Rick Sund Rumors
Did the trade catch up by surprise? Marvin Williams: I can’t necessarily say I was expecting it. I think anytime anybody is traded they are always surprised. It was just one of those things where I was working out and a couple of buddies of mine had told me they heard I got traded. During the summer time there are always rumors going around so I really didn’t pay too much attention. When I got done working out I had a couple voice mails from Rick Sund, my agent. I called Rick Sund back and he expressed to me that I may see it on TV or on Twitter but that I was going to be traded so he wanted to let me know firsthand. I greatly appreciated that. They did everything first class. They were awesome about the whole situation. When I got back to my house, I saw across the bottom of the (TV) screen that I got traded to Utah. Q. It was Rick Sund who called you? Not Danny Ferry? Marvin Williams: Actually Danny was on the line as well. I figured Rick reached out to me because he already knew me. I had never met Danny Ferry personally. I didn’t get a chance to speak to him when he got the job.
How has your relationship with the front office changed since Danny Ferry took over? Josh Smith: I’ve always had a good relationship with the management. It’s nothing against Rick Sund, but Danny Ferry worked for a lot of successful organizations in Cleveland and San Antonio, so I think he brought that winning attitude to this team and it has trickled down to the coaches and the players.
The Hawks planned on staying the course, with Joe Johnson headlining their team, if Rick Sund had decided to commit to a new long-term deal to stay on as general manager. Despite his team’s inability to win more than one round in recent seasons, Sund thought his core group of players, led by Johnson and Al Horford and with several others hitting the prime of their careers, could have gone deep into the postseason in 2012-13. But when Sund declined to stay long- term, the Hawks brought in former Cavs GM Danny Ferry to replace him as their chief decision-maker, with Sund now serving as Ferry’s adviser. Ferry was willing to make changes and that’s the only reason Johnson became expendable.
The Atlanta Hawks announced today that Head Coach Larry Drew has added Kenny Atkinson to his staff as Assistant Coach/Player Development, and Bob Weiss as Assistant Coach/Consultant. They join Assistant Coaches Lester Conner and Bob Bender, and Player Development Instructor Nick Van Exel on the Hawks’ bench. In addition, Rick Sund has been named Senior Advisor, Basketball Operations, and Jeff Watkinson as Atlanta’s Strength and Conditioning Coach.
They continue to get a lot of calls about Josh Smith but the impetus for pursuing Pau Gasol came from Rick Sund and Ferry so far hasn’t taken that baton. Ferry hasn’t even had a chance to fully assess the roster or meet the players.
Unless the 76ers are determined to fill the vacancy sooner than later, once Sund’s month-more obligation to the Hawks is finished, it figures he’ll try to hook up again with Doug Collins, his coach when he was Pistons GM.
What will Rick Sund’s role be? Danny Ferry: “What we agreed with is let’s work together the next month [through] the draft, free agency, summer league. And really table the discussion until then as far as what he wants and what’s ultimately best for the organization.”
The Atlanta Hawks have hired Danny Ferry as president of basketball operations and general manager. Ferry, 45, is replacing Rick Sund, whose contract expires at the end of June.
Marc Stein: Philly search to replace Rod Thorn goes on hold w/Ferry ATL-bound. But sources say Sixers remain interested in GM Ferry replaces: Rick Sund
Ferry, who built the Cleveland Cavaliers into one of the league’s top teams as the club’s GM from 2005-2010, is one of the most respected and coveted basketball minds in the league and is also being courted by the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers have spoken to Ferry about replacing Rod Thorn in their front office.
The Atlanta Hawks have spoken with Danny Ferry about becoming the club’s next general manager, according to league sources. Ferry, currently the vice president of basketball operations for the San Antonio Spurs, would replace Rick Sund as the Hawks’ lead basketball decision maker.
On chances of getting rotational-quality player with 23rd pick: “That’s our hope. At 23 there are some guys that have potential and you have to wait on it and then there are several guys that might not have as much potential but you can put them in the game the first two or three years, whether it is four-year players or physically they are more mature. It’s just going to depend on who’s there. We would like to get a player that can come in and play for us next year.”
Hawks general manager Rick Sund gives much of the responsibility for the NBA draft to assistant GM Dave Pendergraft and director of basketball operations Mike McNieve. Some excerpts from Pendergraft’s chat with reporters: On having lots of open roster spots: “That’s what I tell the [draft-eligible] players. Come July 1 we will have only six guys under contract. In a perfect world our 23rd pick becomes a rotational player and our 43rd pick will be talented enough to join our roster. That’s the best-case scenario. We feel like we will be able to get a good player at both positions.”
It’s believed Sund has expressed interest in an advisory role with the Hawks. He also has considered retirement so he can spend more time in the Seattle area, where he still owns a home.
Hawks general manager Rick Sund is likely to remain with the franchise after his contract expires at the end of this month but his future role in the front office still isn’t clear. Sund said he’s still in discussions with Hawks co-owners Bruce Levenson and Michael Gearon Jr. about continuing to work for the Hawks in some capacity beyond the draft. “All I’m going to say is Bruce and I are kicking around a few ideas and when something gets totally resolved we will let you know,” Sund said today after the team worked out draft prospects.
Atlanta general manger Rick Sund is also believed to be a potential candidate. Sund’s contract expires at the end of the month, and there is no word from Atlanta or Sund on whether he will be extended. Last month the Hawks denied Portland’s request to speak with Sund regarding its hunt for a GM. Portland eventually filled the position with former Los Angeles Clippers GM Neil Olshey.
Potential candidates, according to league sources, include San Antonio vice president of operations Danny Ferry; Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey; Jeff Bower, who was a general manager for the New Orleans Hornets; Oklahoma City assistant GM Troy Weaver; Atlanta GM Rick Sund, whose contract expires at the end of June; and Milwaukee GM John Hammond, who has a year remaining on his deal. Hammond, who was denied permission to talk to Portland last month, was an assistant coach for Doug Collins with Detroit. The Sixers’ interview group consists of owner Josh Harris, CEO Adam Aron, Collins and Thorn, a source said.
“I don’t even want to go there,” Sund said Wednesday when asked if he was coming back. “Going forward, I’ll take some time, talking to my wife, talking to the owners, and in time there will be resolution.”
As early as next week, the Hawks will make an announcement on the status of Rick Sund. Maybe he comes back as general manager. Maybe he comes back as team president. Maybe he comes back as consultant, spiritual adviser, GM Emeritus and VP of Deflecting Blame for the Joe Johnson Contract. Doesn’t really matter what he decides. It’s a problem. Sund is considering retirement. Do you know what some say when an athlete is considering retirement? He already has checked out. The same belief should apply to coaches and team executives.
MC: Do you plan to extend a tender to Ivan [Johnson]? Rick Sund: I’m not going to comment on that right now.
MC: Is it your perception Josh is still happy being here with the Hawks? Sund: I’m going to have his exit interview sometime this week. But, yeah, when you read the things of him saying . . . He’s such a competitor. I was talking to his dad the other day, and he mentioned we all think we should be playing, and that’s great. And [Josh] is one of them.
MC: Will you try to sign Josh Smith to an extension? Rick Sund: I’m not going to get into contract stuff. MC: Josh had a great year production-wise but– Sund: I think it was the best year Josh has had, at least in the four years I’ve been here. I’ve said it for the record and I’ll say it again: Irrespective of how the voting came out, he should have been an All-Star. I thought Josh had an absolutely terrific year. He did a great job of making sure, hey, we lost some huge production with [Al] Horford and he picked it up. MC: But his offensive efficiency fell off, and a large part of that is because he’s taking more shots away from the basket and not shooting– Sund: You have to ask those questions to Larry. MC: But from a personnel standpoint, do you think he fits with what Larry is trying to do offensively? Sund: Yes.
Sund’s contract expires at the end of June, and he’s had discussions with the team’s owners since the season ended nearly three weeks ago. But Sund said no agreement has been reached to return for a fifth season. “We have had a little bit of discussion, but we’ve been focusing so much on putting closure to the season,” Sund said Wednesday. “Nothing has been resolved at this point. We will have some more discussions, and then the process will play itself out at some point and time. “I’m here until July 1. Have I thought about [his future]? Yes. Have I focused on it? No, because we just have too much that had to be done here in the last two weeks.”
Nearly three weeks after the end of the Hawks’ season, general manager Rick Sund’s future with the team remains up in the air. Sund’s contract expires at the end of June and he’s had discussions with the team’s owners about re-signing. But Sund said today no agreement has been reached to return for a fifth season. “We have had a little bit of discussion but we’ve been focusing so much on putting closure to the season,” Sund said. “Nothing has been resolved at this point. We will have some more discussions and then the process will play itself out at some point and time. I’m here until July 1. “Have I thought about it? Yes. Have I focused on it? No, because we just have too much that had to be done here in the last two weeks.”
When the Hawks picked up the option on Larry Drew’s contract for next season, the Atlanta coach still wasn’t sure who his general manager would be. But in the past week, GM Rick Sund has told friends he intends to stay on for at least one more year, league sources told CBSSports.com. Sund, 60, had been weighing a variety of options, which included taking a year off. But after committing to Drew as the team’s coach for another season May 18, Sund began telling colleagues around the middle of last week that he’d stay with the Hawks for another season and then “take it from there,” one of the people familiar with the decision said Wednesday.
CSNNW.com has learned the Portland Trail Blazers did request permission to speak with Atlanta Hawks general manager Rick Sund and ownership denied their request, according to a source close to the situation. Chris Broussard of ESPN was first to report the Trail Blazers had interest in Sund and that Hawks ownership preferred to wait until their season concluded before they would allow the two sides to talk. Now that the Hawks’ season is over, a source tells CSNNW.com that “Sund to the Trail Blazers is not in his plans.”
Sund’s contract expires next month. He’s been in talks with the team’s owners about re-signing, but hasn’t committed to a return or publicly addressed his future; his other options include retirement or taking a part-time role with the Hawks or another team. Drew said he wasn’t sure if Sund will return. “I hope so,” he said. “But that’s going to be his call.”