Let me start by saying that Jordan Crawford excites me as a draft pick. Always nice to grab a potentially great scorer that late in round 1, and Crawford- Also known as “He Who Dunked On LeBron”- is not just a good scorer; he’s also a great 3-point shooter, with deep range and plenty of confidence. In the regular season for Xavier, J-Craw 2.0 averaged 20.5 ppg and shot 39% from distance. In the postseason, he cranked up the scoring even more, posting totals of 28, 27 and 32 as the Musketeers advanced to the sweet-16.
There is a lot to like about Crawford’s scoring ability and his ability to shine in big moments. Sure, he’s no better defensively than his namesake, Jamal (no relation), or the point guard combo of Teague/Bibby, but when you’re picking that late in round 1, the opportunity to add a guy with an elite skill, in this case scoring, you gotta do it.
Now that that’s out there, we must address the other two picks “made” last night. The first one, the 31st overall pick that the Hawks received from the Nets in a swap of the teams’ first-round picks (which is great since Damion James, the 24th pick, is approximately 39 years old and has no true position) was spent on German big man prospect Tibor Pleiss. He was immediately sold to the Oklahoma City Thunder for cash considerations.
And the 53rd overall pick was spent on Pape Sy, a Euro guy who will now be stashed overseas for who knows how long. But it’s not like he’s a burgeoning youngster, he’s already 22 years old. So who knows if the Hawks legitimately consider him a viable option for down the road, or if they were just trying to avoid paying another roster player.
So with 3 picks, the Hawks got 1 player (who I’m excited for), cash considerations and a guy who nobody will likely never play Hawks uniform. With many intriguing big man prospects still on the board, I was vastly disappointed in this outcome. The Hawks had an opportunity to improve their roster depth, and instead sought to improve their bottom line.
It’s important to note that the roster is far from finalized, there’s still the whole Josh Childress issue, which seems closer to a resolution with reports that he and the Wizards are nearing a deal that would bring him back to the states. That could possibly turn into a sign-and-trade. Then of course, there’s the matter of Joe Johnson, which could also yield some quality return if the team opted for a sign-and-trade.
Rick Sund says he wants to add more veterans, so it’s clear we’re not done dealing yet. Forgive me though if I’m tempering my expectations. With their frugality and directionless leadership, the hilariously named Atlanta “Spirit” Group has all but crushed mine.