07-03-2006, 04:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Coral Gables/Miami, FL
Speedy Clax to the Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks, roundly criticized for bypassing Chris Paul in the 2005 NBA draft, filled their void at point guard Monday by reaching a verbal agreement with Paul's backcourt mate: Speedy Claxton.
NO/Oklahoma City Hornets
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
71 12.3 2.7 4.8 .413 .769
Claxton's agent, Bill Duffy, told ESPN.com that Claxton has verbally agreed to sign with the Hawks on July 12, the first day free agent signings and trades can be made official.
It is believed that Claxton will receive a four-year deal worth $25 million.
The Hawks targeted Claxton after a two-year, $13 million bid to wrest Sam Cassell away from the Los Angeles Clippers fell short. Cassell opted late Saturday to stay in L.A. when the Clippers matched Atlanta's offer.
Claxton, who logged key playoff minutes at the point for San Antonio's 2003 championship team, emerged as a top Sixth Man Award candidate with the Hornets last season as Paul's backup. Hornets coach Byron Scott frequently played Claxton and the eventual Rookie of the Year together in a small, but quick backcourt tandem.
Claxton is expected to be the unquestioned starter in Atlanta, enabling Joe Johnson -- the Hawks' marquee free agent acquisition last summer -- to play at his natural shooting guard position.