Friday, July 11, 2008

Josh Childress Free Agency

People that have read my stuff over the years know that I feel two things about the Hawks' restricted free agent, Josh Childress:

1. That he is a Shane Battier type glue guy who does many things very efficiently and is present/needed on any kind of winning team.

2. That he probably does not warrant a starting SG spot on a team.

I think that, over the last 3 seasons, Chilldress has proven that a starting spot on a team isn't above him, but it has to be a team that regards Childress as a supplementary player on that end, loose balls and spot up 3's type roles.

It is in that role that Josh excels and that's why teams have been interested in him for the past couple of seasons (especially that he has established himself as a high percentage/efficiency player).

I have felt that his pending free agency has always been the more interesting one of the two Joshes (Josh Smith being the other) this postseason for another couple of reasons.

1. Because of his price point (considerably less than Smith's), more teams would be interested, thereby increasing the intrigue.

2. I never felt that the Hawks really understood his value throughout the league and would let him go, even at the exception level (which most team would offer).

This is why I wanted to talk to him during my only trip into Philips this year. The conversation did not surprise me, as he is such a solid guy and very honest about what he wants.

He wants to play. Not just play 37 minutes one night, and then 17 the next. He wants a solid role on a team that includes consistent starters minutes.


“To be honest, the opportunity to play will be important,” says Childress about what he would be looking for as a free agent. “That’s something that will be my main factor—where I can play the most.”

While it would be a risk, unless Childress finds a place where he can feel like he is getting his number one priority, consistent starter's minutes, I don't know if he'll sign any tender or sign and trade. If he plays out his option, he finds himself free to choose wherever he wants to play, but it means that he risks injury AND maybe not finding any place that will offer what he wants (apart from money).

The Hawks seem intent now on signing him (amazing how that coin in your pocket gets a little shinier when others are interested in taking it off your hands), which is good, because I believe the Hawks are better with Childress on the floor, but would the Hawks hold the line if, say, a legitimate center were offered as part of a S-N-T?

All of which makes the Childress RFA very interesting and considerably more unpredictable than the market setting FA tour that the "other" Josh has embarked on.

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