Yesterday we reported the rumor that the Hawks and Pistons were talking about a deal that would have sent Tayshaun Prince to Atlanta for Jamaal Crawford and Jeff Teague. We also said that trade itself didn’t make a lot of sense.
Now the Pistons have denied such talks, according to MLive.com.
Which is smart, those specific talks were bad.
But as we said in the original post, what is of note here is that the Pistons are considering such a move. How fast something like that would happen in the middle of an ownership sale remains to be seen, but they are talking.
The other half of that is that the Hawks were talking, that they realize they need to do something if they are to challenge Miami, Boston and Orlando in the East. The roster as is won’t get it done.
Interesting little note — like there always seems to be — in Sekou Smith’s Hangtime blog at NBA.com.
He heard the Pistons and Hawks were talking a trade: Tayshaun Prince and filler to Atlanta for Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague.
This actual trade strikes me as not a great move for either side, but there are a few interesting things here.
One is that, as a scout friend of Smith point out, the Pistons need to do something.
“Detroit has to do something,” my scout friend told me. “They’re not going anywhere with the group they have. They know it and everyone else knows it. So Tayshaun or Rip, one or both of them have to be in play if they’re going to start the rebuilding process properly.”
The question really isn’t if they need to do something but when — with the team up for sale and serious talks with Mike Ilitch to take over, would a bold trade move really be likely? Maybe after the sale and closer to the deadline. Smith suggests after Dec. 15, when just signed guys like Will Bynum can be traded. But it may be later than that.
Another point — this trade shows the Hawks have to do something. They just set the families of Joe Johnson and Al Horford up for generations, yet they remain a good step back of the Heat, Celtics and Magic in the East. The Hawks have a small window to jump into the elite conversation with this core, but they’ll have to add to it.
Also, are the Hawks really ready to give up on Jeff Teague? Trading Teague and Crawford would leave the Hawks with Johnson, Mike Bibby and then it gets thin. Frankly, it gets thin with Bibby. The Hawks would still need to address backcourt issues after this move.
We said it before but it bears repeating, the Atlanta Hawks are in no rush to move or extend the contract of Jamal Crawford.
Crawford has pushed for one of those options, but the Hawks have not made a move, and according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution the team has not decided yet even if they want to do one of those things.
Crawford needs to be patient, he has no real leverage here. He’s a very good player — the NBA’s sixth man of the year — and there might be teams willing to take on his $10 million contract as an expiring deal that comes with some scoring, but he’s going to be hard pressed to get an extension right now. From anyone. It’s smart for him to try before the new Collective Bargaining Agreement lands, but it’s just as smart for the Hawks to wait. And the Hawks hold the cards here.