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Mike Bibby, Kirk Hinrich Swap Places in Hawks-Wizards Trade

Feb 23, 2011 – 8:50 PM
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Brett Pollakoff

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PHOENIX -- Multiple reports have the Hawks and Wizards involved in a trade that would send Mike Bibby, Mo Evans, Jordan Crawford and a 2011 draft pick to Washington in exchange for Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong. Michael Lee of the Washington Post was among those to have confirmed that the deal is now done.

As reports were swirling about the multi-player deal going down, the Hawks locker room had just opened to the media, as the team was preparing for Wednesday night's game against the Suns. Head coach Larry Drew was only able to confirm that the deal was pending, and that the three Atlanta players would be held out of the game while the details were sorted out. He did, however, say that the area he believes his team needs to improve the most is the point guard position.

"Well, I don't think it's been a secret to anyone, as far as what we've been trying to do in trying to enhance our position at the point guard spot," Drew said. "We've made some inquiries about some players around the league, and the deal that we do have today pending does involve a guy who would come in and be our point guard for us. We're looking to enhance that position for us, and hopefully this thing goes through."

When asked if the Hawks need to acquire yet another All-Star to compete with the likes of the Super Teams in the Eastern Conference -- the team already has two in Joe Johnson and Al Horford -- Drew said the team simply needs to improve wherever it can.

"Whether that player be an All-Star or not I think we're always looking to bring another player in that can make our ball club better," Drew said. "We're always looking at potential deals, potential trades that can make us better. Certainly our phones have been pretty hot these last few days, and I'm sure they'll be hot tonight as we get closer and closer to the deadline."

Horford, meanwhile, wasn't so certain that his team needed to make a midseason trade to shake things up. But he seemed open to embracing the possibility.

"No," Horford answered, when I asked him if he felt the Hawks needed to make a trade at this point. "I'm all about winning, and I feel like we have a good thing going. But at the end of the day, it comes down to what management feels is best for our team. We'll kind of see what happens, because these next 24 hours are big for our team."

With less than 30 games to go in the regular season, it can be tough for teams that make deadline deals to adjust to the new players in time to truly show what they can do together once it's playoff time. Horford pointed to his rookie season as a time when making a trade at the deadline turned out to be a positive thing for the Hawks.

"We'll see. My rookie year, we traded for Mike Bibby, and that was huge," Horford said. "He helped us right away to get us to a position where we were able to reach the playoffs. ... So you never know. It just depends how quickly people are able to bond."

The acquisition of Hinrich is a definite upgrade at the point guard spot for the Hawks, but honestly, this move by itself won't be enough to push Atlanta into the conversation as one of the league's elite teams, or one of its true championship contenders. I asked Horford if it might be time for him to maybe recruit some guys in the offseason, and start telling them how great Atlanta is.

"Maybe," Horford said with a laugh. "Definitely you want to compete with the Bostons and the Miamis, so you have to do something."
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