For most of the basketball people, they consider Atlanta as a mediocre franchise, a struggling team that had the tools to make the playoffs because really could not progress. Middling, but stuck on neutral. They do fine in the regular season, but always disappoint when it comes to the next level. As a result, Rick Sund, the GM, gets canned in an effort to see if they can do something to change their fate.
Danny Ferry was hired to be the new GM to do precisely that. He said this during his press conference:
he wants the Hawks ''to have a value-based identity with good guys who play hard, who play together and share the ball that can be professional on the court.''And he pretty much got work immediately. In the Draft, they selected Vanderbilt shooter John Jenkins in the first round at 23, while grabbing Virginia PF Mike Scott twenty picks later in the second round.
Ferry looked for players that according to him:
We are going to need guys that can come in and contribute. Guys that can add something. Certainly when coach Drew is looking down the bench and is trying to figure out why would I put this guy?Just earlier on Monday, he pulls off two proposed deals.
The first one involves multiple All-Star Joe Johnson. He sends him (and that albatross of a contract) to the Brooklyn Nets for: DeShawn Stevenson in a sign-and-trade (said contract is a three-year deal for $6.9 million, with only the first year of $2.3 million guaranteed), a lottery-protected first round pick of the Houston Rockets and the expiring contracts of Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Jordan Williams and Anthony Morrow.
The second one involves Marvin Williams, whom Ferry sent to Utah for Devin Harris.
This is now would theoretically be Atlanta's lineup:
Jeff Teague, Jenkins, Josh Smith, Scott, Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia, Farmar, Petro, Williams, Morrow and Harris.
They will need to find someone to plug a hole at the small forward spot and or find some height in the backcourt, but after removing the burden of bad contracts, this will be pancakes for Ferry.
Atlanta will now become players in the Summer of 2013, as Smith and Zaza become unrestricted free agents and Teague is restricted that year.
It may be a step back for them, but looking forward, there might be a bright future.