Bibby Makes Atlanta Eastern Dark Horse

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. 

That hurts.

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.

6 Responses to Bibby Makes Atlanta Eastern Dark Horse

  1. Troy says:

    Cleveland Cavaliers fans are most certainly NOW banging their heads against the wall today. They expected not acquiring Jason Kidd, I’m sure, but passing up — or being passed up on its own — on another veteran point guard who could put them in an over-the-top position in the Eastern Conference has to burn like hot sauce.

  2. JO says:

    You would think from the difference in the fan reaction (Atlanta and Sacramento) that this was another Pau Gasol – Kwame Brown trade. Atlanta fans certainly seem to be happy (and it’s been a long time for them) and Kings fans are disappointed.

    But certainly, Kings fans have known they are rebuilding. So this actually helps them rebuild faster.

    I agree with your post. Marvin Williams, Josh Smith and Mike Bibby are a powerful three. I’m not a huge fan of Joe Johnson (I know I’m in the minority) and Al Horford has been a good pickup. And Josh Childress does look good now.

    I don’t know how far this will take the Hawks, but certainly they are in better shape today than they were yesterday. I think markedly better and we’ll start seeing the benefits right away.

    I enjoy your blog.

  3. supergrover says:

    This is not unfortunate at all for the Kings. Any astute King’s fan (one that actually watches Kings games) will know that since Bibby’s return from injury, except for a couple good games at first, the collective energy of the team has taken a nose dive. We had reverted to the horrors of last year where the offense is primarily Bibby or Artest jacking up a brick and the rest of team running back with their heads lowered. This is addition by subtraction, and with Bibby gone, we can play a true pass first PG (Beno), and we will see increased ball movement and more shots for the young guys Martin, Garcia, Douby. I really don’t care what we got back in return, even if Petrie waves all of them the team will be better off in the long run.

    I also don’t see how the deal doesn’t make sense if the King’s don’t continue to shed contracts. Even if the dealing ends here it’s still a little bit of cap space saved, which makes it easier to make moves over the summer and beyond.

    I wish Atlanta luck and hope for their sake the Bibby that shows up isn’t the one that still thinks he’s top dog and has to take all the big shots. But somehow I doubt that. They needed a pass first playmaker to get easy looks for their swingmen, and Bibby isn’t that type of player. He suppressed the growth of Sac’s young guys, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did the same in Atlanta.

  4. obeese says:

    Cleveland must be crying, for sure. Concerning supergrover’s comments, it’s not that this is a bad move, it’s that there was no impetus to make such an underwhelming trade when several other teams would have liked to have gotten the guy. The only real reason to do this now was to avoid the luxury tax next season, not to acquire talent/further assets. Also, Beno is a nice young point guard, and his production per dollar is much more valuable than is Bibby’s, but he’ll need a new deal going forward and he’s not really a pure pass-first point guard–he likes to create for himself just as much as for others. That’s certainly not a bad thing, but it’s not like he’s Rajon Rondo or Brevin Knight out there.

  5. Fredhooper says:

    It’s telling that the picture for this article is from more than 2 years ago…about the last time Bibby shot more than 40% when it counted. His shot selection and accuracy have been terrible during the past 2 years, and has been outplayed by Beno Udrih. You’re all looking at this from seeing Bibby in the playoffs years ago. And oh…you’ll need a shot blocker since his main will be taking it to the rack consistently.

  6. fouledout says:

    bibby is a good add for the hawks. beno proved to sacramanto that he can play and contribute and since they are rebuilding, it’s better to take beno over bibby cause beno is younger. bibby’s addition to the hawks will make them a better team because of bibby’s experience, but i’m not sure if this can take them deep into the playoffs.

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