Michael Cunningham is back from his vacation and spent some time catching up with the things that have been going on. First up, both Josh Powell and Jason Collins were officially signed. From the Hawks perspective, they are saying that Jason Collins has worked hard to get his body into shape, and they are basically blaming last season on Mike Woodson. From my perspective, this is a case of the Hawks throwing away $1 million. It is very, very unlikely that Jason Collins will make an impact on this team. Players he is the most similar to from a WS and WS/48 perspective are Jerome James, Michael Olowokandi, and Manute Bol. Those players combined to post 0.02 win shares after their 31st birthday. Olowokandi was out of the league at 31, and James lasted the longest. He was out of the league at 33. Basically, this is just a nonsensical signing and a waste of money. Do they seriously think the 31st pick would have given them less than Jason Collins? I’ve already posted about it, but Josh Powell doesn’t offer much more. They honestly signed someone that posted worse numbers than Joe Smith did last year.
Also in this post, Kenny Gattison was added to the coaching staff. According to what I have read on him, he appears to have a solid reputation as a coach. He was an assistant at the Team USA camp in 2009, and he has a solid reputation for working with big men.
In other news, Rick Sund’s top aids Dave Pendergraft and Steve Rosenberry are getting a lot of interest from other teams. Pendergraft is a candidate to become the Suns general manager, and Rosenberry is expected to join Richard Cho’s staff in Portland. I had a feeling that it was only a matter of time till these guys started getting calls from other teams. I mentioned how strong this scouting staff is in a previous blog entry. I was hoping the Hawks would be able to hold on to Pendergraft and have him take over for Rick Sund down the road. If they do leave, I hope the Hawks bring in someone that has a strong background in advanced statistics, because I really think that angle could help the Hawks make better decisions with free agents.
Maybe the best news of all is the fact that Shaq is signing with Boston. I’m glad the Hawks didn’t give in and overpay him, but I am a little concerned that they were interested in him in the first place. Heck, I’m concerned that they have spent so much time looking at free agent centers and haven’t paid any attention to the real need on this team – improved perimeter defense. Overall, it is a good thing that the Hawks didn’t sign Shaq. Kelly Dwyer also weighed in on Shaq signing with Boston.