if the Saints would pass on home town once in a lifetime type of player in Leonard Fournette I would DIE!! Mark Ingram hasn't shown to be all that great. We will likely have a new young QB in a few years and a BEAST back would do him wonders. Hell he may help Brees last a little longer in that he won't have to pass 100 times a game. Delvin Breaux, PJ Williams, DeVante Harris, Ken Crawley, Damian Swann, and Kyle Wilson will be plenty enough depth at corner. The 2 UDFA corners have played good considering they are undrafted. I think PJ was gonna have a good year before the devastating concussion. We are missing Sheldon Rankins right now and our top 3 corners. This D isn't as bad as most think, but the devastating injuries to all our corners have killed us, which would happen to every team out there. Plus I'm scared of Bama corners BIG TIME!! They seem to bust or take forever to produce!!
Yeah the Patriots are just clamoring for an interior offensive lineman. After all they have Thuney and Mason as starters at guard with Jonathan Cooper and Ted Karras as back-ups and have a very good center in David Andrews. What the Patriots need is an offensive tackle because Sebastian Vollmer ain't getting any younger and hasn't really been fully healthy the last two seasons. If there's a great prospect at OT at the end of the first round the Patriots should take him. You're out of your tree if you think the Patriot's greatest need is an interior offensive lineman.
Yet again, I will follow Walt's lead for this draft order outside the fact that the Bears land the top pick over the 49ers or Browns, I have more faith in Cutler running into wins before I do with Kessler or Gabbert. Also, there are still some players not in the system such as the Illini DEs, Justin Evans and Malik Hooker at safety. Until they are in I will mock without them.
C: Al Horford/Zaza Pachulia/Jason Collins/Etan Thomas
PF: Josh Smith/Josh Powell
SF: Marvin Williams/Maurice Evans/Pape Sy
SG: Joe Johnson/Jamal Crawford/Jordan Crawford
PG: Mike Bibby/Jeff Teague
Head Coach: Larry Drew (1st season)
2010-11 Team Salary: Approximately $69.1 million
Off-Season Grade: D+
Ten years from now a killer trivia question will be: Who was the only player in the 2010 free agent class to get a max contract? It wasn't LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Amare, or even Boozer. It was Joe Johnson.
Of course Atlanta was in the precarious position of throwing that type of money at Johnson or possibly losing him and getting nothing in return. Short-term, it needed to be done. But when Johnson is raking in almost $25 million during the 2015-16 season and eating up nearly half of their salary cap, ISH!
Other than that it was an incredibly quiet offseason that did not add any depth to the roster (sorry Etan Thomas.) Jordan Crawford could prove to be a steal with the 27th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
This is a franchise that has improved their record in each of the past five seasons. They started from scratch and built their team with young players who are now becoming established veterans in the league. That growth led the Hawks to 53 wins last season, good enough for third best in the Eastern Conference. Rather than taking that next step and truly evolving into an elite team, I think Atlanta is destined to put it in reverse this season.
Johnson is getting paid like a super-duper star but in reality is what, one of the top 15, maybe 20 players in the league? He was non-existent in Atlanta's second-round series against Orlando in which the Hawks were swept out of the playoffs, losing on average by an embarrassing 25 points per game. That is someone who is going to lead this team into the same category as the Heat, Celtics and Magic? I don't see it.
In Al Horford and Josh Smith, Atlanta boasts an athletic but slightly undersized frontcourt. Josh Smith is a head case. I covered game six of the Hawks-Bucks playoff series in Milwaukee, and Smith kept getting into yelling spats with the fans. Even when the coaches and his teammates told him to shut up, he kept instigating the crowd. During timeouts, he paid zero attention to what was being said instead staring off into the distance. Do not be surprised he goes Zach Randolph or Ron Artest this season.
It appears small forward Marvin Williams will never live up to his billing as a former second-overall pick. The point guard position is in transition with Mike Bibby nearing the end of his rope while the Hawks wait for Jeff Teague to take over the spot.
The bench is led by NBA Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford who reportedly enters the season unhappy that the Hawks have not worked on extended the final year of his contract. Outside of Crawford, there is not an intimidating player on the bench meaning the starters will once again log a lot of minutes and be asked to carry the load.
Maybe new head coach Larry Drew can further tap into the potential of this team and lead them to an even better season that last year. If I were a betting man, I would put money on the opposite happening.
Looking Ahead to the Summer of 2011:
Atlanta will be faced with two important decisions next summer. Horford becomes a restricted free agent and should be a hot commodity as he is one of the up-and-coming young big men in the league. The Hawks should try to take the bull by the horn on this one and reach an extension with the former Gator before other teams even get a chance to pursue him.
The other decision revolves around Jamal Crawford. If his deal does not get extended, Crawford could be a goner as he looks to cash in elsewhere with hopes of landing a starting job.