We have discussed in earlier posts about how the East is basically a four team oligopoly. Indeed the rankings bear this out. Four of the top six teams are in the East, while … all the way at #15 are the lonely overachieving (frankly, lucky) Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks seem firmly in the #5 position, but with the Knicks landing some player or another, could Atlanta be looking behind itself a touch?
Hawks receive Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong
Wizards receive Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford and Maurice Evans and Atlanta’s 2011 first round pick
Hilton Armstrong is another frontcourt big for the Hawks – but really flotsam. The story is Hinrich and whether he is an improvement on Bibby. Defensively, this is beyond reproach. Hinrich is one of the league’s better defensive point guards, while Bibby was among its very worst. Offensively – it is a wash. Hinrich is more versatile and still quicker, but he is a terrible shooter and always has been (there is a meme that he is a good shooter – probably because he is white). Bibby can still space the floor, and that skill never goes away. This though on whole improves the Hawks – at least enough to remain locked in the #5 spot.
For the Wizards, they unload an albatross contract in exchange for lesser ones. Bibby is a nice player even as a fossil. Maurice Evans is expiring and Jordan Crawford is young and showed at Xavier that he could be a gunner. They also get the Hawks first rounder, which in this draft seems highly speculative. The Wizards really are getting a look at whether Jordan Crawford can be a Juan Dixon 2.0. Hey, it ain’t much – but then neither is being a Wizards follower these days.