Danny Ferry has only been general manager of the Atlanta Hawks for about a month but he’s made sure to keep busy. The Hawks are going to look much different next season. Most notably they’ll be without Joe Johnson, who’s been a big part of their franchise for seven years.
Ferry knew coming in that the Hawks weren’t going to win a championship with the team they had. They may do worse next year, but it was a better idea to start over with new parts than cling to what they had and just hope for a miracle.
“It would’ve been very difficult for them to get better,” Ferry said. “As a matter of fact, it would start to turn in the other direction very quickly,” he said. “They had very little [payroll] flexibility, and to maintain status quo would’ve meant being a high-tax team, for a team that wasn’t going to be good enough.”
The only big thing left on Ferry’s to-do list is to figure out what to do with Josh Smith. Smith made it clear last year that he wasn’t happy in Atlanta and wanted out, but things have changed since then. Apparently Ferry likes Smith a whole lot and wants to keep him around. If Smith does return, he’ll be one of only a few Hawks that were on last year’s roster.
The team will have a whole new feel to it, one that doesn’t revolve around just one scorer. Ferry clearly has a vision for his new franchise, and his ability to see into the future is probably one of the reasons he was such an attractive GM candidate. The Hawks won’t be able to turn things around right away, but he’s put them on a track to succeed rather than being stuck in the realm of mediocrity. The Eastern Conference is too stacked at the top right now for the Hawks to break through that barrier, but maybe with a few moves down the line, they could become a contending team.