D&B: Is Atlanta Finally A Spot For Free Agent

Wednesday, June 19th

NBA TV’s Tom Penn joined Dukes & Bell to talk about the NBA offseason with the Draft tomorrow night, and how close are the Hawks? Penn said he thinks there will be a ton of trade activity the next few weeks.  “I see a ton of activity over the next few weeks.” Penn said “The main reason for that is the East and the West for the first time in a really long while are so wide open, so that should encourage everyone to go make deals, and typically you’ll see that on draft night.” Tom told the guys the fourth overall spot in the draft is what got the AD deal done. “Primarily because number four wasn’t defined.” Penn said “New Orleans was probably thinking the pick would be a later because the Lakers would be a playoff team, but being number four was a game changer. I always thought that deal would be more likely to happen in the offseason.” “I don’t know if they can do it. The first thing they have to do is get Anthony Davis to waive his trade kicker, when Miami did the big three Dwayne Wade took about five million less, LeBron and Bosh did the same thing, here they don’t have that option because Lebron is making the max.” “None of that matters anymore now that they’re NBA champions. I think they ride the wind, losing Kawhi changes things but they all knew he was a rental player so they’re drinking Molson and riding in the wind up there.” When asked how the Hawks get big name free agents to sign with the team. “You got to get better.” Penn said “The key this year is finding a running mate for Trae, he’s an A player, and a signature player for this franchise, can you move up and get whoever you want. This year you get the other A player to grow up and run with Trae, then you wait for that cap room in the next year, when about $40 million comes off the books. Then the appeal of Atlanta comes to play, can you show the growth to free agents, I think next year is the year for the Hawks.” Penn said he’s curious to see how the Hawks spend their cap space this year. “They have $25 million or more in cap space to spend.” Penn said “I’m curious to see how they spend it, they could continue to use it to gain assets, but I think they should try to get an identity with a bunch of guys who fight their tails off and show respectability.”


Braves Legend Dale Murphy joined Dukes & Bell to talk about the Braves hot streak, who he would add at the deadline, and is this the best Braves infield ever? “It’s the weird thing that people who know baseball love it. The Braves are red hot, can’t be stopped and then they get blown out and completely shut down, one of the great attributes of this team is the Braves never give up.” Dale said the division will come down to who takes care of business against the lower tier teams.  “You look at the Mets they have a good staff.” Murphy said “They’re throwing a quality pitcher out there, this is going to come down to what you do teams  with the lower tier teams like Miami, your win percentage has to be really good against those lower tier teams because every night it’s going to be a dog fight.” Murphy told the guys you can never have enough good pitching.  “You’re pitching has to be really good.” Murphy said “Baseball will always be pitching, it’s always about pitching, then defense, then your offense, but everyone will be going after Madison Bumgarner. There’s no such thing as a crowded pitching staff, some guys will get bumped but you cannot have enough quality pitchers, I think the Braves will be very active, hopefully sooner than later.” Dale said this could be the most productive Braves infield ever when it’s all said and done.  “I don’t doubt that.” Murphy said “I looked thru past infields, in ’82 our infield was good, Chipper’s MVP year the infield hit 74 homeruns, these guys have already hit 57 homeruns and 179RBI which will completely blow any infield the team has had out of the water, I like our lineup better than anyone in the East. The other thing is the defense, this is a great offensive and defensive infield.”