We still await the morning of the 8th, where we will see what actually happens when pen moves onto paper all across the NBA.
But we felt compelled to comment about Zaza Pachulia, about whom Sekou Smith on Twitter (@sekousmith01) and republished @ Hoopinion said the Hawks made "their case" to the unrestricted free agent big man Monday afternoon.
That the Hawks made their case sounds more like explanation that proposition, but maybe that's just an odd choice of words for the excellent beat writer Smith. However after appearing on The Bill Shanks Show on Monday, Smith, Shanks, and company sounded less than enthusiastic regarding the odds of Zaza returning to the Hawks next season.
It would make sense, considering the needs in Houston and Orlando that Pachulia would be in demand. Also, given the money that Marcin Gortat and Glen Davis are set to be offered by the Mavs and Spurs respectively, close to full MLE (5 and 30-33 million) if reports are to be correct, it might be fiscally prudent to let Pachulia mosey to those significantly green pastures.
However, if Pachulia should walk, it's important that the Hawks address his absence with not just David Andersen as discussed in our previous entry, but with an additional big man as well, giving the Hawks a Plus One in the big man category. Since the Hawks have been mired near the bottom half of the league in rebounding rates despite having a terrific offensive rebounder in Pachulia and a top 15 defensive rebounder in Horford, it makes sense that this is an area that would have to be addressed.
In regards to signing both Andersen and another big man (McDyess and Gooden would be our first two options) the question came up regarding whether we had the cap space to sign both. The Hawks, with their cap holds for their free agents (Bibby, Childress, Williams) along with their current commitments are expected to be over the cap, meaning that they would need to and could use the Mid-Level Exception (MLE) to sign McDyess or Gooden (see how the HHB is trying to creep those names). As for Andersen, the Hawks still retain his draft rights and he carries a zero dollar cap value from being a second round pick, so the Hawks can sign him as they would this year's second round pick.
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