This much we know: Changes appear to be coming to the front office of the Atlanta Hawks.
However, nothing has happened yet. An earlier report that Wes Wilcox was out as GM was shot down by the team, who sent out this statement:
“Hawks leadership is undergoing a period of evaluation and looking at how basketball operations works best. There are no changes to report at this time and any reports indicating otherwise are inaccurate.”
Then came this bomb from Adrian Wojnarowski.
Everything in Atlanta seems up in the air and up for discussion. Changes are coming, but what changes remain to be seen.
This may all come back to the big question facing Atlanta this offseason:
Do they re-sign Paul Millsap to a max contract?
It seemed like Mike Budenholzer and part of basketball operations were ready to move Millsap and start the rebuild at the trade deadline when Kyle Korver was shipped to Cleveland. Then Atlanta ownership appeared to step in and stop the teardown, Millsap, stayed, and the Hawks got to the playoffs (but were eliminated in the first round).
Because of their cap situation, if the Hawks re-sign Millsap to a five-year max (what it will cost) they likely stay a good but not great team — 44-52 wins a season, first or second round playoff exit — for the foreseeable future. For someone like Budenholzer, out of the Spurs organization, the instinct may be to rebuild with young talent rather than live in the middle.
However, the Hawks have connected with the Atlanta community — specifically younger people living and working in the city — and are selling tickets at a pace the organization hasn’t seen in a long time. The Hawks are profitable. From ownership’s perspective, a rebuild could mean a drop in gate revenue and that connection with the community could be gone. This status quo might work for them.
There are some serious questions that the Hawks need to answer, and it seems that what they decide is going to lead to some front office changes. Big ones. And soon.