now...that's probably the one place Rubio DEFINITELY would have gone, and they had that pick 48 hours before the draft!) and Minnesota. You weren't going to a big market no matter what, Ricky. Other than OKC, there is no better situation in that group than Minnesota. If this kid is smart, and has smart folks advising him, he will be with the Wolves next year. They own his rights for the foreseeable future. Unless he wants to toil in international obscurity playing in Spain or Turkey until he's a 22-year-old fading prospect, he will sign with the Wolves and prove he can beat out a solid-but-not -spectacular American college star like Johnny Flynn.
- No clue what the Wolves were thinking with that Flynn pick. Rubio/Flynn backcourt will never work and is a defensive nightmare. Curry pick wouldn't have been much better, Hill would be buried behind Jefferson/Love, and it was probably too high to reach on DeRozan/Terrance Williams. The lesson? It's not a good thing to have eighty picks in a shitty draft.
- The Wolves just pissed me off on draft night even more by taking Ty Lawson at #18 and moving him to Denver. Three Top 18 picks, and the Wolves could seriously be looking at only Johnny Flynn to show for it. At least they got folks in the media talking about them and their GM, aye Simmons? Anyways, would have loved to see Lawson in a Hawks uni next year...quick as shit in transition, better passer than Teague, proven track record on a winning college team (matters more than you'd think....unless you went to Duke), and an injury-proneness that would fit right in. Alas...
- I've been sure of few things more than I was sure that Indiana was taking Tyler Hansborough at #11. Good jeez...Bird has destroyed that team (assist from Ron-Ron). Five years ago they were a fairly young team that was among the most talented in the league. Now their collecting average white guys like they're casting a fucking overrated Hollywood comedy.
- Speaking of white guys...hipster blogger fetishization alert!!!! Brandon. Jennings. a.k.a. Young Money. A much more reasoned, logical and less holier-than-thou take here.
- I like the Shaq deal for Cleveland...I'm not sure how so many media types and NBA fans can say that if the Cavs had acquired Shaq four months ago, it would have been a huge help against Orlando; but, now it smacks of desperation. Sure, it would have been ideal if they made the trade during the season, but they, along with EVERYONE FUCKING ELSE, thought they had more than enough to beat Orlando. Hindsight, 20/20 and all that shit.
- Shaq will help Cleveland, but the Cavs still need a consistent outside shooter than Shaq can kick it out to from the post or LeBron can fallback on when the lane collapses on him. Sheed Wallace would be a nice fit here, as Turkoglu has been priced out of their range. This season really is it for the Cavs. I see it as HIGHLY unlikely that if they win the NBA title in '10, LeBron is visiting other teams a few short weeks later as a free agent. Ergo, an NBA title is a must, and so is going out and acquiring whatever parts are necessary...cap room be damned, as it will be made up with four more seasons of LeBron in Cleveland.
- What's not to like about the VC deal to Orlando? For the first time in his career, Carter won't be called upon to carry the brunt of the scoring load. The Magic needed to figure out the sketchy Alston-Nelson PG situation and did so swiftly, while also filling their biggest need, a swingman that can slash to the basket and take advantage of the good perimeter shooting on the roster. Major balls award to the Magic brass. They could have been content with their Finals appearance and Nelson coming back at full strength. Instead, they seriously upgraded their team to the NBA elite, just in case there was any doubt they weren't there already.
- One caveat: The VC deal makes it slightly less likely the Magic will resign Hedo Turk, who made himself a ton of money after an excellent playoff run. Rightfully so, Turk's agent will seek a 4-5 year deal, and well, I'd like to offer a sympathetic cringe to the team that eventually placates to those demands (looking at you, Detroit). Turkoglu is more valuable to the Magic than any other team because the offense they run is perfect for him. With Nelson running the show, Turk and Lewis as the shooters spreading the floor, VC as the primary scoring option off the wing, and Howard more than able to hold his own down low, I couldn't imagine a starting five that fits better together. I hope they re-sign Hedo, but I wouldn't bet on it.
- Richard Jefferson to the Spurs! It's almost like Popovich and RC Buford realized that plugging their holes with crappy Euros and washed up vets was no longer working. Jefferson will provide the solid perimeter defense that Bruce Bowen received credit for but hasn't provided in four years. He'll also be able to spell Manu during the season so that he is fresher for the playoffs. I'm not gonna go overboard on the DaJuan Blair pick, but if he can provide a Big Baby/Leon Powe type infusion to the Spurs bench, that would be a plus. Suddenly, the Spurs are a solid MLE acquisition away from being "done" to throwing themselves right back into the CLE-LAL-ORL-BOS category.
- Poor Yao Ming. Being 7'6 must suck. Well except for the millions of dollars he's made. Allow me to rephrase. Being 7'6 and hailing from an oppressive communist party dictatorship that forces you to play through career-threatening injuries for a shitty national team every summer must suck.
- Anyways, I really like the way this summer is shaping up for the Lig. One of the NBA's biggest problems in recent years was non-franchise guys being paid like franchise guys (VC, Jefferson, Bosh, Gasol, Pierce, KG). All those guys have been Da Main on crappy lottery teams in the last 2-3 seasons; and now, all are on contending squads, save for Bosh (who will be paired up with either LeBron or Wade next summer, believe that). None of those guys should ever be franchise players, but put them together, or alongside true franchise players (Kobe, LBJ, Wade, Duncan, Howard) and what you're looking at is a highly competitive upper class of teams. I'm fine with this. I want to see the best players in the playoffs. It's not like baseball, where its a big-market-little-market situation, as Orlando, San Antonio, and Cleveland are all involved. Simply put, the second tier of NBA stars are realizing that if they want their ring, they need to give up some shots, let go of some ego, and play with better players. This should make for yet another great season in what is shaping up to be a phenomenal era of NBA basketball.
As far as I have seen from his game, he can do one thing well...score. He's not a great shooter, he's not a great passer. His assist-TO ratio isn't anything special. No team with Crawford starting has ever made the playoffs. No team with Crawford on the roster has either.
Now, I do like Jamal Crawford off the bench. As a 6th man, playing the Flip role of instant offense, Crawford would be a legitimate asset. If the Hawks re-sign Bibby or sign Andre Miller or some other quality starting PG (Ty Lue/Anthony Carter don't count), then Crawford off the bench, backing up both guard positions and allowing Joe to play less than 44mpg is an enormous upgrade.
I don't see it playing out that way, however. I think the Hawks brought in Crawford to be the starting PG. Unfortunately, dude needs the ball in his hands to be effective. If Joe Johnson is running the offense for 18 out of the 24 seconds of the shotclock, what is Crawford doing? If we are to believe that the Hawks already had too many shooters and were better off when someone (i.e. Marvin or Josh Smith) was out, allowing more clearly defined roles among the scorers, than how does adding another scorer to the mix help? Does this mean Marvin is gone? Can you really rock out with a starting lineup of Crawford-JoeJ-Marvin-Smoove-Horford? That could turn into one of those "I gotta get mine" Nuggets squads from 05-08 pretty quickly, and I don't see Mike Woodson as some sort of offensive genius that is able to figure it all out.
So there you go. More questions than answers with the Hawks right now. May as well wait and see what they do in free agency before the annual fretting. Credit to Sund and the Atlanta Spirit for mixing it up and doing something already this summer. Now we just got to figure out what that something is.