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Hawks announce signing of Bibby and Pachulia
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ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks are hustling to keep pace with the Eastern Conference's elite teams.

The Hawks, who traded for guard Jamal Crawford last month, on Monday announced they have re-signed unrestricted free agents Mike Bibby and Zaza Pachulia.

The Hawks finished the 2008-09 regular season as the No. 4 team in the conference. Coach Mike Woodson said moves made by Eastern Conference powers Boston, Orlando and Cleveland put pressure on the Hawks to also be active this offseason.

"Cleveland is trying to win it all," said Woodson of the Cavaliers, who have added Shaquille O'Neal as the new complement to LeBron James.

"Orlando, they're going to be there and Boston has just taken it to another level, I think."

Orlando has added Vince Carter and Brandon Bass. Boston signed Rasheed Wallace.

So where does that leave Atlanta?

"I sure hope right there at that fourth spot," Woodson said Monday.

The Hawks won 47 games last season to claim home-court advantage for their first-round victory over Miami. The Hawks then fell to Cleveland in four straight games in the conference semifinals.

Woodson has endured a sometimes painful building process. The team won only 13 games in the 2004-05 season but has improved four straight years.

"These players got a chance to come back here and finish what they started," Woodson said of Bibby and Pachulia.

The team's agreements with Bibby and Pachulia were first reported last week. Bibby, who made $14.9 million last season, signed a three-year deal for about $18 million and Pachulia signed a four-year deal for $19 million.

The Hawks now turn to negotiations with forward Marvin Williams, a restricted free agent.

"We're juggling a whole lot of balls," said Hawks general manager Rick Sund. "Marvin has got some options as well. Hopefully we can reach something that makes sense for both."

Williams, who battled injuries last season, could accept a one-year qualifying offer at $7,355,165 and test the free-agent market in 2010. Williams made $7.4 million last season.

Williams, 22, averaged 13.9 points and 6.3 rebounds last season.

The Hawks can match any NBA offer to forward Josh Childress, who played in Greece last season.

"I'd accept him with open arms, without a doubt," said Woodson of Childress, who was the team's versatile sixth man.

Bibby resolved a problem at point guard when he was acquired during the 2007-08 season. Last season, his first full season with Atlanta, he finished eighth in the NBA with 167 3-pointers last season while averaging 14.9 points and 5.0 assists.

"I think it's a good situation for me here with this coaching staff," said Bibby, 31. "Woody is one of the best coaches I've played for. You look at what we have and what we have coming back, and we believe in ourselves. We think we can get it done."

The 7-foot Pachulia averaged 6.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in 77 games, including 26 starts. He has played primarily as a backup behind Al Horford the last two years after starting in 125 games in his first two seasons with the team.

"It would be very hard for me to leave this team and go somewhere else," said Pachulia, who said he wants more playoff success. "I'm looking forward to building on it and go even farther, to not be satisfied with the second round and go for the championship."

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