cloudyn.png
Wednesday July 6th, 2022 1:02AM

Hawks' Wilcox out as GM, Budenholzer no longer president

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks' next general manager will have total authority of personnel decisions following moves on Friday which dismantled the two-tier management team of Mike Budenholzer and Wes Wilcox.

Budenholzer resigned as the Hawks' president of basketball operations and will remain as coach, and Wilcox resigned as general manager and "will become an adviser to ownership."

Budenholzer will remain involved in personnel decisions, but principal owner Tony Ressler stressed the new general manager will be in charge.

"I think we as a franchise need more firepower to get to the next level," Ressler said Friday.

Ressler said he hopes to have a new general manager before the June 22 NBA draft and free agency.

After saying two weeks ago he had confidence in the team's leadership with Budenholzer and Wilcox, Ressler said "it became painfully obvious" changes were needed after meeting with each of the two.

"I thought then and now that Bud is a heck of a basketball coach and Wes has a great basketball mind," Ressler said. "But I also felt after these in-depth discussions with both of them it became quite clear to me that we could be better."

The changes come after the Hawks dipped to 43-39 this season and lost to the Washington Wizards in the opening round of the playoffs.

Budenholzer was promoted to president of basketball operations after a 60-win season in 2014-15, when the Hawks earned the top seed in the East and reached the conference final before getting swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The management team of Budenholzer and Wilcox engineered offseason moves which produced questionable results.

The team signed Kent Bazemore to a four-year, $70 million deal and signed center Dwight Howard to a three-year, $70.5 million deal. Point guard Jeff Teague was traded to clear the path for Dennis Schroder at point guard, and longtime center Al Horford signed with Boston as a free agent.

Howard did not play in the fourth quarter of the Hawks' 115-99 Game 6 loss to Washington. It was the second time in six playoff games the center did not play in the fourth quarter.

Two straight seasons of dips in win totals could lead to a more dramatic decline if the team is unable to re-sign free-agent forward Paul Millsap.

Millsap, a four-time All-Star who averaged 18.1 points and 7.7 rebounds, was the top producer on a roster that received disappointing returns from Howard and Bazemore.

Ressler said "I don't think it's fair" to say Budenholzer and Wilcox were forced to resign. He said the two also recognized the need for a change.

Ressler said when he asked Budenholzer and Wilcox how the team can improve, neither "felt we were operating to our best ability as a franchise. I would argue they were recognizing at least as clearly and early as I did, maybe earlier, and it became painfully obvious after discussions with each of them."

Budenholzer acknowledged the 43-win season and first-round exit from the playoffs was disappointing.

"I think we thought we had a team that could compete with anybody in the league," Budenholzer said Saturday. "I think when you look at the record from the regular season and then not advancing from this round, I think we all thought we had greater potential."

Ressler said the team would conduct a "wide-open" search for a general manager. Rick Sund, the Hawks' former GM who has remained a senior adviser with the team, will help coordinate the search but won't be a candidate, according to Ressler.

Former player Grant Hill, part of a Ressler's ownership team, also is not a candidate for a management role. "He's an owner, a friend and an adviser," Ressler said.

Ressler said he was uncertain if a new president of basketball operations will be named. The title would have less punch in the reorganized front office with a new general manager making the personnel decisions.

"The GM will have clarity of vision in his role and his authority," Ressler said. "He will absolutely be in charge as great GMs should be of basketball personnel. Mike Budenholzer will have input from a head coach's perspective, which we value."

Ressler said he expects Wilcox will have offers from other teams if he does not want to remain as an adviser.

© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Hawks' Wilcox out as GM, Budenholzer no longer president
Mike Budenholzer resigned as the Atlanta Hawks' president of basketball operations and will remain as coach, the team announced on Friday...
12:00PM ( 52 minutes ago )
Soccer: All-Region 8-AAAAA Team announced
The Region 8-AAAAA boys and girls Al-Region soccer teams were released Thursday...
9:00AM ( 3 hours ago )
Overstreet hits 2 homers, Elder pitches complete game in Bears win
The Truett McConnell baseball team advanced in the Appalachian Athletic Conference baseball tournament as the Bears defeated No. 25 Point, 9-1, Thursday afternoon at Hunter Wright Stadium.
11:58PM ( 12 hours ago )
Sports
Braves-Mets postponed thanks to steady rain
The New York Mets' game at the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night has been postponed by rain.
11:49PM ( 13 hours ago )
After playoff loss, Hawks pondering front office changes
After a disappointing season ended with a first-round playoff loss, the Atlanta Hawks are evaluating possible changes in their front office.
11:51PM ( 1 day ago )
Reyes has 5 RBIs, Mets pound 20 hits off Braves in 16-5 rout
Jose Reyes tied his career high with five RBIs, New York pounded out 20 hits and Jacob deGrom managed to hang around long enough to get the win, leading the Mets to a 16-5 rout of the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.
11:50PM ( 1 day ago )
Professional Sports
Banks County judge throws out charges against former Hawks player
Charges against a former Atlanta Hawks player arrested with his brother on Interstate 85 in Banks County in 2016 have been dismissed by a judge.
9:55AM ( 1 day ago )
After playoff loss, Hawks pondering front office changes
After a disappointing season ended with a first-round playoff loss, the Atlanta Hawks are evaluating possible changes in their front office.
By The Associated Press
11:51PM ( 1 day ago )
John Wall scores 42 points, Wizards eliminate Hawks 115-99
John Wall scored 42 points, Bradley Beal added 31 and the Washington Wizards withstood a furious Atlanta comeback to close out the Hawks with a 115-99 victory Friday night, winning the opening-round playoff series 4-2.
By The Associated Press
10:41PM ( 6 days ago )
Home, sweet home: Beal, Wall lead Wizards past Hawks, 103-99
Back at home, and back in charge, Bradley Beal scored 27 points, and John Wall added 20 points and 14 assists, leading the Washington Wizards to a 103-99 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night for a 3-2 lead in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
9:28PM ( 1 week ago )
Hawks-Wizards, Bulls-Celtics headed to testy Game 5s
Paul Millsap has accused the Washington Wizards of bringing mixed martial arts to the court.
By The Associated Press
11:07PM ( 1 week ago )