Hawks sign Speedy Claxton
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
"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
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.
Talk about Claxton and the team on the Atlanta Hawks Forum.