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Monday, June 25, 2018

Articles tagged: Atlanta Hawks

Hawks GM explains how team benefited from Twitter leaks

The parade of reporters prematurely leaking picks to their Twitter followers made for an especially entertaining sideshow during this year’s NBA draft. But remarkably enough, one team was actually able to benefit from all the hoopla.

In an appearance Friday on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk revealed that the Hawks were about to trade up for a Milwaukee Bucks’ pick to ensure that they got at least one of their two preferred prospects. However, when news leaked that the Bucks would not be taking either player with their pick, Atlanta was able to pull out of the deal.

“Last night, for instance, we had the 19th pick, and we’re coming down and we’re actually talking to Milwaukee on the 17th pick, talking about trading up to get a guy we like,” said Schlenk. “There’s were a couple of guys we felt really good about on the 19th pick, obviously [Maryland guard] Kevin [Huerter] was one of them, and it leaked who Milwaukee was going to take.

“So, all of a sudden, we were able to pull back out of that deal and keep the draft pick instead of packaging picks to move up because we knew that, two guys on the board we felt really good about and only one team in between us,” Schlenk added. “So that was beneficial to us last night.”

The Bucks wound up taking Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo at No. 17 in a pick that was indeed revealed to Twitter by Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports minutes before it was formally announced on the podium by commissioner Adam Silver. The San Antonio Spurs then drafted Miami guard Lonnie Walker IV at No. 18, clearing the way for the Hawks to take Huerter at No. 19.

We definitely enjoyed some good laughs as a result of the picks getting leaked early during Thursday’s draft. It is quite interesting though that the leaks had a very real impact on the leverage of some of the involved parties as well.

Report: Hawks interested in trading down for Trae Young

Trae Young

The Atlanta Hawks hold the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, but they reportedly have interest in moving down.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Mannix, the Hawks are eyeing Trae Young if they do move down in the draft.

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic and Marvin Bagley III are the players most commonly mentioned in connection with the top three picks. One report from ESPN said that the Hawks were targeting Doncic at No. 3.

Perhaps the Hawks are trying to drum up trade interest with this story. There are teams sitting behind them who are said to have interest in Doncic, so maybe they want them to bring their best offers to the table.

Young is expected to be among the lottery picks, but there has not been talk of the former Oklahoma star going anywhere in the top five.

Hawks hire Lloyd Pierce as new head coach on three-year deal

The Atlanta Hawks have found their replacement for Mike Budenholzer.

The Hawks have hired Lloyd Pierce as their new head coach and will make the announcement on Monday. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says Pierce is getting a three-year deal with a team option for a fourth year.

Pierce, 42, is an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers and has been with them since 2013. He has been with the team throughout “The Process,” which makes him a good fit for the rebuilding Hawks.

“The main reason is just looking at their young players,” Pierce told the Philly Inquirer this week about what makes him a good fit. “They got four guys in the draft. They got a couple of young players that are on their roster. So what’s most important when you are dealing with young players and young talent, it’s the development and relational side of that. …

“It’s kind of my track record. It’s anybody’s track record of how do you communicate, how do you work with players, how do you develop, what does that mean?”

Atlanta has a good chance to land a very high pick in the upcoming draft, which should help with their rebuild.

76ers assistant Lloyd Pierce reportedly frontrunner for Hawks job

The Atlanta Hawks have not been mentioned in connection with many head coaching candidates since the regular season ended, and that could be because they have already narrowed their list down to one name.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce has emerged as the frontrunner to land the Hawks job.

Pierce, of course, was still coaching with the 76ers as of Wednesday night, but the team has since been eliminated from the postseason by the Boston Celtics.

Pierce has been an assistant coach in the NBA since 2007, having worked with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies prior to joining the Sixers. The Hawks are looking for a new head coach to lead their stripped-down roster after they fired Mike Budenholzer following the season. With some of the top names already being signed, it makes sense that Atlanta could have to hire a first-time head coach.

Ben Simmons took funny shot at Hawks while playing video game

Ben Simmons

The Atlanta Hawks continue to get disrespected both on and off the court.

Philadelphia 76ers star rookie Ben Simmons was livestreaming himself playing multiplayer online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (more popularly known as PUBG) on live video platform Twitch on Tuesday. During Simmons’ livestream, Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns, an avid gamer and popular Twitch user himself, hopped on with him.

As Towns arrived, Simmons tried to get them to run a game of PUBG together and told him, “We got time. Who do you play tomorrow?” When Towns said that the Wolves were playing the Hawks, an amused Simmons replied, “Yeah, you’ve got plenty of time.” Twitch user YURRZZ captured the funny clip.

The Hawks are indeed the worst team in the East this season at 21-53, so you can see where Simmons is coming from. But the Wolves, who are fighting for a playoff spot, cannot afford to take anything for granted, as opposed to the Sixers, who have already clinched. After all, Minnesota just had a humiliating loss to a similarly lousy team on Monday, so hopefully Towns didn’t stay up too late playing (despite the scheduled 7 PM tipoff against Atlanta).

H/T NBA Reddit

Hawks paying for wedding of couple who met at Swipe Right Night promotion

When the Atlanta Hawks held their “Swipe Right Night” in 2015, they certainly didn’t expect it to lead to a marriage. That is, however, exactly what has happened.

Ben McCleskey and Avery Armstrong, who had their first date at the Tinder-themed promotional night in 2015, are getting married, and the Hawks have agreed to foot the bill.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen,” Hawks chief executive officer Steve Koonin said, via ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

Upon learning that the pair had started their romance at the promotional night, Koonin agreed to pay for the wedding — if it happened — on the second annual Swipe Right Night in 2016. McCleskey proposed in November and the Hawks kept up their end of the bargain, hosting the wedding on the court and the celebration at the Philips Arena’s courtside club. The bride will even get a wedding dress provided free of charge from a bridal shop that doubles as a team sponsor.

“I always joked with my buddies that I would get married at the 50-yard line of the Georgia Dome,” McCleskey said. “Now that that’s not in use any more, this is pretty much the equivalent.”

Tinder dates do not always go smoothly, so the fact that they’ve gotten this far is nothing short of remarkable. Congratulations to the happy couple.

Report: Atlanta Hawks have made entire roster available for trade

The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly ready and willing to do business ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

According to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports, the Hawks should be active at the deadline. Rival executives said that the team has made everyone on the roster available for the right price, though some are obviously more appealing than others.

The likes of Ersan Ilyasova, Marco Belinelli, and Taurean Prince are available, with the Hawks focused on acquiring expiring contracts and draft picks. Point guard Dennis Schroder could be had for the right price, but a big contract and maturity issues have limited his value.

There’s one Hawks player who seems particularly likely to be moved, but the entire team is on the block. The teardown in Atlanta is well and truly underway.

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