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Chat transcript: June 25
Hawk Talk

The Hawks have entered their second decade with Pete Babcock at the helm as vice president and general manager. When Babcock came to Atlanta in February of 1990, the Hawks were in the midst of a .500 season and failed to make the playoffs for the first time in five years. Over the next seven years, his personnel moves -- including trading for All-Stars Steve Smith and Christian Laettner, plus signing free agent All-Star Dikembe Mutombo -- helped propel the Hawks to six straight seasons of averaging more than 50 wins.

Now after a couple rebuilding seasons, Babcock and his staff now have an exciting young team and look to add to it with their selections in NBA Draft 2001 and over the offseason. Babcock chatted live on June 25.
Scotty from islandtelecom.com at 3:02pm ET
What position do you guys think you should improve on and who do you think would best support that need?

Pete Babcock at 3:03pm ET
We won't be picking for position. We will be picking for the best available player. Our need is a big guard, but we will take who we think is the best player available.
JOhn at 3:03pm ET
Who are your small school sleepers this year?

Pete Babcock at 3:04pm ET
There probably aren't any real sleepers this year.
Francisco at 3:04pm ET
What do you think about Pau Gasol?

Pete Babcock at 3:06pm ET
We really like Pau Gasol. I flew to Spain to talk to Pau and watch him play. He's a legitimate 7-1 player with an enormous wingspan. He will need a few years to make the adjustment, but he has a tremendous upside.
Montell Cephas from abdn1.md.home.com at 3:06pm ET
Is Shane Battier on your mind, or are you guys ready to suprise?

Pete Babcock at 3:07pm ET
Shane is definitely a player we are considering. A lot depends on what happens with the picks ahead of us. We pick three, but we would love for our top-rated player to still be there, so it really depends on the teams ahead of us.
Corbitt from sisna.com at 3:08pm ET
What positons do you project Nazr Mohammed and Ratliff and Kukoc to play next year? Is it likely that you will add another PG to the roster whether through a trade or the draft?

Pete Babcock at 3:10pm ET
One of our preferences is to add some size to our backcourt, but that is not likely to happen through the draft, so we have to look to free agency and trades to do that. We expect Theo to be center and hope to sign Nazr to be his backup.
D.C. from proxy.aol.com at 3:10pm ET
How did Griffin do in your interview and testing process, and are you concerned with his off court problems with teammates?

Pete Babcock at 3:11pm ET
Eddie worked with us and did very well. He played last year as an 18-year old, yet still led the nation in blocks. Our research showed him to be a positive person.
matthew from tnt3.baytown.tx.da.uu.net at 3:12pm ET
What do you think about Loren Woods?


Pete Babcock at 3:13pm ET
Loren, in our opinion, had a roller-coaster season, but finished strong. He worked out for us and did a great job. He has excellent quickness and versatility. He still needs to bulk up.
Montell Cephas from abdn1.md.home.com at 3:13pm ET
Is there any chance you'd take Alvin Jones with your second round pick if he was left?

Pete Babcock at 3:14pm ET
The second round is wide open. We will look for players we think are first rounders, but that somehow slipped down. We might look towards a big guard or a backup center.
hakan from turkey at 3:14pm ET
Do you think this is a deep draft in terms of flair? Will there be any Michael Finleys in this year's draft coming in the 21st pick?

Pete Babcock at 3:16pm ET
I think there are a number of talented players, that go deep into the draft. It's a young draft, so teams will have to be patient. In three years, teams could look back at this draft and see just how good it is.
Jim from proxy.aol.com at 3:16pm ET
Has you staff considered drafting GMU's George Evans? I understand that his advanced age of 30 may scare some teams away but he's ready to contribute immediately unlike many players in this years draft. Thanks.

Pete Babcock at 3:17pm ET
He is a very good player and had a good career at George Mason. We saw him at the Portsmouth camp. The general feel is that the draft is about acquiring young talent, but if you want a player who can contribute right away, he might be someone you look at.

Apobe2001 from rcmt.splitrock.net at 3:17pm ET
Are you all thinking of any big time free agents this offseason?

Pete Babcock at 3:18pm ET
Beginning July 1st, we will look into signing a free agent. We are going to be over the cap, so sign-and-trade would be our route.
sma1069462 from proxy.aol.com at 3:18pm ET
what players are you trying to build the team around?

Pete Babcock at 3:20pm ET
Theo Ratliff, Toni Kukoc and Jason Terry are our core nucleus. We tell our players that if we see a trade that will make us better, we will do it, but we hope to build around those three.
Mone at 3:20pm ET
Where is Rodney White rated on the Hawks draft board?

Pete Babcock at 3:21pm ET
Rodney White is a very talented player, who has moved up from a concensus mid-first rounder to the early stages of draft. He was injured, so he could not work out for us, but the word is that he has had great workouts.
Jerry from dialip.mich.net at 3:21pm ET
Do you like Jason Richardson, and you are guys thinking on drafting him?

Pete Babcock at 3:22pm ET
Jason Richardson is a phenomonal athlete. He is explosive and a big upside to his game. Within a few years, he could be special.

Pete Babcock at 3:23pm ET
I appreciate the fans' questions. Thank you very much.
 
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