Hawks’ most likely scenario: Danny Ferry’s resignation

Danny Ferry hired Mike Budenholzer two years ago but Ferry’s exit could lead to more power for the coach. (Jason Getz, AJC)

Danny Ferry hired Mike Budenholzer two years ago but Ferry's exit could lead to more power for the coach. (Jason Getz, AJC)

Danny Ferry hired Mike Budenholzer two years ago but Ferry’s exit could lead to more power for the coach. (Jason Getz, AJC)

The Hawks are nearing a sale and it follows that the Danny Ferry situation is likely nearly a resolution.

As Chris Vivlamore reported late Thursday, the sale of the Hawks (and Philips Arena operating rights) to Tony Ressler and partners is scheduled to be completed on June 24, the day before the NBA draft. In situations like this, new ownership generally would rather not have to deal with answering questions at the introductory news conference about sticky situations like Ferry’s status.

There has been a belief within the Hawks’ organization for several months that the team’s general manager is not going to be brought back. The thinking is that coach Mike Budenholzer (expected to get a new contract with a raise and more autonomy) and assistant general manager Wes Wilcox likely will be at the top of the basketball operations department, at least for the next year.

At this point, there are three scenarios for Ferry, but only two plausible ones:

• Ferry resigns: This is the favorite. It could happen any day. The Hawks likely would agree to pay off the balance of Ferry’s contract and it would allow him to make an exit statement along the lines of, “I’m proud of the work I did here but I feel it’s the best for all parties to move on.”

• Ferry is fired: It doesn’t serve anybody to have this thing end ugly, least of all Ferry, who wants to get another job (and will). But he has been resistant to leaving, loves living in Atlanta and it may come to this.

• Ferry is kept: Think “PowerBall” odds.

Once more, with feeling: This isn’t about whether you believe Ferry has served his penance. It’s about the belief within the Hawks’ organization that they now have a successful and stable structure in place and they can operate fine without him, pending an addition or tweak in the front office down the line. If you put a 1,000 people in a room and 950 say Ferry should be brought back but 50 scream, “Racist!” — whether that’s accurate or not — is that something a new owner wants to deal with?

It’s business. The next move is up to Ferry.

Previously on this subject

MyAJC: Hawks have bigger decisions than signing Millsap, Carroll

MyAJC: Mike Budenholzer’s leadership is expected to grow

MyAJC: Private agendas still at play in Hawks’ offices

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Reader Comments 0

288 comments
Godfrey Daniel
Godfrey Daniel

I have been a fan of the Hawks and season ticket holder for 40 years. During most of these 40 years the Hawks were the worst NBA team due to absolutely horrible management. Shall I remind you of such illustrious draft picks such as Jon Koncak rather than hall of famer Carl Malone, or even dumber move when we were in desperate need of a point guard we picked forward Marvin Williams over future hall of famer Chris Paul. Finally, after 50 years of incompetence, we somehow were able to get a real general manager who actually knows how to put together a winning team on a very limited budget. And now the brilliant owners want to run him off to appease the local population rather than win an NBA championship! And by the way, the majority of the local population never attends Hawks games. I'm not sure why I have followed this woeful team all these years. I guess it was because I thought someday they might figure it out. Now that they have, they are forcing the man responsible for the turnaround out. If Danny Ferry goes else where so will I. I'm tired of supporting a bunch of incompetents.

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

This is further evidence that Atlanta is a "sports stupid" town (sportswriters, fans, sports management).  OK, so how many championships do we have in 50 years? Wait for it...wait...ONE!  And that is because of ONE MAN, Ted Turner, who was INDEPENDENT of all the idiocy.  The Hawks will soon be back in their customary place after Ferry leaves.  Out of the playoffs or knocked out in the first or second round if they are fortunate enough to get to the playoffs.  The Falcons are going nowhere soon, the Braves are a joke with owners that do not care about a championship.  Yet the fans just eat up all the hyperbole and grandstanding BS.  I go to a Hawks game to see the other team or a superstar.  I go to a Falcons game because I love football (and want to see all of the NFL teams before I die). I don't waste my time anymore with the Braves.  So where does my sports dollar go?  Figure it out.

The best decision the Hawks have made in 40 years is hiring this guy, the worst decision they could make in 40 years is firing this guy.


They should make him a partner and beg him to stay.


If this guy leaves, welcome back to the same old, same old we saw for 40 years.

peanutgallery
peanutgallery

If the Hawks let Ferry go and they proceed to suck the next year everyone is going to say this was a terrible mistake.


The chorus is going to grow even louder if Ferry signs with a new club and he improves the team like the Hawks.



Skydawg55
Skydawg55

So a guy should resign or get fired for simply READING a scouting report about Luol Deng? Even Deng was quoted as not having a problem with the situation knowing that's not who Ferry is. This is just an Atlanta professional team being an Atlanta professional team that continues to step on its own toes. And then left wing pansies getting their panties in a bunch.

tyger
tyger

President/GM Grant Hill can...


Get big name FA to consider ATL...

Necessary for next step forward...

Imagine Aldridge-Horford on low block...

That's formidable...

ksleezy
ksleezy

I won't go to a single game next year if they don't resign him.  He is who made all this possible.  

barnouin
barnouin

WOW WE GET A TWO FOR ONE ...GREAT...



itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

but hey have at it, doesn't make a difference to me b/c if danny doesn't make good moves afterthis season we will still be that little team on the hill.domonique was still the only excuse to see uson television

itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

well ask any of the current superstars and seewhat name comes to mind

DrGonzo
DrGonzo

Well, if they let him go, it will be the first mistake this new ownership group makes. They're lucky I'm still a Hawks fan after the nightmare that was Atlanta Spirit Group - after they sold the Thrashers out from under us I almost boycotted the Hawks. But if this new ownership group doesn't start spending some money, I will not be impressed. Sick of Atlanta teams being run by Scrooges who won't spend to help us win.

itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

what a shame, the hawks are not even worth mentioning without Domonique era and we gonna throw him under thebus for some body who never dribbled a ball for the hawks.

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@itsslomotionbaby nique threw himself under the bus for pitching a whiney tantrum about a statue.  Plus he never played a lick of defense.  Just as always, he puts himself above the team.

itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

look whom nique had to get through in the second round , bird &Jordan, the only chance hehad to go without seeing him is the year we trade him.

itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

hey ho wait a minute now forget you guys now danny can get screwed with a silver dildo if you all are feeling like that, how is itdanny did way more for the hawks than Dominique. and if its true, what reason did danny ferry have for opposing domoniques statue.

itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

well hell if push come to shove why not grant hill, Im pretty sure his hit or misses is just as good as the next man.as long as we leave ccoach bud alone, and we have seen who on the team is not readyfor the big stage, any competent basketball person should know what we need right now.

Wayne_stuck_in_AL
Wayne_stuck_in_AL

Somewhere, Mike Gearon is smiling with the damage he's done to Atlanta sports.


I just want to live long enough to dance on his grave when he's dead.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

THREE PLAYERS HAWKS MUST GO AFTER


MARC GASOL - 4YEAR 70MILL


LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE 4YEAR 70MILL


BROOK LOPEZ - 4YEAR 60MILL


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Yes it may be time to move on.


Grant Hill and Coach Bud Combo will work Hawks fans.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

we are all acting as if there are no good basketall people out there, I mean danny did put this thing together and got rid of some anchor chains as far as contracts.but he has done a few goofy things. look at his track record as fars as drafting.he drafts people that he doesn't even keep or later own trades away.the only one he has worked with is dennis. he also left us butt nakid at the end of the playoffs with Indiana by leaving us with antic.then he folded his hands on us again at the trade deadline, even though they said he was supposed to be in operative, which I don't buy.we are still at the end of the day have to hire somebody that can inspire free agents to come here. 

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@itsslomotionbaby Those "goofy things" that you mention are the main reason why the Hawks had their first 60 win season in franchise history with a bottom five payroll.

Adam007
Adam007

Na na na na   Na na na na  Hey hey  Bye bye Danny Ferry ! The 1% who oppose keeping Danny Ferry win!


Na na na na   Na na na na  Hey hey  Bye bye NBA Championship !

hustleje12
hustleje12

It would be an awful move if Ferry isn't brought back. The momentum and the stability this franchise has would quickly dissipate. Ferry has been punished enough.

Aejohn1080
Aejohn1080

They better keep Ferry. We wouldn't have Coach Bud if Ferry hadn't hired him. What would the owners do if Bud told them he's leaving if Ferry does? He wouldn't have a hard time getting a job. And the Hawks would be right back where we started.

tyger
tyger

@Aejohn1080 We are right back where we started. Hawks 1 second away from losing to Wizards. Swept by CAVs in ECF. Hawks realistically a 2nd rd. playoff team as usual. East wont be this weak again.

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@tyger @Aejohn1080  We weren't one second away from losing to the wizards.  We were one second away from being tied with them and going into overtime.

etherdome
etherdome

Danny Ferry has done a great job with the Hawks.  Not good, but great.  He made a lousy comment, but nothing in his history suggests that he is a racist.    


Ownership has the right to do whatever they want.  The trouble is that most long-standing Hawks fans have seen a lot of garbage and wasted opportunities.  


I think that parting ways with Danny Ferry would be a mistake.  The kind of mistake that will hurt for many years.  It will feel like taking Marvin Williams over Chris Paul.  


Let's hope that sanity prevails.  

scooby668
scooby668

it is a sad situation when someone can loose his job by doing his job.. as g.m. his job is to gather as much information as possible about potential free agents and relay that information to the owners so they can make a decision .. he gathered the information and READ A REPORT WRITTEN BY SOMEONE ELSE...and michael gerren set him up and no one had the balls to stand up for him.. he deserves better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@tyger @scooby668  The media, of whom you are the champion, have stated it was a scouring report from Milwaukee or Cleveland.  It's been so long ago, I can't remember which team. .

dirtybird33
dirtybird33

If Danny Ferry is no longer the Hawks GM, then I am no longer a fan of the Hawks. If that happens, it proves Atlanta is the losersville of professional sports. We're cursed in this city. And, from what I hear from reliable sources, is that Dominique doesn't want Danny back because of the statue issue. This is sad beyond words. Screw Dominique Wilkins! Danny Ferry has done more than Dominique ever did for Atlanta Hawks basketball!

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@dadofseven What reason do Wilkins have to care what the Hawks fans' want? It was always about his statue and his piss poor commentary skills that's more important to him. Real fans see right through that. Wilkins is a thing of the past and is a non factor in the Hawks organization. What was he doing with his asset when the Hawks were on sale? I remember hearing his name in the early process of the sale but soon enough his name vanished. I rather get rid of the dysfunctional member of the society than the functioning contributing member.

JesseWhite
JesseWhite

No company is ever going to take a stand to make a statement...this is a business. This is a capitalist society and the new owners are going to do what they think is best to make more money. It's all about the money...I thought conservatives would understand that. If you don't like it, then don't support the Hawks or buy your own NBA franchise.

Poledawg83
Poledawg83

@jeffschultzajc "If you put a 1,000 people in a room and 950 say Ferry should be brought back but 50 scream, “Racist!” — whether that’s accurate or not — is that something a new owner wants to deal with?"  Absrolutely I would  deal with that!  If you are the owner you will have to make some tough decisions.  IMO this one is not even a tough decision.  There is no groundswell of support for letting him go.  The high profile community and NBA leaders support him.  Keep the guy that helped make it a stable organization, the guy who has a great relationship with the coach of the year.  The true fans want him to stay.  Don't punish them by making your move a blunder because  you are afraid of the "50" who will scream about this and then something else next week.  If you let Ferry go you are turning your back on the people that matter, the team and the supporters.

mdet
mdet

The new owner's first order of business is to keep the Atlanta sports curse alive and well!


Wow, aren't we "lucky".

SomewherenSGa
SomewherenSGa

Again fans who pay to be in the seat should get a say in this. You would think being a owner  he would at least listen. Everyone has been offended or has offended someone else. some time in life. The system worked from the top down this year. A new GM will either slow the process, or put us back to starting over, after we finally have a team fans love to watch and support.  I vote keep Ferry, give him probation and if he messes up then get rid of him. But give him a second chance to finish what he has started

Rijker
Rijker

Considering there are no cited sources in this article, I have no idea if Jeff Schultz is talking out of his mind or there is an "actual belief within the Hawks' organization". Nevertheless, I've already contacted my sales rep with the Hawks about cancelling my season tickets if Ferry is ousted.

Mo'sMule
Mo'sMule

nique and the african american players don't want ferry back---end of story!  they need to hire an african american GM!

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@ClubShack Yes and while they are at it, they should also fire our current coach and hire an african american coach and maybe also resell it to an american american owner.

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@ClubShack  Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas and Billy Knight are out there for us.  Or should I say, the three stooges?

Pistol66
Pistol66

@ClubShack  We had an African American GM, Billy Knight, who destroyed numerous high draft picks for us and ran the Nets into the ground! NO, we need the best man for the job and that appears to be Danny Ferry! Philips will echo from the empty seats if he is let go or resigns!  For the first time in 20 years our team is relevant and the fans will not put up with losing hope again!