The Hawks hope the arrival of Mike Bibby from Sacramento can prevent a trip to the lottery for the first time this millenium.
The Sacramento Kings sent Mike Bibby to the Atlanta Hawks today for a future second-round draft pick and four lesser players: Tyronn Lue, Lorenzen Wright, Anthony Johnson, and Shelden Williams.
The deal is primarily about cap relief, as the Kings figure to watch three-quarters of their newly acquired foursome walk this off-season, with only fallen semi-prospect Shelden Williams remaining any longer. The unfortunate part of the trade for Sacramento is the lack of purpose it shows. Unless the team has further moves involving shedding the contracts of Ron Artest, Brad Miller, Kenny Thomas, or Shareef Abdur-Rahim for cap space and younger players, there was no reason to trade their biggest name for such a mediocre package. With the new contract Kevin Martin recently signed, the cap space that would have been created by this move, although minor, is instantly negated. In essence, the team traded one more year of Mike Bibby for Shelden Williams and a second-rounder.
Furthering the disappointment is the fact that several teams would love to acquire a solid vetern point guard with a short-term deal–Bibby’s contract comes off the books at the end of next season. Netting not even a future first-round draft pick from Atlanta has to be considered a failure.
For the Hawks, this is the move they’ve desperately needed. Ever since passing on Chris Paul three years ago, the team has found itself in a prolonged search for a floor general. Atlanta also passed on Mike Conley this past summer, but at least in this case it was warranted, considering it netted Al Horford. This deal also helps heal the wound drafting Shelden Williams inflicted upon the franchise. Williams was closer to a second-round talent than a top lottery pick, but Atlanta shot itself in the foot with his selection two years ago. This trade allows the team to turn that mistake into a quality veteran point guard to pair with the slew of athletic young wings and bigs the team has been stockpiling for years.
The Hawks can now roll out a quality top six, with Josh Childress playing exceptionally well off the bench, and Al Horford, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, Joe Johnson, and Mike Bibby forming a dynamic starting five. Unfortunately, after the aforementioned six, there’s not much left. Salim Stoudamire can shoot but that’s about it and Zaza Pachulia was serviceable at one point–a point in time that’s long gone. Otherwise, the team has a barren bench, so look for a follow-up move or two to bring in at least another big man.
Essentially, both teams receive partial incompletes with this deal, given the necessary follow-up transactions mentioned above, but no matter what happens next, Atlanta turned a mediocre team into one that could scare people in the East without giving up a single quality player, and deserves to be lauded.