Marvin's tendering was no surprise--the team definitely wants to control things while they decide whether to extend/match him, trade him, or let him sign and play out his tender, leaving him unrestricted next season.
The Josh Childress move was also expected, as they would like to get something for him if he wants to rejoin the NBA and he costs them nothing (either cap or otherwise) if he plays overseas again next season.
What was less expected were the tenders of Solomon Jones and Mario West. Under CBA rules, the Hawks had to present a contract for a million dollars to each of them, above the approximate 770K they played for last season. That the Hawks felt so compelled to grant this raise and not let them take their chances as unrestricted free agents was surprising, given that their production was sub-par by any statistical measurement. It already hurts to have good guy Mo Evans getting paid 2.5 million for his less than average statistical achievements (PER 11.1), but to grant .6 million extra in cap space to two guys who the HHB believes would have a hard time finding a roster spot elsewhere, much less more than the minimum grinds the salary cap gears even more. If we were Jones and West, we'd sign those tenders immediately--before the Hawks changed their minds--but the HHB has been wayyy wrong before.
What else we learned on Tuesday:
We learned that Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur are not simply dumb jocks---they took their 12.3 and 9.0 million respectively and decided to stay put for one more year--until the cap friendly Summer of 2010. This puts the Jazz precariously close to luxury tax territory and having to make a tough choice on their own restricted free agent, Paul Millsap.
Our buddy, Ric Bucher, was kind to the Hawks today (Insider required) as he listed the ATL as potential fits for free agents Ben Gordon and Anderson Varejao, who opted out of his contract today and become a free agent. We had to laugh and agree with Bucher's assessment of Gordon as a fit for the Hawks, since they are stockpiling isolation scorers in Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford, and first round pick Jeff Teague, of whom the HHB has likened to Gordon in style and scoring. The Hawks won't get him since after all the Hawks own free agents and Teague is signed, there will likely be nothing more than the exception to work with, and that won't get it for Gordon, even if the Hawks were interested.
Varejao is a classic overstated role player who dipped in rebounding rate last season. He's a mid-level guy who sounds like he believes he is much more like Carlos Boozer. He's not.
Looks like Jason Kidd is going to make a date with the New York Knicks in an attempt to get the Dallas Mavericks jealous and pay him. He's a better fit with Dallas due to Dirk and JT and the Dallas offense than in New York but we'd sure like a point guard like him in Atlanta.
An interesting player that will be available as a potential Zaza replacement is Orlando's Marcin Gortat, who was very productive in a backup role behind Dwight Howard. His rebounding rates are similar to Pachulia, but his shot blocking rate is far higher, which always enthuses the HHB galleries. It remains to be seen if the lesser experienced Gortat receives less lucrative offers than Zaza, but we would like to see another shot blocker up front--should almost be a pre-requisite of the center position.
Related to free agency, Detroit ran Michael Curry out after one season as head coach, ostensibly to be able to sell the team better to free agents (seems odd to create chaos to ensure stability). Debating whether he deserved to go in light of GM Joe Dumars (isn't it obvious the Pistons are about him and no coach) ripping out Chauncey Billups, bringing in Allen Iverson, and alienating Rip Hamilton is irrelevant---don't you think Mike Woodson is happy he chose Atlanta instead of "waiting his turn" in Detroit?
As Dominique once told the HHB, that's why he'd never coach. He said "Coaches come and go--and the executives stay." So true.
Here is an updated list of free agents for 2009 with their corresponding PER (Hawks players in bold) and will be updated regularly:
|Free Agents (restricted)||PER|
|David Lee (RFA)||19.07|
|Nate Robinson (RFA)||18.95|
|Paul Millsap (RFA)||18.77|
|Ramon Sessions (RFA)||17.65|
|Marcin Gortat (RFA)|
|Hakim Warrick (RFA)||16.91|
|Marvin Williams (RFA)||16.04|
|Raymond Felton (RFA)||13.80|
|Jarrett Jack (RFA)||13.10|
|Solomon Jones (RFA)||12.08|
|Glen Davis (RFA)||10.77|
|Mario West (RFA)|