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HexNBA
07-03-2006, 03:34 PM
Hawks lure Speedy Claxton away from Hornets

By Marc Stein
ESPN.com

The Atlanta Hawks, roundly criticized for bypassing Chris Paul in the 2005 NBA draft, filled their void at point guard Monday by reaching a verbal agreement with Paul's backcourt mate: Speedy Claxton.

Claxton's agent, Bill Duffy, told ESPN.com that Claxton has verbally agreed to sign with the Hawks on July 12, the first day free agent signings and trades can be made official.

It is believed that Claxton will receive a four-year deal worth $25 million.

The Hawks targeted Claxton after a two-year, $13 million bid to wrest Sam Cassell away from the Los Angeles Clippers fell short. Cassell opted late Saturday to stay in L.A. when the Clippers matched Atlanta's offer.

Claxton, who logged key playoff minutes at the point for San Antonio's 2003 championship team, emerged as a top Sixth Man Award candidate with the Hornets last season as Paul's backup. Hornets coach Byron Scott frequently played Claxton and the eventual Rookie of the Year together in a small, but quick backcourt tandem.

Claxton is expected to be the unquestioned starter in Atlanta, enabling Joe Johnson -- the Hawks' marquee free agent acquisition last summer -- to play at his natural shooting guard position.

DevinHarriswillstart
07-03-2006, 03:43 PM
At least this erases their bid for Mike James.

mattyd
07-03-2006, 04:22 PM
good point Devinwillstart...

and I'm not really a speedy fan, so now he's off the Mavs's radar.

rakesh.s
07-03-2006, 04:53 PM
The Hawks still have way too many wing players. If they can deal one or two of them for an all star big man, they could be dangerous in the East.

dude1394
07-03-2006, 05:20 PM
Well, well, well. So unless there is another suitor for mr. james that leaves the mavs/rockets I guess. If Bill Duffy waits much longer it might not even be mavs/rockets.

DevinHarriswillstart
07-03-2006, 05:51 PM
Why would Mike James ever go back to the team that sent him to Toronto for Skippy? We should be the front runners to sign him. I know rebuilding teams won't rebuild around a 31 year old point guard.

nashtymavsfan13
07-03-2006, 06:01 PM
Yeah, this is good because it takes the Hawks out of the running for Mike James. I'm thinking we are now the front runners, but with Bill Duffy you never know.

kingmalaki
07-03-2006, 06:16 PM
Why would Mike James ever go back to the team that sent him to Toronto for Skippy? We should be the front runners to sign him. I know rebuilding teams won't rebuild around a 31 year old point guard.

Because he never wanted to leave Houston, because his family lives there and because he would get more PT in Houston.

He claims he wants to go back to Houston, but I would be suprised to see him turn down the bigger check from either team. All of the teams with $$$ seem to be set at PG, so I think it's between Houston & Dallas, and which one can offer more (maybe the S&T route).

I read somewhere else that Duffy is the agent for James, Claxton, Nash and Yao. I wonder if politics with the agent will come into play.