Hawks Hit Home Run With Ferry

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — So Danny Ferry is the man charged with trying to refocus and revitalize the Atlanta Hawks?

He’s the perfect man for the job.

Why that would be needed for a team that’s made five straight playoff appearances is not the point. With five core players (Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford, Jeff Teague and Zaza Pachulia) on the roster for the 2012-13 season chewing up the bulk of the salary cap space, the Hawks are in need of a mini-makeover.

Ferry, the vice president of basketball operations for the San Antonio Spurs (and the former general manager in Cleveland) —  until he was announced as the Hawks new GM this morning — has proved capable of mastering the mini-makeover. He did it several times in Cleveland when he had to put together the right supporting cast for LeBron James.

His arrival in Atlanta is the franchise’s most significant summer acquisition since Horford fell into their lap with the third pick in the 2007 Draft.

Ferry replaces the retiring Rick Sund, who replaced Billy Knight. And Ferry offers the Hawks a far different and much more aggressive approach to building a team than what Hawks fans are used to. While Sund was a sound caretaker of a franchise that had already crossed the threshold from lottery outfit to regular playoff contender, he never made the bold moves that might have pushed the Hawks to the next level.

The heavy lifting had already been done when Sund arrived. The culture was established under Knight and former coach Mike Woodson. They rolled to a 53-win season in 2010, the franchise’s fifth-best record in their Atlanta history, on Sund’s watch. But they have regressed in each season since then.

Ferry, on the other hand, was the architect of teams in Cleveland that went to The Finals in 2007 and twice finished with the best regular-season record in the league. When he left Cleveland in June of 2010, he went back to the Spurs. He had won a championship there as a player and later worked under Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford, widely regarded as two of the very best in the business of building championship structure and culture.

Even with their core in place for all of these years, and internal bluster that three straight trips to the conference semifinals from 2009-2011 suggested they were among the league’s elite, the Hawks have never been considered championship material.

Hiring Ferry, a home run for the franchise in every way, gives them someone at the controls who knows what an “elite” organization looks like from the inside.


  1. Mr. Ferry, is good at what he does!! He came from a great organization in the San Antonio Spurs under the grooming of Mr. RC Buford and Gregg Pop. Lets also acknowledge Peter Holt. Danny will be successful with the Hawks. Larry Drew, Tyronne Hill, Nick Van Excel and staff get the players ready for the 2013 season.

  2. Polo Jones says:

    I just hope that danny ferry can take us to the next level in bring home the gold ball and getting some players that will help do that.I know if every other team can make some big moves the hawks can do it too b/c it do not make no sence to make play offs every year and get put out the frist or second round every year.We need to go to the finals like other teams do and win something

  3. Jezze says:

    No I don’t think he will be so great for the team… They will make a little progress but not much… They aern’t a winning team.

  4. ZipLoks says:

    Just keep having Atlanta Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. talk smack w/Kevin Garnett, so KG gets motivated to beat the Hawks again!!

  5. Jamal Ali says:

    made the 2007 Finals and has had back to back best records in the league, star player with back to back MVP awards and all home game sell outs at the Q… i would call that a success. he put the right cast around LeBron, they just couldn’t get the job done

  6. Jordan says:

    In order for the Hawks to be a title contender, they need to released Joe Johnson and get a real reliable player.

    Amnesty Joe Johnson

    Get Deron Williams

    Deron Williams
    Josh Smith
    Al Horford

    Then add up a supporting casts

  7. uptmonsta says:

    Gasol for Josh Smith and Marvin Williams. The money adds up. The Lakers currently have two starting centers and the Hawks currently have two starting powerfowards. Marvin Williams isn’t in the team’s future plans anyway. Gasol allows Hofford the opportunity to flourish at powerfoward and Big Smooth gives LA a stretch four to compliment Bynum. A Gasol/Hofford front court with Joe Johnson facilitating in the East just might give Miami problems. And Gasol’s deal is up in 2 years, if he and Johnson haven’t made at least a conference finals appearance he’ll be off of the books and you can blow the thing up and rebuild around Hofford and Teague.

  8. uptmonsta says:

    Josh Smith and Marvin Williams for Pau Gasol. The money adds up. The Lakers currently have two centers and the Hawks currently have two powerfowards. Lets not undervalue Pau Gasol. He has the size and skill set of Duncan and Garnett and rings to prove it. The Lakers and Pau were at their best when Pau was at 5 and Odom at the four. Unfortunately for Pau the Lakers have an up and coming center. As for the Hawks Gasol allows Hofford to play his natural position and Marvin Williams should not be in their future plans anyway.

    • TSFR says:

      second to this thought. as a lakers fan, it would be a win win for both franchise. Only thing with this is whether or not Kobe would agree to let go of gasol… but with two talented pf, he might i hope

  9. Patrick H. says:

    I think Hak-solo has hit the nail on the head. Except #2 on that list will never happen, but we do need a better coach. Joe Johnson has needed to go for a long time running, and Dominique Wilkins should be nothing but a figure head like the Queen of England, smile for the people, but no real decision making power.

  10. Andrew says:

    take the hawks to the finals like u did with the cavs….starts with getting rid of josh and marvin

  11. emerson mcspadden says:

    this is good for us, we finally get someone behind the wheel that has experience. there’s nothing we can do about all the money were paying Joe. but at least maybe we can get the right pieces to back him up. josh smith is the star of the team, I’d say we need to keep horford, teague and smith and get rid of everybody else. especially marvin williams he never shows up.

  12. Akeem says:

    So much nonsense about getting rid of Joe Johnson, because he is not a super star. He is our ONLY clutch player, and he is VERY clutch. There are 15 teams in a conference and only 12 all stars per conf. Several teams have multiple all stars each year, so many teams don’t even have ONE all star. Very few have a super star. Boston won a few years ago with no super star, but several all stars and a very, very good coach. As good as Josh Smith is, he needs to be put under control. He could be our third all star if he would give up those bad habits, long shots, leading the fast break, etc… He should be going to the basket, posting up and filling the lanes on those fast breaks. Then he AND the Hawks would be much better off. Oh! and let the centers play center and Al Horford play forward. It worked against Orlando when we owned them finally. You keep J.J., unless we can get Labron, or Kobe,…..yeah …right. Case closed!!

  13. Alex Marrero says:

    So the Hawks, who are and have been in a better state then Orlando despite not being as successful the last few years, get a GM who knows his stuff. Awesome, I agree someone so high up in the San Antonio organization (arguably the best in basketball) deserves the credit he’s due and the positives he will likely give to Atlanta. But Orlando gets a guy who was a part of that organization as a top recruiter AND part of building the magnificent team in OKC (albeit they have had some growing pains) and he’s given no more then a “they got this guy, he’s only 30, Orlando’s a joke” type of vibe. Even in the 2 years we got to the finals and conference finals they seemed to be a joke to everyone. Now they’re trying to start somewhat fresh, try and build trust with new faces (who won’t be so overbearing or dislikeable as Stan, forgive me because I think he’s a terrific coach) and keep a star player who can’t seem to grow up soon enough and give some inkling as to his intentions for next season. They’re doing what they can, and perhaps they aren’t as smart as San Antonio has been, but they were, are, and should be treated with more dignity then they’ve gotten over the years.

    Yeah, I’m a disgruntled Orlando fan who’s tired of the drama here, hope it ends soon. And congrats to Atlanta truly, with all the changes, etc. the league will be so much more interesting next season.

  14. Hak-solo says:

    Perhaps the ASG, after over a decade of killing our spirit, is finally getting it.

  15. Hak-solo says:

    am very pleased by this move. Now if we can get a real coach here and restructure the core – adding by subtracting Marvin Williams then we can truly become championship contenders.

    1. Call up Josh Smith and see if there is anything that can be done to appease him in Atl, if not – trade him asap.

    2. Call up Sloan or Phil Jackson see if they are willing to coach the team. Peace out LD.

    3. Amnesty Joe or package him – bring in a true Superstar.

    4. Watch the fanbase grow leaps and bounds and rival OKC’s fanbase.

  16. Wes says:

    If he is to be judged by what he did in Cleveland than I would say that was a failure, James is now a Champ but I think he is in Miami. The supporting cast must be better.

  17. tyler says:

    the prob is joes contract. the only way to build a team is dump joe. he eats up virtually everything

    • Jimmy says:

      Yes Joe getting pay too much, he get pay more then LBJ and dont even do half the job…OVERPAID and overrated…Let him go!!!

  18. victor knox says:

    “He did it several times in Cleveland when he had to put together the right supporting cast for LeBron James” – I beg to disgree on this… Miami has the right supporting cast…

    • heat fan says:

      Really. What is the author thinking? LeBron left Cleveland because Ferry could not close the deal.

  19. DASILVA says:

    This is just what the Hawks Needed, a guy who has been proven: This is Hawks team has a pretty good core a great shooting guard in six times All Star Joe Johnson. Having JOE, Josh n Al, and teague on the roster is a nightmare for most of teams in the league but we all know the problem with this ball club, they play nightly basis short handed at the Center Position because Al Horford is trully a PF. I just hope HE can go after a guy like Dwight Howard who’s from Atlanta giving the fact they need to bring pieces at the bench..So GOOD LUCK HAWKS I LIKE THE MOVE JUST KEEP ur core n bring a TRUE n powerful center HAwks fan will have something to cheer about once again

  20. Cord says:

    Ferry should have the right touch to add players that really complement the core of Joe Johnson and Josh Smith, maybe find an important third wheel that can deliver points on a regular basis. I have always felt the Hawks were a team that could go cold too quick, they really missed Jamal Crawford.

    • Azeron says:

      Joe Johnson and Josh Smith as the core of the franchise is the first problem Ferry needs to solve.