Archive for the ‘ Atlanta Hawks Blog ’ Category

The Atlanta Hawks have made hires to their Athletic Performance Team, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. Keke (kay-kay) Lyles has been named Executive Director of Player Performance, Art Horne Head Athletic Trainer, Mike Roncarati Director of Rehabilitation and Chris Chase Athletic Performance Coach. They join Assistant Athletic Trainer Scottie Parker on the staff.

“The health and well-being of our players are a critical component of our ability to succeed,” Budenholzer said. “Our Athletic Performance Team has a wealth of experience working with high-level athletes in injury prevention, treatment and development that will serve us well and keep us strong over the course of a long season.”

Lyles will be responsible for overseeing and directing the Athletic Performance Team, and developing personal health and performance plans for each of the players. He spent the past two years with the Golden State Warriors, serving as Director of Athletic Performance/Assistant Coach. Lyles joined the Warriors from the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he was the club’s Strength and Conditioning Coach. He also spent a season with the Indiana Pacers as an Assistant Strength Coach and completed an internship with the Boston Celtics. A native of Redlands, CA, Lyles received his Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitation Science and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Northeastern University.

Horne comes to the Hawks from Northeastern University, where he was Director of Sports Performance, with oversight of the development and care of all varsity student-athletes, while serving as the Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach for the men’s basketball team. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training and Physical Education with a teacher education certification from Canisius, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Boston University.

Roncarati served as the Golden State Warriors’ Strength and Conditioning Coach the last two seasons, working previously as a physical therapist and strength and conditioning coach in his home state of Rhode Island. He graduated from Northeastern University with a Doctor of Physical Therapy, working with the athletic training and strength and conditioning staffs of the school’s basketball and baseball teams. A native of Cumberland, RI, Roncarati is a credentialed Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Chase was most recently with the University of Southern California, where he was an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. He has previously served as an Assistant Strength Coach at the University of Rhode Island, Springfield College in Massachusetts and American International College in Massachusetts. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from The University of Connecticut and a Master’s Degree in Strength and Conditioning from Springfield College.

Parker is in his second season in Atlanta. He came to the Hawks from Fusionetics Sports Science, and was previously with the Seattle Seahawks, where he was part of the training staff for the 2014 Super Bowl champions. He also has experience with the Portland Trail Blazers and Ontario Warriors arena league football team. A Certified Athletic Trainer by the National Athletic Trainers Association, and a Performance Enhancement Specialist as well as Corrective Exercise Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Parker graduated from University of Northwestern (St. Paul, MN) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and a minor in Coaching. He earned his Master’s Degree from California Baptist University in Riverside, CA in Athletic Training.

Hawks sign Jason Richardson

Hawks sign Jason Richardson

You forgot about Jason Richardson. But he still exists and still plays basketball. And now he adds depth to the bench of a very good Eastern conference squad.

The Atlanta Hawks have signed Richardson, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

A 13-year NBA veteran, Richardson has played in 857 career regular season games (842 starts) with Golden State, Phoenix, Orlando, Charlotte and Philadelphia, averaging 17.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 34.1 minutes. In 37 postseason games, he has put in 17.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 34.1 minutes.

In 19 games last season with the 76ers, Richardson averaged 9.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 21.9 minutes.

Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting the latest on a Hawks forward i. A very scary and serious situation:

Mike Scott faces up to 25 years in prison on two felony drug charges stemming from his arrest last month.

An initial court date in the case could take several months to be placed on the calendar as the drugs have been sent to an independent lab for processing, according to the Banks County assistant district attorney. That would mean an initial court appearance would come during the upcoming NBA season.

Scott was arrested, along with his younger brother, on July 30 after a traffic stop along Interstate 85 in Homer. In the vehicle, police found 35.2 grams of marijuana and 10.9 grams of Schedule I drug MDMA, known as Molly. The charge on the MDMA carries a sentence of up to 15 years. The charge on the marijuana carries a sentence of up to 10 years, according to Georgia statutes.

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club announced today two executive appointments. Atlanta sports marketing veteran Andrew Saltzman has joined the organization as Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, and Andrew Steinberg moves to the newly created role of Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer.

“These two executive announcements are major steps in realizing our ownership’s vision of being Atlanta’s top sports franchise, both in the business and civic communities,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Koonin said.

“We are thrilled to add the talents and experience of Andrew Saltzman to our executive team. Andrew is a passionate executive who has proven himself a visionary creative mind in the sports and media marketplaces, both locally and nationally.”

“I’ve been in the Atlanta sports market for almost 20 years and have never seen a sports team with as much momentum as the Atlanta Hawks,” said Saltzman. “The opportunity to be a part of this organization and work with a leader like Steve Koonin is simply a dream come true for me.”
Saltzman most recently served as the Chief Revenue Officer for PlayOn! Sports and the NFHS Network, the nation’s largest high school sports media company. From 1997 to 2012, Saltzman served as President of Big League Broadcasting, co-founding and developing WQXI-AM into one of the country’s leading sports talk outlets, Sports Radio 790 The Zone. Through his leadership and client-centric marketing vision, 790 The Zone established itself as Atlanta’s premier sports broadcast station. Saltzman’s resume also includes successfully negotiating multi-year sports broadcast agreements with the Hawks, the Atlanta Falcons, Georgia Tech Athletics and the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

In his new role of Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer, Steinberg will now take a leadership role in the execution of strategic projects as determined by Koonin and the Hawks Board of Directors, including: the development of a new practice facility site, reimagining Philips Arena, and pursuing an NBA Development League team as a Hawks affiliate. Additionally, he will provide oversight of Philips Arena.

“We are fortunate to have a leader in Andrew Steinberg, who will take on new responsibilities as our enterprise enters its next chapter. As the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club continues to invest in both our organization and our community, Andrew will be at the forefront of these new major initiatives under new ownership,” said Koonin.

Under Steinberg, all Hawks revenue metrics have surged. During the 2014-15 season, Atlanta experienced the largest increase in attendance in the NBA and established team records for single game and group sales, leading the league in both categories. The Hawks currently lead the NBA in new full season tickets sold for 2015-16 and the season ticket membership base has increased by over 50% in his three seasons. Steinberg also created the Analytics and CRM department, providing strategic direction and key business intelligence insights and was instrumental in negotiations for the local media deals with Fox Sports South, CBS Radio 92.9 The Game and iHeartMedia’s El Patron 105.3FM. During his time in the role, Steinberg also developed marquee corporate partnerships with Boingo, Comcast, FanDuel and Ticketmaster, among others.

“I am excited for the challenges of my new role and working closely with our owners, who are committed to making the Hawks a vibrant community asset,” said Steinberg. “I look forward to helping execute their positive vision and to working with Executive Vice President and Philips Arena General Manager Trey Feazell, who has done an outstanding job leading the arena to become one of the busiest in the nation.”

Steinberg joined the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena from Sporting Kansas City where he was Executive Vice President – Business Operations, directing revenue generation, strategic relationships, and corporate partnerships for the MLS team and the venue, Sporting Park. Prior to Sporting Kansas City, Steinberg served in various roles with the University of Kansas Athletics Department most notably as the Associate Athletics Director for Marketing and Revenue Development where he was responsible for enhancing KU’s brand image and strengthening its revenue streams. Steinberg joined the University of Kansas after serving as an associate with the law firm of Riling, Burkhead & Nitcher in Lawrence, Kansas and working with NIKE in Beaverton, Oregon.

“These two executive announcements are a major step in realizing our ownership’s vision in having our enterprise serve as a dynamic leader in the Atlanta business community,” said Koonin.

Hawks forward Mike Scott arrested

Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting on some legal trouble for Hawks reserve Mike Scott, who last season 7.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in 16.5 minutes per game:

Hawks forward Mike Scott arrested

Hawks forward Mike Scott faces felony drug charges after he was arrested in Banks County on Thursday morning.

Scott, who just completed his third season with the Hawks, was arrested along with his brother, Antonn Imhotep Scott, for possession of marijuana and MDMA, known as Molly.

According to a report from the Banks County Sheriff’s office, deputies attempted to stop a Chevrolet Tahoe on Interstate 85 driven by Antonn Scott for following too closely to other vehicles at 9 a.m.

The vehicle failed to yield to police and reached a speed of up to 98 mph.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer enjoyed great success on the court last season but had some trouble off it. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting the latest:

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer pleads not guilty to DUI

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has entered a plea of not guilty in his driving under the influence case, according to his attorney.

Budenholzer entered the plea in Fulton County State Court last week in writing with the court and Judge Diane E. Bessens. The court has a scheduled plea and arraignment hearing tomorrow at 9 a.m. With the filing of the plea and two motions, neither Budenholzer nor his attorney Michael Hawkins will attend. The plea and motions were filed with the court on July 22.

Budenholzer faces misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence alcohol less safe and defective or no taillights from an arrest Aug. 28, 2013 after being stopped by police at 10:30 p.m. at 10th Street and Crescent Avenue in Midtown.

Hawks sign Lamar Patterson and Terran Petteway

The Atlanta Hawks have signed guard/forwards Lamar Patterson and Terran Petteway (tur-RAN PET-uh-way), it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Both players competed for the Hawks in the recently-completed NBA Las Vegas Summer League.

Patterson started all seven games for the summer Hawks, averaging team-bests of 13.1 points, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals while adding 5.1 rebounds in 25.8 minutes (.452 FG%, .375 3FG%).

Chosen by Milwaukee in the second round (48th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft, he was acquired by the Hawks on draft night in exchange for a 2015 second round pick. Patterson played in 29 games last season for Tofas in Turkey, putting up 11.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 28.6 minutes.

The 6-foot-5 Patterson played at Pittsburgh from 2009-14, seeing action in a school-record 148 games (starting his final 106 contests). He was named All-Atlantic Coast Conference Second Team as a senior after averaging 17.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.4 steals in 32.6 minutes (.441 FG%, .388 3FG%, .754 FT%) in 36 contests.

In Las Vegas, Petteway appeared in seven games (six starts) and averaged 10.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 block in 26.0 minutes.

An early-entry candidate for the 2015 NBA Draft, the 6-foot-6 junior led Nebraska in scoring last season, averaging 18.2 points (fourth in the Big Ten) along with 4.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists (14th) and 1.1 steals (5th). Petteway was selected Third-Team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media, also earning Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America accolades. He topped the Conference in scoring (18.2) as a sophomore, leading the Cornhuskers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998. Petteway began his college career at Texas Tech (2011-12) before transferring to Nebraska.

Hawks sign Edy Tavares

The Atlanta Hawks have signed center Walter “Edy” Tavares, it was announced yesterday by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Tavares, a 7-foot-3, 260-pound center, was selected 43rd overall by the Hawks in the 2014 NBA Draft. The 23-year-old has played professionally in Spain for the past five seasons, most recently with Gran Canaria of the Spanish ACB league (2012-15). He averaged 8.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 22.1 minutes in 57 total games (.635 FG%, .653 FT%) during the 2014-15 ACB league season and Eurocup competition. Tavares led the ACB league in rebounds (274) and blocks (60) in the 2014-15 season. He was named to the 2014-15 All-Eurocup First Team, as well as being named weekly MVP twice. With Tavares starting at center, Gran Canaria went 22-1 in Eurocup play and reached the Eurocup final for the first time in club history.

“We followed Edy closely the past two seasons with Gran Canaria and are excited to officially have Edy as a member of our team. We would like to thank the coaches and executives of Gran Canaria as they played a significant role in Edy’s development and we look forward to continuing his improvement in our player development program,” Budenholzer said.

Prior to joining Gran Canaria full time, Tavares played for Gran Canaria’s youth team in the Spanish EBA league (2009-11) and Union Baloncesto La Palma of the LEB Silver league (2011-12).

Tavares was born in Maio, Sotovento, Cape Verde on March 22, 1992. He is the first Cape Verdean native to be drafted or sign a contract to play in the NBA.

He is currently participating as a member of the Hawks’ 2015 Las Vegas Summer League team and will wear uniform No. 22.

Hawks sign Justin Holiday

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has signed guard Justin Holiday to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

“Justin’s abilities on both ends of the court excited us as we looked to add depth on the wing,” Budenholzer said. “His combination of length and versatility with a great work ethic give him a chance to be a solid contributor on the court, and his experience on a championship team this past season and his high-character will be great positives for our locker room.”

A two-year NBA veteran, Holiday played in 59 games (four starting assignments) last season for the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, averaging 4.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 11.1 minutes. He also saw action in five postseason contests.

In 2012-13, Holiday played nine games for Philadelphia, posting 4.7 points, 1.7 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 15.8 minutes. The 6-6 guard owns averages of 4.4 points and 1.3 rebounds in 11.8 minutes in 68 career games.

Holiday, the brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, has also played professionally with Okapi Aalstar in Belgium (2011-12) and Szolnoki Olaj in Hungary (2013-14), as well as in the NBA D-League with Idaho (2012-13) and Santa Cruz (2014-15). He was named to the All-NBA D-League Third Team and the league’s All-Defensive Second Team with Idaho after averaging 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.2 blocks in 34.7 minutes (.421 FG%, .412 3FG%, .816 FT%) in 47 games (42 starts). In his lone D-League appearance last year with Santa Cruz, Holiday recorded 26 points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal in 36 minutes.

A four-year letterman at the University of Washington (2007-11), Holiday appeared in 123 career games (56 starts) for the Huskies, averaging 5.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists (.443 FG%, .343 3FG%, .736 FT%) in 19.6 minutes. He was named to the Pac-10 All-Defensive Team as a junior.

Holiday will wear uniform No. 7.

Hawks re-sign Paul Millsap

Hawks re-sign Paul Millsap

The Atlanta Hawks have re-signed forward Paul Millsap, President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer said today.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, it is a three-year, $59 million contract.

Millsap, 30, led the Hawks in scoring (16.7), rebounding (7.8), steals (1.8) and double-doubles (15). He also averaged 3.1 assists while shooting .476 from the field and .356 from three-point range, connecting on a career-best 77 three-pointers. He was named an All-Star for the second consecutive season with Atlanta and was one of just two players last season (along with Sacramento Kings All-Star DeMarcus Cousins) to average at least 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals.

“Re-signing Paul was a priority for us. His toughness, versatility, high basketball IQ and unselfishness is representative of the culture we are building,” Budenholzer said. “We are excited that he will remain a part of our family.”

The 6-foot-8 forward signed his first contract with the Hawks on July 10, 2013 following seven seasons with the Utah Jazz. During his first season with the Hawks in 2013-14, he averaged a career-high 17.9 points on .461 shooting, 8.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks in 33.5 minutes per game in 74 games (73 starts). He was named an All-Star for the first time in his career.

In his nine-year career, he has played in 687 games (411 starts) and has career averages of 13.5 points on .503 shooting and 7.3 rebounds.

Raptors sign DeMarre Carroll

Raptors sign DeMarre Carroll

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed free-agent forward DeMarre (Deh-MAHR-ay) Carroll to a multi-year contract. According to various reports, the deal is worth $60 million over four years.

“We are thrilled with not only the skills but the intangibles DeMarre will bring to our team,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “He is a hard-nosed player who plays with passion and commitment on both ends of the floor.”

Carroll, 6-foot-8, 215 pounds, averaged a career-high 12.6 points, with 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 31.3 minutes in 70 contests (69 starts) last season with the Atlanta Hawks. He also posted career bests in field goal percentage (.487), three-point field goal percentage (.395), field goals made (318), three-point field goals made (120) and free throws made (127). He finished third in the NBA in steals-to-turnover ratio (1.25) and fourth in both two-point field goal percentage (.567, 198-349) and effective field goal percentage (.579).

Carroll, along with the four other starters on the Hawks, was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for January. He averaged 12.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 31.5 minutes in 14 games. The Hawks posted the best calendar month in NBA history with a 17-0 record.

Carroll scored in double figures 55 times with a career-high 26 points (9-13 FG, 2-3 3FG, 6-6 FT) February 9 at Minnesota. He had 23 games with seven-or-more rebounds, including a career high-tying 12 rebounds March 18 at Golden State. He registered four steals on four occasions.

In the 2015 postseason, Carroll averaged 14.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 34.9 minutes in 16 outings (16 starts). He shot .403 (29-72) from three-point range. He scored 20-or-more points in seven contests, including a stretch of six consecutive games (April 25 – May 5). He recorded a career postseason high of 25 points (9-14 FG, 3-5 3FG, 4-5 FT) in Game 6 at Washington.

In 316 career regular season games (164 starts), Carroll has averaged 7.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 21.6 minutes. He has played with Memphis (2009-11), Houston (2010-11), Denver (2011-12), Utah (2011-13) and the Hawks (2013-15).

Carroll was drafted 27th overall by Memphis in the first-round of the 2009 NBA Draft. He split his college career between Vanderbilt and Missouri. He averaged 16.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 38 games during his senior season at Missouri.

Spurs trade Tiago Splitter to Hawks

Spurs trade Tiago Splitter to Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has acquired forward/center Tiago Splitter from the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for the draft rights to Georgios Printezis and a future second round pick, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

“We’re excited to bring Tiago to Atlanta. He’s played an important role in a winning environment, has a great understanding of our system and will add to our core character,” Budenholzer said. “Tiago also brings championship experience and we look forward to adding his interior presence to our team.”

Splitter, a 6-foot-11, 245-pound forward/center, spent his first five NBA seasons with the Spurs, averaging 8.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 19.8 minutes (.560 FG%, .690 FT%) in 311 games (151 starts). Last season, he averaged 8.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 19.8 minutes (.558 FG%, .750 FT%).

In 65 career postseason contests (40 starts), he has put up 6.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 19.2 minutes (.572 FG%). He won an NBA championship ring with San Antonio in 2014.

Splitter was originally selected in the first round (28th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Spurs. The native of Blumenau, Santa Catarina, Brazil played eight years in Spain (Basket Bilbao Berri, Tau Ceramica, Caja Laboral Vitoria) prior to his arrival in San Antonio.

Splitter will wear uniform No. 11.

Printezis, 6-9/240, currently plays for Olympiacos Piraeus in Greece. Last season, he appeared in 20 games and averaged a career-high 12.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in 25.3 minutes. In his 12 seasons as a professional, the forward has appeared in 173 contests, averaging 9.0 points and 3.6 rebounds in 20.0 minutes.

Hawks waive Austin Daye

hawks waive daye

The Atlanta Hawks have requested waivers on forward Austin Daye, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Daye signed consecutive 10-day contracts with Atlanta (March 15 and March 25) last season before signing a multi-year contract on April 4. He saw action in eight games with the Hawks, averaging 3.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 9.5 minutes per game.

Hawks, Justin Holiday agree to deal

Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting that the Hawks are adding to their backcourt depth:

The Hawks reached a contract agreement with Justin Holiday Wednesday, according to several people familiar with the situation. The deal is for two years fully guaranteed.

The addition will give the Hawks needed depth at the wing following the loss of DeMarre Carroll to free agency last week.

Holiday, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound shooting guard/small forward, played last season for the Warriors. In 59 games, he averaged 4.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 11.1 minutes. He also appeared in nine games for the 76ers in the 2012-13 season. Holiday has appeared in 68 career NBA games, including four starts, and averaged 4.4 points, 1.3 rebounds and .9 assists in 11.8 minutes.

DeMarre Carroll will sign with Raptors

The Toronto Raptors are about to get better, while the Hawks take a step backward. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution blog reporting that a key member of the Hawks is leaving as a free agent and headed North to sign with the Toronto:

DeMarre Carroll will sign with Raptors

The Junkyard Dog is headed north.

DeMarre Carroll announced via social media that he will play for the Toronto Raptors.

Carroll tweeted: “#WeThe North I will be playing for Toronto Raptors next year!!!! I’m Blessed for this Opportunity!”

Carroll will sign a four-year, $60 million deal as an unrestricted free agent.

In an Eastern conference where second place — behind the Cleveland Cavaliers — is wide open for the taking, this is a full-priced but still very nice move for Toronto.

And here’s the Toronto Star on the Carroll/Raptors news:

Carroll, 28, was a key member of the 60-win Hawks team last season, primarily because of the level of toughness and defence he brought. While a solid scorer — he averaged 12.6 points per game in the regular season and more than 17 per game in the playoffs — the six-foot-eight forward’s reputation is as a defender.

Does he consider himself tough?

“If you see me in a fight with a bear, you’d better help that bear,” he famously said last season.

Carroll broke the news of his own signing on social media, putting a note on his Twitter account that included an Instagram photo of him and family members beaming next to Ujiri, Casey and Toronto executive vice-president Jeff Weltman.

Tim Hardaway Jr now with Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks acquired guard Tim Hardaway Jr. from the New York Knicks in exchange for the draft rights to Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant, the 19th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Earlier in the draft, Atlanta selected Kansas forward Kelly Oubre with the 15th pick in the first round before dealing his draft rights to Washington for Grant’s draft rights and the Wizards’ second round selections in 2016 and 2019.

“(Tim) is a young two-guard who has shown the ability to make shots and be an effective player,” said Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. “When we get him into our player development program, working with our coaches and around our players, we think he’s going to grow and prosper here.”

A two-year veteran, Hardaway has career averages of 10.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 23.5 minutes in 151 games (31 starts). He was originally selected by the Knicks 24th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft after playing collegiately at Michigan.

In the second round, Atlanta took guard Marcus Eriksson with the 50th pick and forward Dimitrios Agravanis with the 59th selection.

The 6’7 Eriksson has played four seasons in the Spanish ACB league with Barcelona and Manresa. He played one game for Barcelona in 2014-15 and in 33 contests with Manresa in the previous season, when he averaged 11.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 23.9 minutes. Eriksson was born on Dec. 5, 1993 in Sweden.

Agravanis, a 6’10 forward from Greece, has played professionally for five years in his home country with Olympiacos, Panionios and Maroussi. In 2014-15 with Olympiacos, he averaged 6.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 14.4 minutes. Agravanis was born on Dec. 20, 1994 in Athens.

Several NBA Draft-night Hawks trades

Several NBA Draft-night Hawks trades

Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting on some Atlanta Hawks trades agreed to during the 2015 NBA Draft:

The Hawks made two draft-night trades – and ended up with NBA player Tim Hardaway Jr. Thursday night.

The Hawks made their No. 15 overall pick in the first round of Kelly Oubre. The freshman small forward from Kansas won’t play in Atlanta. The Hawks sent Oubre to the Wizards for the No. 19 pick and two future second-round picks.

Twenty minutes later the Wizards picked Jerian Grant for the Hawks, who sent the point guard from Notre Dame to the Knicks for Hardaway.

Sale of Atlanta Hawks approved by NBA

Sale of Atlanta Hawks approved by NBA

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club today announced that its purchase by an ownership group led by Tony Ressler was completed yesterday, following the unanimous approval by the NBA Board of Governors.

“On behalf of our ownership group, we are so excited to officially become part of the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club, an important civic asset to the community,” said Ressler. “We look forward to building upon the success of the team’s incredible playoff run this past season and the excitement it generated in the entire community.”

Ressler will serve as Principal Owner and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Hawks and as the team’s Governor on the NBA Board of Governors. Other investors include seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill, who will serve as Vice Chair of the Board, Townsquare Media Chair and CEO Steven Price, Clayton Dubilier & Rice partner Rick Schnall, and Spanx founder Sara Blakely and Marquis Jet co-founder Jesse Itzler, who are married.

According to, “Ressler and his partners, including existing Hawks partner Steven Price and former NBA player Grant Hill, agreed to purchase the Hawks for approximately $850 million, including debt obligations, in April. The deal includes the operating rights to Philips Arena.”

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “the ownership group also includes former owners Steven Price and Bob Goodman from the New York-based group. Michael Gearon Jr. and Sr. and Rutherford Seydel of the Atlanta-based group will retain a small investment of one percent combined. They were grandfathered in from the new NBA rule that requires an individual owner have at least a one percent share in a team. There are others with a small share in the franchise and Philips Arena. Ressler is the clear majority owner with a nearly 50 percent stake.”

About Tony Ressler

Tony Ressler co-founded Ares Management L.P., a publicly traded, leading global alternative asset management firm with approximately $87 billion of assets under management as of March 31,2015, in 1997. Ares operates four investment groups that invest in tradable credit, direct lending, private equity, and real estate. Ares currently has approximately 800 employees with offices in Atlanta in addition to its headquarters in Los Angeles and other offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Stockholm and Shanghai. Ares Management’s current portfolio includes investments in several Atlanta area-based businesses including Floor & Décor Outlets of America, Inc., Serta Simmons Bedding, and Insight Global.

In the nonprofit sector, Ressler serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (“LACMA”) and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Georgetown University. He is also one of the founding members of the Board and Co-Finance Chair of the Painted Turtle Camp (affiliated with Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Association), which serves children dealing with chronic and life-threatening illnesses by providing old-fashioned camping experiences.

In the charter/public education sector, Ressler is a Founder and Board Co-Chair of the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools in Los Angeles. Since 2004, the Alliance has grown to 26 free, public charter middle and high schools serving approximately 11,000 students from LA’s poorest communities with historically underperforming schools. Four Alliance schools have been named California Distinguished Schools and three are ranked in the top 10 of all LAUSD schools. More than 90% of Alliance graduates have gone on to college.

Ressler received his B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and received his MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.

Tony and his wife, actress Jami Gertz, have three sons.

About Grant Hill

Grant Hill is one of the most accomplished NBA players of this generation and a seven-time NBA All-Star. He is currently a managing principal and founder of Penta Mezzanine Fund, a private equity mezzanine firm. Hill oversees Penta’s day-to-day activities, including the review and analysis of prospective investments as well as leading investor relations efforts and raising more than $85M for the fund. Hill also leads Hill Ventures, a private commercial real estate investment company that for the past 18 years has successfully invested in several multi-family residential complexes and other commercial real estate properties throughout Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and Washington, DC.

In addition to his frequent speaking appearances, Hill has had significant broadcasting roles with CBS Sports, Turner Sports and NBA TV. In 2015, Hill was added as a game analyst for CBS Sports’ broadcasts of the NCAA Final Four and National Championship game, where he joined commentators Bill Raftery and Jim Nantz to call games throughout the tournament. Additionally, Hill also participated in TNT’s coverage of the NCAA March to the Final Four and NBA Playoffs. Additionally, he serves as an occasional studio analyst on TNT’s Inside the NBA. For NBA TV, Hill is the co-host of NBA Inside Stuff throughout the NBA regular season and a studio analyst on its GameTime broadcast.

Hill’s philanthropic activities include as a Member on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, and an active participant in the First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. Through the Grant and Tamia Hill Foundation, Hill has funded the Calvin Hill Scholarship at the Duke Divinity School, as well as programs including Child Abuse Prevention, the Grant Hill Achiever Scholarship programs in Orlando and Detroit, and has made contributions to Habitat for Humanity. Hill serves on the Board of Directors of the Orlando Museum of Art and the Trinity School of Arts and Sciences at Duke University, and he is the Chairman of Duke University Basketball’s Legacy Fund.

Hill and his wife, Tamia, a 7-time Grammy-nominated singer, have two daughters.

Official announcement from the Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks announced today that Danny Ferry has stepped down as General Manager of the team. The move follows an indefinite leave of absence Ferry began in August, at the request of the team. The leave was triggered by the unauthorized release of an audio recording containing a brief portion of a lengthy conference call with team ownership and others during which Ferry repeated and paraphrased language from a third-party scouting report that contained a culturally insensitive characterization of a player.

Prior to today’s announcement, the Hawks organization retained a highly respected law firm, Alston & Bird LLP, and specifically a team led by senior partner Bernard Taylor, to investigate whether the remarks were racially motivated. Investigators conducted 19 witness interviews, including interviews of Ferry and several Hawks owners, and reviewed the contents of more than 24,000 emails, including every available work email sent or received by Ferry in his capacity as General Manager. The investigation by Alston & Bird made clear that the offensive language was not Ferry’s and none of Ferry’s remarks or behavior during the call were motivated by racial or ethnic animus, or by a person’s country of origin. To the contrary, Ferry shared his own opinion of Luol, recommended him both personally and professionally and ultimately tried to sign him to the team. The investigation revealed no other negative information on Ferry.

“This season has proved two things,” said Steve Koonin, CEO of the Hawks. “First, Danny Ferry is a tremendous GM. Danny was the principal architect of the Hawks’ success in Atlanta. From the hiring of Coach Bud to reinventing the roster, Danny’s vision has put us in the tremendous place we are today. Danny acted with integrity and professionalism as he guided the organization through important changes over the last few years. Second, Danny Ferry is not a racist. Danny showed great leadership in stepping aside in the fall so the season could proceed with as few distractions as possible. He has always put the team first despite the great personal difficulties he endured. Now that the team has identified new ownership, the resolution of Danny’s contract with existing ownership is appropriate. We wish Danny and his family only the best moving forward.”

“While the past year has been incredibly difficult and humbling, it is critical for me to clear my name and for people to realize that I have always built a culture of respect, diversity, and honesty,” said Ferry. “Now that the key facts have been made known, I am making the difficult decision to step away from this team and this special group of players. I have seen how gracious and forgiving people can be – especially Luol, who had every right to be hurt and angry after being brought into this situation. I thank him for his forgiveness and support. I also greatly appreciate that our players and coaches have been supportive, along with so many friends, old and new. As the Hawks move to a new chapter, I will continue to support the players and wish them the continued success that they and the fans of Atlanta deserve.”

On the court, Ferry led the building of a winning lineup. During his tenure, the team roster was reshaped as he engineered trades of several veterans; re-established valuable flexibility with the salary cap and draft picks; and simultaneously scouted and signed many of the standout players on the team today. He also hired Mike Budenholzer into his first head coaching position. The team achieved the best record in the Eastern Conference this year, and Coach Budenholzer was named NBA Coach of the Year.

“Building a successful team takes more than attracting a few stars,” Budenholzer said. “It is about finding the right combination of talent and teamwork to become an unbeatable combination. Danny’s vision and decision-making shaped the team that fans celebrate on the court today.”

Hawks face uncertainty as NBA draft approaches

Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution painting a picture of the Atlanta Hawks’ situation as both the NBA Draft and free agency approach:

The Hawks will enter the NBA draft not knowing if they will have two, one or zero gaping holes on their roster.

It’s not an enviable position.

The draft is Thursday, and six days later comes the start of free agency. Two-fifths of the Hawks’ starting lineup — DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap — will hit the open market and are free to sign with any team. Both could be gone. One or the other could depart. Both could return.

Drafting for need is illogical. The prevailing alternative would be to draft the best available player. Not necessarily.

“We do our best to separate the draft from free agency,” assistant general manager Wes Wilcox said. “Certainly, they are connected. Our focus in every draft is to identify the best player who fits us. There is the long-standing debate over drafting the best player versus drafting for a position of need. It’s certainly something we all juggle. We’ve become comfortable with being guided by what we call our draft objective, which remains the same every year, we want to draft a guy who fits without our culture, fits (coach Mike Budenholzer) and his system and can add to and become a piece of our core.”

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