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News » Atlanta Hawks Getting Inside 2009-09-10

Atlanta Hawks Getting Inside 2009-09-10

Atlanta Hawks Getting Inside 2009-09-10Joe Smith came first.

Jason Collins came next.

Both were must-have veterans for the Hawks, desperate to add depth to a frontcourt rotation that's been paper-thin for years.

Sure, Smith and Collins don't exactly move the needle like Rasheed Wallace does for Boston, Brandon Bass does for Orlando or Shaquille O'Neal does for Cleveland.

But the Hawks don't care about what it looks or sounds like. They needed help up front and are more than happy to welcome two veterans with a combined 22 years of NBA experience into the fold.

"There's no doubt it helps us," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "These guys have been around the block. They know what it takes to win at a high level and they know the roles we're going to ask them to play on this team. It's a huge statement for us to add two guys of their ilk."

Both players signed one-year deals for the veteran's minimum of $1.3 million. They are the only two free agents outside of the family the Hawks recruited and landed this summer, which would explain the Hawks' open pursuit of both players.

The tactic worked, too.

"When you're a free agent, that's key," Smith said. "How a team recruits you and what they do to try and get you in their organization says a lot about them. The last month or so the Hawks have been coming hard at me. And that shows how much they wanted me down here and they think I can bring to this situation."

Collins said his decision boiled down to wanting to be back in a winning situation after watching the playoffs on television in New Jersey, Memphis and Minnesota the last three seasons.

"Atlanta has been a great team the past couple of years," Collins said. "I'm just glad to be a part of an organization and part of a playoff team. There's a great front office in place, a great coaching staff a great city and great community. I'm looking forward to being part of all that."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: September 10, 2009


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