The report came a little out of left field Sunday night but now it is appears to be more than just a rumor.
Danny Ferry has accepted the offer to become the new Atlanta Hawks general manager, the team announced on its Web site Monday. Ferry will replace long-time GM Rick Sund, who stays on the job this week but will either retire or take a consultant’s role with the team on July 1.
Ferry is the current Spurs assistant GM who was in the big chair with the Cleveland Cavaliers for five years during the LeBron James era. He struggled to put a title team around James in Cleveland, although you can decide how much of that blame falls to ownership and its directions and orders.
Ferry has some challenges ahead of him with a roster that has long been good but not great. First there is Josh Smith, who has reportedly has asked for a trade. Then there’s the fact they have just six players under contract for next season. On the bright side he has a legit All-Star in Al Horford. On the down side he is saddled with Joe Johnson’s anchor of a contract.
This is reportedly a six-year deal, which suggests Hawks owners are not actively shopping the team any more.
The Atlanta Hawks have a general manager in Rick Sund… but they are offering the job to someone else.
Specifically, they are offering it to Danny Ferry, the current Spurs assistant and former GM in Cleveland during the LeBron years. The deal is close, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The Atlanta Hawks have offered Danny Ferry their general manager job and are engaged in serious talks toward completing a deal, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. No deal was completed on Sunday afternoon, but there was progress toward an eventual agreement, sources said….
Ferry would replace Hawks GM Rick Sund, who had been leaning toward retirement or taking on an advisory role with his contract expiring after Thursday’s NBA draft.
The Hawks need some changes — and those changes are being forced upon them. They have been stuck in the space of a good but not great team for years. They have Josh Smith, but he reportedly has asked for a trade. They have the good but wildly overpaid Joe Johnson and his increasingly anchor of a contract. They have a star in Al Horford. They have just six players under contract for next season. They have had for years roster that will get you to the playoffs and maybe the second round, but that’s it.
They need a shakeup, but what they really need is a plan. It’s not clear what that has been in Atlanta for a while.
Doug Collins is getting a lot of credit for taking a rag-tag bunch of young and mismatched Sixers and turning them into a pretty good team. A team with Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holiday and a team on the rise.
He may be trying to parlay that success into more power in the organization under the new ownership.
We told you yesterday that the Sixers had started early looking for Rod Thorn’s replacement as GM and that former Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry was in the mix. Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports says this is all part of a Collins power play.
Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins is making a push for increased organizational power and has been a driving force behind the movement to replace team president Rod Thorn, league sources told Yahoo! Sports…
Collins wants increased power, sources said, and ultimately wants a new GM to answer to him. Ferry, who was the Cleveland Cavaliers’ GM from 2005-2010, is reluctant to accept the job without an ability to report direct to ownership, sources said. So far, Ferry has been on a fact-finding mission to understand the dynamics around how the organization will restructure the front office.
There have been plenty of rumors around the league that Thorn and Collins have a prickly relationship, and former GM Ed Stefanski had been a buffer, according to Woj. But he is out so someone needs to step in.
Ferry is right to take his time — he is back as a key guy behind R.C. Buford in San Antonio, he likes it there. He’s been a GM before and he knows he’s not going to take another job if he doesn’t want to be part of the working environment.
And it’s fair to ask what kind of working environment the Sixers front office would be right now.
Don’t expect the Portland Trail Blazers to move fast — they said they were going to take their time finding a new GM to replace Rich Cho — but apparently they have one name on their list already.
Danny Ferry, the former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager who before and after that has worked with the San Antonio Spurs is on the short list, according to the Express-News. It shouldn’t be a big shock, Ferry was interviewed a year ago when the Blazers were searching for a GM.
The big test — is he the kind of guy owner Paul Allen wants to hang out with? Can he pass Paul Allen’s “Do I want to have a beer with that guy?” test? Because that seems to be the main criteria for getting to stay on as Blazers general manager.
Mike Monroe from the Express-News Spurs Blog summed it up well.
During his five years in Cleveland, Ferry worked for a billionaire owner with a big ego, Dan Gilbert. He also dealt with a superstar, LeBron James, who had a team of sycophants behind the scenes second-guessing and undercutting the GM. Still, Ferry built a team that made it to one NBA Finals and posted the NBA’s best regular-season record in back-to-back seasons.
That’s not exactly a mirror image of Allen’s operation in Portland — the sycophants there work for Allen, not a player — but it’s close enough to prepare Ferry for what he would face if he were to end up as Cho’s successor.
Look for other names to pop up on the list. It will be interesting to see who accepts the job and who walks away after two well-respected GMs — Rich Cho and Kevin Pritchard — were let go inside of a year. There is a lot of money, a loyal fan base and a good roster to work with in Portland, not to mention a lot of great microbreweries. This should be an ideal job. But some guys will not touch it now.
Danny Ferry left the Spurs front office in 2005 to try and build a team in Cleveland around Lebron James.
You can discuss amongst yourself how good a job he did — he hired a defensive-minded coach in Mike Brown then kept giving him talented guys who were weak on that end of the floor — but the fact of the matter is it didn’t work out. At the end of this season he was let go by owner Dan Gilbert, so Gilbert himself could assert himself in the organization. And write letters in Comic Sans.
Ferry then interviewed with the Trail Blazers and Nets, but in the end he is headed back to the San Antonio Spurs to be assistant GM, that according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
This seems like a comfortable fit, a good spot for him. Another good mind in the Spurs front office. As if they needed that. He will almost certainly get another head job at some point, but for now he’s in a place and organization he likes.