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Wednesday , Jun , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Hawks to trade Josh Smith?

The Hawks have begun exploring a trade involving Josh Smith, according to sources. Smith, meanwhile, has privately told friends that the Celtics, Nets, Rockets and Magic are his preferred teams should Atlanta ultimately decide to trade him. Smith has not requested a trade.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Do the Atlanta Hawks and Josh Smith move forward together. Or, do they part ways?

The Hawks would keep Smith if it was solely about talent. The 6-9 Atlanta native is the rare player who can score, rebound, pass, and provide some national spotlight with rim-rattling jams and deft-defying rejections.

However, the Hawks’ personnel decisions are influenced by money. For years, ownership has been bleeding cash because they owned the city’s NHL property, the Thrashers.

Ownership may have sold the Thrashers to a group in Winnipeg, but they’re still cutting costs on the basketball side. So Smith, and the remaining $37 million on his contract, is available.

Takers must have deep enough pockets to assume the remaining years on his big-ticket. And takers must also be willing to put up with Smith, who has repeatedly clashed with teammates and coaches.

Finding a taker for Smith might not be so easy for the Hawks, after all.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , May , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Derrick Rose channels Tim Hardaway, crosses-up Jeff Teague and dunks

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Tim Hardaway would’ve been proud of Derrick Rose’s crossover.

The 2011 MVP embarrassed the Atlanta Hawks’ Jeff Teague on the perimeter, drove the lane aggressively, and threw down a powerful two-handed jam.

Oh yeah, he also dropped 44 points in the Chicago Bulls game three victory over the Hawks.

Watch the clip below and get at us with thoughts on D-Rose’s killa’ crossover. 


--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , May , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Atlanta Hawks help Jameer Nelson ‘catch’ Derrick Rose

Not many are giving the Hawks much of a chance against Chicago in the second round, but they’re definitely the funnier of the two teams in the matchup. Their PR man, Arthur Triche, explains the Jameer Nelson diss via Twitter: “Things that make me happy about this job. Taking a page out of Jerry Glanville’s book, I think I’ll follow through on Jameer’s request to catch Derrick Rose in the 2nd round.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Congratulations to the Atlanta Hawks for handling Jameer Nelson.

They didn’t overreact or spout off when the diminutive point guard pulled a Babe Ruth and called his team’s shot by telling the Chicago Bulls to prepare for a second round match-up.

They simply outplayed the heavily favoured Orlando Magic, eliminating the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference in six games.

The Hawks would’ve been forgiven for boasting. After all, Nelson wasn’t the only doubter, as many expected Nelson, Dwight Howard, and the Magic to advance to the second round.

Clearly, they were wrong.

The Hawks exposed the Magic’s lack of a supporting cast, essentially turning the 2009 Eastern Conference champions into a one-player pony.

Even now they have little to say, though. The Hawks’ actions are speaking louder than their words. And leaving Nelson tickets for their second round duel with the Bulls is perfect.

What else is there to say?

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Mar , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Celtics sign Heat castoff Carlos Arroyo

 

The Celtics have agreed to a contract with Carlos Arroyo, according to a league source. Arroyo's deal is for the pro-rated veteran's minimum for the remainder of the season.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: One team’s junk is another team’s treasure.

The Boston Celtics have signed Carlos Arroyo, who was waived by the Miami Heat after they signed veteran point guard Mike Bibby.

Yes, the contenders in the Eastern Conference have been playing musical chairs at the one-spot.

After all, the Atlanta Hawks traded Bibby to the Washington Wizards for Kirk Hinrich at the trade deadline. Bibby was promptly bought out and signed with the Heat, which led to South Beach giving Arroyo, who started much of the season, his walking papers.

The Celtics had an opening because they sent Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the Kendrick Perkins-for-Jeff Green blockbuster.

So what will Arroyo bring to the green-and-white?

Well, he’s a veteran. Arroyo has been around the league and can help off the bench or start when absolutely necessary. He’ll also have some idea as to how the Heat operate, and could provide invaluable info in a best-of-seven series.

Both the Celtics and Heat are expecting to meet in the playoffs. What a match-up that could be.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Sunday , Feb , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Al Thornton defines poster-job with tomahawk facial on ZaZa Pachulia

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was nasty, even by youtube, poster-job standards.

Yesterday, Washington Wizards three-man Al Thornton, you may remember him from his days with the L.A. Clippers, threw down a vicious tomahawk jam over the Atlanta Hawks Zaza Pachulia.

Thornton’s jam drew an incredible reaction from the Verizon Centre fans and the Wizards bench. So watch the clip, form your own reaction, and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.

(Even the stoic Yi is laughing!)

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jan , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Josh Smith feels ‘disrespected’ by Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook

Asked if he was upset by Ibaka’s dunk, or the foul, or both, Smith said, “You know what it was. That’s showing disrespect (dunking the ball). Everybody in the whole league knows you don’t do nothing like that. I talked to Durant about it. He said he would talk to him (Ibaka) about it, and he knew that wasn’t right.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It wasn’t as offensive as Andray Blatche screaming at a teammate or Ricky Davis shooting on his own basket.

It was close, though.

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and center Serge Ibaka won’t win any friends on the Atlanta Hawks by padding their statistics in the final moments of yesterday’s game.

Last night, the Thunder had beaten the Hawks. Time was set to expire. Both teams seemed content to let the final seconds play out and move on to the next game.

Then Westbrook suddenly passed the ball to Ibaka for an uncontested, breakaway dunk. Westbrook needed one assist for a triple-double, while Ibaka needed two points for a double-double.

This is a no-no.

The Hawks’ Mike Bibby and Josh Smith rightfully took exception to Westbrook and Ibaka’s actions. Thunder superstar Kevin Durant was left to play peacemaker after the game.

Even Thunder coach Scott Brooks couldn’t defend his players, telling The Oklahoman “when you got the game won, you run the clock out”. Anyway, watch the clip and get at us with thoughts on Westbrook and Ibaka’s last second basket against the Hawks.

 
(Ibaka's dunk is at the end of the highlight package.)
 
--Oly Sandor.
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Sunday , Nov , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jamal Crawford on signing with Knicks:“I would definitely listen”

A Knicks-Crawford reunion is possible. Crawford is due to become a free agent next summer, and the Hawks have been hesitant about offering an extension.

The Knicks will have cap room again when Eddy Curry, Crawford’s close friend, comes off the books, and. Their primary target will be Carmelo Anthony. But they have a clear need at shooting guard.

“I would definitely listen,” Crawford said.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was not the time to discuss a reconciliation.

There is a special connection between Jamal Crawford and New York City. Knick fans remember him as the bright light during the dark Isiah Thomas era, while Crawford loved playing at Madison Square Gardens.

However, after a soaring start, Crawford’s Atlanta Hawks are 4-6 in their past ten games. Worst of all, the Hawks are below .500 (4-5) at home.

So the combo guard shouldn’t be thinking about his contract expiring on July 1st. And the combo guard shouldn’t be thinking about signing with MSG because the Hawks haven’t offered an extension.

Crawford should be thinking about one thing: right now. Right now, Atlanta is struggling. And right now, they need their top reserve to produce.

If Crawford does that, Atlanta and New York won’t be the only teams interested in his services next summer. 

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 


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Tuesday , Nov , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Al Horford in, Josh Smith out with Atlanta Hawks?

The Atlanta Hawks announced Monday that the team has agreed to terms on a multi-year extension with center Al Horford, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Rick Sund.

Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. Media reports indicate the deal is worth $60 million over five years.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: One step forward. How many steps backwards?

Instead of celebrating signing Al Horford to a reported five-year, $60 million extension, the Atlanta Hawks were peppered with questions about the future.

Fair enough. Forget their recent on-court success. These are the Hawks.

They’re still the Siberia South of the NBA. They still have dysfunctional owners. And they still lack the resources to field a champion.

The news of Horford’s signing led to one question: who is leaving?

After all, the Hawks can’t possibly afford big tickets for Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, and Horford, right?

Somebody must be on the trading block, but whom?

Johnson, the franchise star with a max’ contract, isn’t leaving; there’s little market for an expensive blending player like Williams, especially in this economy; and Horford just re-upped.

This makes Smith – a high-flying, talented, and temperamental forward - expendable. He’ll be in demand, even with three years and $36 million remaining on his big ticket. 

While he has more baggage than a New York socialite on a weekend jaunt to the Hamptons, Smith can play.

He’s long, athletic, and versatile. Trading him for financial flexibility would hurt one of the Eastern Conference’s most promising teams.

Such is life with the Hawks. One step forward, two steps backwards. Somethings never change.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.  

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Saturday , Aug , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Unhappy Hawk: Crawford and Atlanta clash over extension

Frustrated the Hawks have not offered him a contract extension, Jamal Crawford will ask the club to trade him, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Crawford, who is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $10M this season, approached the Hawks the first week of July about an extension. Hawks GM Rick Sund has not made Crawford an offer, a source with the organization told ESPN. The sides are scheduled to meet next week and if the Hawks do not make Crawford an offer he considers reasonable, he will ask to be traded.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Time to put the cards on the table. The real hold up, the real roadblock in negotiations between the Atlanta Hawks and Jamal Crawford is the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The current CBA expires next July. The new one will likely be far more restrictive. Salaries, term, and cap exceptions will be reduced.

So it’s in the Hawks’ interests to delay negotiating a new contract with Crawford until next summer. Then they probably get him for a lower price. Or, they sign a free agent of Crawford’s calibre to an equally affordable deal.

Of course, Crawford wants to use what power he currently has to force the Hawks into immediately tendering an extension.
 
Today, he has leverage. Next summer, who knows?

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 
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Thursday , Aug , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Brandon Roy: ‘I don’t smoke marijuana’

“It’s something I shouldn’t have been involved in. I don’t smoke marijuana. I don’t think kids should do it. I’m against those things. I just feel really bad that that’s something that’s associated with my name and my family. And that’s not what we’re about.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Credit Brandon Roy for admitting poor judgement.

The Portland Trail Blazers star is apologizing for an inadvertant cameo in a music video that depicts marijuana use. 

Apparently, Roy is old friends with Seattle rappers Cali and Cavalli and allowed the duo to film him at a basketball tournament, which was then edited into the group's video for What They Want.

Jamal Crawford, an Emerald City native and Atlanta Hawk, also appears in the video. Moments after Crawford and Roy's apperance, a member of the group's entourage is smoking marijuana into the camera.

Watch the video for What They Want and then watch Roy's apology to Blazers' Edge. Is too much being made of a 'little smoke'? 

(Cali and Cavelli's What They Want.) 

(Roy's apology to Blazers' Edge.)

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Monday , Aug , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Size matters: Al Horford must play PF for Hawks to contend

Hawks coach Larry Drew has told Al Horford that he wants him to spend more time at power forward this coming season. "[Coach] Larry Drew told me he wants me to play as a 'power forward' next season rather than at center," Horford said.

"I can agree on a lot as a player because that's what I've been all my life," he continued.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Size matters.

This is the Atlanta Hawks’ philosophy for 2010, and not the jingle for a Viagra ad or a late night infomercial.

The Hawks must super-size their line-up to compete with the top squads in the Eastern and Western Conferences, so they’ll give Al Horford considerable minutes at power forward, not center.

The Hawks are hoping to sign a legit seven-footer to play center. Josh Smith and Marvin Williams will split minutes at small forward, and may also see action at power forward.

Such a move is necessary. After all, the Hawks front-court was talented, but undersized in 2010.

And the rest of the league is big: the Boston Celtics have Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kendrick Perkins; the Orlando Magic has the hulking Dwight Howard; the Miami Heat will use Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Jamaal Magloire down low; and the Los Angeles Lakers’ frontcourt has exceptional length.

To compete, to have any chance at advancing past the second round, to go from good to great, the Hawks must shift Horford and become big.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below!
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Friday , Jul , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Atlanta Hawks wisely pass on Shaquille O’Neal

The Hawks have no plans to sign free-agent center Shaquille O'Neal.

A source says Atlanta's ownership doesn't want to exceed the luxury-tax threshold of $70.307 million. They are currently about $4 million shy.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Shaquille O’Neal will not be plying his trade in the state of Georgia for the Atlanta Hawks next season.

The Hawks won't meet O’Neal’s salary demands because they would be over the luxury tax threshold and have to fork over multi-million dollar penalty payments to the league.

This is a wise choice.

O’Neal – an established veteran and future Hall of Famer - is difficult for any coach, especially a first year man like Larry Drew. The five-man has clashed with several of his old sideline bosses such as Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, and Terry Porter.    

And his affinity for minutes and touches would likely upset a young and temperamental frontline of Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Marvin Williams.

Hopefully, Atlanta will consider exceeding the luxury tax and investing in the right player(s), though. After all, their starters are talented, but need support off the bench.

To compete in the beefed-up Eastern Conference, the Hawks must open their wallets and spend –just on the appropriate personnel.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Tuesday , Jul , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaquille O’Neal would be ‘The Big Problem’ with Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks have offered Shaquille O'Neal a two-year contract that starts at $5.8 million per season, according to NBA sources close to both the team and the player.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Is The Big Aristotle about to become The Big ATL?

Reports indicate Shaquille O'Neal is considering the Hawks' multi-year deal; however, it remains to be seen if this would be a fit for both player and team.

Shaq is desperate for another NBA Title. Unfortunately, good but not great Atlanta is hardly the spot for him to taste championship glory for the fifth time in his illustrious career.

Even if the Hawks signed the massive post, they wouldn't be better than the past two Eastern Conference champions: the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic. And they'd struggle with the Cleveland Cavaliers -provided Lebron James does the expected and re-signs later this week.

Meanwhile, Atlanta needs bench help, and not an aging five-man who spends a minimum of twenty games per season on the bench rocking designer suits.

When O'Neal is fit, he would demand minutes and touches, which would likely alienate a young, talented, and temperamental frontline of Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Marvin Williams.

However, the biggest potential issue would be with rookie coach Larry Drew because O'Neal has clashed with almost every sideline boss he ever had.

For instance, after leaving the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, he publicly slammed Phil Jackson and Pat Riley -both of whom are in the Hall of Fame.

This brings us back to Drew. The former back-up point guard is a career assistant, who got the head gig in Atlanta for one reason: he was cheap.  

So Drew has less credibility than former Phoenix Suns head coach Terry Porter, who O'Neal sabotaged, undercut, and compromised before he was replaced at mid-season by Alvin Gentry.

What would happen when Drew tells O'Neal to lose weight or defend the pick-and-roll?

Simply put, he can't. Frankly, Drew lacks the pedigree to truly hold O'Neal accountable. And this would surely become a problem for an impressionable team.

On the surface, this partnership sounds nice. Both O'Neal and Atlanta should take a pass, though. It's for the best.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box below.    

Rashard Lewis and Joe Johnson prove that NBA front offices are stupid.
Tuesday , Jul , 06 , 2010 J.N.

Rashard Lewis and Joe Johnson prove that NBA front offices are stupid.

America is awesome. We get to blow up illegal fireworks to celebrate the freedom of life and independence of this great country and get paid handsomely for playing a game. NFL football is where it’s at! F#$K yeah! What’s this World Cup stuff? Excuse me. I meant NBA basketball is the awesomeness. You do not have to be on Kobe – Wade – LeBron tier to get a max deal. Sweet.

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Saturday , Jul , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Amar’e Stoudemire recruiting Joe Johnson and Tony Parker to New York?

The Knicks are expected to try and pry Tony Parker away from the Spurs in order to pair him with Amar'e Stoudemire.A person close to both players told the New York Daily News that Parker and Stoudemire have talked about playing together in either New York or Miami.

"It's perfect for Tony because he wants to be in New York and he wants to play with Amar'e," said the source.


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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Amar'e Stoudemire hasn't even signed with the New York Knicks, but he's already playing recruiter.

Or he is trying to.

Reports indicate the power forward is trying to get Joe Johnson and Tony Parker to join him in the NYC. There's a hitch, though. In fact, there`s a couple.

Johnson - despite being friends with Stoudemire and Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni - is considering a $119 million offer from the Atlanta Hawks, and is still listening to the Chicago Bulls.

Parker has a valid contract with the San Antonio Spurs; however, the team could be open to a trade because they have a young point guard in George Hill.

Of course, Stoudemire is also texting the big-ticket free agents: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Expect James and Wade to sign elsewhere, though.

Nevertheless, things are getting interesting with The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010.

-- Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Jul , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why Joe Johnson is close to re-signing with Atlanta Hawks

Sources close to Je Johnson have told Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski the believe the All-Star guard will soon accept a six-year, $119 million deal the Hawks offered Thursday morning. Hawks GM GM Rick Sund delivered the offer to Johnson in Los Angeles shortly after midnight Thursday.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It would be easy to criticize Joe Johnson's decision to re-sign with the dysfunctional Atlanta Hawks.
 
After all, ownership is thrifty, divided, and indifferent about building a winner. So why would 'JJ' - a guy who supposedly wants to win - re-up with the mediocre Hawks?
 
Well, his style is probably too similar to partner with fellow free agents LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, so The ATL would then be his best available option.
 
Remember, Atlanta can offer the most lucrative contract, and boasts a supporting cast of Mike Bibby, Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Marvin Williams.
 
This is probably a better situation for the All-Star two-guard than joining a LeBron-less New York Knicks or Chicago Bulls.
 
Perhaps Johnson's best move will be the one he doesn't make.
 
Got thoughts on Johnson staying in The ATL? Well, get at O.Sandor and HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.  
Show some appreciation for Rasheed Wallace!
Tuesday , Jun , 29 , 2010 J.N.

Show some appreciation for Rasheed Wallace!

“Both teams played hard.” That’s the meme that Raw Sheed created that stuck through the minds of basketball junkies who needed laughs. It’s not quite the classic “Practice?” from Allen Iverson, but Rasheed was the master of basketball memes. He also brought the “Ball Don’t Lie” meme, too. When he has two memorable phrases dedicated to him, Rasheed Wallace transcended into immortality. Then again, Wallace has brought more entertainment than many NBA players through the years. He was almost like Terrell Owens and John McEnroe combined with a bald spot on the top of his head.

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Wednesday , Jun , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Izzo staying at MSU, Cleveland interested in Scott and Woodson?

Tom Izzo is staying at Michigan State, turning down a chance to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers and and perhaps LeBron James.

"I'm pleased to say I am here for life at Michigan State," Izzo said in a statement released by the school on Tuesday night.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Tom Izzo made the right decision -not just for himself, but also for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The NBA is an adjustment. The game is different; the players are millionaire businessmen not teenagers. And many great college coaches have failed in the pros: John Calipari, Mike Montgomery, Rick Pitino and Jerry Tarkanian.

Then there was the tiny issue of LeBron James' pending free agency. Izzo would be in quite the quagmire if he accepted the Cavaliers job and James signed elsewhere. 

In the end, the risk was too great. So Izzo decided to stay with Michigan State and become an all-time great in the college ranks.

Meanwhile, Cleveland will continue searching for a sideline boss. Byron Scott is the frontrunner; however, the former Hornets coach wants to replace Phil Jackson in LA -if the Zen-Master leaves.

Mike Woodson, who was recently fired by the Atlanta Hawks, is also under consideration. And this is where the musical chairs could occur. Suppose Cleveland hires Woodson and James leaves. The Cavaliers could replace James with Joe Johnson, another superstar free agent who Woodson coached in Atlanta.

The next few months will be interesting in Ohio and throughout the NBA.

Got thoughts on this?

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Saturday , Jun , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Joe Johnson leave Atlanta because of Larry Drew?

The Atlanta Hawks will hire Larry Drew as their next head coach, a league source told ESPN's Ric Bucher.

Drew and the Hawks have agreed to a three-year, $5 million deal, according to the source. Those figures are slightly less than the three-year, $6.5 million deal Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau received from the Chicago Bulls. In both cases, only two years are guaranteed.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's not official, but it might as well be.

Joe Johnson, the superstar who resurrected the sorry Atlanta Hawks, will surely leave the team as an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, in part, because of Larry Drew's hiring.

While the on-court product has improved by leaps and bounds in Atlanta, the off-court operation hasn't improved. Ownership remains a dysfunctional and divided group of partners; the only thing they share is the desire to cut costs and save cash.

For instance, instead of rewarding talented sideline boss Mike Woodson with an extension for his efforts, they let him languish as a lame-duck coach in the final year of his contract and promptly let him go in May.

The Hawks' owners apparently fired Woodson because they wanted a fresh start. Yet, they promote Drew, Woodson's long-time right-hand man, because he's cheap. 

Drew, a respected assistant coach, could prove to be competent, but being frugal isn't a good look for Atlanta.

The end result will be simple: Johnson, a terrific player, will again see the Hawks as dysfunctional and cheap. And he'll leave as an unrestricted free agent.

Will Johnson leave The ATL because of Drew? What do you think?