Tag: Rick Sund

Danny Ferry

Danny Ferry takes offer, is new Atlanta Hawks GM


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.

Report: Hawks offer GM job to Ferry… but they have one?


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.

Larry Drew to return as Atlanta Hawks coach

Atlanta Hawks v Denver Nuggets
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It was one of the first questions for the Atlanta Hawks — what to do about GM Rick Sund and coach Larry Drew? Sund’s deal is up and Drew has a team option for next season.

Looks like Drew will be back, tweets Sekou Smith of NBA.com.

Hawks head coach Larry Drew has had third-year option on his contract picked up. Will be back for another year, per a source. Well deserved!

If Drew is back then you think Sund will return.

Drew is 84-64 (.568) in two seasons as the head man in Atlanta, leading them to the second round of the playoffs last year but they did not get out of the first round this season.

That answers just the first of many questions for the Hawks this summer. Next up is what to do about Josh Smith? The All-Star forward has requested a trade and is entering the last year of his contract. After that comes up the fact that pretty much the entire Hawks bench is a free agent this summer. The roster will see major changes.

But one step at a time, at least the coach is taken care of.

The Atlanta Hawks are a bit of a mess

Larry Drew and Josh Smith

Even with their best player out of action, the Atlanta Hawks had no business being completely eviscerated by the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night. Philly is a solid team, but Atlanta is supposedly superior. They’re supposedly worthy of their decent seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, even if their efficiency differential puts them just a tick above those very same Sixers who embarrassed the Hawks on their own home floor.

The Hawks are regarded in a particular way because of their now-recurring standing as a playoff team. Their multiple All-Star selections (some deserved, some not) and a fortunate win-loss record don’t hurt either, but more sophisticated — and telling — measures of team success paint a darker story of the Hawks’ season. Atlanta has some serious issues, with roots lying in the team’s collective effort, the roster’s construction, and rookie head coach Larry Drew’s handling of the Hawks’ rotation. Winning games by slim margins can only disguise that for so long, and only now are Drew and his team really starting to look inward.

According to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Drew appears ready to shake things up, if only superficially:

“It is just totally unacceptable to come out and play with that type energy, that type so-called passion, to play almost as if they don’t care,” Drew said. “And that’s a reflection of me. If that’s the case, then I am going to have to make some changes to my starting lineup. I’ve seen that way too often, and if that’s the way we are going to start basketball games, I am not going to sit here and take it. I am going to make some changes.”

I think it’d be difficult for any basketball coach to sweep such a glaring loss under the rug, but I suppose some credit is due to Drew for meaning business. He’s going to make an effort to improve his team, even if swapping out the starters may not do much to actually change the Hawks’ performance. There are obviously some moves that can be made (I’ve preached the virtue of giving Jeff Teague some of Mike Bibby’s minutes in this very space) to subtly improve Atlanta’s performance, but for the most part, the Hawks are doomed by the limitations of their roster. The effort level of poor perimeter defenders still matters, but it’s not like Joe Johnson or Jamal Crawford will suddenly transform into lockdown wings. The Hawks roster doesn’t have much room to grow internally, which would theoretically put pressure on Rick Sund to make some kind of move to salvage this team. Again via Michael Cunningham, Drew seems to see the need to some kind of roster move:

The Hawks are a good team so a blockbuster deal isn’t necessarily in order. But Drew acknowledged there have been internal discussions about how to shore up the team’s weaknesses through the trade market.

“With the trade deadline coming up, there is always discussion about possible trades, personnel changing,” he said. “There is always that dialogue going on about looking to improve the team. ‘Would this be a good fit? Would that be a good fit?’ There is always that possibility. Certainly at this stage we have to continue to explore those possibilities. I don’t think at this stage . . . at least I don’t feel comfortable, totally comfortable with where we are after 52 games. We have had some bad losses here at home. That may be a sign, I don’t know. I never want to throw out the possibility of making our team better.”

In a sense, the Hawks are a bit helpless. They need to make a trade but likely won’t, and then their head coach will lament the limitations of a team that simply can’t do much better. Atlanta’s players aren’t playing their best, per se, but even their best wouldn’t put them in a terribly competitive position. The Hawks are merely good, and for both better and worse, that isn’t likely to change. Woe is the NBA’s middle ground, where team officials feel no pressure to address their roster’s more glaring problems, nor the temptation to properly rebuild. The Hawks will make the playoffs, but seem incapable of accomplishing anything more.

Hawks ownership ends long-running dispute with buyout

Image (1) hawks_logo-thumb-250x134-11979-thumb-250x134-11981.gif for post 4050
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No general manager in the league had quite the challenges in getting a deal approved that Rick Sund had in Atlanta. That’s because the Hawks (and the NHL’s Thrashers and Phillips Arena where they all play) are owned by Atlanta Spirit, a group of owners who made decisions as a group.

Want to get approval for a trade? Sund had to get eight infighting owners to agree on it. It was like watching Democrats and Republicans try to hammer out legislation. It was ugly.

But now things may have cleared up. Michael Gearon and Bruce Levenson have become the lead owners of the Spirit and the Hawks after buying out Steve Belkin’s 30-percent share, the team announced.

The dispute that had gone on since 2005 — it started over the acquisition of Joe Johnson and had blossomed into being about everything. Levenson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that the dispute did not impact day-to-day operations (which is not the perception of others around the league):

“I think if you talk to anyone in either organization, they will tell you that this lawsuit has had zero impact. Zero,” Levenson said. “At the end of the day, we had a business partner who we were in a dispute with and we have settled that dispute. It may sound a lot more complicated but that’s really what happened.”

Levenson said the group is looking for additional investors.

The Spirit has lost money, about $50 million in the last two years combined according to court papers tied to the Belkin dispute. To add to that, Levenson and Gearon were the ones who reportedly wanted the massive contract extension for Johnson this summer. The one they will regret in four years.