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News » Atlanta Hawks Roster Report 2009-06-10

Atlanta Hawks Roster Report 2009-06-10

Atlanta Hawks Roster Report 2009-06-10
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: For all that Joe Johnson and Josh Smith did for the Hawks, leading the team in just about every statistical category between them, veteran point guard Mike Bibby was the runaway winner for the team's most valuable player. The Hawks dealt with myriad injuries during the season and were able to tread water without everyone but Bibby. In the two games he missed, the Hawks got belted by 31 points at home by the Los Angeles Clippers and lost a heartbreaker in Denver when a healthy Bibby might have made the difference between winning and losing. His steady hand at the controls the last year and half meant the difference between a stumbling and bumbling 30-something win team and a 47-win team that earned one of the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference playoff field.

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: For the second year in a row, Acie Law IV's season was marred by injuries and his inability to carve out a niche for himself in the Woodson's playing rotation. The No. 11 pick in the 2008 NBA draft, Law's time with the Hawks might be up. They can't afford to wait any longer for him to assert himself.

FREE AGENT FOCUS: The Hawks have more work to do retaining their own free agents than they do wooing any others. Mike Bibby is unrestricted. So are Flip Murray and Zaza Pachulia, as well. Marvin Williams is restricted.

The Hawks have plenty of financial flexibility with Bibby's mammoth deal ($15.5 million last season) off the books.

Will they spend, and wisely, is the question?

They have a free agent grocery list as long as Pachulia's leg awaiting them. They need a starting point guard, a backup shooting guard, a backup center and quality backups for all of them.

Hawks general manager Rick Sund refused to list priority order where the free agents are concerned. But he made it clear that the Hawks intend to keep their "core group together" going forward.

Two players on the Hawks' radar played on the same team last season. Restricted free agents Charlie Villanueva (small forward, power forward) and Ramon Sessions (point guard) worked in Milwaukee last year without contract extensions being discussed by the cash-strapped franchise.

There's a feeling around the league that the Bucks won't be able to keep either one of them, opening the floodgates for teams like the Hawks that are searching for help at both spots.


--G Acie Law IV wants in on the playing time. And if that doesn't come in a Hawks uniform, he's prepared to pursue his future elsewhere. But the Hawks' brass still believes in the former lottery pick. So forecasts about his departure this summer might be a bit premature.

--F Josh Smith watched the Western Conference finals in person, at least part of it. He went to Denver for the Nuggets' Game 4 win, trying to see where his team is lacking compared to the league's truly elite teams. Smith is headed back to the lab this summer to shore up his own game, including his mid-range shooting game.


--Al Horford (right ankle) won't need surgery in the offseason and will be ready for training camp.

--Marvin Williams (right wrist, back) won't need surgery in the offseason but his injury issues will add a little spice to his negotiations for a new contract from the Hawks (or perhaps another team).

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


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