Saturday , Aug , 15 , 2009 Oly Sandor

No Joe of a signing; getting Smith shows Atlanta Hawks’ growth

Good organizations still spend money during tough times, while not-so-good organizations close-up the purse strings, hide at the bottom of the standings and point to the business cycle as an excuse for their inactivity. With this gauge in mind, it appears the Atlanta Hawks have turned the corner …


No Joe of a signing; getting Smith shows Atlanta Hawks' growthBreaking news mixed with analysis …

Their News: ‘Joe Smith has agreed to a one-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks for the veteran’s minimum, a source told ESPN’s Ric Bucher on Friday.’ (ESPN)

My Gut Reaction: Economic downturns reveal much about an organization.

Good organizations still spend money during tough times, while not-so-good organizations close-up the purse strings, hide at the bottom of the standings and point to the business cycle as an excuse for their inactivity.

With this gauge in mind, it appears the Atlanta Hawks have turned the corner.

In July, the NBA’s former laughingstock resigned Mike Bibby to a three-year, 18 million dollar pact. This was a key move. Not long ago, the Hawks struggled to keep journeymen and are now retaining talented players at reasonable dollars.

Recently, Marvin Williams also re-upped with the club. The North Carolina alum has developed into a solid all-around player and will anchor the three-spot for years to come. Like Bibby, the Hawks got Williams at a fair price of five-years and $37.5 million.

This brings us to today‘s news: Joe Smith has signed a one-year deal with Atlanta for the veteran‘s minimum. On-court, Smith provides depth and scoring to the front-court. Off-court, the fourteen-year man brings professionalism and wisdom to an up-and-coming club.

However, the interesting part is that Smith picked the Hawks over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yes, you read correctly. ESPN is reporting the former first overall pick preferred Joe Johnson and Josh Smith to LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal.

To be fair, Smith’s decision was surely influenced by role. The post would be hard pressed for minutes in forward-heavy Cleveland, but likely gets more playing time in Atlanta. Of course, on the whole, the Cavaliers are still the superior organization. Yet, the Smith signing shows how the Hawks have progressed.

Atlanta is no longer the league’s Siberia. This summer proves they are, in fact, a good organization.

Got thoughts on Atlanta signing Smith? Follow Oly Sandor’s HoopsVibe Blog and on Twitter. Photo courtesy of KU.