Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blessed Insurance

On the first pass, the trade of Acie Law and Speedy Claxton to Oakland for Jamal Crawford seems a simple equation:

Nothing for Something = Good!

But the trade, while inspiring some "Hey, we're active!" from those of us who watched as the Magic went to the Finals and the Wizards look ready to Flip their record (ah? ah? Clever!), has brought up perhaps more questions and angles than it answered.

To wit, there are variables that have yet to be resolved which obscure what the organ-i-zation may intend with this deal---assuming it's more than the parsimonious just give me your something for my nothing .

Mike Bibby:

With Crawford on board, does he get resigned? One might think that, with Crawford perpetuating the Hawks' stand-around-and-dribble-then-shoot-a-jumper offense, that having Bibby on board would nicely augment the new addition, given that he would be drawing the defense toward him and giving Crawford the same kind of "protection" that Joe Johnson received the day Bibby was able to healthily don Hawks gear officially.

Others could consider that doing so would make Crawford an expensive Hawk ornament and an expensive upgrade to RFM.


Does the arrival of Crawford mean that, assuming a re-signed Bibby and incumbent Joe Johnson, that the terrific season that RFM had would be a one-season show?

With the noted--ummm--deficiencies---on defense with Crawford and the already well documented defensive weaknesses of Mike Bibby, letting RFM go would leave Johnson as the only guard currently on the roster who looks like they were taking notes when Professor Defense was teaching his class.

The Draft:

The HHB is satisfied that the team upgraded the roster (assuming all else remains) without sweetening the deal with the valued asset that is an NBA first round draft pick.

But does the trade for Crawford mean anything related to what the Hawks will do with the #19 pick in the draft? Will it mean that they will now pass on any younger option in the backcourt with now another guard (who will actually play) on the roster?

Will they feel enabled to select a big man---and yes, we're all wincing about the prospects of another ACC big man "gracing" the roster---on a roster that sorely needs more talent and size, especially with the unknown of Zaza Pachulia's free agency?

Anyone Who Isn't A Guard:

One wonders, again--assuming the roster remains intact, if the Hawks frontcourt will either bother to practice thier shooting in the offseason?

Can you imagine a roster with Bibby, Johnson, RFM, and now the quick draw of Jamal Crawford? If Al Horford can get (5) shots a game, it will be because he is killing it on the offensive glass.

Sayyyyy--What, Say What, Say What?

So how does it all compute in the Official HHB Thought-O-Meter?

First of all, let's state a fact that this trade obviously brought out---that Acie Law was not trusted or being counted by the team to be the point guard of the future for the Hawks. Law now joins Sheldon Williams as former lottery picks that were quickly shipped off for a veteran guard near the end of his expensive contract when it was obvious that they weren't going to make a positive impact in the NBA.

That the Hawks Nation of Bloggers (HNB) had this nailed by the end of the season--so much so in fact that it was obvious to everyone that Point Guard was still a present and future need--speaks to the obviousness of this fact.

The HHB must have had the ol' ears burning when we decided to reach out (via Twitter) to our Tweet-buddy and now former Hawk Speedy Claxton to get some info about if he had been given any direction about where he would be next year. Within an hour, though not be a Claxton response, we had our answer.

Bottom line---Bringing in Crawford not only gives the Hawks a useful player for two players the team had no use for, but also provides insurance in case either Bibby or RFM won't be back. At this point it's unknown what Bibby or RFM will receive as offers for their services. If the Hawks were simply going to sit back and expect that one or both of them would be back, it would leave them in a weaker position should both of them get offers that were financially prohibitive to match and at that point scrambling for any talent life raft that may not be available at that point.

It's a proactive move that gives the Hawks options--a nice bit of decision making that could be considered unusual to longtime Bird Watchers, but certainly welcome.

1 comment:

kilmoonie said...

That's kind of where I am at right now...

I do NOT want Crawford as my starting PG, I really don't. But the scenario of both Bibby and Flip leaving (not to mention Zaza) was scary. This does protect us a fair deal.

I just hope Crawford is okay with coming off the bench if the desired scenario works out. Joe should be able to rest a little more too, which is nice.