Hawks Improve Frontcourt Depth With Joe Smith

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
By Micah Hart

The Hawks continued to fill out their roster for the upcoming season, as today the team agreed to terms with veteran big man Joe Smith. Frankly, I can’t think of a better fit for this team going into the season.

We know frontcourt depth is a priority, and yet we also know that with Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Zaza Pachulia in the fold, there aren’t a ton of leftover minutes laying around. That being the case, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone willing to take on a back-up role who brings all the things to the table that Joe Smith does. Namely:

He can shoot. Joe Smith is a reliable perimeter shooter, which is something the Hawks have been missing in the frontcourt for awhile now. That’s not meant as a slight against the returning players, but I think we can all agree that Al, Josh, and Zaza all do their best work close to the basket. Joe can do work down low as well, but I think Coach Woodson will enjoy having him at his disposal for his pick-and-pop capabilities.

He knows his role. One thing Rick Sund talks about in discussing the success of last year was the Hawks’ roster being more accepting of their roles than in the past. With minutes scarce, you want to know that anyone you bring in isn’t going to start chafing about playing time and potentially cause chemistry issues in the locker room. Joe Smith knows that at this stage in his career he is not going to be asked to log 30+ minutes every night, and at the risk of speaking for him, I daresay I think he’s ok with that.

He’s versatile. Hey, you can’t be a Hawk if you can’t play multiple positions, right? At 6-10, Smith is capable of filling in at both the center and power forward spots, and I imagine he’ll end up having to play some of both as the season progresses. You’d love to think that everyone on the team will be available for 82 games, but it’s unlikely. Injuries aside, Joe will fit right in with the Hawks big men and allow Coach Woodson to consider a multitude of frontcourt combinations.

He’s a veteran. Though the Hawks have been to the postseason the past two years, they still have a bit of the reputation of youth – that is to say, their confidence seems to wax and wane at times during the season and they struggle to maintain intensity. Joe Smith has been in the league 14 years, and he’s played on some pretty good teams in that span. I feel confident that his presence in the locker room will come in handy several times over the course of the 82 games (and more?) to come.

If there is any downside to this signing, it’s that the similarity of names (Joe Johnson, Joe Smith, Josh Smith) on the Hawks roster will potentially make discussing them very confusing. I’m sure we’ll manage though – at least until this guy decides to take up hoops.

Let us know what you think about the newest member of the squad in the comments!

UPDATE: Joe Smith talks about joining the Hawks


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35 Responses to “Hawks Improve Frontcourt Depth With Joe Smith”

  1. Swingman912

    Good Pickup….more depth is always good, especially in the frontcourt…Leadership is key on a young team like ours, and he’s been around the league enough to teach our young guys a thing or two. I think instead of getting big names like other teams in our conference and division, we’re getting more players that can make a difference, which is very commendable. Garrett Siler, Johan Petro, Othello Hunter, and Mario West should be the others added to our roster. Mo evans is expendable, so a pick next year would suffice for him……..CHUUUUUUUUUCH

  2. Mr. Hawk

    Swingman, perfectly said.

  3. Kofi

    I am very excited about this signing. Joe smith Chose to come to a team where he prefers to plAY MORE minutes in a game instead of staying with the Cavaliers who offered him the same amount as the hawks did and have a betetr chance of winning the finals… I couldnt be more greatful to Joe Smith because of that and I know he is what were looking for. Good job here sund. Thanks alot Joe Smith.

  4. charcois

    i thought that joe smith will going to be free agent till the season finish until i found out that joe smith is now on atlanta hawks. i am very excited right now because i am really number one fan of joe smith since he was rookie until now. Thanks atlanta hawks for giving joe smith an opportunity to play again and i hope he will have more game time rather than sitting on the bench watching his teammates. go atlanta hawks go joe smith!

    (number one fan of joe smith here in the philippines)

  5. O-BliQ

    Between the already returning cast of players we have and the addition of Jeff Teague and Joe Smith… we are on our way to the top… We have a great coach in Mike Woodson (because I’m a defensive player so i like defensive coaches). We have the young legs and the Veteran’s to direct the young legs… I’m excited to watch my Hawks win the division this year and God willing the Conference Championship…

  6. joecool

    Great pickup. I think that Joe smith is gonna fit perfectly into the hawks frontcourt rotation. It defininately solidifies this team. I can’t wait for this year to start. GO HAWKS!!!

  7. Hawksgirl

    Great job management. The deal is done and we are now contenders in the big east. The Hawks are growing and will soar! Joe smith will be a perfect pick for us as a big man and veteran to the young guys.

  8. Anonymous

    The time to quit being second fiddle and the cream always rises to the top. The addition of Joe Smith,Jeff Teague, and resigning our free agents, have us ready to win it all.

  9. Keith

    The Hawks have what it takes now to win it all.Joe Smith and Jeff Teague were the missing parts to a NBA Championship.Magic,Lakers,Cleveland beware.

  10. Hawksfanman

    Joe Smith Is A Good Edition But Im Pretty sure were not going to “win it all” and were not on the level of cleveland, LA, or Orlando, were getting better tho……….. sign flip

  11. Anonymous

    hawksfanman… i agree with everything u said…. especially the last part (sign flip please!)… ….. sign gerret siler too

  12. Hawksfanman

    This is who the hawks have

    Mike Bibby
    Jamal Crawford
    Maurice Evans
    Al Horford
    Joe Johnson
    Randolph Morris
    Zaza Pachulia
    Joe Smith
    Josh Smith
    Jeff Teague
    Marvin Williams

    Pretty Decent Line up THough if we can afford it I think we should sign Garett Siler, Othello Hunter, and Flip Murray, (And I think Mo Evans and RNDOLPH mORRIS SHOULD BE TRADED TO GET SOMBODY USEFUL)

  13. Jeff

    apparently the hawks are about to sign the 7 foot jason collins, im excited if this goes through, i like the lineup that i look at right now

    This is how we look at every position


    Hawks management please move AL to PF and start Zaza so Collins can be the new zaza off the bench, he has to get minutes, he can help alot if woody gives him the minutes, please, please start zaza, AL will be a beast at PF

  14. Hawksgirl

    So its not a rumor then? Jason Collins is being courted by the hawks. If we get him signed i like our line up all around even more. This season is going to be great! GO HAWKS!

  15. devin

    7 foot chris kaman for morris and evans

  16. Mr. Hawk

    I agree with you hawksfanman, they need to keep Murray. He is priceless off the bench. He’s a nice spark and he gets the crowd at Philip’s into the game. Depending on the starting line-up he could no doubt be the best 6 man in the league. That’s right we do have Crawford now, and Marvin probably coming off the bench, DAMN!. Let’s pray for a an injury free season. With the signing of Crawford, I can see Joe getting more rest during games. Has anyone heard about the J. Collins situation? and/or the Kaman situation? I get frustrated when I go to Hawks.com and don’t see any changes or updates, but i’m quite sure the best GM of 2010 knows what he is doing.

  17. Hawksgirl

    Is teague ready to be backup for bibby? He is great but is he ready for that time? We need flip back definently so we can have someone else for teague to look up to.

  18. Anonymous

    Its exciting to be a Hawk’s fan. I hope they bring Flip back. He played hard last year.

  19. Hawksfanman

    FLips a combogaurd I heard they are trying to sign mario west instead of flip murray if that happens im blowing up phillips arena

  20. Hawksfanman

    After Just watching flips highlights i just remembered another good quality he has hes fearless hell take in to u whether ur 5’5 or 7’0

  21. Hawksfanman

    I heaRD the hawks dont want to give joe an exstenction becuz there trying to sign DWADE

  22. Kofi

    Hey Hawksfanman get your facts Zach Randolph…. He plays for the Memphis Grizzlies. Also where did you hear that rumor about trying to get Dwayne Wade because thats pure crap.

  23. Kofi

    I ment to say get your facts straight about Zach Randolph.

  24. Mr. Hawk

    I can see Zach Randolph, but Wade, come on! I really wouldn’t want Wade in Atlanta. As every basketball fan knows he’s in the top ten, but I think a distraction and a little spoiled. I like our line-up here. Anyway I think that he is one of those players who only wants play in a big name city. Maybe i’m wrong, but I think we could go far with our team.

  25. Hawksfanman

    Two problems with my previous statement 1st I meant RANDOLPH morris and second I made up the DWADE thing to seee what yall think about it

  26. Anonymous

    does the general manager (rick sund) or any other hawks staff member read these coments? because i want them to see and understand how important flip is to our team and our fans. SIGN FLIP!!!! sign gerret siler and/or jason collins.

  27. Kofi

    Mr. Hawk, Dwade top 10? Try more like top 3 or 5. But are you crazy?! WHo wouldnt want DWADE on their team?! You say he is spoiled… so does that make Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwight Howard spoiled too? If it does that mean you wouldnt want them in our team? If thats so then your out of your mind.

  28. Mr. Hawk

    No Kofi, I said Wade. Please show me what Wade has done without Shaq, but make the highlight reel on sportcenter. This is not a popularity contest i’m talking about wins and leadership. He is a great player, but does he make other players around him better i/e Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James. You CAN NOT compare Wade , Bryant and James they all bring different aspects to the game. Bryant is the total player; professional.

    I don’t think the Hawks NEED Wade,but of course the fans would want Wade. Keep the nucleus the same and the wins will come.

  29. Kofi

    Yeah my bad i put the D and wade together. But you do realize he doesnt really have all stars on his team do you? Jermaine is not the old Jermaine that made the all star a few years back. Although that might change this year if he can stay healthy. DO you honestly think Kobe would have won a championship without teamates like derek fisher, travor ariza, Pau Gasol? Where were the lakers a few years back when they had smush parker as the starting pg, Kwame Brown as the center etc. I rememebr Kobe didnt want to be with the lakers and asked for a trade back then. Why is Wade so different? Only argument you could make is with Lebron because he made it to the finals without Mo WIlliams, Delonte West etc. Even though they lost 4 straight to the spurs. Now answer this if you dont mind, What makes Joe Johnson any different from Wade?

  30. Kofi

    Oh by the way… im not trying to make this into a popularity contest. You asked what has Wade done without Shaq and im just responding back. Pretty much what im trying to say is after shaq wade hasn’t had any help, he has pretty much helped the team all by himself. For the most part a team that wins a championship has more than 1 all star on their team.

  31. Mr. Hawk

    Kofi, you make plenty of sense. The difference between Wade and Johnson is not enough to want them to switch teams. Wade does it in spectacular fashion and Johnson is more quiet with his. So Kofi, who is one more All- Star that the Hawks/Heat need to make it to at least the Conference Finals. I think that the Hawks are making big moves and hopefully they are not done yet. Atlanta does not have All- Stars on their team either, I just think that it is a team thing, and the star making average players better.

  32. Mr. Hawk

    …… other than Joe Johnson.

  33. Jeff

    We should sign Navarro or get Murray back, we need more guard firepower encase Teague is not ready or if bibby gets hurt