Where do NBA insiders rank the Hawks in terms of management?

Nate McMillan

NBA insiders (via ESPN) were recently polled regarding the most well-managed teams in the NBA, and the Hawks came in just about where you would expect.

*This list takes into account ownership, the front office, and coaching 

The Hawks came in ranked as the 18th most well-managed team, which is just about where they finished in the standings last season.

So far, I’m torn on Nate McMillan. When he took over for Lloyd Pierce two seasons ago, everything started to click, and the Hawks made an unexpected run to the Eastern Conference Finals. After that, I would have had him among the top fifteen coaches, but this past season was a disappointment in all facets, and a lot of the blame lies on the shoulders of McMillan, who seemed hesitant to make any changes despite things not working.

I’m not for firing coaches after one down season, but this is a make-it or break-it year for McMillan. If the Hawks don’t at least finish with a top-eight seed and look competitive in the playoffs, wholesale changes to the organization will take place, and I highly doubt McMillan will be around to oversee them.

However, I never expected McMillan to take over and be the next Pat Riley. I was much higher on Travis Schlenk and new Hawks owner Tony Ressler, but this offseason is the first time I’ve been severely discouraged with the direction of the franchise.

The Dejounte Murray trade was great, but the rest of the moves, or lack of moves, were puzzling, to say the least. After all of this talk from Tony Ressler about spending whatever it takes to win, the Hawks traded Kevin Huerter — one of their better players — in a salary dump to avoid the luxury tax. The trade made very little sense when it happened, and it looks even worst today. The Hawks have a paper thin bench and are one of the worst shooting teams in the NBA, which is exactly what Huerter brought to the team.

How can you say you’ll spend anything to bring Atlanta a winner and then actively make your team worse to avoid the luxury tax? Actions speak louder than words, and what the Hawks did this offseason with Kevin Huerter tells you all you need to know.

I would be lying if I told you I was confident in the direction the Hawks are going. A couple of years ago, it appeared they had a clear vision of what they wanted. Now it feels like they have no idea what they are doing. We will see how this season shakes out, but I don’t see this team seriously competing unless they make some high quality additions before the trade deadline.

Photographer: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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