On Tuesday, I wrote a column illustrating the lack of clarity around the Hawks’ general manager search.
On Wednesday, the clouds lifted.
The Hawks’ hiring of Golden State’s Travis Schlenk as their new general manager could come as early as Thursday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Chris Vivlamore.
So the Hawks got their guy. But is he the right guy?
Schlenk won’t be bringing Kevin Durant, Steph Curry or Klay Thompson with him. But he is known as a strong talent evaluator and has been around a winning championship environment and some smart basketball people. He’s also done every job imaginable, including working as director of basketball operations at Georgia (1998-99) during the forgettable Ron Jirsa era.
Schlenk, who has been with the Warriors for 12 years, has a varied background. He was on staff at Georgia, later worked in basketball operations for the Orlando Magic, was a video coordinator for the Miami Heat for four years, worked as an assistant coach and video coordinator for Golden State for five, then moved into the Warriors’ front office. This is his fifth season as Golden State’s assistant general manager.
But Schlenk, whose candidacy wasn’t a secret from the outset of the search, has never been the big-picture guy. So in a sense, he’s untested. Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler previously suggested his new general manager would be given control of the operation and presumably have control over personnel over coach Mike Budenholzer, who lost his title as president of basketball operations after the Hawks were eliminated from the playoffs.
It’s not certain at this time if Schlenk also will be given an executive title like team president, or if the Hawks will move somebody else into that position. Orlando, in a similar situation, just made two hires: Toronto’s Jeff Weltman as president of basketball operations and Milwaukee’s John Hammond as general manager.
The Hawks, theoretically could get a little bit of a PR bump by hiring a front-office assistant off a finals team, just as the Falcons did when they hired former Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn after consecutive Super Bowl appearances. But those bumps last only as long as the first decision or the first game.
The Hawks’ face enormous personnel issues this summer. Those include the decision on whether to re-sign unrestricted free agent forward Paul Millsap and restricted free agent Tim Hardaway Jr., who to draft and whether Dwight Howard will be a part of the future.
The Hawks have sought a general manager who can deal with Budenholzer and will be able to make difficult decisions, should the two parties be on opposite sides of personnel issues. That became a problem in the Budenholzer-Wes Wilcox relationship. In addition to Budenholzer losing his executive duties, Wilcox was moved from general manager to a nondescript advisory role. He’s expected to leave the organization.
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Recent tunes on the digital jukebox
- Three weeks later, there’s lack of clarity on Hawks’ GM search
- Hawks ask fans for GM candidates, and well…(‘blond Dennis Rodman?)
- Millsap takes step toward free agency, and it might be for the best
- If NCAA does nothing to Baylor, why does it exist
- Freeman’s injury: Something in rebuild Braves couldn’t plan for
- Braves’ nightmare becomes reality: Freddie Freeman out about 10 weeks
- Freddie Freeman the one player Braves’ couldn’t afford to lose
- Falcons’ Freeman said he won’t let negotiations affect him
- As anger from Super Bowl lingers, Quinn driven to fix Falcons’ defense
- Bartolo Colon isn’t Braves’only pitching problem, just the biggest
- CBS poll: Paul Johnson among top 25 coaches, Kirby Smart only … 54th
- Braves go from 20-10 finish to 11-20 start, and it’s on starting pitching
- Please, let’s stop the Danny Ferry-back-to-Hawks talk
- Out past 2 a.m. before playoffs? So much for Howard’s dedication
- Atlanta Confidence rankings: Falcons again at top
- Hawks’ Ressler made right decision in end but quick GM hire is needed
- Ryan Howard hopes to get call up from Braves soon
- Tony Ressler’s apparent U-turn: Hawks’ shake-up may be coming
- Swanson handling things fine but Braves need to slow the promotion train
- Odds says Falcons will win NFC South again but record will drop
- Howard upset at benching and this homecoming seemed doomed from start
- Hawks’ quick playoff exit affirms change is needed
- If McKinley is as good as he is emotional, Falcons chose well
- Falcons’ drafts have become comfortable days since Dan Quinn’s arrival