Gearon Denies Rumors, Reports of Hawks Draft-day Disagreements

ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Hawks' new draft picks answered questions today at their first Atlanta appearance Monday since last week's NBA draft.

Forward-center Al Horford and point guard Acie Law also posed with their new jerseys -- numbers 15 and 4, respectively.

After the formal news conference, Hawks general manager Billy Knight and Michael Gearon Junior, the most visible member of the ownership group, remained enthusiastic about two rookies they believe can help end the team's eight-year playoff drought.

Gearon strongly denied draft-day rumors and Internet reports that disagreements among the owners interfered with a possible trade for Phoenix Suns center Amare Stoudemire. Gearon said those reports were "nonsense."

Gearon acknowledged the owners had "some debate" about trading at least one pick for a veteran -- possibly a point guard.

Knight said today that Horford and Law will be major components of the franchise for a lot of years forward."

The 6-foot-10 Horford was listed as a power forward on draft lists but said he is ready to play center for Atlanta if needed.

Law was seen by some as more of a shooting guard than point guard. He said he just wants to do whatever it takes to win.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)