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Monday, June 1, 2020

Articles tagged: Atlanta Hawks

Hawks won’t confirm report that GM Wes Wilcox is out

Wes Wilcox

If Wes Wilcox indeed is out as the Atlanta Hawks’ GM, the team won’t say so for now.

ESPN’s Marc Spears and Jeff Goodman reported on Wednesday that the Hawks have parted ways with Wilcox. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Chris Vivlamore did some follow-up on the report and was unable to get confirmation of the news from the Hawks.

Wilcox may indeed be on his way out, but it’s possible the team just isn’t ready to announce the news yet and didn’t want to confirm the leak.

Wilcox has been the team’s GM since June 2015 and just completed his second year on the job. The Hawks were 43-39 and finished in the 5th spot in the East, but they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Wizards and seem to be trending downwards as a team.

Hawks troll Charles Barkley for saying they wouldn’t make the playoffs

Charles Barkley

After clinching a tenth consecutive playoff berth this season, the Atlanta Hawks want Charles Barkley to hold this L.

The Hawks, who finished as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 43-39 record, took to Twitter on Thursday to troll Barkley for saying on Opening Night that they wouldn’t make the playoffs.

Of course, Barkley is usually very hit or miss with his predictions, particularly when it comes to Atlanta teams. But the Hawks missing out on the postseason was actually a valid argument at the time considering that they traded away Jeff Teague and let Al Horford walk in free agency, as Barkley mentioned in the video. They also appeared to be on the path to a full-scale teardown as recently as January when they dealt Kyle Korver and shopped Paul Millsap.

Regardless, it’s a big credit to the Hawks for coming together and competing with the guys left on their roster en route to a decent playoff seed, so they’ve earned the right to gloat a bit.

Dwight Howard says Hawks pursuit of him boosted his confidence

Dwight Howard

The Atlanta Hawks apparently wanted Dwight Howard so badly, it made him even more confident.

Howard told ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Tuesday that the Hawks’ pursuit made Howard feel like he could still perform at a high level.

“Grant Hill was a big part of the process,” Howard said in reference to Atlanta’s minority owner. “For somebody like [Hill] to believe in me, [Hawks GM] Wes Wilcox and Bud (Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer) — for all of these guys to have that belief in me just gave me more confidence.”

Howard added that Atlanta’s recruiting pitch made him feel “really good about myself again.”

Based on what he’s been saying, the Hawks sound like they’re getting a rejuvenated Howard. It’s not the first time he’s spoken about an improved mentality since he left Houston. Perhaps Atlanta was just what Howard needed to reassert himself as a dominant force in the game.

Report: Al Horford did not want to play with Dwight Howard in Atlanta

Al Horford

Al Horford left the Atlanta Hawks for a few reasons, one of which being he did not want to try to coexist with Dwight Howard, according to a report.

Despite reported momentum toward a deal with Atlanta, the only team Horford had played for since being drafted in 2007, he elected to turn down the Hawks. According to CBS Sports’s Ken Berger, there were two significant reasons for this. Horford was, first, unhappy that Atlanta was so reluctant to offer a five year max deal. Second, he was not interested in playing alongside Howard.

“He didn’t want to play with Dwight,” a source told Berger.

Atlanta’s frontcourt was getting jammed up, and Howard and Horford are polar opposites in playing style. In Horford’s mind, Atlanta had made their choice, and it was not him. Besides, he ended up signing with a team that could have a brighter future than the Hawks do anyway.

Dwight Howard to Hawks reportedly gaining steam, made ‘strong connection’ during meeting

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard’s meeting with the Atlanta Hawks reportedly went very well, and there is “traction” for the two sides toward a deal.

Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical reported that there was a “strong connection” between Howard and the Hawks.

The 30-year-old big man would be an interesting fit in Atlanta, as he’s a different player than Al Horford, who has manned the center position for the Hawks. It’s unclear what it would mean for Horford, who they’d reportedly have liked to retain. Horford has been drawing a lot of interest, including a meeting with the Rockets, so these two teams may do something of a big man swap.

Report: Hawks trying to get in on Kevin Durant sweepstakes

kevin-durant-press-conference

Kevin Durant appears to have narrowed his list of potential destinations down to a handful or so, but that is not going to stop teams like the Atlanta Hawks from trying to force their way into the fold.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Hawks have been working to convince Durant’s representatives to sit down for a meeting at some point after the official free agency period begins on Friday. However, Stein also stated the obvious — that Atlanta’s chances appear “dim.”

One of the reasons the Hawks believe they have an outside shot at grabbing Durant’s attention is that Grant Hill, a part owner of the team and respected seven-time NBA All-Star, is expected to lead the charge.

The Hawks have a free agent of their own who is going to sign for big bucks in Al Horford, so they also want to bring him back. As the more realistic option, Horford is Atlanta’s top priority. Stein also reports that the Hawks have interest in Dwight Howard if Durant cannot be swayed.

Plenty of teams would love to get in the same room as Durant come Friday, but we have already seen one team give up on K.D. because it is clear he has no interest. The Hawks would be wise to not sacrifice more realistic offseason plans for the sake of securing a courtesy sit-down with Durant.

Report: Jeff Teague traded to Indiana as part of three-team deal

jeff-teague-hawks

Point guard Jeff Teague is off to the Indiana Pacers as part of a three-team deal that also involves George Hill and the No. 12 pick, according to a report.

Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical reported that Teague was going to the Pacers, with Hill going to the Utah Jazz. The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly acquiring Utah’s first round pick, No. 12 overall, as part of the deal.

Teague would be a free agent after 2016-17, so even if they can’t ink him to an extension, Indiana will have a year of him. The Jazz also get an established veteran guard in Hill, and the Hawks get a lottery pick and an opening to put Dennis Schroder into the starting lineup.

It will be interesting to see what this means for the Hawks going forward. They’d clearly been willing to move Teague, and with Al Horford about to become a free agency and already being looked at by several teams, their core may be about to come apart.