Wizards hire former Hawks GM Travis Schlenk

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Just before the start of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Washington Wizards announced they have hired former Hawks GM Travis Schlenk.

“The Wizards are hiring former Hawks President of Basketball Operations Travis Schlenk as Senior VP of Player Personnel, sources tell ESPN,” Adrian Wojnarowski reports. “New Wizards president Michael Winger lands a well-regarded talent evaluator and executive as he continues his search for a general manager.”
If you’re a Wizards fan reading this, congratulations. This is a fantastic hire for the organization. Schlenk is one of, if not the best GM the Hawks have ever had. He came in during a full rebuild and quickly built a team that was able to reach the Eastern Conference Finals and give the Bucks a run for their money.
Schlenk infamously traded away the third pick in the draft, which turned out to be Luka Doncic. Some have been critical of that move, but he landed Trae Young and another top-ten selection. Young has blossomed into one of the best point guards in the NBA, but he’s not the only key piece Schlenk was able to find in the draft.
With his first selection as general manager of the Hawks, Schlenk found a gem in John Collins with the 19th overall pick. And the next year, which was the same year the Hawks took Trae Young, Schlenk was able to find another gem with the 19th pick in Kevin Huerter. All three of them were key cogs in the Hawks trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Schlenk was far from perfect, but evaluating NBA talent in the draft is one of the hardest things in sports, especially outside of the top ten picks, and he’s proven to be an elite evaluator. Prior to his time with Atlanta, he was the assistant general manager for the Golden State Warriors, helping build their dynasty.
Schlenk eventually chose to step down in Atlanta because of ownership. Tony Ressler and his son, Nick Ressler, started getting too involved in basketball decisions, and Schlenk wanted no part of that, which is understandable, given his resumé. The jury is still out on the Hawks new GM, Landry Fields, but as long as the Resslers stay involved in basketball decisions, it’s hard imagining any GM having much success.
Photo: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire
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