2009-10 NBA Season Preview: Atlanta Hawks



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com




Atlanta Hawks (Last Year: 47-35)

Depth Chart:

C: Al Horford/Zaza Pachulia/Jason Collins

PF: Josh Smith/Joe Smith/Randolph Morris

SF: Marvin Williams/Maurice Evans/Othello Hunter

SG: Joe Johnson/Jamal Crawford

PG: Mike Bibby/Jeff Teague

Head Coach: Mike Woodson (7th year)

2009-2010 Team Salary: $67.0 million

Projected 2010-2011 Team Salary: approximately $49.0 million



Off-Season Grade: Aced

All things considered, the Hawks had a very productive offseason. They re-signed their veteran point guard Mike Bibby to a very reasonable 3-year, $21 million contract. Atlanta then turned the expiring contracts and worthless dead weight of Acie Law and Speedy Claxton into scoring guard Jamal Crawford. Crawford does have $19 million-plus left on the next two years of his contract, but adds some much needed depth to a thin Hawks roster. The upgrading of the backcourt continued during the draft when the Hawks picked Wake Forest combo guard Jeff Teague. Teague had a great preseason and looks as if he will be a very valuable piece off their bench.

Depth was also added up front when Zaza Pachuila re-signed, and Atlanta brought in veterans Joe Smith and Jason Collins who have been through the rigors of the playoffs before and should only help the Hawks come the postseason.



2009-2010 Outlook:

The Hawks continue to make strides in the right direction. The franchise has gone from winning just 13 games in 2004-05 to 47 victories last season and the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. The patience of re-making their roster has proven to be worth it as young talent like Al Horford, Josh Smith and Marvin Williams come into their own.

That young talent combined A solid core of veterans makes the Hawks the top of the middle tier in the East, still a step down from the big three of Boston, Cleveland and Orlando. Could they crash the party in the post-season? Doubtful, unless Johnson emerges into a true superstar in the league. But the once-drowning franchise has once again found life and optimism.



Looking Ahead to the Summer of 2010:

The Hawks' best player could be gone after this season. Joe Johnson is in the final year of his contract and in every indication, will test the free-agency market next summer. If Atlanta can?t convince him to re-sign, their cap space will be minimal to find a replacement of equal talent. Other than Johnson, every other major player is under contract so next summer in Atlanta will be all about getting Johnson to sign an extension.

2009-10 NBA Power Ranking: 8th



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com




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Looking Ahead to the Summer of 2010:

The Hawks' best player could be gone after this season. Joe Johnson is in the final year of his contract and in every indication, will test the free-agency market next summer. If Atlanta can?t convince him to re-sign, their cap space will be minimal to find a replacement of equal talent. Other than Johnson, every other major player is under contract so next summer in Atlanta will be all about getting Johnson to sign an extension.

2009-10 NBA Power Ranking: 8th



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com








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