Mike Budenholzer Rumors
League sources say potential buyers groups, including Ressler’s, were deeply impressed with Wilcox’s hourlong presentation on the team’s strategic plan moving forward. The incoming ownership group also regards Budenholzer, who enters the final season of his three-year deal this summer after leading the Hawks to their most successful season ever in Atlanta, as one of the franchise’s top assets.
Once Ressler’s group – which includes Rick Schnall, Sara Blakely and Jesse Itzler – takes over, its first order of business will be to negotiate contracts with Budenholzer and Wilcox, league sources said.
The Atlanta Hawks plan to promote coach Mike Budenholzer to the franchise’s ultimate basketball decision-maker, clearing the path to part ways with exiled general manager Danny Ferry, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
There has been a belief within the Hawks’ organization for several months that the team’s general manager is not going to be brought back. The thinking is that coach Mike Budenholzer (expected to get a new contract with a raise and more autonomy) and assistant general manager Wes Wilcox likely will be at the top of the basketball operations department, at least for the next year. At this point, there are three scenarios for Ferry, but only two plausible ones: Ferry resigns: This is the favorite. It could happen any day. The Hawks likely would agree to pay off the balance of Ferry’s contract and it would allow him to make an exit statement along the lines of, “I’m proud of the work I did here but I feel it’s the best for all parties to move on.” Ferry is fired: It doesn’t serve anybody to have this thing end ugly, least of all Ferry, who wants to get another job (and will). But he has been resistant to leaving, loves living in Atlanta and it may come to this. Ferry is kept: Think “PowerBall” odds.
He also joins another exclusive list: He will play in his fifth consecutive NBA Finals, joining of short list of former Boston Celtics who did it in the 1960s and he is the first non-Celtic to do it and first to do it with two teams. “His confidence has gone to another level,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Having watched and prepared — watching how he orchestrates and has a great command for where he wants his teammates and what’s important in the moment and the confidence that he has in himself to make the right play, whether it’s making a shot, making the pass. As a leader, he’s grown. His confidence has grown.”
However, back-cuts along the baseline and quick dips to the basket from the wing will always be his bread and butter. In an August 2014 interview with Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling, Carroll acknowledged how Budenholzer has helped hone his go-to skills. “He showed me a lot—that spacing is very big in the NBA, that cutting and slashing at the right time is very big, footwork is very big,” he said. “He has kind of re-invented my career.”
You have to scan down to third place for the biggest statement in the voting. Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer. After GM Danny Ferry was placed on indefinite leave in the wake of inappropriate racial comments he made on a conference call about prospective free agents, Budenholzer was thrust into two roles he’d never done before. A first-year head coach, Budenholzer also had to take over the de facto GM duties. That was no doubt reflected in some of the four first-place and five second-place votes, plus one vote for third, that Budenholzer received. But something else was at work here. As one exec told me, “Bud had nothing to do with constructing the team.” Thus, some of those votes also were a reflection of things that were done before Budenholzer even got to Atlanta. Things that were done by Ferry. Indeed, multiple GMs told CBSSports.com Friday that at least some of the votes cast for Budenholzer – the only official entrant for the Hawks in the executive of the year voting – were essentially proxy votes for Ferry.
Ken Berger: Multiple execs tell @CBSSports that votes for Coach Bud, Atlanta’s official entrant for award, were really votes for the ousted Danny Ferry.
The next week, Korver agreed to re-sign with the Hawks despite overtures from teams with far greater track records of success and lineage than Atlanta. Korver might not have been blown away by Budenholzer’s Intro to Philosophy, but he got a sense that Budenholzer, who was named NBA Coach of the Year after leading Atlanta to first place in the Eastern Conference, and Ferry were creating something meaningful. “There’s this really fine line that some coaches don’t try to walk,” Korver says. “I feel like every coach is either really good at X’s and O’s or a really good personality manager, and there aren’t many coaches who know how to walk the middle. Bud? I’ve never seen a coach at any level who does it better than him.”
During his acceptance speech, Budenholzer got choked up when talking about Popovich, who he coached under in San Antonio. “It seems appropriate to finish with the real Coach of the Year, Gregg Popovich. This award has a permanent spot on his desk in San Antonio. He just shares it around every couple years and lets us take a picture of it. I might be able to sneak back into his office and put it back down. I was very, very fortunate to be so close to a coach who’s done so much for the league, done so much for so many coaches, and has shared so much with me. And I can’t even begin to articulate how thankful I am and all the things I’ve learned.
Kent Bazemore: You hear the many stories about getting acclimated to new teams, new cities, new teammates, and more importantly, getting used to a new system and some of them frighten you! I have been given the privilege to play for a coach that understands you and your game, but also puts you in situations to thrive. The passion he brings to the gym EVERYDAY! Tough losses, big wins, they’re all the same! Congratulations Coach Bud! One more box checked for you…. One more to go!!! #TrueToAtlanta #WeWereHavingAStaringContest
Al Horford: So happy for Coach! Well deserved award. Go Hawks! #TruetoAtlanta #HawksRising instagram.com/p/1v_df2Nx79/
Chris Vivlamore: Mike Budenholzer again thanking Danny Ferry for giving him opportunity and assembling team. #ATLHawks