The Hawks haven’t had a lot of good times since going to the Eastern Conference Finals a few years ago.
Following the magical run, Travis Schlenk removed the interim from Nate McMillan’s title and decided to run it back with basically the same roster. Atlanta spun its wheels for much of the season, leading to a first-round exit at the hands of the Miami Heat, in which the Hawks were completely dominated.
The offseason brought substantial changes. Dejounte Murray was acquired from the Spurs in exchange for a couple of swaps and first-round picks, giving Trae Young the first All-Star teammate of his career. However, the season went as terribly as anyone expected.
Marred by organizational dysfunction that eventually led to Travis Schlenk stepping down, Nate McMillan being fired, and Tony Ressler promoting his son, Nick, to a prominent role in the front office, the Hawks became a laughing stock of the league.
Shortly before the postseason, the Hawks hired Quin Snyder, Landry Fields, and Kyle Korver to lead the club. Now, we are hoping the trio are bringing us fans to greener pastures. However, you’d be a fool to not have a little skepticism with the Resslers still in control.
So, it’s no surprise the Hawks appear on ESPN’s candidates for the team headed for turmoil. The 76ers were the most likely club, followed by the Trail Blazers and Mavericks, with the Hawks coming in tied for eighth.
1. Philadelphia 76ers: 98 points (68% of first-place votes)
2. Portland Trail Blazers: 21 points
3. Dallas Mavericks: 17 points
4. Memphis Grizzlies: 14 points
5. Minnesota Timberwolves: 12 points
6. LA Clippers: 10 points
7. Boston Celtics: 8 points
T-8. Atlanta Hawks: 7 points
T-8. Los Angeles Lakers: 7 points
T-8. New York Knicks: 7 points
T-9. Charlotte Hornets: 5 points
T-9. Phoenix Suns: 5 points
T-10. Golden State Warriors: 4 points
T-10. New Orleans Pelicans: 4 points
I have a lot of faith in Quin Snyder, but Landry Fields and Kyle Korver are unproven in their roles. Granted, this offseason brought some more optimism. The club was able to get Dejounte Murray to sign an extremely team-friendly extension, which was shocking, to say the least.
However, the most discouraging fact of this organization is ownership meddling in basketball decisions. I have no faith in Tony Ressler and won’t get my hopes up too high and suggest you do the same.
Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire