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News » Roster, draft fill Hawks' to-do list 2009-05-19


Roster, draft fill Hawks' to-do list 2009-05-19


Roster, draft fill Hawks' to-do list  2009-05-19
The good vibrations from a 47-win season and first-round playoff series win were undone by the four-game sweep against Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

But it's hard to dismiss all the Hawks accomplished in their best season of this century, so to speak.

"I don't think you do all that and rank as one of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference without being a pretty good team," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "You have to tip your hat to the guys in our locker room because they made it happen. They made it happen.

"We all set goals, and sometimes goals are not always reached. But we were able to get it accomplished with all the people out there betting against us. And that speaks volumes for the guys in our locker room."

What that locker room looks like going forward remains to be seen. With the June NBA draft and the start of the July free agency free-for-all still to come, it should be a while before things begin to take shape. Woodson is entering the final year of his contract, and only seven of 15 players are signed through next season.

A brief look back and peek ahead at the players on the Hawks' roster:

Joe Johnson, guard

Ht., wt.: 6-foot-7, 240 pounds

2008-09 stats: 21.4 points, 5.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds

Signed through: 2009-10

Next season's salary: $14.9 million

Outlook: Johnson made his third consecutive All-Star appearance this season but struggled throughout the playoffs. No doubt worn down by playing more than 3,100 minutes during the regular season, he'll enter the final year of his five-year deal with major decisions to make about his future.

Josh Smith, forward

Ht., wt.: 6-9, 245

2008-09 stats: 15.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists

Signed through: 2012-13

Next season's salary: $10.8 million

Outlook: Smith led the Hawks in points, rebounds, blocks and steals during the playoffs, proving once again that he can raise his game to higher levels when necessary. But he still has plenty of room to improve his overall arsenal, particularly his shooting stroke from outside the paint.

Al Horford, center/forward

Ht., wt.: 6-10, 245

2008-09 stats: 11.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists

Signed through: 2010-11

Next season's salary: $4.3 million

Outlook: Injuries to his right ankle (12 games during the regular season and again in the playoffs) overshadowed a standout sophomore season for Horford, whose offensive repertoire must expand if he's going command the sort of low-post attention needed to balance the Hawks' offensive attack.

Mo Evans, guard/forward

Ht., wt.: 6-5, 220

2008-09 stats: 7.2 points, 3.0 rebounds

Signed through: 2010-11

Next season's salary: $2.5 million

Outlook: Another member of the Josh Childress bailout strategy, Evans turned out to be one of the Hawks' most dependable players, starting 26 games in relief of Williams and Johnson during the regular season and another eight in the playoffs for Williams.

Acie Law IV, guard

Ht., wt.: 6-3, 202

2008-09 stats: 2.9 points, 1.1 rebounds

Signed through: 2010-11

Next season's salary: $2.7 million

Outlook: Law's first two seasons as the Hawks' point guard of the future have been a bust because of injuries and the fact that he has played an average of 12.8 minutes in 111 career games. Don't be surprised to see the sides decide to part ways this summer, with Law in search of more playing time.

Speedy Claxton, guard

Ht., wt.: 5-11, 170

2008-09 stats: 2.5 points, 1.5 assists

Signed through: 2009-10

Next season's salary: $5.7 million

Outlook: The Speedy Claxton experiment got off to a shaky start when an injury derailed his first season. He never recovered, missing the next two seasons with injuries and inactivity after Bibby arrived. His expiring contract is a huge piece to the Hawks' draft and free-agent puzzle this summer.

Randolph Morris, center

Ht., wt.: 6-11, 275

2008-09 stats: 0.9 rebounds, 0.8 points

Signed through: 2009-10

2009-10 salary: $855,189

Outlook: Morris never earned enough playing time for anyone to truly evaluate what he could give this team. He played only 89 minutes during the regular season and eight in the postseason.

Free agentsMike Bibby, guard

Ht., wt.: 6-2, 195

2008-09 stats: 14.9 points, 5.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds

Outlook: Bibby provided the Hawks exactly what they needed in his 130 games in uniform: leadership and shot-making that led to two playoff appearances after nearly a decade absence from the postseason. His future with the team depends on the price tag of a new contract.

Marvin Williams, forward

Ht., wt.: 6-9, 240

2008-09 stats: 13.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists

Next season's salary: $7.3 million (qualifying offer)

Outlook: The only restricted free agent in the group, injuries (back and wrist) derailed what was a breakout season for Williams, who was arguably the Hawks' most consistent player from late December to early March. Like Bibby, his immediate and long-term future with the team depends on how contract negotiations go this summer.

Flip Murray, guard

Ht., wt.: 6-3, 200

2008-09 stats: 12.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists

Outlook: The Hawks rescued Murray from a year in Russia with a one-year deal, and he in turn rescued them from the Josh Childress debacle last summer. After a stellar season off the bench as sixth man, he'll be looking for a little more security, with the Hawks or someone else.

Zaza Pachulia, center

Ht., wt.: 6-11, 270

2008-09 stats: 6.2 points, 5.7 rebounds

Outlook: Pachulia's four-year run with the Hawks began as a starter and ended with him serving as Horford's primary backup. If he wants to continue in the latter, his representatives and the Hawks will have to negotiate a similar contract to the $16 million deal he signed in the summer of 2005.

Solomon Jones, forward/center

Ht., wt.: 6-10, 245

2008-09 stats: 3.0 points, 2.3 rebounds

Outlook: Jones outlasted his classmate, 2006 first-round pick Shelden Williams, in the locker room at Philips Arena. He played well early in the season while Smith was injured, but his role decreased dramatically as the season wore on. That can't bode well for his future with the team.

Othello Hunter, forward

Ht., wt.: 6-8, 230

2008-09 stats: 1.4 points, 1.5 rebounds

Outlook: Perhaps the most impressive of the Hawks' youngsters because of the strides he made from training camp to the end of the season. Showed a strong work ethic that earned him late-season and playoff minutes that could have gone to others.

Thomas Gardner, guard

Ht., wt.: 6-5, 225

2008-09 stats: 1.5 points, 0.4 rebounds

Outlook: Gardner showed glimpses of his offensive potential when he played, but he played only 98 minutes. He never carved out a niche for himself in Woodson's system and doesn't seem likely to return.

Mario West, guard/forward

Ht., wt.: 6-5, 210

2008-09 stats: 1.1 rebounds, 0.8 points

Outlook: West has defied the odds, making the team in each of the past two seasons in training camp. If the Hawks aren't careful, some other team will snatch up the former Georgia Tech standout, who is an excellent situational defender but too much of a liability on offense to be much more right now. Under contract


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 19, 2009

 

 
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