The Hawks used draft day and night to clean out the old and bring in the new on the point guard front.Jamal Crawford (via trade) and Jeff Teague (19th pick in draft) make up the new. Acie Law IV and Speedy Claxton are the old guard, having been shipped to Golden State in the deal for Crawford.
The Hawks and Golden State finalized the trade just hours before the draft, changing the entire scope of the Hawks' free agent pursuit of starting point guard Mike Bibby and backup guard Flip Murray, both unrestricted free agents.
The movement has all the players with new teams smiling.
"I'm excited," Crawford said of the move to Atlanta. "They're a winning team. They went to the playoffs, the second round. It could be a really good fit for me."
Teague was the seventh point guard taken in the draft, but the Wake Forest sophomore is convinced that years from now he will rise to the top of the heap.
"I feel like when you look back down the road I'm going to be the best point guard taken in this draft," Teague said via conference call from his home in Indianapolis. "With my potential and my work ethic, I feel like I'm going to be the best. Those other teams are going to realize they passed up on a great point guard and the Hawks got me."
Law was the 11th pick in the 2007 draft and was viewed as the Hawks' point guard of the future but never could crack the playing rotation. In two years with the Hawks, Law started just seven games and averaged just 12.8 minutes.
"I'm excited for a fresh start," Law said. "I just want to go somewhere I can play and show what I can do. I spoke with the (Warriors') general manager (Larry Riley) and he told me to bring my running shoes, because I'm going to get a chance to play and do what I do.
"It just didn't work out here in Atlanta. Mike (Bibby) came in and did well and the team did well and it is what it is. I can't complain about anything that went on in Atlanta. But I feel good about this move, my family is excited and I'm excited for what's next in my career."
Claxton was a raging disappointment as the Hawks' answer to their point guard woes in the summer of 2006. He started just 31 games at point guard in his first season with the Hawks, 2006-07, and played in only two more games after that due to a series of injuries.
Crawford, 29, will be playing on his fourth team when he joins the Hawks. He averaged 19.7 points, 4.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds last season, splitting his time with New York and Golden State.
After bouncing around throughout his career, he said Atlanta looks like home, at least for the next two years.
"I hope so," said Crawford, who said his 11-year-old son lives here in Atlanta. "I definitely hope so. Going from New York to Golden State was a weird situation for me. I did everything that was asked of me and really that's all you can do. But this change could be really good for me. It's really a perfect fit."