Hawks Sign Speedy Claxton Release
HAWKS SIGN CRAIG "SPEEDY" CLAXTON TO A CONTRACT
Veteran point guard brings his talents and championship experience to Atlanta backcourt
ATLANTA, GA (July 12, 2006) -- Atlanta Hawks Executive Vice President and General Manager
Billy Knight today announced the team has addressed one of its biggest needs
with the signing of free agent guard
Craig "Speedy" Claxton to a contract. As is
club policy, terms of the contract were not released.
"We were aggressively seeking to upgrade this position during the free agency period and it didn't take long for us to come to an agreement with Speedy and his representatives," said Knight. "As we continue to build a team with playoff aspirations, we now have our second veteran point guard with championship experience and the ability to help us reach that goal in Speedy. While his addition strengthens our backcourt and adds quality depth with Tyronn Lue and Royal Ivey, we will continue to do what is necessary to give our fans the type of team they can be proud of."
Claxton, a 5-11 point guard, was the top reserve last season for the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, and finished second in NBA balloting for the league's Sixth Man Award after averaging 12.3 points and 4.8 assists. A five-year pro who played key playoff minutes for the San Antonio Spurs and their 2003 championship team, Claxton was acquired by Hornets from Golden State (along with Dale Davis) and cash considerations in exchange for Baron Davis on February 24, 2005.
Paired in the Hornets backcourt with starting point guard and Rookie of the Year award winner Chris Paul, the duo was considered one of the team's most effective combinations, and Claxton emerged as a top Sixth Man candidate (Memphis' Mike Miller took home the trophy) after helping the Hornets challenge for a playoff berth in the team's first season in Oklahoma City after relocating from New Orleans.
He brings career averages of 9.9 points, 4.3 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.49 steals in 290 career games to Atlanta, with shooting percentages of .419 FGs and .775 FTs.
Formerly selected in the first round of the 2000 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, Claxton played four seasons at Hofstra, recording 16.9 points, 5.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.42 steals in 119 contests. The school's all-time leader in assists (660) and steals (288), Claxton is one of only four players to reach 2,000 points (2,015, 4th). He earned America East Player of the Year honors in his final two campaigns and as a senior, Claxton posted 22.8 points, 6.0 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.29 steals to receive honorable mention All-America honors.
Craig "Speedy" Claxton has a degree in liberal arts from Hofstra, and three of his siblings have played or still play collegiately around the country - Lisa plays for St. John's (NY), Michael is a guard at Villanova and Stacey played at Hofstra. He was born May 8, 1978 in Hempstead, NY and attended Christ the King High School in Queens, NY.