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Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 7:57 pm  |  42 responses

Links: Trade For The Hawks?

Plus, Media Day video!

by Lang Whitaker

OK, tired and run-down here, so much so that I didn’t even make it to Steve Nash’s soccer game tonight. HOWEVA!, last night I went to the New Era/EA Sports/Blake Griffin party at the New Era flagship store, though I didn’t get to speak to Blake. (And I wasn’t really trying to, considering Cub had him locked.) Then today I went out to the Media Day stuff, and I videoed that experience.

But first, quickly, the Hawks and Warriors are close to making a trade. The Hawks would move Speedy Claxton and Acie Law, who played about 20 minutes combined last season, to Golden State in exchange for Jamal Crawford. As weird as this deal sounds, I think it works for Atlanta, for several reasons.

Now, I am also assuming that the Hawks wouldn’t trade for Crawford and then re-sign Mike Bibby. You don’t have a guy making $9 million a year chilling on the bench. (Well, the Hawks don’t do that.) So my guess — and this is only a guess — is that the Hawks are bringing in Crawford and then spending the $5 million they save on Marvin Williams and Zaza Pachulia. And then with the 19th pick tomorrow they’ll draft a point guard.

Again, that’s just my initial guess. If that’s what the Hawks are doing, here’s why I like this move:

1. The Hawks are basically giving away dead weight and getting in return a guy who can play the 1 or the 2. Yes, Claxton and Law are expiring contracts next summer, but we don’t need two guys not playing taking up cap space. And Law and Claxton were not going to play on the Hawks this season.

2. Crawford isn’t much of a defender, which is what earns one playing time in the Mike Woodson regime. Then again, Crawford is a better defender than Mike Bibby. You, my reader, whoever you are, are likely a better defender than Mike Bibby.

3. Crawford’s best asset is his ability to go one-on-one and break guys down off the dribble. And that’s pretty much all the Hawks do on offense, so he’ll fit right in.

4. Crawford isn’t much of a ballhandler, but Bibby wasn’t really either. As long as Jamal can get the ball up the floor and get the Hawks into their offense, that’s all they need. Because they’re going to go one-on-one eventually anyway.

The one area where the Hawks lose ground is in leadership. One of the Hawks players once told me that the one thing Bibby brought the day he showed up was “swagger,” and that helped push the Hawks to a higher level. I’m not sure if Joe Johnson has that in him, and I don’t know that any other current Hawks do either. So maybe we can sign a vet/locker room guy.

Then again, this isn’t a done deal. Until it is, we’ll wait.

I’ll be posting this year’s Draft hats contest shortly on the homepage. In the meantime, here’s the video I took today at the 2009 NBA Draft media day…

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  • http://ballislife.com/ Moose

    Muscle Watch (TM)?

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Muscle Watch had to weight, I mean wait. This is too early fo muscle watch, anyway.

  • Jeronimo

    The trade seems to be real now. And “You, my reader, whoever you are, are likely a better defender than Mike Bibby.” was straight cruel, hahaha.

  • http://ballislife.com/ Moose

    I got it Lang. I trust you got the email that I sent you with my nomination? And very punny haha.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    FWIW, I’m told the Crawford trade doesn’t rule out Bibby coming back — it’s moreso just protection against Bibby leaving.

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    but does this trade eventually will mean: The Hawks are yet again, not going anywhere? Still going one-on-one (like you said), 4 guys watching, you might win some games, and will get bounced out of the Playoffs in the first or second round?

  • Ryan.T.

    I don’t quite understand what you mean by saying this:

    3. Crawford’s best asset is his ability to go one-on-one and break guys down off the dribble. And that’s pretty much all the Hawks do on offense, so he’ll fit right in.

    4. Crawford isn’t much of a ballhandler….

    -You say his best ability is his ABILITY TO BREAK DOWN A DEFENDER OFF THE DRIBBLE, but HE ISN’T MUCH OF A BALLHANDLER??

  • doyouwantmore

    Lang, why you can’t give Bibby just a tiny bit of credit? He’s the veteran starting point-guard for your favorite team, a team that got better after he showed up. He’s no savior or all-star but dang! Bibby is still a valuable guy. He’s not CP3 or Nash, but he’s better than a lot of other pg’s that get disproportionate respect from SLAM. *coughstephonmarburycough*.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @doyouwantmore I hear you. But after seeing the PLayoffs when Cleveland isolates against him and score on 7 or 8 plays in a row, over and over and over, I’m ready to try something else.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Good stuff, Lang. I love that Ricky shouted out Lamar.

  • http://Egotastic.com Michael

    Now Joe can score 50 for 4 teams.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Would the Hawks ever try to have a line-up with (1. Bibby) and (2. Crawford) and (3. Joe Johnson) ???

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Have fun with this chucking jagoff lang. F jamal.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Joe johnson could run the offense though.

  • http://www.sprint.com/pre dma

    yeah i agree.. if they can’t get bibby, they’ve got crawford, another combo guard. and i’m sure this means flip murray is gone too.

  • http://www.hoopsmanifesto.blogspot.com Jeff Fox

    So does this mean that Crawford finally plays in the playoffs, or will he bring his wretched curse with him to infect the Hawks?

  • Moped

    Sorry, but Crawford may be the worst defender in the NBA. Bibby is bad but there is NO POSSIBLE WAY he is worse than Crawford. Also, the best thing about Crawford’s game is his ball handling. Sick crossover. Not a good passer, no, but an excellent ballhandler. I hate when “experts” opine on players they obviously don’t know.

  • http://fjdkslf.com Jukai

    Lang: if you think bringing in Crawford is going to stop isolation plays from opposing teams, you’re up for a very rude awakening.

  • http://www.sonicbids.com/shaemorin doyouwantmore

    I think if Bibby could check his ego he would be a pretty awesome back-up for a contender. Lang is right about the guy’s defensive shortcomings but he’s still a starter-caliber player. Maybe he would fit with the Warriors or Knicks.

  • Hubert

    I’m your reader Lang. And yes, I’m a better defender than Bibby. IMO

  • niQ

    GS thinking of waiving claxton. so basically crawford for acie law.. which.. is a steal, for the hawks..

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Wretched curse? Dude was stuck on the rebuilding Bulls AND the festering corpse of the Knicks his entire career. How is that his “curse”?

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Still, if you had to make a choice, I’d think Bibby is the better option. Crawford has a ton of pros over Bibby, but his cons are worrisome. If the Hawks can end up with both of them though, great.

  • Homie

    Thabeet rocking the sweater! They grow em preppy in Connecticut!

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Shaq just got traded to the Cavs. I’m gonna post a feature 1 momentarily…

  • http://www.jakeandamir.com tealish

    Not much of a ball-handler? Dude has crazy handles and probably the quickest dribble and crossover in the L. Now if you mean ball-handler in the sense that he likes bringing it up the court and running the offense, then sure I get your point. But his ball-handling capabilities are just fine.

  • http://slamonline.com B. Long

    Nice call, Lang. Crawford in ATL is a good look.

  • A_C

    Hey Lang congratulations on Team USA beating Spain
    in Confederations Cup

  • nicko

    CRAWFORD NOT MUCH OF A BALLHANDLER?!?!?! go to youtube and look what he does to ppl…(kirk hinrich)

  • max

    lol i just noticed that rubio, in this video, dead-up reminds me of pedro from napoleon dynamite… just wanted to point that out…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    They should get a real point guard and bring Crawford off the bench.
    Crawford and Flip would put a lot of pressure on opposing backcourts.
    They also would defend NO ONE, but hey, what can you do?

  • Tenorca

    As a Warrior fan, I am displeased. Acie Law? Really? We traded Al Harrington for Jamal Crawford for Acie Law and the corpse of Speedy Claxton? What trash.
    Crawford is maddening though—some nights he’d be absolutely ridiculous: 40 points, half dozen dimes, shooting at 55%. Then he’d go 2-15 the next night. Enjoy that.
    Oh. And Lang: he has a really nice handle, so I disagree with you there.

  • Myung

    Allen, I agree with you…that we should bring Crawford off the bench (6th man of the year!) and that we need to pick up a PG. I disagree with you on Flip though. I don’t see us offering nearly enough money for his liking, and I see him walking away from the team to go play for someone else, which is fine with me (I was one of his biggest critics this past season). Flip is a gifted scorer, but he is completely superfluous with Crawford on the team now. It’s time to let Bibby and Flip walk, draft a PG or two tonight, and use whatever $ we have left on signing a big man this summer.

  • Myung

    Tenorca, Hawks fans have experienced maddening players: Josh Smith and Flip Murray, as exhibits A and B. We’re sort of numb to the concept by now. Like we did with Josh, you learn to take the bad with the good.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Myung: Flip is like Travis Outlaw– Both very gifted, with lots of potential, who take really bad shots.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    JAMAL! COME BACK TO THE KNICKS!

  • http://nationofmillions.ca Ciolkstar

    Flip is nowhere near as good as Travis Outlaw, as scorers they’re simialr, but Outlaw brings a lot more to the table.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    Flip is expendable with Crawford in the mix. Bibby is still not though. Crawford is not an adequate replacement for Bibby. Bring back Bibby and you have a squad that’s just as good defensively and much better offensively than last year. Replace Bibby and Flip with Crawford and a rookie PG and you’ve taken a huge step back.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Hawks/Warriors deal is done, I’m told.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    Darn Lang. Tired and run down. Even Jordan Hill and Thabeet came out to the game. And thanks for the compliment about my D.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » 2009 NBA Draft Grades, Pt. 1

  • Cmac

    it’s true mike bibby can’t defend a parked car

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