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 Millsap, Carroll MyAJC: Hawks just weren’t ready for this AJC: Carroll also had turf toe, should’ve missed 3-4 weeks AJC: Hawks finally confirm Korver needs surgery — but nothing else MyAJC: Hawks learning hard lessons about playoffs MyAJC: Hawks lose Horford but scrap, win respect in loss AJC: Short takes: Horford deserved a foul but not an ejection AJC: Bazemore in, Carroll still standing and Hawks say they’re ready MyAJC: Hawks have been running on fumes for a while AJC: These really were the throwback Hawks — and that’s not good MyAJC: Carroll’s clean MRI alone won’t fix Hawks’ problems AJC: Carroll’s MRI negative, game status still uncertain MyAJC: So many negatives won’t work in this round for Hawks AJC: Game day: Hawks need Korver to find scoring touch MyAJC: Is Hawks’ sum greater than one LeBron? AJC: Odds say Cleveland, but when have odds ever said Hawks? AJC: Hawks in conference finals — and so is Josh Smith MyAJC: Mike Budenholzer’s leadership may continue to grow MyAJC: Hawks finally reach East’s promised land AJC: Short take: Pierce foiled, Teague finishes strong, Hawks move on MyAJC: Hawks in East finals would make Atlanta top 10 MyAJC: Hawks in one win from higher elevation MyAJC: Hawks come through when it matters most AJC: Short takes: Horford comes through, Teague bows out MyAJC: Desperation shouldn’t be Hawks’ prime motivator MyAJC: Brady, Patriots got what they deserved AJC: Another lesson for Brady, Patriots: Don’t cheat, don’t lie MyAJC: Jalen Collins determined to make Falcons’ pick look good AJC: Wall’s injury shifts odds in Hawks’ favor for game, series MyAJC: Braves’ McDowell trying to repair some damaged egos