NBA Sunday: Jamario Moon Wants To Join Hawks
When the Atlanta Hawks open training camp next week they will do so without a familiar face manning the small forward position. Marvin Williams, the team’s full-time starting small forward since the 2007 season, was dealt to the Utah Jazz in July in exchange for former All-Star guard Devin Harris.
Williams was a key part of the Hawks’ current five season playoff appearance streak, but was much maligned in Atlanta for failing to live up to his status as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 draft after being selected ahead of All-Star guards Chris Paul and Deron Williams.
The departure of Williams has left the Hawks with a gaping hole at small forward entering training camp.
President of basketball operations and general manager Danny Ferry has been on the hunt for a defensive minded wing player and there is a veteran forward who would like an opportunity to earn a spot on the team’s opening night roster.
Free agent forward Jamario Moon believes he’s the logical choice to help fill the small forward void and clearly makes it known the Hawks are an organization he’d like to play for in 2012-13.
“Atlanta makes sense to me,” Moon told HOOPSWORLD on where he would fit best. “Danny was the general manager when I was playing for Cleveland and [Hawks assistant general manager] Wes Wilcox was there too. They already know me and what I bring. It just makes sense.”
As the Hawks’ roster is currently constructed possible replacements for Williams include Kyle Korver, James Anderson and Damion James. Korver is a knockdown long range marksman but he’s probably best suited to play shooting guard. Anderson and James are both 2010 draft picks who have yet to consistently crack a team’s nightly rotation since entering the league.
Moon has career averages of 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds on 46 percent shooting in 286 games over five seasons. In 157 career starts, Moon has averaged 7.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.
The veteran forward has been working out in Atlanta during the offseason and says he’s ready to get back on the court and is in great shape.
“All they have to do is give me a call,” Moon said. “I’m ready to work and do whatever the coaching staff asks of me.”
Moon has played with the Toronto Raptors, Miami HEAT, Cleveland Cavaliers and most recently the Charlotte Bobcats. The Bobcats waived him in early July, making him an unrestricted free agent.
With all of the changes the Hawks have made to their roster since the end of last season, Moon believes the team still has the talent to compete at a high level.
“The team is young and athletic,” Moon said. “I like the direction they’re heading.”
The Hawks currently have fifteen players signed, but the contracts of both Anderson and James are non-guaranteed for the 2012-13 campaign.
Utah Jazz’s Gordon Hayward Seeking Starting Role In 2013?
The Utah Jazz feature four players on their active roster who were selected as lottery picks over the past two years. Second year forward Gordon Hayward is one of those players and one his goals for 2012-13 is to earn a starting spot with the team.
“You want to start for the team, and you want to make sure you’re the one out there on the court getting as many minutes as you can,” Hayward told Brian Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune.
The Jazz acquired veteran forward Marvin Williams this past summer from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for guard Devin Harris. Williams is an established starter who has logged heavy playoff minutes during his career, while Hayward showed promise by averaging 11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists during his rookie campaign last season.
The two will be expected to battle for minutes at small forward once the Jazz open training camp next week.
“In training camp, there’s going to be some competition going on,” Hayward said. “That’ll just further benefit all of our games and make us better as a team.”
Hayward reportedly struggled with confidence early on in his rookie season but after averaging 16.7 points on 49 percent shooting from three-point range in April (last 13 games) the former Butler University standout knows he belongs in the league.
“I’ve shown that I belong in the league”, Hayward said. And it’s something that you work for and you work towards, and now I know that I belong … and now you push yourself even further.”
The Jazz finished last season 36-30 and reached the playoffs before being eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. Hayward averaged 7.8 points in the postseason and shot just 18 percent from the floor, which likely drove the front office to acquire Williams for added depth on the wing.
Can Philadelphia 76ers Center Spencer Hawes Truly Play Power Forward?
Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins has maintained all throughout the offseason that he was going to use center Spencer Hawes more at the power forward spot, but when the team acquired All-Star Andrew Bynum the talk became more viable.
To Hawes’ credit he believes he can indeed log minutes at power forward despite a perceived disadvantage guarding smaller opponents.
“I don’t think it’s a huge challenge,” Hawes told John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’ve guarded the four a lot. Offensively, the way we’ve done it, the four and the five are pretty interchangeable. I don’t think the transition will be overwhelming.”
Hawes signed a two-year deal in free agency to remain with the 76ers and the club also signed well-traveled big man Kwame Brown. But with Bynum now in the fold, the need for both to be flexible in the frontcourt is clear.
“The bottom line is we’re all going to have to show more versatility, and that’s a good thing,” Hawes said. “In the course of a long season it’s good to have guys that can play different positions and fill different needs. Of course, you don’t really know how it’s all going to work out until you get on the floor. But the main thing is that the guys we brought in are unselfish. That’s something that bodes well when you are introducing so many different pieces.”
HOOPSWORLD’s 2012-13 Philadelphia 76ers season preview can be found by accessing this LINK.