Hawks Still Don’t Get The Point

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The last time the Hawks swung a trade deadline deal for a point guard, they got Mike Bibby from Sacramento and proceeded to make the playoffs three years in a row with the veteran big shot artist directing their attack.

That was February 2008. Fast forward to now and the Hawks are still trying to find the right fit at point guard. They traded Bibby, Mo Evans, Jordan Crawford and their 2011 first-round Draft pick to Washington for Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong yesterday.

The Hawks are trying, once again, to solve the point guard problems that have plagued them since Draft night 2005, when they passed up Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Raymond Felton to take Marvin Williams with the No. 2 pick.

“In hindsight, that might be the biggest top three Draft mistake since the Pistons took Darko [Milicic],” an Eastern Conference executive said. “And it’s not just about the player you take, it’s about the player or players you pass up when you make that pick.”

The Pistons passed on Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to take Milicic after LeBron James was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 Draft.

“Anyone that doesn’t think you’ll pay for your Draft mistakes for years to come, just take a look at the Hawks and Pistons right now,” the exec said. “It doesn’t mean you can’t have some success even with those mistakes. But at some point, you will pay for the mistake.”

The Hawks reportedly targeted both Felton and Devin Harris as potential trade pieces but came up empty both times. Bottom line: the Hawks still don’t get the point. Hinrich is yet another short-term answer to a long-term problem. He only has one year left on his deal (at $8 million), meaning the Hawks will have to make decisions about their point guard future all over again this time next year.

Jeff Teague, the Hawks’ second-year point guard, is clearly not ready for a starring role  … and might not be anytime soon. He was given every opportunity to supplant Bibby and couldn’t do it. He’s the latest in a long line of supposed point guard solutions that ended up being a problem (Speedy Claxton, Acie Law) for the Hawks.

They’ve tried everything at the point from Royal Ivey to Anthony Johnson to Tyronn Lue to even playing Joe Johnson at point guard during his first season with the team. That’s nine different point guard options spanning two different regimes (former general manager Billy Knight is the man who drafted Marvin Williams, paid Claxton, drafted Law and also traded for Bibby while current general manager Rick Sund is the man who shipped Claxton and Law out of town for Jamal Crawford, drafted Teague and made the deal for Hinrich).

While Hinrich is clearly an upgrade over Bibby, particularly at the defensive end, he still doesn’t solve the Hawks’ seemingly eternal point guard problem.

56 Comments

  1. […] Hawks Still Don't Get The Point « NBA.com | Hang Time Blog […]

  2. Verbzz says:

    HAWKS PLEASE NO B.S. START HILTON AT CT TONIGHT AND AS LONG AS HE’S HERE… THAT’S ALL I ASK!!! NOW I’M READY TO WATCH THE HAWKS BELIEVING WE HAVE NO ISSUES AT POINT!!!

  3. samdon jennings says:

    I really think Kirk Hinrich will be a big upgrade. He has a defensive edge over many points, he has a high basketball IQ and he’s happy playing any role given to him. If the Hawks are looking for answers, they should have a peep at old mate Joe Johnson. Maybe the highest paid player in the league could, i don’t know, score a little more?

  4. Joey says:

    I dont understand why everyone says the hawks suck…. i mean yeah they arent elite but i think they are every bit as good as the magic … the hawks have a solid sqaud but need a couple pieces…they first need a now gm and they need a solid center now…then they can contend

  5. mario says:

    who thinks jordan crawford will be a star if not a star a good player

  6. Michael says:

    If anything Sekou gives Atlanta a break when he writes. I think he was a local guy at first, but got his break and is writing nationally. Shoot if If I were writing a piece about the Hawks I would have ripped them a new one for this trade, however, it seems like Atlanta is a small market for Basketball and no one wants to come here. It appears that is the reason Rick Sund can’t get players down here to sign. It has been a long time since the Tree Rollins , Dominique era. Plus we do not have owners with deep pockets. ie. Aurther Blank.

  7. LB 843 says:

    the hawks are extremly overrated, hinrich is an upgrade over bibby especially on d but it really won’t make a difference come playoff time. the hawks really need a legit center but the problem with that is that if they get a center than that means that smith has to play small forward which takes away the advantage that he plays with against power forwards, which means he will become a unhappy ineffective shooter. they probably need to trade josh and marvin but they won’t because for some reason they love their roster when the rest of the nba doesn’t

  8. ZULU says:

    When all of you HAWK LOVERS get through analyzing Sekou’s looks. Maybe you will get around to asking : how in the heck did Rick Sund miss Deron Williams this time? We know the story of the draft debacle but how does the NETS wind up with him? All you hear from the Hawks offices is we just couldn’t……….. Hinrch may be and ‘upgrde’ over Bibby but where does that leave the team?

  9. ALANI says:

    let me state this before i comment, im a hardcore spurs fan! despite this fact, i love basketball period. i watch every and any team play and this trade wasnt a bad one by a longshot! iv been watching kirk hinrich for years n he may not be a star but he is a solid person n basketball player. cudoos for whoever suggested that the hawks trade for him. even though they missed out on some bigger names, they made an improvement that was affordable n thats good business. for those jackasses out there a 6 9″ guy with bulk can be a decent center in this league! if yall dont think so watch kurt thomas n anthonio mcdyess play. hilton armstrong is big n strong and wasnt getting enough playing time to fulfill his potential. he showed good enough indication that given the opportunity he could deliver. i say stick him in the starting lineup for a couple games n make the kid earn his buck. decent trade atlanta! under the circumstances! get rid of marvin williams cuz he is only bringing down your team.

  10. jigsaw says:

    I can’t help but to think that most of you, including Sekou, are missing the point (not to be punny). What the Hawks lack, similar to the Mem. Griz, is a solid bench (w/the exception of Jamal Crawford). I take the position that Kirk is an upgrade. He plays both ends of the floor, and has the versatility and skillset to cover both guard positions. And with Hilton coming off the bench, Hawks fans might see a bit more hop and bounce than what Zaza has given in the past. But all in all Teague has been a disappointment, Josh Powell is a nancy, Wilkins is shaming his father and uncle, and Collins was done the minute he got drafted in the league. And just for the record, those of you getting frustrated w/TY’s critiques, should understand that it’s a cry for help (i.e., he needs to get laid).

  11. Troy says:

    Kirk is a good combo guard! We sure miss him in Chicago now and hated to see him go!
    Dwayne really screwed with us into thinking we had a chance to get him and Lebron or Bosh so we unloaded the roster and gave Kirk away.
    Oh well we are doing good in Chicago, but still need a SG and backup PG something that Kirk does well.

    Atlanta screwed up by getting Starvin Marvin and Kirk isn’t the long term solution but he is solid.
    Bibby had some great years in Sacramento and did a decent job in Atlanta.
    Hawks now just need a big man Center to at least guard the net so Smith can play SF and Horford PF.

  12. Josh says:

    Charles and Ty, cool it on the english lessons. It’s just a blog, you silly people

  13. Hwks Fan says:

    This trade is a joke. A lateral trade for another pg who averages about 1 more ppg and 1 more apg ratio. When will they stop with the guards? We have no inside game to speak of. No dominant inside man and Horford a true power forward having to play center. If we had to have a point guard why hinrich? Couldnt go after baron davis, mo williams, deron williams, gilbert arenas, chauncey billups? They need to be making WAY more moves then swapping bibby for hinrich and giving up a FIRST round pick. How about trading marvin williams or josh smith? Josh Smith is a backup player on most teams. His offensive game is a joke just watch him shoot a jumper preferably a 3 but ppl who dont see him play all season and only see the sports center highlights probably thinks he is legit ship him off. They need to be making big trade moves with their ENTIRE roster. They will be crushed by Boston, Miami, and Orlando in the playoffs so whats the difference.

  14. Shawn Biggs says:

    Stop criticizing the Hawks. You guys make it seem like its easy to find a Derrick Rose Chris Paul point guard. Thats disrespectful to Kirk Hinrich because before Derrick Rose came to Chicago, Kirk was doing a good job handling that position as a starter. He may not be spectacular but he is definitely an upgrade and something you can invest and believe on in the defensive side and consistent offense. GIVE THEM A BREAK.

  15. The Soulution says:

    Captain Kirk is a good pick up for the Hawks, but with a bunch of guys that want to shoot jumpers instead of driving to the hoop he’s in the same situation that he left Chicago with. Atlanta STILL needs a center – and Hilton Armstrong is NOT him.

  16. Overrated says:

    get mark cuban to work for you if you can…lol

  17. Overrated says:

    PGs are getting shipped/swapped and still Hawks didnt get what they needed.poor imagination on the part of the GM?three team trades can work…harris-d will-bibby?or even for felton?get kevin pritchard-kiki vandeweghe like GMs not Isiah kind who doesnt get the job done.period!

  18. Verbzz says:

    OH McLovin, b4 the last 2 years or so Kirk Hinrich was a starter and even was a starter for the most part this year… he’s a better PG than John Wall is RIGHT NOW!! don’t show me numbers!!! He is a better PG than Calderon by far… and he is a pass first guy that shoots waaaaay better than 3/4s the PGs in this league of ours… and is by far one of the best defensive PGs in tha land… do yall actually watch basketball?? what we gonn do with Calderon if he won’t play D?? He\inrich is as good a passer, shooter, maybe faster and a better defender… keep Jose even tho he too was on my list.. i got my number 2 option Gilbert was my number 1… but thank God we didn’t get him… I love this trade.. we gonn shut yall up!!!

  19. PHXJ says:

    Y not trade for Nash and Hill from PHX?

    • Sean Moore says:

      Nash and Grant would push the tempo and make J-Smoove the next Shawn Marion. They would probably be better than the heat if a trade like that would have happened.

  20. Verbzz says:

    HOW BOUT ORLANDO JUST SEND US DWIGHT AND CALL IT A NIGHT!! SEE IF WE DON’T WIN THEN?!!! WITH THAT SAID ALL THIS STUFF GOING ON NOW IN THE LEAGUE WHERE EVERYONE HAS TO PAIR OR 3WAY WITH OTHER SUPERSTARS TO WIN IS REDUNDANT!! ATLANTA IS THE ONE OTHER TEAM THAT’S DONE IT THRU 1 STAR AND DRAFTING… OKLAHOMA CITY IS THE OTHER…
    BREAK THEM UP AND MAKE OTHER TEAMS BETTER?? #YOUPEOPLE CAN BE SLOW AT TIMES YO!!
    CAN THEY PLAY A GAME AFTER THE TRADE FIRST B4 WE CRUCIFY THEM?? I PLAYED FOR HINRICH B4 THE SEASON STARTED AND WE GOT HIM… I’MA SEAT BACK N ENJOY NOW…

  21. McLovin says:

    The Hawks are pretty much stuck with Johnson… so they should try and build around him and Horford. Hinrich is not a true PG by any means, in fact if I were a coach I would prefer him at 2 for most situations. Sure he is an upgrade stat-wise if he plays the EXACT game he was playing in Washington. If the Hawks were looking for a pure PG they should have gone with Jose Calderon from Toronto. The man doesn’t play great defense but he assists first, shoots almost never (makes the ones he does) and has a very low assist-to-turnover ratio. The Raptors are clearly a rebuilding team and have a trade-expection, which would have allowed for them to create a trade involving bigger contracts. But OK, go with a guy who is a great sixth-man, someone who compliments a team by coming off the bench, and start him. Also, get swept in a series again this year.

    • McLovin says:

      I meant a very high assist-to-turnover ratio…. someone might call me out on that

      • Sean Moore says:

        You obviously dont remember Kirk as a starter for the bulls were he ran the offense to perfection. He was good enough to beat Miami in the first round Shaq and Wade and they had just come off a championship season. Also he started over a really solid pg at the time Chris Duhon. Hinrich is a combo guard He’s not more useful as a sixth man he’d be greatly under utilized as a sixth man.

  22. Verbzz says:

    KNEZ MARTIN HAS A BRAIN AND ACTUALLY WATCHES OTHER TEAMS PLAY… IT SEEMS THAT HALF THE PEOPLE WHO WATCH BALL ONLY WATCH THEIR OWN TEAMS AND ARE CLUELESS AS TO WHAT HAPPENS ON OTHER TEAMS…

  23. Daniel T says:

    Hilton Armstrong is a great pickup if you’re looking for someone that can sneak up on a player and steal the ball in a blowout when everyone else is just waiting for those last few seconds to tick away and convert it into some meaningless points for himself.

  24. Verbzz says:

    WELL WE DONT NEED HIS SCORING!! AND HE DOESN’T PLAY OFTEN… HE’S A BETER OFFENSIVE PLAYER THAN COLLINS AND HE’S MORE ATHLETIC!! HE CAN FINISH STRONG AT THE RIM AND HE’S ANOTHER BIG BODY THAT CAN REBOUND AND ALLOW AL PLAY 4 AND JOSH PLAY 3… AND HOPEFULLY WILKINS AS BACK UP 3 IF WE SUCCEED IN TRADING MARVIN 2DAY…

    DIDN”T CALL HIM A SAVIOR BUT LET HIM PLAY FIRST AND THEN WE’LL SEE!! I LOVE THAT TRADE!!

  25. hasib says:

    yeah uhh wtf? they gave crawford AND a first rounder wow They should’ve just asked Us (toronto) for calderon we would’ve done it

  26. Ditty says:

    Jeez Sekou needs to shut his UGLY FACE UP… I cringed every time his face was on camera all weekend 1) cause he is ugly as hell ans 2) because all he talks is nonsense.

  27. Verbzz says:

    AND YOU IGNANT PEOPLE STOP WITH THE NAME CALLING MEN!!! THE HAWKS ARE ABOUT TO SHUT YALL UP!! IF JOSH SMITH WOULD JUST SHOW SOME REAL INTEREST AND CUT BACK ON THE JUMPERS!!! HE IS SO VITAL TO OUR SUCCESS, BUT HE IS TOO MUCH OF A ME, ME, ME KINDA DUDE!!!

  28. One says:

    Hilton Armstrong – 1.2 ppg 2.8 rpg, will save the Hawks!!!

  29. Verbzz says:

    depending on Hinrich’s age and also if we keep him, he is going to be somewhat of a long term fix… Joe Johnson can shoot better than Lebron and Wade and name it except for Kobe and actual sharp shooters so stop deceiving urself… he gets a bad wrap last year for exiting in the same round as the cavs who had 5 allstars on their team… he’s never had any kind of superstar or even allstar help… Al Horford doesn’t count bcos he only makes the allstar team bcos he’s listed as a center!!
    Hilton Armstrong is about to be the steal of this trade if the Hawks are smart enough to start him… with Hinrich now with the ball yall r about to see Joe Johnson flourish… Kirk hinrich is one of the better PGs in the league that isn’t part of the fashion parade… can’t wait to shut all of you up..

    I DO WISH THEY’LL GET RID OF MARVIN THO… he is subtraction by addition… love Zaza but ship him n Zaza off to NO for anyone of their 3 &footers… preferably Mbenga or Gray…

    GO HAWKS!!! we’ll shut yall up this year!! SEKOU SAVE THIS POST AND REMEMBER I SAID IT!!

  30. Knez Martin says:

    Sekou,

    This is a great trade for Atlanta. Is it a “home-run” compared to the rest of the week’s transactions? hardly. But for the price (both monetarily and assets given up) it’s a great trade for the Hawks. A PG who can run the show, defend, and doesn’t make ridiculous $ (by NBA standards). Despite claiming to be a motion team under Larry Drew, ATL is predictable and plodding in the halfcourt that iso’s Joe half the time and the other half Josh Smith is attempting to “make plays” (see the 2 lob-passes he threw in L.A. Tuesday) and shooting three’s due to lack of anything else going on. Kirk Hinrish will give them a little more offensive continuity as well as a guard who will take the #1 defensive assignment every night…thus leaving Joe Johnson more energy (though his facial expression never really changes, he must huff and puff once in awhile). Look for increased tempo too with Captain Kirk, as they have a real PG to push the ball up (Jamal, you’re a scoring guard, don’t even try to mascarade as a PG).

  31. Julz says:

    This trade does nothing for the Hawks. They need a legitimate bigman to assist Horford who would be more effective as a PF. They can spread the floor with their shooters, and be a run decent run n gun team in transition. They will be a solid defensive team if Hinrich decides to stay. But I think the key is a real BIGMAN. Horford is a good player as PF, but too small to handle the true bigs at center.

  32. sword73 says:

    I think that everyone that posts on here should thanks TY for not having anything better to do than comment on the grammar used by each person. TY, having a hard time finding a substitute teacher gig and just itching to use your red pen? Sure looks like it from what I have read.

  33. Overrated says:

    The problem with Hawks is they overrate basically every player they have and they pay them too much, gave them too many playing time, too many investment, while there are definitely better options out there, the point guard might change things, but the starters are mostly inconsistent and can’t fare well against elite teams.

  34. Celtics fan says:

    yeah, the hawks suck overall. i say they should break up that squad and rebuild by sending everyone to already good teams in which they can be more useful. start over. send joe johnson to the lakers, josh smith to orlando, and the others to teams like denver, cleveland, and new jersey who are craving for talent. nuff said!

  35. Sean Moore says:

    Too me this a huge upgrade. Especially if they can get kirk to play like he did in his earlier years with chicago. The hawks have a playing system that allows for a combo guard like Kirk to flourish because of the other ball handlers with fair playing ability (Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson). So he wont be pressured to imediately be a playmaker off the jump and will transition into it nicely until he assumes the same role he had with the pre-D.Rose Chicago Bulls (which was still a good second round playoff team if you don’t remember). The Hawks will be especially more dangerous on the defensive end were Kirk can guard stronger players like D.Wade and smaller ones as well. Bibby was a huge kink in there defensive chain, and Kirk is a equally great shooter and superior playmaker. And excuse me for neglecting to mention hilton armstrong which is pretty much all you can ask for in a second/third string center he and Zaza may be interchangable in different offensive and defensive situations.

  36. Tany from PR says:

    Kirk Hinrich is a solid player in both ends of the floor. Do you remember what he has done? Melo had to beat Kirk’s team to become a national champion. Hinrich was a key player there. Didn’t the Celtics had problems with the Bulls on a playoff series? Hinrich was a key player there. Isn’t Hinrich having a good season in Washington. with limited minutes. He is valuable player that can and will do many things in the court; he can even guard bigger and stronger players effectively.
    Why did the Bulls let him go, well Rose is one of the top 5 PG in the league (arguably 1 or 2). Why did Washington let him go, well they have their #1 pick, Wall. Atl. just got a true and proven tough PG, something they didn’t have and that can get things going in a hurry, both on offense and on defense.
    So I don’t get what is the problem here. Hinrich is a solid player, and he will produce for the Hawks.

    • Beard says:

      The problem is with the trade of Crawford we essentially gave up two first round picks for a 30 year old point guard.

  37. Joe Johnson sucks says:

    I am becoming highly annoyed by the Hawks, I wish we could trade everyone except for Al Horford.
    I can’t stand Joe Johnson, he can’t shoot, he’s inconsistent, and Highly overrated. F*ck you Rick Sund for giving this overrated player a $120 million dollar contract. I hope we get sweep in the payoffs again so this team can finally start rebuilding.

    • Xavier Moreland says:

      I agree with you to the fullest. I myself dont like Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams is a waste of money, player, talent etc. I think everyone should be gone but Horford. Josh Smith thinks he’s a darn guard and darn isnt what I wanted to say. Zaza is soft and only wants to fight, Marvin is sorry as hell, Josh cant function without his weed, and the organization along with all the organizations here in a major metropolitian city simply dont get it. We will continue to suffer as fan until this backwards south twon gets it together.

  38. mario says:

    i think its aalright trade but who the hell is hilton armstorng. What made me mad about the trade was that they gave a jordan crawford who i think will be a future star in the league another oppurtunity the hawks give up. they should have traded MARVIN WILLIAMS how about not even draft him im a haks fan but something about the hawks orginization pisses me off they just dont get it.

    • Ty says:

      Wow if I read this abortion of a comment before robert’s attempt at a post I would have pointed out again that the hawks are weak. Before that of course I would have ridiculed you up and down for 1-liking the hawks and 2-changing tenses more than new possible trades involving Carmelo. 3-for not understanding a and an and where they belong in a sentence. 4-and I can’t even come up with anything to say about how that “statement” reads out loud. You should check out a second grade English class before posting anything, anywhere, ever again.

      • Charles says:

        TY, a phrase comes to my mind about your previous two comments. It’s pretty famous. “He without sin, let him cast the first stone.” Your writing doesn’t leave you enough room to try and critique others. Ever heard of commas, their usage, and avoiding run on or fragment sentence composure? I believe you have and you in your efforts to defame someone else’s opinion, you made yourself look foolish. Perhaps in the future you too can avoid such a composition instead being a pot, that’s calling a kettle black.

    • Bosley says:

      You guys keep forgetting that the reason we didn’t draft CP3 or Deron was because Joe Johnson wanted to play the point! That was the only way the Hawks could get him to look our way. After one game he said, that’s enough! So it’s Joe’s fault we got Marvin. Now Marvin LOVES football. His head is into that, not basketball. We just got to find some suckers to dump him off on and pray that Orlando keeps slipping so Dwight will look in our direction. If Josh got off the reefer maybe he would make better decisions on the court and become an all-star.

      • Beard says:

        How wrong you are sir….Billy Knight wanted Joe to play the point and because they paid him 70 million, Joe agreed.

  39. sekou sucks says:

    your an hater shut your fat face !

  40. Jermaine says:

    This is why nobody respects Sekou Smith. Only guy who would write a negative article after the Hawks make a clear upgrade at point guard.

    • Andre says:

      The article makes a lot of sense. “Hawks still don’t get the point”. They have issues at PG, were trying to solve them, but were unable because of bad decisions. Now they make a trade that won’t improve the team that much, so they “still don’t get the point”.

      It’s obvious that a lot of sports fans want happy articles, but some of them want to read critical opinions.

      And after getting a mediocre player instead of D-Will or CP3, improving to Hinrich seems like a great joke for anyone with some sense of humour.

  41. andy caruso says:

    I agree with Sekou about atlantas issues at the point but with a player like Joe Johnson handling the ball guys like Bibby and Hinrich are serviceable complements. I think their problem lies more in the fact that they don’t have a true center to be able to slide josh smith and al horford to the 3 and 4. And maybe through this trade they got a steal in hilton armstrong who has definitely shown flashes and is a solid post defender. And I mean sure, Kirk Hinrich is not one of the hall of fame pgs they passed up on draft day but he himself was a high pick and a key piece in the bulls’s run against the celtics in the playoffs. I think any time you can add a player like that with those kinds of intangibles on a contending team its definitely an upgrade.

    • faceplant says:

      well said man.. others may have not consider the factor of having a role player. its not always about individual talent and skills. its about being a member of a team. with the caiber of hinrich, hawks had n upgrade

  42. robert zenon says:

    Under the circumstances, I think they got a much needed upgrade, is it a long term answer, maybe not, did you see answer to a long term solution, could the Hawks make a deal attractive enough to get a long term solution. I think to right a negative blog and in the same breath say it was a trade that brings a definite upgrade at the point. Just shows nothing they do short of trading for a future hall of famer is going to make people like you happy.

    • Ty says:

      Here’s the funny thing, “right” is a direction/means correct, and “write” means to write (perhaps write a blog about a trade that won’t make a team contenders, but just might get a team a win in the second round for the first time in years!). That being said, the Hawks are vastly overrated, maybe with Hinrich they can lose by 25 to any contending team instead of 34. I feel like anybody who takes the Hawks seriously also doesn’t know the difference between “write” “right” and chances are wrong.

      • tata says:

        Great job grammar police. But aside from the error, his point is that the blogger contradicted himself by saying it was a good trade but a bad trade. You are correct that the Hawks aren’t going anywhere. They need a legimate center so they can slide Horford over and then with a decent point guard they might get to the second or third round.